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Ride the Rails (If You Dare!)


Full Scream Ahead

“If you want to be scared half to death, Rails to the Darkside is for you,” boast the organizers at the Connecticut Trolley Museum. And they’re not kidding around — this event, geared toward adults, is not recommended for young children. We can see why. Photographs from past years, some appropriately dim and blurry, capture tight-packed tunnel shots of visitors alongside bloody ghouls and mangled, leering construction workers from centuries past, most of whom look gravely unhappy at never having received their workers’ comp.

There’s a bit of a lesson tossed in — this is a trolley museum, after all — so the history buff in your family can enjoy a bit of local lore while rattling around in a dark train car. As legend has it, back in 1905 a small cemetery was moved to make way for the Old Hartford and Springfield Street Railway branch line, which ran from Warehouse Point to Rockville. The remains were taken to a small piece of land near Route 140. Maintenance of the plots fell off, and nature took over the gravesite. It was only recently, during the construction of the visitor center, that the old gravestones were found — with (plot twist) no coffins or bodies buried underneath. It seems only the gravestones were ever moved — a good reminder to always check someone’s reviews on Yelp before you hire them to shuffle your caskets around.

The dead, left abandoned and unmarked, are not pleased. Catch their mournful cries in the woods of East Windsor, along the tracks of the museum. And if you happen to sit down next to one this weekend, please apologize for us. No body, living or dead, enjoys missing their train.

Rails to the Darkside: Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 29, 7-9:30 p.m. $17. Connecticut Trolley Museum, 58 North Road, East Windsor, CT. (860) 627-6540, ct-trolley.org.

— Hunter Styles, [email protected]