Here it is, our Tulleys Shocktober Fest 2018 Review. It had been 2 years since our last visit to Tulleys Shocktober Fest and naturally we were excited to find out how the Scream Park had developed and improved. We arrived at around 6pm for the VIP Launch Night just as there were some well-known TV personalities making their way down the ‘black carpet’. For anyone interested there were familiar faces such as Jack & Dani (Love Island) and Charlotte (Geordie Shore). With the ‘celebrity’ buzz it certainly felt like Tulleys was the place to be as we were warmly welcomed into the VIP hospitality area. There were a number of actors dotted around slowly ramping up the atmosphere as photos were taken, cocktails drank and Greggs sausage rolls devoured (nice touch). Whilst the majority of the VIP guests mingled and exploited the very generous hospitality, we were keen to get stuck into the mazes and we did exactly that by making our way to ‘The Cellar’.
We had fond memories of The Cellar from our previous visit to Tulleys and were equally impressed with our visit this year! The sheer length, intensity and theming of The Cellar is just great. It offers a more authentic ‘haunted house’ experience and really feels like it’s matured over time. The one thing that really impressed us was the number of actors located within The Cellar, we were literally over run with scares that came from all angles as we passed through the weaving corridors and scenes. Without giving away too many spoilers, we have no doubt all scare enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies will love The Cellar!
Next up, we made our way around to Twisted Clowns 3D. I must admit, after entering the attraction and being provided with 3D glasses, I was slightly sceptical as to what could be achieved using ‘3D’. To my surprise, the UV paint and décor throughout actually did appear 3D! Whilst Twisted Clowns 3D wasn’t as intense or particularly scary as other attractions, there were some very clever use of UV lighting to help some of the actors ‘blend’ in with the scenes leading to some unexpected jump scares. Overall, Twisted Clowns 3D fun and ‘trippy’ experience with some solid scares in places.
The next maze to take on was The Chop Shop (located right by the Twisted Clowns Exit). The Chop Shop followed a great narrative based on a ‘Hill Billy’ car garage blood bath. The level of theming with props such as old rusty car parts, trucks, cars and oil barrels was excellent. The actors in here were impressive and really kept you on edge as you cautiously made your way through. The climax to The Chop Shop provided a never ending feeling of panic as you were viciously chased by numerous chainsaw wielding guys. The trauma was prolonged as we turned corner after corner without being able to escape (we eventually did escape thank god). Overall, The Chop Shop can be summarised by the number of screams audible from near the exit (we certainly contributed to this).
After a quick drink and sit down (next to one of the cosy fire pits located around the site) – we tackled ‘The Colony’. The Colony was an absolute beast of a maze and seemed to last an eternity which is a great feature! Many scare attractions including those located at large theme parks are often criticised for not offering a very thorough experience in terms of time spent in the attraction and also the footprint of the attraction. The Colony is by far one of the longest scare mazes we’ve experienced and for this reason alone, we rated it highly! The theming throughout was detailed and highly immersive with many ‘Wickerman’ style effigies and wooden tribal structures. Although the narrative was slightly lost during our run through perhaps with a lack of introduction, there were still plenty of scares and special FX that helped make The Colony an immersive experience. We’ve got a feeling this one will be popular!
The Haunted Hayride was the next attraction we made our way to. We had fond memories from our previous visit and were looking forward to taking our seat on the trailer. As we approached the entrance, there was a flurry of camera operators and screaming girls as the ‘Celebrity Love Island couple’ embarked on their Hayride journey. I felt a little sorry for those on the trailer who weren’t buying into the celebrity hysteria as their experience would have been impeded by the bright lights of the camera crews. Never the less, it was our turn to jump on and experience the Haunted Hayride. As per our last visit to Tulleys, the sheer level of special FX and props used throughout puts The Haunted Hayride on a Hollywood Blockbuster level! Whilst the attraction isn’t particularly frightening, it’s impossible not to be impressed and awestruck by some of the fire, explosions and huge structures that you pass on the route. The journey on the trailer also feels lengthy and being sat down for 15 minutes allows you to re-charge your batteries. I could mention a lot of specific details about The Haunted Hayride but I don’t think that would do it much justice. You really have to see for yourself what this impressive attraction has to offer.
Village of Coven 13 was the next maze we experienced and the opening scene was completely unique with the use of green lazers casting giant beams across a smoke filled room from which the terrifying Witches appeared at random intervals. What made the start of this attraction even more unique was the use of waist height claustrophobia walls (squeeze walls) either side of the walkway – ultimately making it more difficult to escape the onslaught of Witches. The remainder of the maze was set outside and as we progressed through the winding paths we encountered a number of intense and often scary Witch characters. We really liked the use of natural foliage and branches in a specific scene towards the start of the maze and there were some well thought original concepts in Village of Coven 13. Overall we found it to be a solid attraction that we’re sure will impress many over the coming weeks.
Finally, we wondered around to ‘The Creepy Cottage’ after unfortunately missing ‘Vixi’ (we did hear great things about this maze so please let us know what you thought below). The Creepy Cottage although rated at only 6 on the Tulleys ‘Scare Factor’ was actually one of our favourite and scarier mazes. Being sent round in a group of 2 certainly helped this attraction become more of an exclusive and intense experience. Whilst many of the theming elements are targeted at a family friendly daytime attraction, the actors were rampant and really kept us on edge throughout. Perhaps anyone new to Tulleys would be best starting at Creepy Cottage to warm up and then begin working their way around the other attractions. All in all, The Creepy Cottage is a fun and very worthwhile addition to the Tulleys lineup.
To conclude, it’s safe to say our visit to Tulleys this year eclipsed previous visits and really puts it as the UK’s most complete Halloween entertainment destination! For anyone in the bottom half of the country, Tulleys is a must do to get an unrivalled Halloween fix! The facilities, the live bands, the fire pits, the food courts, the scare attractions, the street theatre (the list could go on and on). Tulleys Shocktober Fest, in our eyes, is leading the way in offering an extraordinary Halloween experience with endless amounts to immerse all of the senses. Please visit and let us know what you thought…
For More Info & Tickets – https://www.shocktoberfest.co.uk/