Like most people, I get the daily Groupon-type emails pop up in my inbox. If I’m busy I usually just delete them but every now and again something will catch my eye. Granted, it is usually food-related but a few weeks ago I saw a Halloween offer for ‘Fear’; a fright night at a nearby country park.
Seeing as it was a bargain, I decided to surprise Ian with it. We did have the option of attending on Halloween itself but opted for the day after so I wouldn’t have to go to the effort of having to dress up…although we both did wear our Halloween jumpers!
There was no real description of this event online or social media so we really did turn up not knowing what to expect and a little nervous to be honest. I imagined an outdoor maze with people jumping out at us and I also had that weird panic that we might be the only ones there too!
We drove up to Avon Valley Country Park, a short drive from us on the way to Bristol, and it had a very spooky feel to it with light reflecting off the trees and a scary-looking clown on stilts ambling past us. We headed inside and took a look around.
There were two main ‘events’ to queue up for: Circus of the Dead and Anarchy. The whole place was brilliantly decorated with dead corn husks reminding me of the ‘Children of the Corn’ films. There were also mini bonfires, hanging puppets and pumpkins dotted around for good measure.
We opted for Circus of the Dead first which was housed in a large marquee serving food, drinks and candyfloss with eerie circus music playing. After about 10 minutes in line, we were led in to the maze and told to not let go of each other and keep walking…
OH MY GOD…it was terrifying!!! We walked through various corridors where people dressed up as clowns would jump out on us making us both scream like little girls. There was strobe lighting and crazy patterns which really deprived your senses of what direction you were meant to go in. The actors in the maze were excellent – they didn’t touch you or hang around too long after they had jumped out on you. We came out of the other end with our hearts racing and had to have a few beers and a hog roast to calm down!
Looking around, there were lots of people who had really made the effort to dress up and I think it would be fun to attend an event like this with a group of friends in costume.
Next, with a couple of Baileys hot chocolates to sip in the queue, we lined up for Anarchy which was meant to be a longer maze and much scarier…and it definitely was! Set in almost pitch black darkness, it was really hard to know which way to walk so I had my hands out in front of me most of the time. The actors again made us jump out of skins (we both have very hoarse, gravelly voices today from screaming!) and were weirdly helpful when we went the wrong way!
The finale of this maze was outside where we wandered through blood-stained bedsheets hung on washing lines (classic horror movie stuff!) ending up in a wooden type cage with a masked man brandishing a chainsaw!
Here are our faces when we reached the end…
Now I know some people would absolutely hate this experience but if like me you enjoy jumpy horror films and like to try something a bit different then I highly recommend it. I know theme parks tend to do these types of nights around Halloween but this one near Bristol was excellent. A great setting and the food and drink stalls meant you could really make a night of it. We ended up paying a tenner for both of us to get in through Amazon and I think it was well worth it for the adrenaline rush!