Scream Until You Like It

Originally posted: 27/10/2010

Hallowe’en: great for the little kids to dress up, have some mild terror, eat lots of sweets… but what about the big kids?

You want big scares and big screams this year, try York Maze’s Hallowscream. I was invited along to the press launch and took as a test audience my seventeen year old daughter Carol, and her boyfriend Rob as ballast, as it was easier to hold her when she jumped with one on each arm. Yes, it was that scary for her!

Like with York Dungeon, I’m not going to give away too much about the attractions as that would take the fun out of it. But a few words of advice: wrap up warm, wrap up waterproof, and wear decent shoes. And take a friend.

We started with An Audience With The Undertakers: a few scares, a few laughs, but we’d expected more jumps. It worked well to set the scene, and I think the experience was better for this rather than going all out for terror from the word go. Maybe it was just to lull us in to a false sense of security… We followed it up with The Curse of the Corn, which started with a tractor ride. As we waited our turn, we saw two other rides go out full and come back empty, and all we could hear in the darkness was the screams…

The walk back was… err… interesting. Funny moment when Carol and Rob (by this time we were all linked in a chain, fingers nearly being broken in terror) found they couldn’t run any further – having run straight in to a hay bale! I was suffering with night blindness from the very bright lights on the other side of me (nice touch whoever thought of that), I got my just desserts for laughing at them when something loomed out of the darkness next to me, and I jumped, although not as far as Carol who nearly achieved vertical takeoff a few times.

The rest of our ‘pleasant country walk’ was not so amusing, as the darkness, mud, maize stalks and random nasties contributed to set us all screaming – and immense fun it was too!

After a quick breather we decided that next we would brave Barnageddon, an indoor maze of the macabre which included the wet part, more nasties, moving parts, hysterical offspring, toilets and sheep. I had a good scream halfway round partially because I felt the urge to join in, and partly to keep Carol company. Honestly. I must admit that after this one, even I wasn’t sure about going round the last one: Carnevil.

Avoid if you have a phobia of clowns. Avoid if you have vertigo. Avoid if you are affected by strobe lights. But for the rest of us – awesome! The children, bless them, let me go round alone. If the random couple with nice warm woolly hats who were in my group are reading this, THANK YOU! I couldn’t have made it round without you. Adrenaline kicked in after 30 seconds, so I made it round laughing and shrieking, and absolutely loved it. Rob only stayed out as moral support for Carol, after I came out he went round and I do believe the word he shouted as he came out was also “awesome” – the vote of approval from both generations.

Big kids: go scare yourselves silly at Hallowscream!

You MUST book in advance for this one, I think next year we’ll be organising a staff outing to Hallowscream.

Remember: keep your equipment dry, and your coffee strong.
Rachel Lacy
Ghost Finder General

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