Halloween Scream Trains

Visit Downpatrick & County Down Railway this Halloween… if you are brave enough!

Kids get to visit the face painter on arrival to get themselves looking as scary as possible, then board the steam train to the wicked witch’s haunted graveyard where you get to see what is stirring in the dark.

If you survive the scary graveyard, you take the train back into Downpatrick and make your way to see Merlin in his spooky cavern, where all kids get a gift bag and you have a chance for photos.

This event runs on Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th and Thursday 31st October 2019.


You can still purchase tickets on arrival at our station in Downpatrick. We recommend arriving for the 6:30pm train or later if you have not pre-booked.


  • Adults: £9.00
  • Children 4+:  £9.00
  • Children under 4: £9.00
  • Concession (OAPs, students etc.):  £8.00
  • Carers: free
  • Infants: free

Child tickets are listed as 4+ and under 4 years old. This is make sure they get age-appropriate gifts from Merlin.

Note: very young children who do not require a present from Merlin, and do not require a seat on the train are classified as ‘babes in arms’ and can travel free of charge.

Group discounts

Reduced prices are available if you are booking groups of 10 or more people – the discount is 10% on normal tickets, and is only available if you pay in full in advance, i.e. before you arrive at the station.

To do this, add the Group Adult or Group Child tickets instead of the regular adult & child tickets. You can only check out and purchase these if you add at least 10 group tickets to your order. It can be any combination of group adult, group child +4 and group child under 4, so long as it adds up to at least 10 tickets.

Dates and times

This year’s Halloween Scream Trains are running at these dates and times:

  • Saturday 26th October:  5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:15pm
  • Sunday 27th October:  5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:15pm, 8:00pm
  • Thursday 31st October:  5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:15pm, 8:00pm

Please check the online ticket office for times. Doors will open generally after 5pm and close after 8:30pm, but you will be booking for travel on a specific train and should try to arrive 30 minutes before your train, especially if you want your kids to visit the face painter before they board their train.

On the day

Please arrive in good time for your train – allow at least half an hour in case there’s queues. You may not be able to get on an earlier train with your ticket, so please be patient! (We will always try our best to accommodate you if you arrive too early or miss your train).

Make sure you have your eTicket or reference number with you, either on paper or on your mobile phone.


Your questions answered

We’ve listed the common questions about our Halloween Scream Trains below. Just tap or click a heading to read the answer. Use our Contact Us page if your question isn’t covered here.

Is it very scary? How will my kids react?

Most kids find the graveyard display a bit scary but not overly so. You will know your own kids better than us, so you need to decide how they will react. The display consists of actors in costume, a flying witch display, smoke and lighting effects, characters coming to life and one of them emerges from a grave or coffin in the ground.

At the end of the piece, some or all of the characters make their way to the platform and you have the opportunity for photos and a bit of fun.

Merlin is less scary. The building where he is located will be decorated with various props and coloured lights. Merlin himself will adjust his act to the kids reactions and is quite friendly!

What happens when we arrive?
When you arrive and get your tickets checked, we recommend that you visit the parts of the attraction in order:


  1. The face painter is located in the station building in a quiet corner, which will be sign posted.
  2. Make your way to the platform and await your steam train
  3. Board the steam train when any passengers get off
  4. Travel to the haunted graveyard
  5. Get off the train and enjoy the spooky display
  6. Board the train again for a trip back into Downpatrick
  7. Follow the signs and lights to visit Merlin
How long will the visit take?

The visit should take approximately 90 minutes to two hours.

I have a teenager who doesn't want to get their face painted or a present from Merlin
Children not wishing to partake of the face painting and gift bags can pay the concessionary rate.
I have a very young child who doesn't want a present. Do I need to pay?
No - infants or 'babes in arms' travel free of charge. They will probably have enough space for a seat in any case, but they may need to sit on your lap or be carried if it is a busy train.
Can I bring a pram or buggy?
Space is limited on our trains, and it is not possible to wheel a pram down the carriages of the train you travel on. There is an area for prams and wheelchairs on one of our carriages, but we can only carry a few prams at a time. Normally this is not a problem unless we get inundated, in which case you may have to leave the pram in a safe place at the station in Downpatrick.
What about wheelchair access?

All of the Halloween attractions can be accessed by wheelchair users. You will find level access into the station and along the platform, ramps to get you on and off trains, a dedicated wheelchair space on the train, and level access all the way to Merlin's cavern.

The only area of the station not accessible to people with reduced mobility is the upstairs museum in the main station building.

Also see our Accessibility page for general access information.

Do I have to pre-book?
It's not essential to pre-book for our Halloween trains, but we do recommend it if you can. It saves a bit of time when you arrive and you can be certain of getting a certain train and you can miss any queues.
Where can I board the train?
You can only board the train at our station in Downpatrick.

See this page for details of how to find our station.

I don't have a printer, what do I do with my tickets?
Don't worry. You don't need to print your ticket out, though some people do find it handy.

You can just show us your ticket on your phone, or you can even write down the booking reference and bring it with you.

What if I miss my train?
If you miss your booked time, don't worry. We will try our best to accommodate you on the next train. If you manage to miss the last train of the night, then we will either re-book you onto another date or refund your ticket in full.
Is it an outdoors event?
Yes, it's outdoors - and it's October in County Down, so wrap up warm just in case!