Derren Brown, The Ghost Train and the Paranormal – Can it be Real?

Thorpe Park has been playing host to a very special attraction this year. Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – Rise of the Demon Is a highly sensory and interactive re-imagining of what a Ghost Train is, and could be. While I cannot reveal any details of what the experience entails, I can tell you that you do indeed, come face-to-face with the sort of things one may only see in our Nightmares… So I have to pose the Question, Can the Paranormal truly exist? Throughout history there have been countless reports, sightings and stories of Ghosts, Demons and otherworldly apparitions in people’s lives, whether they say they’re real, or are debunked as fake. But one thing is certain. almost everyone has had some kind of hair-raising, potentially Paranormal experience. From strange noises in the middle of the night, to strange lights or perhaps just an old building giving you the creeps. And it’s that creepy feeling that makes us wonder… Who’s looking over your shoulder… Right now? 

The Ghost Train has been a phenomenon for almost as long as Rail travel has existed, where people tell stories of phantom Engines or entire trains that manifest either in spots where rails no longer run, or can be heard in stations but never seen… One interesting example in folklore is an apparent phantom train is said to run often from Washington D.C to Springfield, Illinois, around the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death, stopping watches and clocks in surrounding areas as it passes.

While at Thorpe Park, I stuck around the Ghost Train Attraction, and asked many people who had just come from the Experience about their Belief, or lack thereof, of the Paranormal, and of their potential experiences. While most either did not have anything to say, or were too uncomfortable with the subject, I did manage to obtain a few accounts from a handful of people, who while still Sceptical that Paranormal entities exist, still had some truly Blood-Chilling things happen in their Lives. These are their Stories…


Pacha – Ghost Car?

Pacha was Driving home late one night, along a country road. It was pitch black apart from the lights on pacha’s car. Then, as time went on, pacha noticed a pair of lights in the distance, in the oncoming lane. Believing this to just be another late night traveller, pacha took no notice, until as he got closer to the other vehicle, the lights didn’t move… they didn’t flicker… and they seemed to be getting brighter. As pacha came within a Car’s length from the other Vehicle, it appeared to become translucent, and Fade away, never to be seen again, not even in his Rear-view mirrors… Was this the Spectral Apparition of a Driver and their Vehicle that met their end on this Road? Or was it just a Hallucination, brought on by late night Fatigue? pacha joked with me that it could have been Aliens. Whether Extra-terrestrial, or something of our world, there’s no doubt that this is a very spooky occurrence…

 

Andre – Possible Poltergeist Activity?

Andre tells me of a haunting experience when he was a child, living in a particular house. His mother would work late at a local Nursing Home, leaving the young Andre home alone. During the night, Andre would hear a voice, sounding uncannily like his mother’s, calling him, despite him knowing full well she wasn’t in the house. In addition to this, he would occasionally spot something moving in the corner of his eyes, only for it to vanish once he turned his head. These shadowy figures would apparently imitate the form of his mother. If he was to move around the house during the night, he says he could feel something trying to grab at him, or attempt to trip him up. This would reach its apex when Andre would go to the house’s balcony, where he says he could sometimes feel a force push him towards the edge, or hear a voice tell him to jump, in addition to a suffocating atmosphere in that portion of the house. It was only after seeking advice and attempting to communicate with the possible spirits did a majority of the poltergeist activity cease. It still continued, to a degree, but didn’t seem to have malicious intent anymore. Could they have actually connected with the spirit of a deceased person? Or was it all in their imagination…?

 

Anonymous – Monsters in the Forest? 

This person preferred to keep their identity secret, which is understandable given the terrifying and gruesome event they recounted to me. While they were growing up in Romania, they would of course, go to visit their Grandmother. She lived in the countryside, near a large forest. A lone cow was contently grazing in a field nearby. The first night or so went as normally as any other. But, at some point during their visit, They are woken up by some loud, and blood-curdling noises from outside… They described it as something between growling and pained moaning, but louder than any human could manage… This kept the family awake that night, and the next morning they discovered something truly horrific. The cow that had been peacefully grazing the day before, was now dismembered almost beyond recognition, with only a bloodied carcass left strewn across the field… Was this simply the work of wild animals? Given the sounds the family had heard the previous night, they didn’t believe it was that simple… Perhaps there was some kind of horrendous creature, or creatures,  lurking in the forest? Or was it some particularly sinister humans, playing a grotesque prank? Whatever it was, it scared the family enough to start sleeping together in the lounge for the remainder of the visit…

 

 

Ben – Haunted Mansion?

Now, this is my own personal experience. It may seem… a little tame compared to what you’ve just read, but I feel I need to put this up here just to emphasise that these experiences can happen to anyone, and that this article does have a personal connection to myself.

While I was working alongside a production group inside an otherwise abandoned Manor house, constructing set pieces to be used in performances, myself and one of my teammates were sent to the house’s basement to collect some more materials. The basement was freezing cold, despite it being summer, and in total darkness until we switched on the temporary lights we had installed. As we collected what we needed, one of the lightbulbs further down the tunnel-like basement flickered and fizzled out. Assuming this to just be a dead bulb, we continued on. We should have left immediately. Because as we started to carry the supplies out, we were both struck with an intense blast of cold air, forcing us to drop what we were holding. This was followed by a loud, echoing voice, deep and hoarse from the darkness. We saw nothing, and the whatever the voice had said was unintelligible, but the message was clear… Get. Out. We quickly grabbed what we needed and hurried from the basement. When we told the rest of the crew what had happened, they said they never heard anything in the basement. Were we specifically targeted by a Malicious spirit? Or was it all a figment of our imaginations? You be the judge…

 

So it seems, while Derren Brown’s Ghost Train Is a mere attraction, built to frighten, some truly terrifying things can be experienced in our everyday lives. Do you believe in the Paranormal? Or are you still Sceptical of what lies in realms we can’t see with our own eyes? Do you have any experiences of your own that you’d be willing to tell us? Feel free to leave your opinions and stories in the comments. And until the next time… Watch your Back…

 

BONUS: Below are some Truly Terrifying recordings of Paranormal activity… Enjoy!

 

And then, If those were to scary for you, something a bit more suitable for those… Faint of heart….