A frightful night of family fun

Published 9:31 am Friday, October 9, 2015

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — All aboard! If you’re looking for a family-friendly way to celebrate the Halloween season, climb aboard the haunted railway at Eden Springs Park — formerly the House of David — for a spooky, open-air train ride along the historic tracks of the once prosperous amusement park founded in 1908.

When the original amusement park closed in the 1970s, the iconic steam engine and its wooden passenger cars were sold. Having passed through the hands of collectors across the country, the popular historical artifacts have found their way back to Benton Harbor.

After the park was purchased by a private owner in 2009, volunteers worked diligently to restore the old train depot, one of the few buildings on the property that was reparable. Now every summer, the second oldest running miniature railway in the world offers rides to passengers young and old. For the past few years, each October, volunteers at Eden Springs Park transform the park into a spooky spectacular featuring an animated tunnel of lights, ghosts, and dancing skeletons.

“The original House of David amusement park helped to put Benton Harbor on the map during a more prosperous time and we really feel that it’s something worth saving,” said a spokesperson from Eden Springs Park. “Many visitors used to work at the original amusement park or attended as a child. It moves some people to tears seeing the park being restored and coming back to life – it’s sort of an inspiration for our community.”

Visitors can experience the frightful, family fun on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25 from 5 until 9 p.m. Rides are $3 per person, children three and under ride free. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to support continued renovations of the park. Light concessions will be available including hot cider, popcorn, and other treats.

As if this wasn’t enough family fun, be on the lookout for a special Christmas-themed train ride in November — specific dates to be determined.

For more information, contact Eden Springs Park at (269) 927-3302