20/10/2016 – Hallowscream at York Maze

As I arrived and started queuing up to get into Hallowscream, it was evident that the theming and roaming actors would be very strong throughout – I was not disappointed! From fantastic visuals through to performing actors chasing after their victims, there was lots to see and be scared by upon entry.

The first place we went to was The Stumble Inn to get a drink. Themed around zombies, you can chill out (as best you can) in the Inn with a hot drink and watch some fantastic dance routines in this incredibly themed bar.

 

Reincornation

This was the first haunt of the night. Themed around clowns and funhouses, it really wasn’t clear (unless you visit the website) what the story of the haunt is. Having said that, there were some great elements hidden within, including a leaning room, a bottomless pit room, and a vortex tunnel that was strong enough to make everyone fall over. A well themed maze with some great ideas, but the lack of story upon entry and the huge group meant that we heard the scares coming before they repeated.

 

Barnageddon

As with Reincornation (above), there was a complete lack of story so I honestly have no idea what this haunt’s theme is; however, I did enjoy the way the haunt was themed, and really loved the use of water in there. As with Reincornation (and you’ll see there’s a bit of a trend here), the dispatch times need to be bigger and the group numbers need to be smaller as we caught up with the groups in front of us and I could see the actors weren’t getting their full scare potential. This would have been a really strong haunt if we hadn’t have queued up in the attraction itself.

 

The Flesh Pot

This haunt is the strongest attraction there. Themed around a psycho farmer that killed people and put them into pies to sell, The Flesh Pot has some very creepy scenes and some fantastically executed jump scares, but the thing that made this great is that we went through in a smaller group, meaning all the scares got all of us the first time – this was the only haunt to make me jump the entire night!

 

The Difference Engine

This was a very interestingly themed haunt. Based on some-sort of computer, you travel through a series of very sterile rooms that are laced with mirrors that was almost disorientating, add that to your group being split up and you’re in for one confusing ride! I loved the idea of being split up at various points during the haunt, though there were some great missed opportunities for jump scares.

 

1873

Set-wise, this set was incredible, especially the entrance to the haunt! I was gobsmacked by all the sets, actors and effects throughout this entire haunt as every little bit worked well and executed almost perfectly: the only thing that could have finished this haunt off is something similar to the weeping angels.

 

Overall, I’m a little disappointed with this event; it was far too busy around the haunts and the queues looked absolutely massive – I’m glad we had RIP tickets as I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t make it around all the haunts in the “normal” queue. Having said that, the roaming actors and theming throughout the general area was fantastic.

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20/10/2016 – Hallowscream at York Maze

15/10/2016 – Screamland

As the sun sets over Margate, Dreamland transforms into Screamland and all sorts of ghoulish creatures crawl out from their hiding places to cause havoc and mayhem!

Not only does Screamland boast 5 haunts that range from the camp and fun jump scares through to exceedingly creepy and disturbing themes, but the entire park gets a new overhaul, from the Screamland sign light show and Halloween themed music through to the smoke machine hiding the roaming actors, there was plenty to see and do whilst waiting for either the rides or the haunts, all of which simply added to the atmosphere!

 

The Final Cut presents… They Came From Outer Space

Our first haunt for the night was The Final Cut which had been re-themed from when we last entered at ScareCON earlier this year (read that review here).

The haunt’s intro has remained the same, though that’s definitely not a bad thing as it helps you feel like you’re really entering the movie.

Once you’ve entered the movie, it’s clear from the get-go that you’ve found yourself the star in your very own sci-fi/b-movie extravaganza, which pays homage to the greatest b-movies about, from Little Shop of Horrors to Tron. This was a great re-theme of a haunt with some fantastic props and scares that’ll make you jump into outer space!

 

Dead & Breakfast II – Murder Hotel

Next up, seeing as The Final Cut leads straight into it, is Dead & Breakfast II. Preceding the haunt was a series of 4 clips showing Fag Ash Lil in her attempt to find love on a rather suspicious sounding online dating website…

The haunt theming and story itself doesn’t look like it has changed much from the first Dead & Breakfast (read here), however this doesn’t detract from the experience at all – the theming is still incredibly detailed and the scares are still as surprising as they were the last time we entered the rotting seaside bed and breakfast. What has improved is the use of scents to immerse guests further, especially in one specific scene that made all of us recoil as we entered the room.

The finale is still incredibly clever and absolutely perfect: even though we knew what was coming, it was still a tense and jumpy experience!

 

The Bloody Mirror

Our third haunt for the night was The Bloody Mirror, a very basic haunt set within the mirror maze that exists in the park year round: based on this knowledge we weren’t expecting much from it, but in fact we were pleasantly surprised. The very basic theming kept us on our toes as we weaved our way through a very small number of scares in this disorientating haunt – a smoke machine and a well-placed laser would have gone down well in here.

This is a great place to start if you’re looking to try this kinda thing for the first time, otherwise it’s a bit of fun.

 

Festino’s Forgotten Funhouse – King of Clowns

This haunt has moved from a big top in the car park last year into a permanent building inside the park, giving it plenty of space to expand into something quite incredible!

Themed around clowns, guests will be utterly devoured in the bizarre acid trip of a haunt that uses some clever tricks to get some jumbo sized scares in this wild freakshow!

 

The Paradise Foundation

We saved this for last, despite the fact the queue was absolutely dead when we got there but after hearing what was said at ScareCON, we knew this had to be the last haunt we did.

We were not disappointed.

Based on what could possibly be a very real scenario, guests will enter the foundation and meet some rather disturbing characters who’ll transform you into the very best version of you using some very revolutionary but controversial operation practices.

This haunt is definitely not for the easily disturbed as the story is incredibly dark, with inspiration taken from goreno/grindhouse and psychological horror movies, which will shock you to the core as you take your tour through the foundation.

Not only are your eyes and ears spoiled rotten with stimuli, but your nose and even sense of touch is, especially as you draw closer and closer to the end – the finale will absolutely blow your mind and leave you wanting more. If there’s one haunt that is sure to disturb you this Halloween, it’s this one.

 

Overall, Screamland has set our expectations exceedingly high and we can’t stop talking about it, especially The Paradise Foundation!

15/10/2016 – Screamland