Related: Scare Attractions: Halloween Goes Global / Themed Entertainment: Horrorwood Scares ‘em Silly at Janfusun with Mirage Entertainment / Theme Parks: Ocean Park to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Halloween Bash
(See right: Neil The Mummified Hairdresser taking a well earned break from frightening the neighbours with a nice cup of tea.)
As discussed in Blooloop’s recent feature, Scare Attractions: Halloween Goes Global, although Halloween has its roots in ancient Irish Pagan tradition, the UK has been relatively low key about the celebration until the resurgence of interest in all things magical and spooky, largely thanks to Harry Potter and the Twilight sagas. Always up for a new experience and keen to get some inspiration for next year, we visited the nearby Scare Kingdom to enjoy AtmosFEAR!’s Scream Park. Jason Karl, co-founder of AtmosFEAR!, specialists in location based scare entertainment production, tells us that 2010, the second year of operation, has again delivered a huge growth in attendance: 400% up on 2009.
The temporary attraction offered a day time dose of spooky fun for younger children, before transforming at dusk into a much scarier experience. We visited the three after dark attractions, Unhallowed Hill, a maize maze, and the two indoor attractions, Tinglers Toy Factory and Hellfire Hall. As promised by Karl, perhaps best known for presenting TV’s Most Haunted, the experiences were carefully planned to deliver a whole range of scares, and psychologically vetted to make sure all panic buttons got pressed. From being chased by a chainsaw wielding mad man and evil clowns, to getting trapped in a claustrophobic labyrinth with the evil Morbius (left), the experience was like being in a terrifying theatrical performance with some fabulously zealous performances from the cast.
Were we inspired? Well the kids in our party have spent the last week persuading us adults to follow increasingly “scary walks”. We have been led blindfold along the washing line, poked with sticks, sprayed with water and most gruesomely been made to dip our hands in “entrails” (chicken noodle soup). Can’t wait for next year!