2018-10-11 / Front Page

Haunted Train to spook Thomas Twp. beginning Oct. 12

By Mandilee Hecht

THOMAS TWP. – All aboard the Haunted Train Ride in Roethke Park, as the ghostly ride will begin its 36th year this weekend, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 12 and 13. Rides will continue the following weekend on Oct. 19 and 20.

New items this year will include food vendors and a new and improved haunted house.

The Haunted Train Ride is an eight-minute spook-ride through the woods of Roethke Park featuring scary skits performed by local volunteers. Rides begin at dark and continue until everyone in line has had a turn.

In the meantime, a haunted house will also be available. Both are family-oriented activities. A police presence will be in the woods to ensure that only volunteers will be in the area.

Both the haunted house and the train ride are family-oriented activities, according to Thomas Township Parks and Recreation Director John Corriveau.

He added that new food vendors this year of Woody’s Hotdogs and Bayou Billy should help to pass the time during the train lines.

The haunted house will have a new look this year as well, with a variety of new props set to add to the Halloween occasion.

“Our goal is to be a fun event for a family to come to. It is very hard to answer the question ‘How scary is it?’ because to some people it is not at all scary, yet to some it is perfect,” Corriveau said.

The Roethke train has inhabited the park for almost 60 years. Karl Roethke purchased the train in 1959 and used it for “Cowboys and Indians” themed events. It was acquired in 1982 by the Thomas Township Jaycees who began the Haunted Train tradition.

The Haunted Train ride continued after being acquired by the Thomas Township Kiwanis Club in 1985 and finally awarded to the township in 2002, where it is run by the Parks and Recreation Department.

“The cool part of the train that we see is the generations of people that have been coming to the event,” said Corriveau. “We are looking to provide a cool train ride through a mile of dark woods, with some pretty cool skits along the ride.”

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