Published: May 4, 2023
By: Adam Burns
There are currently three heritage railroads in Ohio which offer Halloween-themed train rides on select dates in October. These range from pumpkin patch trains, where kids can take a ride to pick out their favorite pumpkin for decorating, to trunk-or-treat trains that carry a more traditional Halloween theme where kids can dress up in their favorite costume. More information about these trips may be found further below.
Halloween is a special time of year, and Ohio has no shortage of spooky attractions to celebrate the season. From haunted houses and hayrides to pumpkin patches and fall festivals, there is something for everyone to enjoy. If you are interested in other Halloween attractions in Ohio, besides a train ride, here are some of the most popular.
Cedar Point HalloWeekends
Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky is a popular destination throughout the summer, but during HalloWeekends, the park transforms into a Halloween destination. Featuring haunted houses, scare zones, live shows, and more, Cedar Point HalloWeekends is a must-visit for thrill-seekers and Halloween enthusiasts alike.
The Dent Schoolhouse
Located in Cincinnati, The Dent Schoolhouse is a haunted house that is set in an old schoolhouse. It has been featured on national TV shows and is known for its detailed sets and intense scares. The attraction is designed to be interactive, with actors playing the part of teachers and students, making visitors feel like they are part of the story.
Factory of Terror
With locations in Canton, Akron, and Toledo, Factory of Terror is one of the largest and most popular haunted house chains in Ohio. In fact, it holds multiple Guinness World Records for being the longest haunted house in the world. Each location features multiple haunted attractions, including 3D mazes, haunted houses, and escape rooms.
King's Island Halloween Haunt
Located in Mason, King's Island amusement park hosts Halloween Haunt each year, featuring haunted mazes, scare zones, and Halloween-themed shows. The park is transformed into a spooky wonderland, with more than 20 attractions to explore.
Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres
For those seeking extreme scares, Haunted Hoochie at Dead Acres in Pataskala is not for the faint of heart. With intense scares and graphic scenes, this haunted house bills itself as the "world's most extreme haunted house." It is not recommended for children or those who are easily frightened.
Located in Lordstown, Fear Forest is a popular Halloween attraction that features multiple haunted attractions, including a haunted hayride, haunted trail, and more. The attraction is designed to be family-friendly, with different scare levels for visitors of all ages.
Fortress of Fear ScreamPark
Located in Garrettsville, Fortress of Fear ScreamPark is another popular haunted attraction in Ohio. It features a haunted prison, haunted forest, and other spooky experiences, as well as escape rooms and other interactive attractions.
In addition to these attractions, there are many other Halloween events and activities throughout Ohio, including pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and corn mazes. No matter where you are in Ohio, there is sure to be something spooky and fun to do this Halloween season.
In conclusion, Ohio has no shortage of Halloween attractions for those seeking thrills and chills this season. Whether you prefer haunted houses, hayrides, or pumpkin patches, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to check out these popular attractions and others throughout the state to make the most of this spooky season.
(Lebanon): The Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad based in Lebanon operates on trackage once owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad. Most excursions run about 4.4 miles from Lebanon Station to Hageman Junction. The corridor's heritage began as the Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Railway that began in 1881 as a three-foot, narrow-gauge operation.
Three years later it was rebuilt to standard gauge and acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad, which used the line between Dayton and Cincinnati. The current heritage railroad began in 1985. Each fall the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad hosts the "Pumpkin Patch Express," a 2-hour event that is as much as fall foliage train as a Halloween-themed trip.
There are hosts decorated in scarecrows who will balloon pumpkins for passengers. After a 20-minute ride the train stops at the "Pumpkin Patch" (Lebanon Sports Complex) and ticketed passengers will receive a small pie pumpkin. While here there are also other activities to enjoy.
(Wellington): The Lorain & West Virginia Railway based in Wellington, Ohio operates on trackage originally built by the railroad of the same name, which opened between Wellington and Lorain in 1906. It later came under the Wheeling & Lake Erie banner, and then the Nickel Plate Road before Norfolk & Western acquired the latter in 1964.
In 1977 the N&W elected to abandon the corridor. In 1979 the Lake Shore Railway Association was formed to save part of the line, which managed to acquire about 8 miles of the southern segment. The association has opened about 6 miles for excursions, running from Wellington to just north of Pittsfield.
During October they host the "Pumpkin Train," which offers about a 6-mile round trip lasting anywhere between 1 to 1 1/2 hours where kids can take the train to pick out a pumpkin for carving.
Not yet announced
(Nelsonville): The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is located in Nelsonville, Ohio and operates a former Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) branch between Nelsonville and Logan, a distance of about 12 miles along the Hocking River.
This corridor was established as the Mineral Rail Road on April 14, 1864 to connect Columbus with Athens. The line changed names over the years and was finally completed in August, 1870. It is most commonly remembered as the Hocking Valley Railway, which was later acquired by the C&O.
The HVSR now offers the only place in Ohio were one can enjoy train rides behind a historic, standard-gauge steam locomotive. This 0-6-0 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1920 and spent much of its career for Ohio Power.
Among the heritage railroad's many special trips it offers throughout the year is the "Halloween Train" each October, which is a trunk-or-treat type event allowing kids to dress up in their favorite costume to enjoy the fun. The trip lasts about 2 hours.