So Valentines this year, we decided to do something different. Well, I did. My hubby took some persuasion but I got there in the end, and we went along to the Scream Factory ‘My Bloody Valentine’ Event in Redcar.
Yes, I know what you are thinking – Are you crazy? Of course I am. I’m a massive fan of horror. Although I do have my limits, I don’t like gore. I decided whilst on a first (and I think last) date to the cinema to see Saw III, gore wasn’t for me as I spent the entire move covering my eyes and ears. But anything spine chilling and spooky, and I’m super happy.
We arrived at the Scream Factory site which is in the grounds of an old nursery, half an hour early, parked up, and I decided to take in the atmosphere to get in the mood. We were pretty much in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and it was getting dark, so just perfect. I got out of the car to take a look about, whilst Andrew decided it was too cold. I then though it would be rather funny to suddenly appear with my face and hands pressed on the car window zombie style. I have no idea why. Anyway, he was completely unimpressed and left me thinking ‘I’m in for a right laugh, tonight’. Turns out it was him who was in for a laugh.
Not going to lie, I’d gone from buzzing to scared whilst on the hours journey from home. The panic set in as we walked through the doors of the venue to the waiting area. And quickly multiplied when a clown and two other creepy characters appeared and menacingly began to pace the area,walking through the queue as we all quietly and patiently stood.
I repeatedly reminded myself they’re only actors, and told Andrew quite smugly I felt unafraid and surprisingly calm. Until I glanced around over my shoulder and screamed as I had one right behind me and my face met with theirs.
I’m not going to give too much away, but the experience begins in ‘Tates Motel’, as we walked down a path and approached what looks like something from the set of strangely enough, of a horror movie. We then proceed through a slightly opened door, and the ‘fun’ began. We were in a group of six, two other couples, who we’d never met before, and no guide. We were on our own. Well apart from the characters lurking creepily around us. Some we could see, and some we could just sense.
We began our journey through a labyrinth of dark, dusky smelling rooms and narrow pitch black winding paths, with nothing but a glow stick we were each given for light. It felt surreal and just like I’d been submerged into some horrific dream.
Andrew told me to get off his hand as we passed through the very first room as I was squeezing so tightly, I was crushing his fingers. I’ve had two children with him present, and held his hand throughout both labours without any complaints, just to kind of put the fear and anxiety into perspective. I was also informed afterwards that I kept grabbing hold of the others in our group, I have no recollection of this.
I walked the whole horrific theatrical experience with my glow stick held out in front of me waving it about like I was in Star Wars. If I wasn’t pacing slowly and cautiously towards the door to the next room, I was running from a clown or a hill billy with a chainsaw.
I don’t want to give away too much about what you can expect to find as you find your way through a Scream Factory Experience, but I will say that I had an encounter with my hubbys ‘other woman’ who approached me screaming obscenities and brandishing a knife. Angry demonic cursing nuns accusing us of living in sin as I was swore to them we were married when asked, and explained I just never wear my ring, and worse of all, who I believe to be THE scariest horror movie character of all time. The one who I knew once faced with, I wouldn’t be able to rationalise as an actor, as to me, this dude is real.
I won’t say who again to avoid any spoilers for future Scream Factory events, but the panic I felt when I heard the taunting chants from his iconic film, as I made my way towards the room in pitch darkness, knowing my only way out was straight ahead. And this was immediately after being tormented by a clown.
Andrew tried to walk quickly ahead of me at this point laughing, whilst I screamed for him to wait. Refusing to hold my hand once again, I took to holding the waist of his jeans and almost pulled them down as I grabbed him to protect me from my worst nightmare. That sounds corny. It’s not meant to. I don’t mean it in a ‘my hero’ kind of way. Had it been a real life scenario, I would’ve threw him in front of him in a heartbeat just to escape.
The whole experience lasted half an hour, and was possibly the longest half an hour of my life. Feeling pretty breathless as we reached the end and escaped the nightmare, we made our way back to the car. Well via the snack van outside the venue. But as traumatised and mentally exhausted as I felt, I still had no problem asking for a Mojito Slush.
I remember my first words as we’d ‘escaped’ were, ‘I am never, ever doing that again’. However, an hour later, I was checking out when the Halloween tickets go on sale. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am just an absolute adrenaline junkie.