Screamland 2015 Life as a Producer Alton Towers Scarefest Goosebumps ALIVE! Book Review: SCREAM Down in the Dungeons Legends of Dead Town
ISSUE ELEVEN SUMMER
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FROM THE EDITOR SCARE NEWS GUEST REVIEW - Screamland 2015 SINISTER SHOWCASE - Gothic Tourism FRIGHTFUL FEATURE - Scare Me! GUEST REVIEW - Legends of Dead Town GUEST REVIEW - Scare Kingdom Scream Park 2015 GUEST REVIEW - San Francisco Dungeon GUEST REVIEW - Alton Towers Scarefest 2015 SINISTER SHOWCASE - SCREAM FRIGHTFUL FEATURE - Derren Brownâ€™s Ghost Train DOWN IN THE DUNGEONS FRIGHTFUL FEATURE - Life as a Scare Producer SINISTER SHOWCASE - Midnight Syndicate Christmas CD SCARY WORLD - Legends, A Haunting at Old Town FRIGHTFUL FEATURE - Beauty in Fear FRIGHTFUL FEATURE - Goosebumps Alive SCARE ENTERTAINMENT LISTINGS
Front Cover Scare Kingdom
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From The Editor Welcome to the eleventh issue of Scareworld - Europe’s only dedicated scare entertainment magazine. You can now obtain Scareworld as a full size hard copy publication delivered straight to your door by ordering a copy via our website at www.scareworld.co.uk, or you can read the digital issue free of charge online, plus hard copy back issues are now available to buy if you have missed any earlier editions. In this issue of Scareworld we take a look at the long-awaited ‘Derren Brown’s Ghost Train’, delve into ‘Goosebumps Alive!’, take a tour of Alton Towers’ ‘Scarefest 2015’, unlock ‘The San Francisco Dungeon’ and showcase ‘SCREAM’.
For all the latest scare news, reviews and listings, no serious scare attraction enthusiast or producer can afford to be without Scareworld Magazine. Remember Scareworld is your magazine, tell your colleagues and friends, it is free to subscribe to the digital issue online - and don’t forget to catch all the latest scare attraction news as it happens on our website at www.scareworld.co.uk Have a spooky summer, and stay scary! Jason Karl Editor
The summer months will be alive with screams across the UK this year with ‘Snuffhouse After Dark’ in Lancashire, and now as the evenings begin to draw in, the season of screams is almost upon us! We have all the listings of current summer and permanent events in Europe right here in these pages.
Editor Jason Karl firstname.lastname@example.org Designer Paul Howse email@example.com Deputy Editor Mark Lofthouse firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales Manager Emili Peake Contributors in this issue Timothy Deves Topher Adam David Bramwell Norris
Published by AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment © Copyright Scareworld 2016. All material in this publication remains the copyright of Scareworld and no part of it may be re-produced without the written permission of the publishers. Materials not copyright to Scareworld are re-produced with permission and all rights are acknowledged. To get in touch or to advertise in Scareworld please email: email@example.com
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Compilation period - January to July 2016 Recently opened at Six Flags Mexico is a new immersive, actor led Ghostbusters attraction. Set in the historic La Llorona building, the experience is multi-level, and multi-actor led attraction that takes its audience through five major scenic experiences within the Ghostbusters theme. For more information visit www.sixflags.com.mx/es/mexico/attractions/ ghostbusters Legoland Windsor has been granted planning permission to build a Haunted House attraction at the park, similar to Ghost - The Haunted House, which was new for 2014 at Legoland Billund, featuring a spooky walkthrough experience and two 10m drop towers. For more information visit www.legoland.co.uk Following 4 sell-out seasons of ‘Horror Camp LIVE!’ – the summer overnight horror attraction at Scare Kingdom Scream Park in Lancashire, the attraction is to be rested and replaced by its successor ‘Snuffhouse After Dark’. For more information visit www.scarekingdom.com ScareCON is back bigger and better than ever, and took place at Dreamland in Margate, Kent on Friday 13th May 2016. Two of Screamland’s scare attractions, which were designed and produced by AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment, were open offering ‘live’ experiences and backstage tours. For more information visit www.scarecon.org Hauntopolis, the Canadian haunted attraction magazine, has ceased publishing after issue 6. The high-quality glossy will be sadly missed by the haunted attraction community. Back issues are available at http://hauntopolis.bigcartel.com The Tension Experience, based in Los Angeles, is gathering a group of followers online, without revealing exactly what the experience is about. A series of puzzles, cryptic clues and images of people with their faces scratched away have been released. For more information visit www.thetensionexperience.com
This year he isn’t just interested in scaring you, he wants you to find Alice, the only other patient ever to have experience ‘Wonderland’. For more information visit www.thelondonbridgeexperience.com/ leporiphobia Scaretrack, the UK scare entertainment podcast, is taking an hiatus, after broadcasting regularly online for the past year. They promise to be back soon. For more information visit www.scaretrack.com The London Dungeon has opened a new ‘Tavern’ feature which offers guests the chance to sip a spirit while being entertained by the new themed characters. During the spring they will also add a ‘Wicked Women’ feature. For more information visit www.thedungeons.com/london ‘The Blackout Experiments’ is a new film following guests attending ‘Blackout’ extreme horror experience in the USA. The film has been shown at various horror film events to much acclaim. For more information visit www.facebook.com/TheBlackoutExperiments/ ‘Terror Tower’, in Scarborough, is investing in some new effects and updating its content for the 2016 season. The attraction has been operating in Scarborough for many years. For more information visit www.terrortower.co.uk Lionsgate have acquired the UK distribution rights for ‘Ghost Stories’ – a film based on the hugely popular stage show of the same name. The film is now in production. For more information visit www.ghoststoriestheshow.co.uk ‘The Search for Emily’ is a haunting theatre performance taking place at Croxteth Park in Liverpool in March. For more information visit www.liverpoolcityhalls.co.uk/croxteth-hall/ whats-on/archive/the-search-for-emily/
‘The Walking Dead Breakout’ is a new scare attraction experience at Movie Park in Germany. The permanent attraction is slated to open in 2016. This Easter head down to The London Tombs where For more information visit Dr. Mixamo is back, with his delusional patients. www.movieparkgermany.de
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Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it to Screamland this year. It’s lineup stood out to me, but it was the matter of getting from Leicester to Margate on the cheap. Thankfully, through determination, I found a way! And boy am I glad I did, Screamland is without doubt the best park based scream park I have visited. In fact, it’s arguably one of the best overall scream parks I have visited too! The standard of attraction at Screamland is just phenomenal, especially considering this is Dreamland’s first year of hosting the event. I must give a massive thank you and congratulations to all of those involved, it’s remarkable what has been done! ABRAMACABRE Abramacabre is a short, sharp, shock to the system. It may be intended for a family audience, but it’s still a fabulous addition to the Screamland line up! Set inside a mirror maze, you’ll be searching for the spirit of the great magician Mystero and his monstrous rabbit, which has a taste for human flesh. There are two key scares inside, with the ill-fated magician and his benevolent bunny making sudden appearances in the mirror maze. The layout is so well designed that you’ll easily get lost inside the labyrinth of mirrors. When you do come across the magician it comes as a complete shock, and is a really effective impact scare! Now that’s not to say it’s inappropriate for children. This is in no way a high thrills attraction, it’s very much in the ‘mild peril” category. Personally I loved it, it’s scares are well balanced so it remains 8
appropriate for all audiences. The final scare with the rabbit, in particular, was a neat touch and had me running for the exit. FESTINO’S FORGOTTEN FUNHOUSE Roll up, roll up! The funhouse is in town! Festino and his carnival troupe have set anchor at Dreamland Margate this Halloween season. Screamland isn’t just about scares you know, here is an attraction which is all about fun! Festino’s Forgotten Funhouse is a variety show of the weird, the wonderful and the macabre. This isn’t a stranded clown maze, there are no curtains to be seen and I dare say there are no more than two clowns in the entire attraction. It’s by far the best circus themed maze out there. Because of the sheer amount of variety inside, you really can’t compare it to any of the other carnival attractions this year. Each room offers up something new to shock or disgust. Numerous tricks are thrown in your direction, confusing and disorientating you. Some of the sets you’ll come across are just stunning and are totally unexpected. There’s so much detail and theming present within this attraction, it really sets a new high standard for the clown genre. Whilst not being high thrills, Festino’s certainly packs in a ton of impact scares. It’s duration is the longest of the mazes at Screamland, and rivals some of the longest at other parks. Surprisingly, for an attraction of that length, it never lets up. The actors are wonderful, and are determined to get as many scares Summer 2016 2015
out of the group as possible! That being said, it’s not all about the scares. It is a highly theatrical attraction, with some show stopping scenes. My personal favourite being one featuring a laughing sailor. God knows how many scares this actor created. He started out in a creepy corridor, beautifully themed with clown faces. Utilising the well hidden hiding spaces, he leapt out at us numerous times, before using light and sound effects to create the illusion he was breaking through glass. It was stunning! Believe it or not, the entire maze was memorable. Not one scene felt wasted. From siamese twins, to giant clowns, to babies and bearded ladies, the entire attraction was full of vibrant characters ready to make you laugh, and scream in equal measure. Let’s just say on my run through, I had a little too much fun in the kissing booth with the bearded lady. I’ve been a fan of Alton Towers Carnival of Screams for some time, and was saddened when it left. I never thought an attraction would surpass it in terms of being the best carnival themed attraction. As it turns out, Festino’s manages to beat it hands down. It’s theatrical, lively and just a ton of fun. There’s so much detail to be found in the sets, with numerous funhouse elements sprinkled throughout. It’s a spectacular attraction, and does something different with the clown formula. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must leave, upon entering the funhouse I promised Festino I would join his troupe of freaks. THE FINAL CUT Considering the standard of attractions this year, it is certainly high praise for me to class The Final Cut as the best maze I have been through. The concept of going through the screen of a 1950’s cinema into the world of vintage horror has been fully realised and executed perfectly! One of my biggest regrets this Halloween season, is not purchasing a third run-through for this attraction. Once inside the old cinema building, you’re faced with a stunning facade, with haunting music accompanying it. You’re immediately immersed in the world of The Final Cut. Everything from the theming, the music to the scents are spot on. I dare say, it’s atmosphere is amongst the best I have ever seen in a scare attraction! It’s eerily beautiful. It’s the tiny details that make this attraction what is is, from the revolving door which separates you as you enter, to the clapping monkey which sounds once
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you’ve purchased your ticket. The entire attraction feels authentic on an entirely new level, even down to the smells. Now to spoil anything about The Final Cut would detract from its impact, so if you’ve not attended yet, turn back now. So, The Final Cut is an attraction of two parts. First, is the journey through the cinema and into the screen, then follows an onslaught of retro horror icons. When I say retro, I don’t mean Freddy or Jason, I’m talking about beasts and vampires. It’s easily one of the best concepts I have seen used in a maze. The first half is highly theatrical, and incorporates all the key moments of visiting a cinema in quirky and creepy ways. You’ll purchase your ticket, buy some popcorn and be led into the big screen by the usher. The actors each take a unique spin on their role, being both hair-raising and hilarious at the same time. The moment the confectionary seller starting bombarding us with popcorn I couldn’t help but smile as I jumped out of my skin. It encapsulates the entire cinema experience in such a creative way, the design inside this attraction truly is stunning! Once the usher has lead you through the screen (literally), you become the star of a black and white slasher film. If you have any knowledge of vintage horror, you’ll find the final section a real tribute to the classics. All the colour is gone, and you start to journey through black and white film sets, separated by film strip curtains. Each set is beautiful and carries on the great theming and atmosphere from the first half. One thing that is very noticeable in this attraction is the sheer variety of scares in the final section. You’ll meet characters ranging from the wolf to the witch, to the count, to the bride, to the mummy. Believe it or not, there are even more. Each has their own show scene, and the scares are totally inventive. You’ll find yourself walking straight into some scares, which come from so many unexpected locations. The Final Cut villainess, in particular, appears constantly out of nowhere. She’s a really menacing force, and a great original character. It was great to see her chase us out of the hectic Jekyll and Hyde finale. I was so distracted by the sparky Mr Hyde, she snuck up on me and caught me off guard. Overall, The Final Cut is just beautiful, the art direction is stunning and the atmosphere is on another level. Screamland the best scare maze in the UK period. It’s a fantastic experience, and I would seriously recommend it not just for scare attraction fans, but
also fans of theatre and immersive experiences. DEAD & BREAKFAST The two major scare attractions at Screamland, The Final Cut and Dead & Breakfast are interlinked. There’s a themed batching area between the two, which allows you some breathing room before the next round. Dead and Breakfast is another highly themed immersive experience, this time set in a run-down WWII bed and breakfast. Being a totally unique theme, it’s a refreshing change of pace from most other scare attractions. Again, the attention to detail in this attraction is stunning! The batching area is beautiful, and from thereon out, you feel totally engaged with the plot due to your remarkable surroundings. Like The Final Cut, this is easily some of the best theming/atmosphere building I have seen in any scare attraction. You genuinely feel dirty once inside, as the dank, musty corridors are bought to life with scents and cobwebs. Not that I am insulting the bed and breakfast at all, it’s just the Better Days B&B has seen, well… better days. Congratulations must be given to the theming team on this one, they’ve done a splendid job! Once you’ve arrived, you can check in at the welcome desk. And what a welcome you’ll get! Fag Ash Lil is the owner of the Better Days B&B and she’s an absolute babe. I absolutely adore her! She’ll have you in fits of laughter as she tears your group to shreds, ‘don’t worry mam, yes dogs are allowed’. Her scripting is just perfect, and once you’ve passed through to the first corridor she even gets in a few scares of her own! It’s arguably the most intense offering at Screamland, using some very clever techniques to maximise the actors scare opportunities. In the first corridor alone you’re bombarded with the B&B’s inhabitants coming from all around, utilising hidden drop panels and the many secret hiding spaces. Once you’ve entered the main body of the hotel, you’ll journey through bedrooms, bathrooms, laundry rooms and even the kitchen. Each is inhabited with numerous malevolent spirits donned
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with gas masks and vintage attire. Dear god, why did it have to be gas masks?! I am absolutely terrified of gas masks, and certain sections were downright horrific for me. The hiding spaces in this attraction are so unique, you can never truly tell where the next impact scare is coming from. The scares are consistent and fast paced, interspersed with some character led scenes, which are equally as thrilling. It all builds up towards a climax at the end when you’re ushered into a bomb shelter. Like Hell at Scare Kingdom, this has to be the best finale of the year. It’s creative, nerve-wracking and haunting all at the same time. You’ll be sitting inside the anderson shelter as the bombs drop as the spirits of the dead come back to haunt the living. Honestly, it’s a fine line as to whether I prefer The Final Cut or Dead and Breakfast, they’re both outstanding. I really do think they are two of the best attractions in the UK! The level of theming seen in both is just incredible, and there are just so many unique scares to be seen in both. I can guarantee, you will be running out the exit, then back into the queue for a second round. SCREAM MACHINE SCARE ZONE Beside the recently reopened Scenic Railway coaster, lies the Scream Machine Scare Zone. Within await the mechanics which keep the coaster running… on your screams. It’s a relatively small area, but it’s been packed it full of lively actors, and some theming set pieces. I honestly found this scare zone to be one of the most effective I have been through. The actors had clearly been trained on how to interact with their audience. I found myself being engaged with by not one, not two, but around four actors at once! At this point I was slowly cornering myself, unbeknownst to me, creating what can only be described as a genuine moment of terror. Needless to say I sprinted out, completely impressed by what I had just experienced. But wait, it didn’t end there. The bride in the picture above stalked me from the exit to the food court. I couldn’t run from her, I couldn’t hide from her. She just stood there watching. And it freaked me out! Sure, it’s not the biggest scare zone, but it has such a great impact! You will be scared, and you will not be left alone. AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment and Dreamland have come up with an absolutely outstanding event this year! For their first year of the Screamland event, it’s incredible to think they’ve managed to create an industry leading scream park. It should be mentioned, Screamland has far more than the attractions, the whole park transforms. It’s downright beautiful, the lights, rides and music all combine to create something rather magical. Would I recommend this event? Yes. I’d go as far as to say, if you can only make one Halloween event, make it Screamland.
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SI NI STER
SHOWCASE GOTHIC TOURISM By Emma McEvoy From Strawberry Hill to the London Dungeon, Alton Towers to Barnageddon, Gothic tourism is a fascinating and sometimes controversial subject. Emma McEvoy considers some of the origins of Gothic tourism and discusses Gothic itself as a touristic mode. Through studies of ghost walks, scare attractions, Dennis Severs’ House, Madame Tussaud’s, the Necrobus, castles, prison museums, phantasmagoria shows, the ‘Gothick’ design of Elizabeth Percy at Alnwick Castle, a party at Fonthill Abbey, and a poison garden, McEvoy examines Gothic tourism in relation to literature, film, folklore, heritage management, arts programming, and the ‘edutainment’ business. Emma McEvoy teaches at the University of Westminster, UK, in the department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies. She is the co-editor, with Catherine Spooner, of The Routledge Companion to Gothic (2007). Now available from all good booksellers. Watch out for our review in the next edition of Scareworld Magazine
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F R IG H T F U L
Dut c h Horror At t r act i o n ‘SCARE ME’’is Back! and new experiences in the field of horror and has made “Scare-Me” what it is today. A night at “Scare-Me” is more than the haunted houses, it’s host to a lot more than that. During the event, there is also the possibility to relax in the “Retro Room” and play some old-school videogames on different consoles, that is, if you dare to relax. Of course you can always to relax your nerves by getting a drink at the bar, or cover your shaking hands by buying some delicious artisan-made sweet bread. There’s also a photo-corner which provides you of the evidence you were actually at “Scare-Me”. And hopefully survived…
Last November the Dutch horror event ‘Scare-Me’ had its début and now it’s back for a second edition. From 26 February to 19 March you can enter visit several haunted houses on each Friday and Saturday evening. After the success of the first edition organizer Perry Mulder comes back with a bigger and even scarier second edition. He has renewed his haunted houses, made an extra attraction and added more to the overall experience. During four weekends everybody’s worst nightmares will come to life at Perry Mulder Productions. A big warehouse in ‘Almere Haven’ has been transformed to the center of horror. The second edition of ‘ScareMe’ is based on the first one, only this time it has been renewed and reorganized. Making this second edition even better. Perry Mulder gathered people around him who are experienced with making and working on horror events. Their combined expertise on horror events is transformed into haunted houses 14
Since the first edition of ‘Scare-Me’ there have been some changes. Haunted houses ‘The Mansion’ and ‘The Reborn’ have been upgraded and the battlefield of ‘Zombie Terror’ has been changed. ‘Zombie Terror’ is an unique and interactive game where you and your friends enter a world full zombies and have to fulfill your task, or you’ll die. It was a huge success. This edition ‘Scare-Me’ has added a new and challenging attraction, called ‘The Escape’. It is based on the wildly popular escape rooms. You’ll get 20 minutes to escape from this house, but beware, you will find more than just puzzles in there. Organizer Perry Mulder is by origin an actor and film producer, but now he’s using his expertise in the field of horror and events to develop ‘Scare-Me’. The entertainer in Perry loves giving people a night which combines pleasure and fear. For full details visit www.scare-me.nl Summer 2016 2015
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By Mark Lofthouse
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When writing articles for Scareworld Magazine, I have been lucky enough to have visited some extraordinary attractions and see some fantastic countries – so with the opportunity to visit Italy and ‘The biggest horror house in Europe’, I just couldn’t turn it down.
it’s never going to end. Utilising a mixture of live actors and a large amount of animatronics, it has the feeling of a very American style haunt, in which the animatronics take the lead role, being supported by the live actors to gain reliable scares.
Legends of Dead Town is one of the newest permanent scare attractions in Europe and boasts to be the largest of its type, and I can vouch for that – it really is HUGE. The attraction is located in Mirabilandia theme park, North of Rimini, Italy which boasts a vast array of rides and attractions to cater for all age groups and adrenaline appetites.
When I experienced the attraction, the one thing that really struck me was the scale of the sets, they’re absolutely huge and foreboding as you pass by, and sometimes pass through them. For an example without spoiling too much, the queue line for the attraction has a huge animatronic of a western store front which seems to topple over on to waiting audiences – this is one of the biggest animatronics I’ve seen used in a scare attraction, never mind preentering one.
The attraction is part of a new themed area called ‘Far West Valley’ that is styled to resemble a western hub community. The building housing Legends of Dead Town has been used in various horror incarnations, starting out as a dark ride before changing into an extremely popular walkthrough attraction called ‘Phobia’ which closed its doors at the end of 2015. We met up with the Sales and Marketing Director of the park to gain a further insight into the attraction. Legends of Dead Town boasts a staggering 20-minute continuous walking experience that truly feels like
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Throughout the 20-minute attraction we were bombarded with scares from all sides – whether that was from a huge animatronic dog lunging out towards us, or from one of the many dead Sheriffs/Westerners. Me and my colleague really enjoyed the experience and left thinking ‘that only took 5 minutes’, before checking our watches to see we had been inside for nearly 25 minutes – you know what they say, time flies when you’re having fun! Another aspect of the attraction that impressed me was the language used inside, me and my colleague entered in a group of four (which also helped keep it scary), the other two in our group were from Germany, but spoke English. The first character asked our nationalities before performing his entire script in perfect English – this message was passed throughout the whole attraction as all of the ‘dead’ in ‘Dead Town’ shouted at us in perfect English. When we exited the attraction and spoke to the staff it became apparent that they do this with
every single group to make sure that it is a tailored experience that is understood by all paying customers, which is a fantastic offering for international guests who want to know the ins and outs of the story. Here’s the part where I’m going to give away a couple of spoilers, so if you want to experience the attraction firsthand without knowing anything, I’d skip ahead of this paragraph! Legends of Dead Town takes place in a Western Town where the dead can live again, both as spirits and as zombies, which feeds in with its location in the Far West Valley. That is one level of the story, but when you probe deeper as you stalk through the dark corridors, you see a multitude of levels to the story – including the native American influences on a western town, which was a really nice twist to what is a well-known story. During one section of the attraction, you pass through a vortex of UV native American spirits before being ‘attacked’ by a very living one. I really enjoyed this twist on the story, that gave it more of a supernatural vibe, but one that’s not used commonly in scare attractions – it was a very pleasant surprise.
Without giving too much away, the ending of the attraction had everyone running for the door before catching their breath and having the chance to buy an ‘on ride photo’ that was taken mid-walkthrough – causing for some hilarious reaction shots. I really recommend scare attraction fans to visit the attraction, and the park. The park itself offers a fantastic variety of rides and attractions, including one of the best dark rides I’ve been on!
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For more information about Legends of Dead Town, please visit: www.mirabilandia.it Special thank you to Tomasso Bertini and the team at Mirabilandia.
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Lifeâ€™s no fun without a good scare... but how do you truly scare someone? With a catalogue of over 15 years experience under his belt and having worked at multiple scare attractions across the globe, Andy Rawlings shares his experiences and personal insights into the growing art and practicalities of Scare Acting. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Through-Dead-Eye-Eulogy-Acting-ebook/dp/B01EVL5MZQ 20
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F R IG H T F U L
FEATUSRcaEre Kingdom Scream After years of anticipation, I finally made the trek up north to visit Scare Kingdom Scream Park. In the past, there’s always been a huge buzz around the event in the scare community, so I had to see what all the fuss was about! Now that I have been, I can say without doubt, that the hype is real! Scare Kingdom is a near perfect event. Each attraction brings something new to the table, with distinctive and creative scares that will totally shock you!
Park 20Timot15hy Deves
THE SANCTUM Your first attraction, The Sanctum, is very much an appetiser to the main event, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a very strong opener, and starts the event off in an extremely creepy tone. It may be small, consisting of one room, but it uses darkness to create some big scares. Inside, you’ll be coming face to face with Eschaton, the mysterious minister of fear. It’s simple in premise, but incredibly effective. During the show, the ominous plot behind Eschaton is revealed. He starts off as a creepy puppet in a cabinet, then things start ramping up… It’s not an attraction that’s focused on impact scares, but I can guarantee it will unnerve you! The tension inside the room when the show starts is unparalleled. It’s certainly one of the smallest attractions at Scare Kingdom this year, but to me offered a simple yet incredibly effective opening. It really set the tone well and hyped you up for what was to come. THE HOLE Upon entering the first full-length attraction at Scare Kingdom, you know you’re in for one hell of a treat. The Hole is an incredible attraction, and is up there with some of the best scare mazes I have ever been through. You’ll be visiting an abandoned prison, which has been reclaimed by nature. Within its overgrown halls haunt some rather unfriendly spectres, which wish to incarcerate you in this hell. Why would you head in you ask? Well a group of urban explorers have headed inside to set up lighting, but none have returned. You’re on a rescue mission to save any survivors. Summer 2016 2015
Now that’s a solid plot right? If this were any other event, that plot would be forgotten within minutes, replaced by generic impact scares. Thankfully this is Scare Kingdom, and they run things a bit differently. I won’t spoil any plot developments, but this story permeates throughout the entire attraction, and is followed up upon. The actors are very skilled at portraying the events, and will have you totally immersed in the attraction. It certainly is plot heavy, but there are some brilliant scares in The Hole. The layout is stunning, and will confuse you at points. The ending in particular is a marvel of design. Your group will be split and sent on opposing winding pathways. It’s confusing in all the right ways and will have you totally terrified by some sneaky hiding spaces. Throughout the maze there are ample opportunities for multi-level scares. The actors use them to their full potential with some very quick impact scares! I am ashamed to admit this, but The Hole is the first scare attraction to actually make me scream… Honestly, the jumps come thick and fast in this one. It manages to balance jump scares with atmospheric immersion very well creating a totally haunting experience. As expected, the theming is perfect and really brings the story to life! A surprise outdoor section really was the icing on the cake with this maze. The Hole really is a remarkable attraction! It’s full of a quick succession of some really ingenious scares. Its theming is so impressive, you’re bound to be stunned once inside. MANORMORTIS MONASTERY If you’re looking for a scare attraction in the UK with production values to rival Universal Studios or Disney, look no further than Manormortis. Nothing else is comparable. The theming is spectacular! You genuinely feel as if you’re inside a living, breathing gothic mansion. The attention to detail is stunning, and I don’t doubt I have missed half of the hidden quirks inside the house. From the moment you step inside the doors of the satanic priory, you’ll be completely immersed within the world of Manormortis. It’s a very theatrical story driven attraction, with a bunch of incredibly skilled actors hiding throughout. The talent in this attraction really is astonishing, I have honestly never seen anything like it! Each character feels well thought out, and
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anchored in the plot, whilst remaining totally terrifying. Oh and trust me, some characters will pop up multiple times in the attraction to great effect! Whilst inside, you’ll be on the receiving end of multiple creative impact scares. No two scares are the same, and the attraction has been beautifully designed to provide some very unique scare opportunities! That being said, Impact scares aren’t the only source of frights in Manormortis, the atmosphere inside is stunning and is bound to send shivers down your spine. Each room you traverse is incredibly haunting, with tiny details like fake cobwebs bringing the immersion to a whole new level. The creativity gone into each scene is really something to talk about, you’ll journey through a library, garden room, wine cellar and even through a wardrobe, each have their own unique feel, and of course a ton of unique scares too! Being by far the longest scare attraction I have ever gone through, it’s insane how the scares never let up! You will be in there for some time, and I can guarantee, you’ll love every second of it! Now this is a large statement to make, as I have been through some incredible attractions in the past, but Manormortis is by far my favourite scare attraction I have ever been through. It covers all bases of horror, and is pretty much as close to perfection as is humanly possible! ARCANUM Despite being set inside shipping containers, Arcanum really stood out for me. It’s a real gem in the lineup this year, despite being one of the shorter attractions. You’ll meet an eccentric steampunk collector Captain Vernort, who’s looking for new exhibits for his collection. The character is just fantastic! He’s delightfully manic and quirky, yet very unnerving. And my god, his costume is just spot on! This maze really is a visual spectacle, with everything from Egyptian goddesses to creepy automatons lurking inside. Whilst it is a shorter attraction, the variety inside is astounding. There are multiple scenes which will stun you with their beauty and complexity. I personally loved the Egyptian room, which worked very well in the UV lighting. Now this would all mean nothing if there weren’t any scares inside. I can honestly say some of the best scares all night were in Arcanum! There’s a twist about halfway through, which will come as a massive shock to your group, it leaves you feeling very venerable, and is an ideal way to change things up. Once you reach the final scene you may think you’ve been through everything the attraction has to offer. Wrong! You’ll still be transformed into one of Captain Vernort’s hideous contraptions. It’s very claustrophobic, and had everyone in my group cowering. Whomever came up with that finale is a real bright spark! *hint hint* It’s a really creative attraction, and I adored it! There’s so much depth to it, and it’s visually very impressive! On top of that, there are some fantastic scares, and certain moments will leave you feeling very uncomfortable. Honestly, it’s just fantastic! HELL I’ve been to Hell and back during my trip to Scare Kingdom, and you know what? It was absolutely incredible! This isn’t set inside a fire and brimstone nightmare, rather a stylish lair of a satanic cult. The scares come through constantly, and you’ll notice there’s a perfect balance of theatricality and impact scares. There’s little downtime within this attraction and every scene feels fresh and exciting! Around every corner lurks a terrifying cultist, waiting to full on scare you senseless. I found the scares to come from all directions, creating a very manic feeling inside the attraction. The latter half of the maze turned up the dial to 10 and was just mind-blowing!
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Some of the final scenes really caught me off guard! The birthing scene, where you witnessed the birth of the Devil’s child, was incredible. The actress was fantastic, and really gave a convincing performance! Believe it or not, she wasn’t even the only source of scares in this room. There are actors lurking within the walls, waiting for the perfect opportunity to pounce. You’ll then head towards the finale with some incredibly intense scenes. The attraction was heavily populated with some ridiculously talented individuals! Scares were aplenty and were constantly terrifying. I don’t want to spoil much, but the crawl space was put to great use, giving you a small insight into what can be experienced in Psychomanteum. During the maze, you’ll notice the tension and intensity ramping up. The plot escalates at the same rate as the scares, and when you enter the final scene, you’ll be totally on edge. So how does the finale hold up? It is just superb! I would genuinely say it’s the best finale to any scare event ever! I won’t spoil it, but there’s some great misdirection and claustrophobia, when you finally face the Devil. The costume is just unsettling, and just finished the attraction on a great tone! Hell is honestly one of the best attractions I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. It’s a stunning experience, with some creative scares and a brilliant musical score to accompany it. It’s a real 10/10 attraction! PANIC CHAMBERS Escape room attractions have been on the rise this year. Panic Chambers takes elements from escape experiences and combines them with a more traditional scare attraction. It’s a brave move from Scare Kingdom, and in my opinion pays off really well. This really is an attraction, which will keep you on your toes. In terms of scares, it’s not all that jumpy. That’s not to say it lacks a sense of dread! Instead of impact scares, this attraction is focused on atmosphere and building panic. You’re competing in a series of tasks, from finding keys/codes to following a rope in a dark room. None are too challenging, but the actors are incredible at building tension to keep your adrenaline pumping. Like The Sanctum and Arcanum, Panic Chambers is on the shorter side, but in all fairness it’s a perfect length. Each scene was easy to understand, yet stressful to complete under the show conditions (for all the right reasons). If I had to point out a flaw, I would argue they could’ve made more out of the lasers in one of the rooms. It’s a shame there wasn’t a task involving avoiding them.
Otherwise, it was a strong addition to the line-up. It brought something unique to the park and it had some really cool elements to it! The ending in particular was very cool, with us experiencing decontamination. In theory, it shouldn’t have made me jump as much as it did, but yeah… I jumped like a complete wuss in that scene. It’s a real star attraction and I thought it ended the core Scare Kingdom experience on a high note! PSYCHOMANTEUM – FULL CONFESSION If you’re considering checking into the Psychomanteum clinic this year, let me give you a little piece of advice. Avoid all the spoilers you can. You really don’t want to know what goes on in there, as it really does bring the attraction to a whole other level. Despite hearing a couple of spoilers, I still thankfully had many surprises throughout my trip. So what can be said about Psychomanteum without giving too much away? Well, it’s sick, vile and bloody fantastic! I feel wrong for saying I loved it, but if that makes me a bit twisted, then I guess I am twisted. It’s an experience that’s very much for over 18’s, for good reason. You’ll be subject to some grotesque scenarios through the attraction, and you will very much play a central role in each scene. It’s a highly interactive experience, and you are constantly pushed to endure things, which you’d rather not do. Don’t worry, there’s nothing too bad in there, and you’ll feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment once outside. It’s an incredible experience; I have yet to experience anything quite like it! There were honestly moments where I was aghast at how far I was being pushed. Pretty much all my limits were broken inside. I think it’s fair to say this attraction is something you’ll have to experience for yourself to understand the whole experience. It’s brilliant, and whilst not traditionally scary, will make you feel incredibly uncomfortable. Whilst this attraction is certainly not for everyone, as it does feature some extremely sexually explicit scenarios, it’s something I feel most people should give a go. The actors are incredible, remaining very menacing and dominant throughout, yet never overstepping the mark. It’s important in these extreme attractions that you feel 100% safe, and with Psychomanteum, that was very much the case. I honestly can’t recommend this attraction enough, its pure genius! Just be warned… you’ll likely want a change of clothes and shower afterwards! Scare Kingdom Scream Park is genuinely a spectacular event! The attractions each offered
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something new and unique, with impact scares and atmosphere in bucket loads! Everything from the acting to the theming was of the highest callibre and genuinely stunned me multiple times. I honestly think I have found a new favourite scare event! I honestly can’t recommend Scare Kingdom enough, its fantastic value for money! Wherever you’re traveling from, you don’t want to miss out. Trust me, I came all the way from Dorset to experience it! Scare Kingdom Scream Park returns in 2016, for full details visit www.scarekingdom.com
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REVIEW Right in the heart of The Golden Gate City premier tourist destination, lays one of SF’s hidden treasures. The San Francisco Dungeon. Now celebrating their first year, we’re invited underground to see what lurks in her dark underbelly of San Francisco’s dark history.
Greeted by marketing director for Merlin Entertainment Kari Martin with a fun dialog greeting saying, “we hope you have a horrible time,” as we are lead into a darkly lit stair case down into the dungeon. Swinging lanterns flickering light along our decent into a dark room with squeaking rats, creaking wood, and doors rattling with captives begging to be let out. As we queue up, we’re instructed with a few humorous rules and some dungeon no no’s. Our first guide then escorts us though the locked doors into our first chamber where we’re greeted by a silent and eerie fellow, inviting us to get closer and closer to the stage. As he silently gestures, acting like a mute, he then loudly and suddenly surprises us with a bellowing welcome. Full of character and humor, we’re told about the Bay Area’s dark past and what awaits us on our journey through the dungeons. We’re taken through amazing mazes, down dark creepy simulated mine elevators, set out to get lost in the mines of Sutter Creek’s gold rush greed, and one mysteriously finds themselves in a mirror maze trying to find a way out, while being scared out of your wits with loud amazing audio effects. Walking around labyrinths of dark high production value sets, we are then met on the streets by the gang leader of San Francisco, They may “Know Nothing,” but they sure know how to get some answers from you. Sharing some of the torture tools to get the answers out of you quickly, the Gang leader yells at
by Topher Adam. you to run down the streets as we’re met by a door, that says, “San Francisco Court House.” The automated door slowly creeks open as the judge stands high on his pulpit ready to consider you guilty, or very guilty, is humorous and very entertaining. He invites several audience participants as they are each tried and with group participation, we all become jurors to their trials. “GUILTY”, he yells as you leave. With all the laughter we are then invited to step in for a drink at Miss Piggott’s Saloon, or “it may be your last,” as she is then taken by the illustrious Jack the Ripper, with a room full of surprises, this is sure to stab you in the back with fear. Running down Terrific Street to Shanghai Kelly’s Boat ride, he gathers his guest into his boat and takes you down the dark and musty bay, to become shanghai’ed. It’s a short trip, met with some cannon, and gun shots, prepare yourself to ‘not’ stay dry as you are shockingly sprayed with a nice splash or two from crossfire. Shanghai Kelly drops you off in Chinatown’s Plague Street, these streets are hiding more than just infected rats and rotting bodies, the Plague Doctor knows all about the black dearth, but can he save you? There are lots of surprises that will tickle your funny bone in this surgeons theater. San Francisco’s Alcatraz is your last stop on this thrillingBut of her path. She is not joking and you will get the evil eye if you don’t heed her warning. The night guard proceeds to tell us about these prison walls as they have held the most dangerous military fugitives in history. Lights flickering on and off, air moving around the room with silent footsteps passing you by as the lights turn on again and the guard is mysteriously standing in a new spot of the room continuing her story. With sounds Summer 2016 2015
appearing from around the room, doors slamming, chains falling to the ground, this ghost story comes to life right before your eyes. The SF Dungeons is a haunters dream. Not only is the production quality, the special effects, sets, lighting, and sound make this an immersive experience enjoyed by all. A trip through San francisco’s murky past and being scared has never been so much fun. With a minimal cost, you will enjoy this hour-long production. I know I did, I can’t wait to go back, because this haunter wishes Halloween were everyday. The SF Dungeons fulfills that need to scream from time to time throughout the year, open 365 days a year, it’s a must visit while in San Francisco, California.
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Scarefest is back, and this time it’s personal… very, very personal. Alton have taken the brave step to go fully hands-on with the addition of The Haunting of Molly Crowe, and Sub Species: The End Games. You thought Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within was extreme? Think again, Sub Species and Molly Crowe up the ante to levels not seen before at UK theme parks. After a troublesome year for the park, Scarefest has hit back with a bang, and has created an event which is truly unmissable.
by Timothy Deves.
TERROR OF THE TOWERS – WHAT LIES WITHIN? Terror of the Towers: What Lies Within has been a firm favourite of mine since my first run-through. It doesn’t rely on gimmicks, yet remains an incredibly intense experience, having the highest scare rating at the park. This year that’s changed, and it’s arguably the tamest experience on offer. That’s not to say the new route has tamed it at all, merely that the two new attractions are very extreme in comparison. The new route takes you through the area previously taken up by The Sanctuary, exiting into the conservatory. It feels slightly shorter, but the scares are condensed, and it feels like there are more of them. From the second you leave the video room, you’re immediately set upon by the horde of hungry inhabitants. The restoration storage room has a new route and somehow manages to feel larger than before. At one point the route even splits in two, with the actors lively lurching between both paths. From there on you’ll head on through the corridor section for some time, this year with the added bonus of putrid smells. There always appear to be a ton of scares in this section, but personally I feel it can go on for a bit too long. That being said, the newly revitalised chapel scene,
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which follows is fantastic. Your initial route is elevated above the chapel, and you can look down upon the scene you’re about to pass through. It’s a fantastic technique, and the actors in the chapel really use it to ramp up the tension. Once you’re nearing the finale, you pass through the compacted body bag scene. Surprisingly, it’s new smaller footprint improves scares, as you can guarantee an actor is always breathing down your neck. I had multiple times where I would push a body bag only to realise it was an actor. After that you’re lead through a small kitchen scene straight into the strobe finale. As always, I really enjoyed the finale, the vampires appear out of nowhere and stalk you all the way out of the exit. Sadly I feel the new layout of this room is significantly shorter than previous years, and doesn’t snake back on itself as much as it used to, which was one of its biggest strengths. It’s still a strong finale, and the actors give it their all, but I would love to see some more twists and turns added in the future. Overall, the new route is fabulous. It refreshes the formula, making Terror of the Towers feel like an entirely new attraction. It’s incredibly intense, with so many scare opportunities, more so than previous years! Whilst it’s no longer the scariest attraction at Alton, it’s still a fantastic addition to the line-up, and I hope we can see it improve yet again next year! THE HAUNTING OF MOLLY CROW I have previously stated that hooded mazes aren’t really my thing. Whilst I have certainly enjoyed some in the past, they’ve never really terrified me to the degree of most other attractions. You see, to me theming and atmosphere are two integral parts of scare attractions, and with hoods, they’re both hard to build. The Haunting of Molly Crowe is without doubt, the best attempt at building ambience in a hooded maze that I have ever seen. It’s truly masterful how Alton Towers have gone about creating a chilling narrative that unnerves their audience to the core. All too often narrative is all but forgotten in hooded attractions, with special effects taking the brunt of the responsibility to keep audiences engaged. Alton have thankfully opted to keep narrative the core focus throughout the attraction, and have crafted a suitably haunting tale of the possessed Molly Crowe. Throughout the attraction you’ll hear actors play out scenes leading from Molly’s childhood, all the way through to her untimely demise. Some of these scenes can be rather disturbing, with themes of childhood abuse covered to some degree. Personally, I feel the plot was used to great effect. As your sight is limited, as the hoods are truly pitch black, you’re left to play out the scenes using only sound and touch. The way the actors interact with you in each scene is something rather incredible. Molly is more than happy to reach out and touch members of the group, pleading with them to help her. It’s all rather heart wrenching at points. I specifically remember one scene where Molly lurched at me and wrapped herself around me. This really is a hands on experience, and you should expect to be grabbed. My only criticism with the hands on nature of this attraction is the person leading the conga line, will have a far better experience than anyone else in the attraction. I was at the front two out of the three times I ran through, and noticed far more interaction with the actors than on my run-through at the back. It’s still a fantastic experience wherever you are, but my favourite
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scene, where the paranormal investigators call out for Molly to make her prescience known, wasn’t as strong at the back. That being said, towards the finale, the interaction really heats up, and you are bound to be attacked wherever you’re positioned. When the titular crows make their appearance you’ll be all but ready to run out of the exit. I must say, I have no idea how they created the impression of pecking and flapping crows, but it was mighty impressive. After that brutal assault, you’d have thought it was time to leave. Nope, Molly still has one final trick up her sleeve, and boy is it a good one. I don’t want to spoil what is arguably one of the strongest finales we’ve ever seen at Alton, but Molly Crowe ends on a highly theatrical note, using special effects not seen before in the UK. It’s something that will catch a lot of people off guard and will leave everyone itching to run out of the exit. Whilst I consider Sub Species the stronger of the two new mazes, Molly Crowe is still a truly stand out attraction at Scarefest this year. It tried something very new with the hooded formula, and pulled out something that I would regard as truly impressive! SUB SPECIES – THE END GAMES All the hype surrounding Scarefest this year has centred around one attraction, Sub Species: The End Games. It’s a massive departure from the previous Towers attractions, with actors actively encouraged to touch you and be as brutal as possible. It’s a fast paced, multi route trawl through the subterranean sewers beneath the Towers, which are full to the brim of alien mutants. The premise is simply fantastic; you are engaged in a death race with other contestants whilst mutants bet on whom will survive the longest. Oh yes, you will get split up and you will likely be alone for long sections. The set-up allows for an extremely fast paced attraction, which works well with the maze like layout. It’s a very tense experience, and there’s something new around every corner. From
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mutant lairs, to pitch black sewers the rooms are varied and very well themed. In fact, I’d argue, this is the best theming we’ve seen from Scarefest, as it isn’t overly reliant on the ruins themselves. You’re not in a gothic tower; you’re in a subterranean maze of tunnels. The actors must be commended for their sheer nerve to push the boundaries. I was held up against the wall by one of the actors whom had bet on me to win, moments later to be attacked by him for ‘nearly dying’. They played their roles extremely well, and were more than prepared to get hands on. The darkness and surgery scenes worked particularly well with the hands on actors, it was shocking to have actors push the boundaries as far as they did. Now it sounds pretty good right? To put it bluntly it’s one of the best attractions I have visited this year. I wish I could do it over and over, three times wasn’t enough for me. There’s still more to see, experience and surprise on repeat run-throughs. There is room for improvement sure. Whilst the mutants played a major role in the plot of the attraction, they only featured in one room, which is easily missed for some people. It’s a real shame, as that creature offered some of the best scares all day! I stupidly mistook him for a stationary piece of scenery in one run-through… how wrong I was… It’s worth noting at this point, there’s supposedly an alternate ending which features these creatures, and I can’t help but feel it would be better to channel more people into that finale. On my three run-throughs I didn’t do it once, which is a real shame. That being said, the finale I got was certainly effective! It’s safe to say, Sub Species is without doubt the strongest attraction I have seen from Alton. I was worried at first as to how the multi-route formula would work, but Alton has truly perfected it! Don’t be fooled, this is not merely a repeat of Cabin in the Woods, this is so much more! THE SCARE ZONES - DARK APOCALYPSE & NOX INFERNUS American style scare zones have made their way to Scarefest. Instead of the previous formula of sectioning areas of the park off as a one-way walkthrough, Alton has taken the free-flow route seen across the pond. Both Dark Apocalypse in Forbidden Valley and Nox Infernus in Dark Forest
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feature this new structure to differing degrees of success. Dark Apocalypse is an expansion of the Zombies scare zone and takes up the area outside Sub Terra in Forbidden Valley. It’s a decent sized area, and is utilised very well. Personally I thought this scare zone was an improvement on the past scare zones at Alton. Whilst there’s not too much theming, the atmosphere in the area is fantastic. Alton has given Forbidden Valley a great lighting rig and some fog machines to create a real ambience in the area. On top of that, there’s a purge-style quarantine announcement on loop, forming a real hectic vibe in the exclusion zone. The actors themselves were on top form. Because they’re zombies, they often blend into the crowd, meaning they often catch you off-guard. I myself fell victim to this twice in a row. Note to self, if you’re going to sit down in a scare zone, make sure you aren’t sitting down next to a scare actor… It doesn’t end well. Oh and did I mention there’s a chainsaw? Yes, Dark Apocalypse sets a chainsaw maniac on the Phalanx operatives in Forbidden Valley. He’s pretty darned enthusiastic, and has a penchant for chasing people. Overall, Dark Apocalypse is all we could’ve hoped for; it’s a great addition to the Scarefest line-up. Nox Infernus on the other hand, wasn’t a real success. Sadly, it failed to create much of an atmosphere, as it seemed to be limited to the tunnel beneath RITA’s launch. Whilst the lighting and fog were a nice touch, having RITA roar overhead every couple of minutes ruined the ambience the area was attempting to create. I loved the costumes of the actors, and they were trying to get some scares out of their audience, but there was only three of them in the entire area. I’ll be honest; Nox Infernus should’ve been so much more than it was. The Dark Forest probably wasn’t the best area for a scare zone. If they had used the picnic area to the back of Thirteen, it could’ve worked, but RITA’s tunnel wasn’t a good idea. I personally would love to see Nox Infernus dropped, and a scare zone implemented in X-Sector in its place. The new scare zones were a success, whilst Nox Infernus was a bit of a let down, Alton proved they knew what to do with Dark Apocalypse. If Alton expand upon Nox Infernus, or replace it with another scare zone, we’ll have a seriously superb line-up for Scarefest next year!
TERROR OF THE TOWERS – EXTREME ALONE Considering Terror of the Towers normally has me running for the exit anyway, I was relatively nervous for my extreme alone run-through. After hearing some interesting things coming out of Fright Nights face it alone, I was intrigued as to how far Alton Towers would go in creating an extreme experience. Whilst it would appear Alton don’t go as far as Thorpe Park do, extreme alone was a remarkable experience, which I would love to relive. From the moment I entered the safety briefing the torment began, with actors poking their heads around the corners of the scenery. This was a recurring theme; actors were everpresent throughout my experience. Even when I believed I was alone, there was always an actor lurking just out of sight. I was stalked from the start to the finale, there were constantly around three to four actors swarming around me. I wasn’t even safe when climbing the stairs, as one of the inhabitants decided to crawl up them in a demented manor behind me. The only way was forward. I was trapped. It was absolutely terrifying! Yes, you’d better there were a ton of scares! It was an absolutely brutal experience and was very hands on. I was pushed, grabbed, dragged and forced to crawl. The actors were determined to corner me and force me into oncoming scares. They really worked well as a team, bouncing me from one actor to another. The contact was pretty constant, and was very well thought out. If I wasn’t being grabbed, I was being stalked. The scares in the extreme alone experience were very impressive. The finale for Terror of the Towers has always impressed me. My heart genuinely sinks the moment I hear the thundering music and see the jarring strobes. There’s just something about seeing those vampiric creatures that unnerves me. Extreme alone ramped this experience up tenfold. Once I entered the scene, all of the actors inside swarmed on me. The vampires surrounded me, and within seconds I was being pushed up against one of the fences. Little did I know, I was in front of one of the actor’s reach-troughs, and before I could stop them I was being pushed through to the other side. After that the rest was literally a daze to me. I was lost, fenced in by vampires and could hardly see… At that point one of the vampires took it into their own hands, grabbed me by the nape of my
neck, forced my head down and herded me out of the exit. Now the price point may seem high for some people, but I personally thought it was worth it. I absolutely loved the entire experience, and would recommend it to anyone who is brave enough to face Terror of the Towers alone. It’s not extreme in a sexual sense, like Thorpe’s face it alone, but is rather very hands on and aggressive. That being said, you constantly feel safe, and it is a highly enjoyable experience. So give it a go, I found my extreme alone experience to be the highlight of Scarefest this year! Scarefest has been totally rejuvenated this year. We’ve seen a complete and total update to the lineup, removing all the weaker elements from the past and creating a near perfect event. I have honestly struggled to find flaws in the event this year, and would genuinely recommend people pay a visit next year when Scarefest returns. Scarefest returns for 2016 – visit www.altontowers. com for details.
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SI NI STER
SHOWCASE A Review of ‘SCREAM’ by Margee Kerr by David Bramwell-Norris Margee Kerr is one of the few people who can claim to be a true professor of horror. A sociologist by trade, she lectures at the University of Pittsburgh at the College where she earned her PhD in the study of horror. An academic by day, she also operates the haunt ‘ScareHouse’ which receives consistenly high reviews within the scare attraction industry. Scream is her first published book and promises to “explore every dimension of this universal experience (fear)”. Given her status as an academic and the way this publication is marketed to highlight that, it is perhaps something of a surprise that this text is more discourse than analysis and more personal account than objective science. The majority of the book details a kind of worldwide scare tour undertaken by Kerr in the development of the book, a tour which takes her to some of the world’s hairiest roller coasters, one of America’s most allegedly haunted buildings, the dangerous streets of Bogota, a wacky one-person haunt in Japan and Canada’s iconic CN Tower. Though it she gives insight into her own thoughts as she undergoes some of the diverse extreme experiences that bring on fear. In particular her accounts of genuinely harrowing and exhilarating moments performing the CN tower Edgewalk and a reflective breakdown in the “Suicide Forest” of Aokigahara Juki, Japan come across as deeply personal and make for nothing less than enthralling reading. As an experiential text describing some iconic world venues relating to fear you could hardly do better within the single-chapter-per-experience format that she employs here. One of the more fascinating aspects of the book is that back-to-back chapters are dedicated to the same Summer 2016 2015
building but with different reasons. Kerr visits the abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary twice during her travels: the first time to experience the sensation of being abandoned alone in the dark in an oppressive environment, and the second with a group of selfappointed Ghost Hunters exploring the building as “one of the most haunted buildings in the United States”. While both accounts make for engaging reading, it is perhaps a little surprising that there is very little comparison of the two experiences – perhaps an analysis of how the solitary, deliberately overbearing environment studied the first time she visited the penitentiary contributes to the public beliefs of the supernatural rumours surrounding the prison. Or indeed a discussion of how the second experience with the supernatural reading of the place may change her reading of the first one. It is an unfortunate omission that would have enhanced both of these chapters. While the book as a whole is lighter on science than perhaps anticipated, there is no doubt that science contributes to its strongest sections. From chapter 10 (aptly titles “Building the Basement”) Kerr focuses on her attempts to bring her experiences back to her own native haunt and to do so calls on the assistance of Greg Siegle from the Program in Conitive Affective Neuroscience. A neuroscientist specialising in the biological emotion of fear, Siegle brings his perspective in fear induction in laboratory conditions and in combination with Kerr’s experiential approach the rest of this chapter, which closes out the book, is what we were all here for. The two combine perspectives to create Kerr’s new attraction for the season. I will omit the details as they are the primary reasons for buying the book, but suffice to say that for independent haunt creators or indeed writers this is fascinating stuff that is simultaneously familiar and novel in how it takes standard scare attraction tropes but provides tactics to enhance them and/or make them more affective. Could there have been a little more of this across the whole book? Probably, and finishing the book seems like you’ve had more starter than main course even if the starter was really good. However I’m more than willing to admit that this is taken from the point of view of a scare attraction imagineering perspective than a sociological perspective. Despite this issue, Scream is an essential read for those in the Scare Industry and an intriguing one for anyone interested in the horror or extreme experiences fields. 33
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Derren Brown has announced that the top secret attraction he has been working on with Thorpe Park Resort is a Ghost Train re-invented for the 21st Century. Derren Brown’s Ghost Train, which can only be found at Thorpe Park Resort, is a head-spinning train journey of between 10-15 minutes, the like of which guests will never have taken before; providing a heady mixture of exhilarating live action sequences, 4D special effects, grand-scale illusions, next generation technology, and physical transit. No place for spectators, guests will play a major part in the action which will leave them questioning where perception ends and reality begins. Thorpe Park Resort’s biggest and most ambitious investment to date, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train takes theme park attractions to a whole new level, promising to derail guests’ minds with a series of multi-sensory experiences. Like its inventor, this is a smart ride that also has 12 multiple knee-shaking journeys and two endings - so not only will no two ‘rides’ on board Derren Brown’s Ghost Train be the same but every journey will provoke an intense response and reaction in each individual ‘passenger.’ So whilst guests may share the journey with others, the experience will be an individual one – and every journey, every sensation and every fear will be quite unique. Derren Brown said “I am proud and excited to have been working with the creative and operational teams at Thorpe Park Resort and Merlin Magic Making to completely reinvent the concept of a Ghost Train for the 21st Century. “Visitors can look forward to experiencing a heady and heart stopping combination of next generation
technology, grand illusion, special effects and live action that will completely rewrite the rules of what a theme park attraction can deliver. “The team has been galvanised by the positive reaction to the first announcement we made last year and we are even more determined to deliver a revolutionary experience; as such we are constantly tweaking things to ensure they’re the best they can be. “I firmly believe that this kind of multi-sensory, mind blowing attraction represents a glimpse of what the future holds for theme parks the world over. “Akin to my shows, I ask that when you board the train, the secrets remain mine and yours to share and fear, and you don’t spoil the experience by telling others ahead of their visit. “People should also note that this is not an experience for the faint hearted. But to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to take full advantage of the journey I will send you on, I refuse to reveal any further details past the doors of the carriage.” Derren Brown’s Ghost Train will be housed within an extraordinary purpose built warehouse that encompasses 2306 square metres and is tall enough to house nearly three double decker buses. The centrepiece of the attraction will consist of a 20 metre long, four and a half metre high, seven tonne Victorian train carriage that is suspended in midair over three metres above ground by iron chains. A carriage which passengers enter via a metal bridge, and where the mind-bending journey begins in earnest in what appears to be a large disused Victorian warehouse. Guests will be subject to a variety of multi-sensory surprises throughout the journey including a series of high-octane live action sequences where participants will take centre stage in the story. And like his TV shows and stage performances, Brown will toy with guests’ minds and perceptions throughout the journey on board the Ghost Train until they no longer know what is real, before leaving them on a cliff-hanger ending. The team involved in the creation of the attraction includes over 1,000 specialists from Thorpe Park Resort’s Merlin Magic Making Creative Department
and external experts who have pooled their skills. Mike Vallis, Divisional Director of Thorpe Park Resort said “We’re pleased to be able to share more details after such a positive reaction to the news we’d partnered with Derren. The team are working round the clock to deliver an incredible experience for our guests in what promises to be the first of its kind in the world, and certainly the most exciting and ambitious project we have ever attempted here at Thorpe Park. “I can’t say any more about the secrets that lurk behind the train doors at this stage, or indeed ever, but what I can say is that previous attractions both at THORPE PARK Resort, and globally, pale in comparison to Derren Brown’s Ghost Train – it’s a full assault on the senses which will melt minds. “This is a scary new dimension THORPE PARK Resort is entering – different from any other development we have seen anywhere else in the world. It is bold, daring and takes theme park attractions to a new level. This is thrilling fun as you’ve never seen or experienced it before. “Don’t take the first visuals at face value, as they are deceptive and all is not quite what it seems.” The Creative team led by Merlin Entertainments’ Group Creative Director Paul Moreton and Creative for Thorpe Park Resort Bradley Wynne at Merlin Magic Making, summed up the experience “For centuries Ghost Trains have played on riders’ fears
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to create memorable experiences which shock and delight and thus ultimately make you scream and laugh together. “At Merlin Magic Making we are constantly striving to push the boundaries of innovation; we don’t just want to be specialists in creating entertainment, but also inventors. This concept is an entirely new invention. You can’t simply call it a ride, an attraction or an experience – this is an original concept and we can’t wait to see people’s reactions to it. “Working with Derren we decided to use the classic Ghost Train of yesteryear as inspiration and what we have done, is completely reimagine the experience for the world we live in today. “Utilising a mix of techniques spanning from the Victorian era through to today’s next generation technology, we have challenged the norms of existing entertainment experiences to create something utterly original which can never be replicated.” “This is a thought provoking, original experience that will play with your senses and mess with your mind. It’s brimming with surprise and of course, staying true to the Ghost Train, it will be unnerving, it will be scary, it will be fun and it will awaken your every sense.” For the latest updates on the new attraction and to be in with a chance to be the first to ride the new experience, visit www.mindswanted.co.uk
DOWN IN Our brand new regular round-up of Merlin’s Dungeon attractions. THE LONDON DUNGEON PRESENTED SÉANCE! AT HALLOWEEN 2016 The London Dungeon invited guests to a séance at the most haunted address in town, as notorious Victorian medium, Florence Cook, took up residence for a chilling Halloween season which was guaranteed to make even the most hardened disbelievers’ hair stand on end. Séance! was set in 1873, at a gathering hosted by the most celebrated medium of the day in the most notoriously haunted house of the time. Based on REAL events, guests found themselves transported back to 50 Berkley Square as Florence Cook prepared for her latest sitting. Those guests who were daring enough saw, heard and felt the spirit world summoned before them... with a climactic visitation that rattled the strongest of nerves. WICKED WOMEN ARRIVE AT THE LONDON DUNGEON FOR APRIL 2016 Wicked Women have been put in the spotlight at The London Dungeon until the 10th April 2016. Meet Fearsome Queen Boudica who has parked her stolen Roman chariot at the entrance. The fiery redheaded warrior, who was a queen of the ancient British Iceni tribe, is on the hunt for the Romans who have humiliated her people and assaulted her family in an all-new show. Everyone will be under scrutiny as the fearless leader seeks out her enemies, intent on revenge! On your journey through London’s darkest history you will also meet the ‘delightful’ Elizabeth Brownrigg, a midwife to the poor of St Dunstan who took in orphan children under her care, but Brownrigg has a low tolerance towards her ‘lazy’ apprentices, see what happens behind closed doors where her secrets are revealed… 36
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Mrs Lovett will also be dying to MEAT you on your journey and during the Easter period be wary of Christiana Edmunds and her deliciously chocolate treatsâ€Ś Down in the depths of the dungeon youâ€™ll also meet our resident cast, from Sweeney Todd to Jack the Ripper and murderous monarch Henry VIII, plus two rides!
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PULL UP A BAR STOOL AT THE NEW LONDON DUNGEON TAVERN Pull up a barstool for some raucously funny, chilling and thrilling 360° story telling as the London Dungeon Tavern – an all new interactive Victorian bar experience - throws opens its doors. A major permanent expansion of the famous attraction, The London Dungeon Tavern will transport guests to a vibrant, decadent and decidedly dodgy Victorian pub, putting them right at the heart of the drama as characters weave a web of secrets, scandal and gob-smacking gossip all around them. After taking a seat, guests will be served up a delicious traditional Dungeon brew of warming beer or lip-smacking non-alcoholic lemon-ale. Then as the piano belts out the latest music hall tunes, the feisty landlady holds court telling anyone who will listen her tragic life story whilst nearby her henpecked husband has his own tall tale and a raft of bad jokes to share (out of ear-shot of his formidable missus). Round the corner there’s a card game in full swing whilst at the bar rumours abound about the latest Ripper murders and the bootleggers on the streets. With action unfolding in every corner of the authentically recreated tavern, guests will hear, feel, smell, see and truly LIVE the drama - and no two tables will get quite the same experience. Customers can also take a bit of the Tavern home with a capsule range of retail items including tankards, aprons and coasters.
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EXITUS LAUNCHES AT THE BERLIN DUNGEON New at The Berlin Dungeon for 2016 is ‘Exitus’ – a thrilling drop ride, are you brave enough? Welcome to the Berlin of 1922. The streets are dirty, gloomy and filled with sinister creatures. Who can you trust? Rumors abound about a serial killer - a man named Carl Großmann, who slaughters prostitutes and turns them into sausages - run rampant around town. More than 100 women appear to have fallen victim. The reallife serial killer eluded detection until his very last victim, the unfortunate Marie Nitsche ... Will you be an accomplice and end up in prison? Or will you be able to escape? Find out from March 17 2016 on Exitus, the brand-new experience of dark humor and suspense at berlin Dungeon, featuring the city’s only indoor free fall tower! The Berlin Dungeon is a 70 minute adventure of extraordinary entertainment with 2 thrilling rides and over 800 years of Berlin’s dark history in 11 scarily funny shows. Discover the ancient grey friary, wonder through the maze of the Hohenzollern and line up for a flight over the famous Spree. For the latest promtions and events at all Dungeon venues visit www.thedungeons.com Summer 2016 2015
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a c S A s A e My Lif ainmen Entert Summer 2016 2015
Well, it’s that time of year again.... Actually, it’s not. It is a warm, sunny, mid July evening and I’m heading to AtmosFEAR! Towers for a creative meeting regarding the 2014 Halloween attraction at Scare Kingdom Scream Park, Lancashire. As a new producer, I was impressed at how early on everything is organised, months in advance. Wrong again. Years in advance. You see, what sets Scare Kingdom Scream Park apart from its competitors is a horrifyingly integral yet essential combination of historical research, structural planning and development, casting, production management and consistency of delivery, time after time after time again. The producers at AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment know how to throw out a good scare and this year, I’m joining them. Hello, my name is Jennifer Louise Williamson and I am a Scare Entertainment Producer. It has been 18 Months since my last contribution to Scareworld Magazine, and since then, a lot has happened. As an actor, I focused on performance. As a producer, there’s a little more to it. I oversee projects from conception to completion. I’m involved in script writing and development, I contribute to the design and layout of attractions, I dismantle, build and reconstruct sets, I hold auditions, cast performers, train performers, direct performers, warm up performers and offer limitless hugs and words of encouragement to performers. I deal with hypertension, hyperventilating and panic attacks. And I sweep. Oh God do I sweep.
are nt Producer Jennifer Williamson Summer 2016 2015
Picture this: Alone in a dark, abandoned attraction. It’s cold. It’s raining. You’re exhausted. The guests have all gone. Your cast have all gone. And there you are, broom in hand ready to sweep the living shit* out of the 30 something corridors, 100 something corners and million something doorways. You remind yourself that you love your job. And then, in the face of a strobe that almost sends you fitting out of the doorway, you sweep. And sweep. And sweep. You’re sweating, you’re wheezing (you wouldn’t believe the amount of crap 1 attraction can accumulate over 5 hours) and you’ve just reached the final quadrant of the attraction. With one last ‘swush’, you complete your mission. And then there’s a gale and the wind blows the bastard lot back in again. Do I cry and do it again, or pretend it didn’t happen and head to the bar? I’ll leave you to stew over that one...** In all seriousness, maintaining your attraction is an important responsibility and it does give you a real sense of ownership. I was very protective over Hellcatraz during the Halloween run of 2014 and even now as I pass by, I still find myself checking over the paintwork and and the exterior. It was after all, my first ;)
The cast. Ohh the cast! Those nervous, animated, eager to please, not knowing what to expect, elated little scare virgins. I just love them. Managing a cast is not easy. It is fun and highly rewarding, but it comes with its own challenges. One, is going from ‘friend’ to ‘boss’. On occasion I had to stomp my foot and lay down the law. I felt like a dick. But it had to be done and ultimately it led to a happy and well managed team – if I do say so myself! You have to stay professional when your new cast member has just solemnly informed you of their farting problem and you have to be able to keep a straight face when they completely misinterpret your direction and end up performing a very strange, interpretive Kate Bush style dance for you. It has happened. Ultimately, I learned from the best and I hope my cast found me as inspiring and supportive as I have found my producers to be in the past. I have had the pleasure of not only producing my own attraction at Halloween, but assistant producing AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment’s annual Horror Camp LIVE! Now THAT was an experience. Where do you go from there really?? It’s safe to say that this is not a normal occupation. Would I have it any other way? Definitely not. The electrifying buzz of working in such a super charged, fast paced environment and the artistic, outrageous and often sordid components you are handed make scare production most certainly not for the faint hearted. A strong stomach, a strong mind and a warped sense of humour are essential if you are to become a successful producer with AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment. Of course, some things will always stay the same. I still smell like coffee***, my voice is still gone and it still takes me a hot showers, 2 hotwater bottles and 15 layers to get warm after a rainy night. And blissfully, I’m still surrounded by the same bunch of side splittingly hilarious fruitcakes and I am still wholly liberated by screams of terror, disgust and delight from our guests. It’s just now, I’m the one they come to and my best friend is a head torch.
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SI NI STE R
SHOWCASE Christmas A Ghostly Gathering by Midnight Syndicate
Released in time for Christmas 2015, and following demand from fans for a Christmas themed album, Midnight Syndicate, the undisputed leaders in haunted attraction soundtracks, present ‘Christmas – a Ghostly Gathering’ to haunt your yuletide… For over 18 years, the music of gothic instrumental composers Midnight Syndicate has been used to set the atmosphere inside haunted attractions, amusement parks, stores and homes worldwide during Halloween season. The new album features the band’s unique twist on the classic holiday carols blended with new material. “Our goal was to treat each song in such a way that would merge familiarity with originality”, says Gavin Goszka. “There are definitely recognisable elements, but plenty of original material as well. The album also incorporates the wildest instrument palette we have used to date, and represents what we consider to be the most varied collection of songs we have ever released. There are serenely beautiful moments alongside more intense, darker, tracks, and the end result is a thoroughly compelling and involving listening experience”. Epic orchestral soundscapes mix with haunting and enchanting melodies which perfectly present a wintry feast of festive fear. Whether you spend your haunted holiday with Krampus, twisted tin soldiers, Santa Claws or creepy carol singers, there is enough on this album to see you through from Ebenezer Scrooge to God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman. Presented in a plethora of distinctive styles, the tracks blends seamlessly together to create an entire Christmas soundscape, or used individually, haunters will find plenty of choice to bring their haunted holidays to life. Visit www.midnightsyndicate.com for more information.
WORLD by Mark Lofthouse. I have many passions in life, two of which take a stronghold in my very being, theme parks and scare entertainment. With the opportunity to head out to my Shangri-La, Orlando, I grasped on to it and boarded the flight for a week long spate of fear and fun. The Orlando area hosts reputably the world’s largest (and quite possibly the most well-known) Halloween Event, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Orlando. But, what about any of the other events and attractions in the area that aren’t as widely known? I set out to visit one of these attractions, ‘Legends A Haunting at Old Town’ in Old Town, Kissimmee. The Orlando area has a history of permanent scare attractions operating such as the mammoth Skull Kingdom just off International Drive that closed it’s doors in 2005, and ‘Terror on Church Street’ in downtown Orlando that was created by Master Production Entertainment (Pasaje Del Terror) that closed in 1999 – so with these attractions sadly demolished, it’s fantastic to see a new attraction opening offering year-round frights. Upon venturing into Old Town, a vintage themed entertainment complex with bars, shops, rides and 44
shows, it come to my attention what a perfect little area it was to house a permanent year-round scare attraction. The imposing façade of A Haunting at Old Town really stands out against the colorful render of the surrounding business’ and buildings – a looming Victorian decrepit abode, residency of ‘Ashdown & Sons Undertakers’. I’m a huge fan of a strong narrative as I truly believe having a flawless story enlightens the experience and creates such fan followings – being a piece of immersive theatre. The narrative of the attraction follows a character named ‘Archibald Ashdown’ and his staff at the undertakers whom, to keep business moving in hard times, have taken to burying live ‘clients’ and earning any income they can from them and their belongings. This storyline carries through the whole experience and is not dropped at any time or by any element – it is a testament to the creative team behind it. Entering the attraction, I truly didn’t know what to expect – I’ve done a lot of USA haunted attractions and find that there’s a large trend towards animatronics and technological elements and less Summer 2016 2015
on theatrics and guest interaction with characters, aimed at maximizing the amount of guests through the attraction as possible (I know this is a broad statement, but out of the attractions experienced by myself it has been the case). I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find that the attraction was a theatrically led production with the emphasis on character interaction and an entertaining guest experience. It was fantastic to see witty comedy thrown in with the sheer fear from the attacking zombie-like creatures inside. I’m not going to spoil the experience for you readers, but I will say that the attraction is ‘split’ into an upstairs and downstairs section. The downstairs beginning is truly fantastic with interaction with the characters and a fantastic illusion of one of the most realistic false corpses I’ve ever seen. The story is laid on the guests from entering the door and at the bottom of the staircase, you’re warned that some of the ‘clients’ are at unrest, before being walked up the staircase to experience the more intense section of the experience. Some of the scenes guests come across are an account/office room, autopsy room, freezer, furnace, attic and a HUGE mourning room (with a lovely ode to the designers of the attraction). I have never to this day come across set design that was so meticulous and haunting, yet beautiful in equal measure. It’s truly a feast for your eyes with authentic props and set pieces throughout the entire 15-minute experience. Some notable scenic pieces are a wreath made of real (yes, REAL) human hair, Victorian Momento Mori post-mortem photographs and cadavers modelled on the owners and designers of the attraction – thDere’s a lot of ‘Easter eggs’ through the entire attraction. The performers in the attraction were amongst some of the most energetic characters I’ve ever experienced and due to the very cleverly designed layout, they hit you a staggering amount of times.
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Some of the best scares of my trip were in this attraction and are hands-down more intense than those experienced at Halloween Horror Nights. The attraction can be run from 4 performers in quieter seasons and up to 8 in busier times – some of these performers are from the deceased Skull Kingdom and Terror on Church Street attractions and have been scaring for more than 20 years, truly incredible. I was lucky enough to meet with one of the owners and designers, Dan Carro who gave me a behind the scenes tour of the attraction – with the lights on you can truly appreciate the scale and intricacy of the sets. Dan told me a few fantastic stories of the construction process and regeneration of the old ‘Haunted Grimm House’ to the current attraction. Two of my favorites being that the real autopsy table couldn’t be hoisted up to the upstairs section, so he had to attach it to his back and lift it up the stairs, bearing in mind this is a solid ceramic table. This little story shows the attention to detail the team have to the attraction – a fake autopsy table just wouldn’t do, so they had to have a real one, by any means necessary. It’s absolutely remarkable to hear that the entire theming process of the attraction was spread to just over 4 weeks of the entire build. It’s very evident from being there and the popularity of the attraction that is has breathed new life into the local economy based off of when I had visited in the past, offering exclusive special events and even a ghost tour of the local area. A Haunting at Old Town is definitely the Jewel in the crown of Old Town, Kissimmee and I wish it all the success. If you’re in the Orlando area you simply have to visit it, from International Drive you can get a cab for less than $40. More information and tickets can be purchased online at: http://legendsoldtown.com
FEATURauEty in Fear Be Meet Dean Samed, the scare entertainment artist.
Why did you choose to specialise in the genre of ‘horror’? Hey Scareworld!! My name is Dean Samed, I’m an illustrator / horror specialist from Kent, UK , and I produce horror artwork for a diverse range of clients around the world. I became involved in digital arts around the age of 14, when I started working in the underground dance scene (Drum n Bass), producing event flyers. ‘Dark’ concepts were always my forte, so I leaned toward events that required a more macabre aesthetic. What are your main seeds of inspiration? (books, movies, shows)? I have been a true-blue horror fan, for as long as I can remember!! In terms of horror cinema, I enjoy ‘Body-Horror’ such as The Fly, and Videodrome; creature features / fantasy horror like Nightbreed and Hellraiser, and ‘French Extreme Wave’ such as Martyrs and Haute Tension. When it comes to literature, I’m a huge fan of Clive Barker, Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga and comicbooks geared toward adult readers, usually on the Vertigo imprint. In terms of visual inspiration, I have ALWAYS loved the VHS art from 80s / early 90s - vibrant, eye catching artwork - usually with the monster front and centre!!
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How did you get involved with producing digital visual art for scare attractions? My local theme park, Dreamland Margate, had discovered my horror artwork through the local press - they commissioned me to create a series of illustrations to promote their Screamland event. I had produced an artwork depicting a local landmark, as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, which was the piece that caught their attention. It was a great opportunity for me to get involved in a local regeneration project, and lean on my forte to complete the gig - horror art!! Your pieces for ‘Screamland’ in 2015 received a lot of rave reviews, how did you decide what would best represent Screamland? Dreamland has a strong vintage / funfair theme, so I leaned toward the classic ‘creepy-carnival’ aesthetic when producing their illustrations. The character design by AtmosFear really helped to push the direction of the style, where we implemented rich hues and an otherworldly feel to the artwork. I used the site itself as the main basis for the illustrations, re-arranging the architectural elements to capitalise on the iconic symbols of the theme park, including the Big Wheel, and Scenic Railway. Who are your main clients for horror digital artwork? My main clients are independent publishers around the world, including Cohesion Press (Australia), Festa Verlag (Germany) and Permuted Press (US) - as well as a wide range of self published authors. From time to time, I work for ‘big names’, including Stephen King, Clive Barker, H.P. Lovecraft and Graham Masterson. ‘Creature Design’ is a specialty, so that’s really helped me to stand out from the pack, as it were.
experience. The Freak Show tent was by far my favourite attraction, there’s just something about really tall, leering hell-clowns!! I do like to travel, so I’d love to check out scare attractions around the world. If you could design horror artwork for a scare attraction, without any direction or brief, what would your imagination come up with? When it comes to true, blood-curdling fear, I believe nothing can beat that vague sense of ‘creepiness’. Illogically, supernatural things scare me more than masked killers or rampaging monsters, so I’d love to create a series of illustrations depicting shadow people (like Slender Man, The Tall Men from Buffy), or daemonic lore, including exorcisms / possessions. What scare attractions are you working with this year? I’ll be continuing my work with Screamland this year for their 2016 show, as well as Beechworth Asylum - however I look forward to connecting with more scare attraction operators as time goes on, as this is all just too much fun. What is your website and social media links so that people can get in touch with you to purchase your artwork or commission you? FB: https://www.facebook.com/deansamed Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeanSamed Website (In Development): http://www.deansamed. com
Increasingly, I am now doing more work for scare attractions, which is great!! Most recently, I produced a series of promotional images for Beechworth Asylum, often billed as the most haunted site in Australia. I have been there myself, the real-life stories and the site itself are EXTREMELY unsettling. Have you been to many scare attractions? What is your favourite? I’m afraid to say that I’m a bit of a scare attraction newbie, however I REALLY enjoyed the Screamland
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FEATURE by Jason Karl
I start with a problem… I had not grown up with ‘Goosebumps’, I had scant knowledge about the hugely successful book series by author RL Stine, and had never watched the television show. But this made no difference to my enjoyment of the immersive theatrical experience presented at The Waterloo Vaults in London – it was, put simply, brilliant. Touted as ‘a twisted modern update of the 90’s cult horror series. Equal parts terrifying and riotous, the hottest ticket in town puts you in the centre of chilling macabre tales’, it certainly delivered on all counts. I know The Tunnels well. A couple of years ago I performed as ‘The Devil’ in ‘Carnesky’s Tarot Drome’, a show presented in the same space. It 48
is dark, hot and wet – not the ideal place to set an immersive experience which relies on technically complex effects, multiple performers and hordes of screaming guests. But in this case, it was the perfect choice. The delightfully sinister catacombs present the perfect backdrop for an entertaining, rewarding and ultimately ‘fun’ 90 minutes. Directed by Tom Salamon, the experience takes the guest through a series of disconnected vignettes, each adapted from one of the original published books. Upon arrival guests are segmented into one of four groups – Spider, Rat, Crow or Snake – whichever group you are placed in defines which elements of the show you get to witness. Cleverly, this encourages repeat visits in order to experience all that Goosebumps Alive has to offer.
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With such a rich source of material, the creative team selected ‘Say Cheese and Die!’, ‘Night of the Living Dummy’, ‘One Day in Horrorland’, ‘The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight’, ‘The Haunted Mask’, ‘The Blob That Ate Everyone’ and ‘Stay Out of the Basement’ as the basis for the content. Those familiar with these macabre tales will have some notion of what to expect, but for me, the experience was totally fresh. Visually the sets, designed by Sam Whelan, are stunning. Detail has not been overlooked here, and although there is no attempt at realism, the environments set the tone and nature of each tale, as it is bought to life with live performers, audio and lighting. Goosebumps Alive fails on only one note – it is not scary, but that doesn’t matter, and certainly doesn’t detract from the experience. I was
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beaming from ear to ear throughout the entire tour. The logistics of the venue and the amount of guests moving around is a complication the experience could do without. Sadly this means that you are frogmarched between sets through a kind of spaghetti junction of badly conceived plastic strip doors – it is somewhat jarring and removes you from the fictional worlds that have been so perfectly created within in each story. In summary, I loved Goosebumps Alive. It was a menacing mix of promenade theatre delivered with perfectly timed tiny terrors and just the right amount of humour. Clever, visually rewarding and a feast of frightful fun for all. Go see it, if you haven’t already. www.goosebumpsalive.com
EUROPEAN SCARE ATTRACTION & SCARE ENTERTAINMENT LISTINGS PERMANENT UK SCARE ATTRACTIONS Bram Stoker’s Dracula Experience Whitby, Yorkshire www.draculaexperience.co.uk Dungeon Labyrinths Illfracombe, Devon www.watermouthcastle.com Horror Crypt at Blackpool Pleasure BeachBlackpool, Lancashirewww. blackpoolpleasurebeach.com Manormortis Blackburn, Lancashire www.manormortis.com Pasaje Del Terror Blackpool, Lancashire www.pasajedelterror.co.uk Terror Tombs Rhyl, Wales www.palacefuncentre.co.uk Terror Tower Scarborough, North Yorkshire www.terrortower.co.uk The Black Chasm at The Silver Mountain Experience Ceredigion, Wales www.silvermountainexperience.co.uk
The Blackpool Tower Dungeon Blackpool, Lancashire www.thedungeons.com The Castle Dungeon at Warwick Castle Warwick, Warwickshire www.warwick-castle.com The Edinburgh Dungeon Midlothian, Scotland www.thedungeons.com The Haunted Cellar at Simon Drake’s House of Magic London, England www.houseofmagic.co.uk The London Tombs London, England www.thelondonbridgeexperience.com The Lost Cellars at Alnwick Castle Alnwick, Northumberland www.alnwickcastle.com The London Dungeon London, England www.thedungeons.co.uk The York Dungeon York, Yorkshire www.thedungeons.com
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SEASONAL EUROPEAN SCARE ATTRACTIONS
Maison du Tourment Charmes, France www.maisondutourment.free.fr
Snuffhouse After Dark at Scare Kingdom Scream Park Nightmare in Budapest Blackburn, Lancashire Budapest, Hungary www.snuffhouse.co.uk www.nightmareinbudapest.com
PERMANENT EUROPEAN SCARE EXPERIENCES Demonia at Rainbow Magic Land Roma, Italy www.magicland.it Dystopia Haunted House Vejle, Denmark www.fantasyfabrikken.dk El Templo del Terror at Isla Mágica Sevilla, Spain www.islamagica.es Gasten Ghost Hotel at Liseberg Theme Park Goteborg, Sweden www.liseberg.com Grusellabyrinth Kiel, Germany www.grusellabyrinth.de Horror House at Luneur Park Rome, Italy www.luneurpark.it Horror House at Movieland Park Verona, Italy www.canevaworld.it Hotel Krüeger at Parc d’Atraccions Tibidabo, Barcelona, Spain www.tibidabo.cat Krake Lebt! At Heide Park Lower Saxony, Germany www.heide-park.de Labirinto Lisboa Lisbon, Portugal www.labirintolisboa.com
Summer 2016 2015
Phobia at Mirabilandia Ravenna, Italy www.mirabilandia.it Spokhuset at Grona Lund Theme Park Stockholm, Denmark www.gronalund.com The Amsterdam Dungeon Amsterdam www.thedungeons.com The Berlin Dungeon Berlin, Germany www.thedungeons.com The Hamburg Dungeon Hamburg, Germany www.thedungeons.com The House of Fear at Allou! Fun Park Athens, Greece www.allou.gr The House of Horror Budapest, Hungary www.houseofhorrorbudapest.com
Le Manoir de Paris Paris, France www.lemanoirdeparis.com Underground Fear Budapest, Hungary www.undergroundfear.hu La Maison Hantee Carcasonne, France No Website Psaiho Riga, Latvia www.psaiho.lv