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“Henry? Why are you glowing?"
"Arrgh! All lit up like a lighthouse!”
―Porter and Salty

Henry in the Dark is the twenty-first episode of the twentieth series.


Some signs on the Island of Sodor are painted in a special green paint that glows in the dark. This helps the engines see the signs during the night. One day, Henry goes to the Steamworks to be repainted. Kevin, however, accidentally grabs some of the special glow-in-the-dark green paint and gives it to him. Henry is completely oblivious to the mix-up. When it gets dark, the paint activates. Thomas sees Henry's glowing paint and thinks it is a ghost train. He puffs into a siding, horrified and tries to warn Gordon. Gordon does not believe in ghost trains. James is the next to see Henry and also warns Gordon. Gordon thinks he knows how to deal with ghost trains, until he pulls up right next to Henry. He also believes it is a ghost train. At Tidmouth Sheds, James describes the ghost train to the other engines. A few minutes later, Gordon arrives and explains to Percy that he was not actually scared when he saw a ghost train. But it was not only the Steam Team who were frightened.

At Brendam Docks, Cranky, Porter and Salty also think Henry is a ghost, until Henry asks Cranky what is wrong. Upon seeing it is Henry, Cranky tells Porter and Salty who ask Henry why he is glowing and Cranky brings down a mirror to show him. Henry is surprised and realises he was given the wrong paint by mistake, as well as that everyone thought he was a ghost train and laughs it off. When he comes back to the sheds from pulling the Flying Kipper, it is daytime and he was not glowing anymore. No one could sleep because they were too busy thinking about the ghost train that they saw. Henry tries to explain, but Gordon and James tease him, with Gordon reminding him about the time he was scared of the rain. This angers Henry, and he silences the other engines and tells them that he saw the ghost train and was not frightened at all. He then backs into his berth angrily and decides against explaining things, even when Emily kindly asks if he can.

That night, the engines are too scared to do their night trains. While Henry is away, the engines refuse to take the mail train. The Fat Controller is very cross and tries to ask Gordon, who denies being afraid for instead having boiler trouble. He tells the engines that there are no ghost trains. When Henry comes back, he gives everyone including the Fat Controller a fright. He tells the engines at last that it is just him, leaving Gordon and James annoyed. Thomas notices that the Fat Controller has disappeared. Suddenly, a figure with a bucket on its head emerges from the coal hopper. Everyone is horrified, even Henry himself. However, it is just the Fat Controller. He realises that Henry was given the wrong paint and tells him to get the right one first thing in the morning. As a bonus, the Fat Controller gives Henry a "glowing" report for being the only engine working during the night.







  • Going by production order, this is the eleventh episode of the twentieth series.
  • This episode is one of seven in the twentieth series produced by Robert Anderson, the rest being produced by Tracy Blagdon, along with Sidney Sings, Letters to Santa, Toby's New Friend, Henry Gets the Express, Three Steam Engines Gruff and The Christmas Coffeepot. This episode is among the latter three that have a copyright date of 2016 like all the other episodes in this series, while the former four are dated 2015.
  • The working title of this episode was "Henry Shines."
  • A reference to the first series episode The Sad Story of Henry and the special The Adventure Begins is made.
  • This episode is similar to the second series episodes Ghost Train and Woolly Bear: The former a green engine inadvertently becomes a "ghost" and scares Thomas, in the former's case Percy deliberately frightened him, while this one was unintentional for Henry and involved the other engines being scared as well; whereas in the latter, that same engine is puzzled by everyone's reaction to them and is oblivious to their own appearance until they see themselves in a mirror.
  • In the Nick Jr. USA broadcast of the episode, it is paired with Three Steam Engines Gruff.
  • This is the last episode in which Big Mickey appears faceless.


  • Rob Rackstraw is credited in the UK version's credits despite none of his characters speaking in that dub.
  • The boiler tubes that Kevin drops at the start of the episode appear far too big in diameter.
  • Emily's front wheel is sticking out from the chocolate coloured piece below her cylinder.
  • Henry's glow-in-the-dark model is not properly rendered for the whole episode.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Czech Henry ve Tmě
Dutch Henry in het Donker
French Henry le Fantôme
German Henry Dampft im Dunkeln
Hebrew הנרי בחשכה
Hungarian Henry a Sötétben
Japanese やみにひかるヘンリー
Korean 유령 기차 헨리
Polish Henio w Ciemności
Portuguese Henry no Escuridão
Romanian Henry în Întuneric
Russian Зелёный призрак
Serbian Henri u Mraku
Slovenian Henrik v temi
Spanish Henry en la Oscuridad
Turkish Henry Karanlıkta

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