The inside of the Ghost Train is lit by ultraviolet light – spooky indeed if you are a vampire or suffer from the autosomal recessive genetic disorder xeroderma pigmentosum like those two kids in The Others, a film about the ghost of Nicole Kidman. With a gasp, you realise that your brand-new white sneakers are glowing in the dark, as is all the dandruff on your shoulders.
You wipe it off, embarrassed, as the carriage bumps along the tracks, and make a mental note to start taking as much care of your hair as you do your teeth. That is, if you make it out of here alive…
In the dark you can see the outline of nondescript witch or ghoul faces, their eyes flashing evilly. A soundtrack of blood-curdling screams plays throughout the ride as you bump along the track, and look! There’s a painting of Zordon from the Power Rangers because sure why not.
As you travel deeper and deeper into this totally convincing nightmare, you shudder with fear. Anything could happen, and you must be on your guard.
A skellington drops down from the ceiling – but unlike the other skellingtons you’ve seen, this one isn’t made of crudely assembled plastic, but from bones – human bones! At once you suspect that this might be the skellington of Johnny Franzetta, former human now ghost.
You leap out of the carriage and pull the skellington down from its wires. Whipping out your handheld accelerator mass spectrometer, you perform a rudimentary Carbon-14 analysis on the skellington – and the results confirm that the bones you are holding died exactly ninety-six years ago, which tallies with the badge the skellington is wearing that says I AM THE SKELLINGTON OF JOHNNY FRANZETTA.
“Don’t worry Johnny,” you whisper to the bones. “I’ll get you out of here.”
“Not so fast,” creaks an ancient voice behind you, and the air fills with a horrible smell. You turn around to face the old man from the Woolworths Fresh Food Dome, still dripping with egg.
“Looks like the yolk’s on you,” you joke, but in the Ghost Train no one can hear you laugh.
“I’m Old Man Nickelback,” says the old man, “and I’ve been kept alive for a hundred years by the power of that skellington. Put it down if you know what’s good for you.”
Do you do what the old man tells you? Turn to page 13.
Or do you stand your ground? Turn to page 14.