Scare Kingdom Scream Park Review
Halloween. And once again, farms and open spaces around the country open their doors to thousands of ¬†Scare hungry guests.
Scare Kingdom Scream Park is one of the newer attractions in the industry. Located in Lancashire, just off the M6, Scare Kingdom has been in operation since Halloween 2008, during which it has undergone many transformations, welcoming new Scare mazes into the lineup.
Now in it’s Third year, Scare Kingdom Scream Park promises to be bigger and scarier than ever before.
Unlike¬†numerous other Scare Attractions, Scare Kingdom Scream Park is one long journey,¬†from one of the parks Four separate Horror Mazes to the other. These are:
- Voodoo Bayou
- Day Of The Dead
- HMS Hell
- Blood Bath II
The park employs a ‘Skull Rating’ system, representing how extreme each maze is, ranging from one to three. As expected, each maze progressively gets more extreme, culminating in a three skull¬†final maze, that is sure to scare even the bravest of people.
Ticket prices range from ¬£11.50, to ¬£17.00 on busier days on/around the Halloween Weekend. Whilst this may seem steep, especially if purchasing tickets for a family, Scare Kingdom Scream Park does provide excellent value for money when you compare it to similar attractions.
After entering Scare Kingdom Scream Park, we were split into groups and taken for a group photo, before entering into the attractions first room. Here,¬†we were greeted by ‘Crazy Mavey’, who, with cleverly timed interaction, converses with both the us, the audience, and an on screen video of LuciFEAR, the Angel of Hell. Worked into this brilliant piece of theatre are the usual rules and warnings that come with any similar attraction, though you’d soon forget it due to the interactivity, something we feel more attractions should incorporate. Guests are then sent on their way to face the first maze, Voodoo Bayou.
After a short walk, we arrived at the first maze, and the premise was set. Set in a Bayou, guests must venture through the cornfields ultimately towards Delphine La Laurie, a crazed murderer.
Rather than being a full on Scare Maze, Voodoo Bayou has you venture between scenes, with very long walks in¬†between. At each scene we were greeted by an actor, who would tell more and more about the strange happenings. The acting talent was superb, with each actor portraying a convincing performance that, despite them having to¬†repeat throughout the night, felt fresh and enthusiastic, something which is more than often lacking in Scare Attractions. The story was great, and the scenes were engaging, however, the maze was hampered by the long walks between each scene, ultimately destroying any built up suspense from the previous scene. That, combined with ankle high mud, made it at times, tedious to walk from scene to scene. We could only hope that next year see’s a few actors placed between scenes.
The maze’s finale saw us being chased out by a chainsaw wielding maniac. While this is usually effective, we have grown tired of seeing the same trick being used time and time again, and feel that with such a great setting to house a maze, perhaps Scare Kingdom could have imagined a more fitting finale. Kudos again to the actor playing this role, however, as he tried his hardest to make us run, despite the mud making it near-impossible!
That said, Voodoo Bayou was an engaging and interesting first delve into Scare Kingdom, that succeeded well at what it was meant to be, a scene/story driven experience.
Day Of The Dead:
Day Of The Dead works in the same style as the previous maze, Voodoo Bayou, in that it too was housed in¬†part of the same Corn¬†Field, and featured¬†scene-to-scene storytelling.¬†This time, telling¬†a story based on Mexico’s ‘Dias De Los Muertos’, Day of the Dead Festival, we even got to see a ghastly wedding ceremony!
Walks between each scene in Day Of The Dead seemed to be¬†alot shorter, though whether this was down to us being used to them or not, we’re not sure. After numerous scenes we arrived at our favourite, a wedding ceremony. Here, we saw two of the mazes inhabitants declare their love for each other, however, a sinister twist meant that perhaps ’til death do us part’ came a little too soon for these ghoulish lovers.
This ultimately lead to the final scene in which we were face to face with a disembowelled character who, after a brief talk, gave us a mere 10 seconds to get out of the corn field, something which seemed to make everyone run as fast as they could, despite the mud.
This is where the fear factor is really stepped up. Set on the shipwreck of the HMS Hellinor, this once celebrated ship is now home to all kinds of twisted¬†seamate, after it’s disappearance in the Bermuda Triangle almost 100 years ago.
HMS Hell combined tight, dark¬†corridors, and a host of brilliant effects to help scare guests senseless. With portholes located throughout, and the corridors being as small as they were,¬† we found it hard not to jump at the many actors that inhabit the maze’s corridors. Though the sets weren’t as elaborate as in Blood Bath II, we thought they were very well put together, and provided ample space for the actors to jump out on unsuspecting guests. Our personal favourite was what can only be described as a ‘stretchy wall’, a ‘living wall’ made of Latex that hid an actor behind it, who could then unsuspectingly reach out and grab guests through the wall. The rest of HMS Hell had us navigate through near pitch-black corridors, crawl through a tunnel, and ended in a great little ‘strobe maze’ – an effective and high octane finale, which left us excited for what was to come.
The maze, though not the most extreme we’ve encountered, provided plenty of scares and frights, making it a fun and welcome change from the previous corn mazes. Combined with the high standard of acting we experienced¬†throughout the night, AtmosFEAR have done a great job at transforming what looks to only be a couple of containers into an immersive and convincing journey through¬†an underwater shipwreck.
Blood Bath II:
Blood Bath II is the final, and most extreme maze on the journey through Scare Kingdom. Guests are made to journey through Dr Cornelius Van Der Blood’s ‘Meat Locker’, though would we find ourselves part of his sick and twisted experiments?
As we entered we were approached by a Policeman who warned us of what lay ahead. After that, we were all alone, as we began to traverse the maze’s dark, infested corridors. It was clear right from the start that a tonne of effort and money had been directed at Blood Bath II, something that had definitely payed off. The sets were fantastically elaborate compared to the previous attractions,¬†and lighting seemed to remain consistent and atmospheric throughout. AtmosFEAR seem to have struck the right balance between scaring guests senseless and focussing on the environment. In Blood Bath II, the actors can, and will touch you, something which really adds to the experience and makes you feel that much more vunerable. This enables certain aspects, such as Crawl Tunnels as previously seen in HMS Hell, to be more extreme, leaving you feeling rather helpless with nowhere to run. After what seemed an eternity – yes this maze is long, we reached the final scene. Without wanting to spoil it, those not fond of being touched, or have a problem with tight spaces should steer well clear of Blood Bath II, as it had even us wanting to get out!
The whole experience at Scare Kingdom Scream Park¬†is fantastic, providing a progression from tame to extreme over the four mazes. However, we feel that two, very similar Corn Mazes is a bit much, and that ideally one should be used to house a more extreme experience. This is purely due to the setup of the park. We were told that the park is aimed at families, hence the incorporation of the first¬†two ‘tamer’ mazes. However, with a linear path through the mazes, leading to Blood Bath II which is certainly not suitable for families, it seems the park should be targeted towards a set audience, as there is no option to pick and choose which mazes you enter.
We cannot praise the actors and actresses enough. Our night at Scare Kingdom showcased what can only be described as some of the best Scare and general acting of any Scare Attraction we have visited, both officially and as members of the public.
We would definitely recommend Scare Kingdom Scream Park to anyone looking to be scared and immersed in stories at the same time. If fantastic theming, brilliant acting and scares are your thing, then be sure to make a visit¬†in the 2012 season, during which we have been promised that Scare Kingdom Scream Park shall be more extreme than ever!