Scare Kingdom Scream Park 2014 Review
Scare Kingdom Scream Park, the unique Lancashire scream park, has returned for its sixth year. Open on selected nights between October 4th and November 8th 2014, the park houses six different attractions; ideal for a full evening of scare entertainment. But are the attractions any good? Read on and find out…
Our journey to Scare Kingdom wasn’t great (I blame the M62) so I wasn’t feeling all that enthusiastic when we arrived. That changed the second we sat down at the entrance to The Oubliette. I could hear thumping music, a booming voiceover, and lots of screaming. Smoke was seeping out from beneath the entrance curtain. It would be impossible not to get excited at this point; this got me in the mood before anything had even happened.
Part scare attraction, part dispatch zone into Scare Kingdom; The Oubliette was a sensational start to the evening. It functions as a way of ‘welcoming’ the guests and getting them acquainted with the Minister of Fear. The format of this attraction is devastatingly effective, although it wasn’t until halfway through that I realised we were being given some information amidst the chaos. I couldn’t really hear much over the screaming! I caught ‘asthmatic’ and ‘latex allergy’, so I assume this was the safety information, also available on the website.
The Oubliette set the tone perfectly; upon exit, our adrenaline was pumping and we were grinning from ear to ear. From this experience, I knew the standard was going to be high. Later in the evening I caught up with Jason Karl, Chief Creative Executive at AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment, who pointed out that The Oubliette also functions as sort of warm-up, from which guests can gauge whether or not they’ll be able to proceed. Some don’t make it any further.
You can’t beat a good corn maze! None of this new-fangled technological nonsense (she said disparagingly, with a blindly romanticised fondness for ‘the good old days’). Joking aside, this maze really is hugely enjoyable, largely due to its simplicity and uncomplicated format. Wandering along a path through the dense vegetation, in complete darkness, The Clonefields recalls classic horror movies where helpless victims are chased through fields and woodland.
The moon was bright during our visit and I felt that little spark of Halloween magic (a bit like Christmas magic, but more macabre). I was really tense throughout this maze; even the leaves were making me jump! The Slenderman’s faceless minions were lurking, and we knew it. At one point I saw one disappear off into the leaves, which was really scary because I had no idea when or where he might reappear….
Unfortunately I didn’t get a big scare in the maze, just scares I saw coming, or that were targeted at someone else. But it was still very good fun. I particularly liked the minions’ masks and costumes, they were really unsettling.
Probably my favourite attraction in the park, Hellcatraz looked promising even from the exterior. We were met by the prison warden- a superb actor who heightened our anticipation and made us feel really on edge. Sirens were blasting out of the building and we were hit by intense strobe lighting as we entered.
The theming of this attraction is excellent; all the separate elements work alongside each other to create a believable and frightening prison environment. The stacks of lockers, the inmates’ costumes, the bloody rags; everything is in chaos and disarray, adding to the sense that the wardens have indeed lost control, and we are at the mercy of the escaped criminals. They came at us from different directions and different levels, working with the strobe to make us feel disoriented.
Ordinarily I would knock off a point for heavy strobe use; it’s a very easy way to make an environment look good, but it’s difficult to walk around in for more than a few minutes, I get tired of it quickly. However, this attraction offers a brief interlude, which was a good change of pace before heading back into the action. With cries of ‘don’t drop the soap’ and crazed inmates charging at us relentlessly, Hellcatraz was completely insane. Loved every minute.
Manormortis- it’s the house that should never have been built, and it won’t stay dead! The storyline for Manormortis Covenstead is centred around a coven of witches… I think. The actor who greeted us explained who he was and what was happening in the house, but unfortunately the music was too loud for us to all hear him properly.
The scares in this attraction are really good fun. I completely missed some of the actors who were already in the rooms, so their scares came out of nowhere! This was down to the lighting, clever costumes/positioning, absolute precision and perfect timing.
The lighting did have its downside though- it was so dark that couldn’t see very much. It felt like I could have been anywhere, so there was no real sense of an environment to engage with. This is a shame considering the level of detail and quality of theming within Manormortis. Nevertheless, there were some good scary moments in here.
Our experience nearing an end, we made our way to the Human Zoo; a sickening concept brought to life with originality and flair. This is the attraction I was most curious about, and as it turns out, it’s a very strong addition to the line-up.
This attraction has a bold personality. It’s crude, dirty, and really quite smelly. It made me want to shower immediately afterwards. There is a little bit of humour to it, but the human experimentation theme is profoundly dark, and successfully echoes the suffering of the dreadful caged beings within. These nightmarish creations are curious about us humans, and they won’t hold back with it comes to inspecting you.
An excellent level of interaction pushed this to the next level for me, and there were some great changes of pace thrown in. Plenty to catch you off guard. One particular element of this attraction made us feel extremely vulnerable; a bit of a role reversal which was really quite unpleasant! Faultless theming and execution of this dark concept made this one stand out. Well done all.
Some say that Dr Killian Goodkind’s therapy is extreme. What would I say? I’d say I’m all better now. Thank you, Dr Goodkind.
Get ready for deeper treatment. The doctor will see you now.
So there you have it. All of that in one night! Fortunately, Scare Kingdom has a fully licensed bar, so you can grab a drink and recover after the chaos has ended.
As an overall experience, Scare Kingdom Scream Park delivers shocks, fear, and most importantly- fun. If you’re looking for a scary evening out this Halloween season, you cannot go wrong with this event. It was terror from start to finish. Forget tacky animatronics and constant ‘boo’ scares; Scare Kingdom presents you with theatrical & psychological scare entertainment at its very best, spread over multiple attractions and filled with talented scare actors. Quite frankly they’re spoiling you. Don’t miss out on this one.
Geek Girl Up North
Scare Kingdom 2014 Review – The Sickest Attraction in Britain?
Previously, I have always enjoyed Scare Kingdom, and I felt that it is definitely most improved, but this year, I feel the park has excelled itself, and I’m more excited right now about the future of this park than any other. One big thing that this park has achieved which I don’t think I appreciated in the previous two years was the fact that this park always brings us something new. As good as Farmageddon is, it’s the same thing year after year, and it’s not enough for me anymore. Scare Kingdom Scream Park brings us fresh ideas, not just each Halloween, but throughout the year, and that is an amazing feat that cannot be overlooked.
This year starts with The Oubliette, which yes, despite what I have just said, is the same way that last year started, but it’s just the intro, so we can forgive them for that. Once out into the main attraction I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s unfortunate that they haven’t yet found a way to break up the long walk to the first maze. I know the site is a working farm during the day, but it would be nice to try and hide the quaint farm walk with more horror & scares, as it does give you a drop in atmosphere. They do scatter around actors to keep you on your toes, and as ever Scare Kingdom has always had a high quality of scareactor, including the return of Abraham Cleaver, a favourite of mine from Horror Camp LIVE!, (no Incesta though which was a shame).
The first maze, The Clonefields, was probably my favourite. Slender Man is a personal favourite scary story of mine, and the concept was very well executed in the depths of the corn maze. Brilliantly creepy, my only criticism is that Slender to me should be silent, and the actors who jumped out on us while making a noise just didn’t quite seem right, I think the character and setting are much more frightening when you can’t hear them.
Once out of the Clonefields there is another slightly tedious walk to the next maze, but then Hellcatraz and Manormortis are pretty much one after each other. Hellcatraz was fun, using lots of strobe effects to disorientate you as you make your way past the crazy inmates. There is a nice break in the middle of the maze where you are separated for the final run, which was a really nice touch. Manormortis is the only one that was very similar to last year, but with a permanent structure, I can imagine it would be more difficult to change up. The actors again were great, and I love the claustrophobia tunnel which is a great effect not so commonly seen. There is a hint of a gravity room, but I think this could be improved and the effect used to its full potential in the future. One thing to take note of however is that this maze is super dark, so prepare to get friendly with the people in front and behind you, as you’ll need to hold on to make sure you don’t get left behind! After Manormortis is a less tedious walk to the Human Zoo, which was probably, if I had to pick one, my least favourite maze. There seemed to be longer periods without any actors, but the sets were very good, and this maze made good use of having you duck down and not just walk through without having to negotiate changes in ceiling height.
After Human Zoo you have the opportunity to head to the bar for a swift pint and some hot food to calm your nerves. Or, you can decide to continue the terror and enter Pysychomanteum, dubbed by The Sun as the “sickest attraction in Britain“.
To be honest I’m a bit miffed that it has taken me so long to experience Psychomanteum. Last year I forgot to bring extra cash, and I completely missed the Christmas and Valentines attractions (where I think this was also available), but I am ever so glad that I have finally done it. Reading the disclaimer was slightly reminiscent of Horror Camp LIVE!, and I remembered how good Scare Kingdom Scream Park was at looking for other ways to scare you, without always relying on dark places and actors jumping out at you, (think the clown taking away to a room on your own). And for people who slam this attraction as being inappropriate, degrading and humiliating, well then just don’t go in! I find it ridiculous that people can get so upset about something you have to choose to participate in, and even pay for the privilege. I would assume that someone who would not enjoy this attraction, would realise this while reading clauses in the waiver such as “I will be touched, grabbed and forcibly moved”, and that “I understand that Psychomanteum is graphically disgusting, offensive, sexually explicit, crude, vulgar and extremely adult in nature”. Surely anything that requires a safe word is not to be taken lightly, and personally, I think anyone who then proceeds to hand over a fiver and then complain about it is a complete idiot. In line with the disclaimer I will not discuss what happened to me inside, I will however say that both myself and my boyfriend went through, and we both had slightly different experiences, which was nice. I would also like to commend the three main actors, who were absolutely brilliant, and probably the best scare actors I have seen. Psychomanteum dances just on the right side of a fine line, which is not something that is easy to do. The man handling is perfectly executed, being likened to light bondage but combined with hard core smut, although I was scared of what was going to happen, I was never fearful of being actually harmed. I think that Scare Kingdom Scream Park have really hit the nail on the head with their execution of this attraction, and I’m thoroughly impressed.
Not only would I recommend all aspects of Scare Kingdom Scream Park to people, but I think that this is the attraction that has me most excited and wanting to return. The fresh ideas each year are a breath of fresh air among the more stagnant parks, and each year the production values improve immensely. In a way, although I did criticise the long walks and the lower production outdoor mazes, it is here where the park has the most potential to grow. These mazes lend themselves so well to change, I would much rather have something fresh and new than a bunch of expensive permanent structures that never change. By combining the high production Manormortis with the lower production changing mazes Scare Kingdom has a great balance, and if they can find a way to improve those walks between mazes, this could be by far the best park I have ever been to.
Scare Kingdom Scream Park 2014
Scare Kingdom Scream Park has been terrifying guests since 2009 and is a popular destination for the northern scare fans to have a frightfully exciting night. For 2014 Scare Kingdom has some brand new attractions ready to terrify it’s willing fan base this Halloween. It was a rainy night so with wellies and waterproofs we ventured down to Blackburn and here’s what we thought…
We begin in the Oubliette where a large group of us were forced into a small cage, with the use of strobe and audio effects we are told the rules of the evening. With a large group of us compressed into this narrow cage we felt somewhat vulnerable as the dark figure approached.
It seems as though almost immediately you are taken into the nightmare of Scare Kingdom, and it soon becomes reality that the nightmare is only just beginning.
As our group head out onto the trail we meet our old friend Abraham Cleaver who leads us to his corn maze, telling us how much he hopes that we don’t return alive. The corn maze, a tradition at Scare Kingdom, is swarming with Slenderman’s minions who lie in wait beyond the trail.
The faceless clones appear suddenly, some approach the group with eerie curiosity, while others scream out in aggression. The maze has improved dramatically since previous years, although still the lighter way to start the evening it seems as though this year it is packed with actors, ensuring interaction through a large amount of the maze. The roaring sound of a chainsaw was a great finish to the attraction and had us pushing and toppling over each other to get to the exit.
A brand new build for 2014, Hellcatraz is an indoor maze through the world’s most infamous penitentiary. Greeted by the prison warden we are instructed to pass the threshold into the black and white strobe lit room where we are told there has been an electrical fault in the system; unfortunately for us the murderous inmates have been released from their cells and are now roaming free seeking new victims to play with.
This fast paced attraction was one of our favourites, with narrow winding corridors and crazy lunatics who prevented us from remaining together as a group, you really don’t know if you will escape with your friends. Using indoor and outdoor space this attraction was thrilling from start to finish, leaving cinematic images of frenzied inmates etched into my mind.
Manormortis, Convenstead – Season of the Witch
This year Manormortis is alive with dark magic as The Sisters of The Black Flame gather to practice evil witchcraft. The sheer size of the attraction allows for countless rooms and corridors all thoroughly themed and intertwined to create a fully immersive experience. The house is transformed in the darkness, and what was once a beautiful manor is now a dark decaying lair for the evil that lies there.
The attraction continues to transform itself for each event, and this Halloween it does not disappoint. Packed with scares everywhere, it felt as though the house was never ending. Characters seem to come from nowhere, with scares from unexpected places, this is an experience plucked from the underworld. We think that the final scene could have had more of an impact, but overall it was a beautifully horrifying experience.
The repulsive half human creations of Volka Schlachten are caged within the vaults of the human zoo. With sickening passageways of excellent visuals, foul smells, vile characters and shocking interaction.
Plunged into the nauseating scenes of deformity, we were thrust into a world of gore with racing hearts and sick bags at the ready, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Psychomanteum IV – Deeper Treatment
After previously experiencing Psychomanteum I could not possibly have imagined how on earth it could be more shocking and appalling. Thinking myself quite brave, I agreed to experience Psychomanteum IV – Deeper Treatment by signing a disclaimer form, after being fiercely urged and bribed by my so called friends.
There is so much hype about the ‘UK’s sickest attraction’ it has been extremely popular, and there was a large queue waiting to experience the therapy of the notorious Dr. Goodkind. You enter alone, armed only with a hospital face mask and a code word to get out.
It is an additional charge of £5 to enter and it’s well worth the extra charge. Psychomanteum is a once in a lifetime experience and something you will never ever forget.
The scenes are extremely graphic with offensive content throughout. You enter tense, nervous, and a little excited. You leave abused, sickened, appalled and horrified.
As always we fully recommend Scare Kingdom Scream Park this Halloween for a truly fun and frightening night!
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Scare Raters review of Scare Kingdom Scream Park October 2014
Arriving at Scare Kingdom Scream Park I couldn’t help but feel the flurries of excitement, for me this is where my passion for scare attractions began with my first of many visits to Horror Camp Live back in 2012.
This is Scare Kingdom’s sixth year, so in comparison to others they truly are veterans within the scare industry, with this in mind and with past experience I certainly held high expectations of this year’s attraction.
My scare partner for the evening was a complete scare attraction virgin, never before had she experienced anything like it, I was looking forward to seeing her reactions and more than slightly worried whether she would even make it the entire way round, whilst we were sat in the short queue before entering she made me promise I wouldn’t leave her!
Before long we were beckoned through a curtain and into The Oubliette, a long cage which we had to crawl into, after the cage door shut I knew it wouldn’t be long before the screams began! Surely enough whilst listening to the obligatory health and safety message we were also being menaced by a masked creature that took great delight in menacingly poking at us whilst we crouched in fear within our caged prison. Eventually we were ushered off into the night air, the small group I was in already terrifyingly apprehensive of the horrors we were about to endure.
The next attraction we came across was The Clonefields, set within a rather impressive cornfield. As we approached we could spot a figure awaiting us in the dark, upon drawing nearer I realised this was Abraham Cleaver, one of my favourite characters from Horror Camp Live. Abraham is the farmer of the land and is a most unsavoury character who thinks nothing at waving his shotgun around, far too close for comfort and manically ranting on about the rules of his land.
As we entered the cornfield the darkness seemed to engulf us, and with only the light from the moon to guide us, an unnerving feeling of isolation and helplessness washed over me. Treading carefully around the twist and turns of the maze we encountered many of The Slenderman’s faceless minions with their long menacing arms hiding within the depths of the corn and jumping out at us at perfectly timed moments as to maximise the frights. This certainly worked as terrified screams echoed around the corn field!
Next up was Hellcatraz, the world famous penitentiary, that houses the most dangerous and psychotic criminals. We were greeted by a rather nervous looking prison warden who explained to us that a big storm had taken out all of the power and we must have our wits about us as we try to make our way through with the inmates on the loose! As we made our way through the strobe lighting was blinding and with the sirens blaring, made for a very disorientating experience. With lots of jump scares, with inmates coming from all angles we eventually made our escape safely but very shaken up by the experience.
Next to come is my all-time favourite attraction Manormortis, the amazing house that has a life of its own. The theme changes each year and this year the house has become a coven, infested with witches and dark creatures of the occult. We were introduced to the house by our guide Harrison Hopkins, witchcraft historian, and told the tales of the coven and then bid us on our way. The vastness and detail of Manormortis never fails to amaze me and as we gingerly made our way through the house we encountered countless scares, frights, crouching tunnels and tight spaces. With the clever lighting this year it seemed the house had a different route, which for me, after experiencing the house before made it even more disorientating. Although afterwards I was assured that the route was exactly the same as previous years, it just goes to prove that Manormortis really does have a life of its own and with each change of theme, new life is breathed into the walls of this magnificent house.
Almost at an end, our final attraction was Human Zoo, would we to soon become victims of the sick experiments that were happening inside? Making our way around we were sickened by some of the horrific half human, half mutant creatures that lurked within, each of the inbreeds not at all shy in invading every inch of your personal space. Clever crawl spaces and lots of grabbing by the curious creatures made for a rather uneasy experience.
Finally we made our way to Psychomanteum, this attraction is not included within the ticket price and is charged at £5 extra per person and strictly only over 18’s are permitted to enter, the reasons for this will become more than clear after you experience it!!
Psychomanteum is the sick love child of Dr Killian Goodkind, a clinic where the sexually ravaged are admitted and exposed to the Doctors sick and twisted purification methods. I will not go into great detail as to what vile things go on inside, as I feel this attraction is best experienced with no prior knowledge, no word of a lie but two days after and whilst writing this review my stomach is still churning at the thought of what sick traumas I was subjected to!! Only in its second year Psychomanteum is unlike anything I have ever experienced before, and is without any doubt an extremely unique attraction.
After the constant onslaught of fear I was glad to finally take a rest and get myself a drink at the bar next to Psychomanteum, this is a great place to sit and reflect with friends about the horrors of the night whilst watching victims of Psychomanteum on the well placed screens. I was interested to find out the views on my friend who had unsuspectingly been dragged along, did she make it the whole way round?? Yes she did, and she too loved the whole thing, telling me it was like nothing she had ever experienced before, definitely a newly recruited scare attraction fan!
Scare Kingdom Scream Park has once again done itself extremely proud, and all expectations were smashed. With perfectly timed scares, amazing sets, lighting and soundtracks, realistic costumes and make up and some of the most talented actors and producers around. Well done to you all, you should all be very proud of yourselves. I look forward to a whole lot of new terrifying and boundary pushing attractions for 2015!
BOOK NOW at http://www.scarekingdom.com