Have you ever gone somewhere, and thought to yourself ‘Why am I here’? ‘What am I doing’? ‘Am I actually insane’?
Well I did that last night. Again, as I went along to the VIP Preview Night* and my second trip to the Scream Factory in Redcar, because the first frightful experience back in February this year for Valentines Day, clearly wasn’t enough.
I am a massive fan of horror, the paranormal, and the unexplained. I’ve spent the last week or so sharing images on social media of my made up Halloween faces. Appears I’m not one for selfies, unless they include layers of white face paint, latex and blood. The Halloween decs have slowly been making an appearance over the last two weeks, and October is my happiest month of the year. I just seem to come alive as All Hallows Eve approaches. So naturally anything like this, is my thing.
Or you would think..
I’ve been taking Kalms for the last two weeks. I have a big event coming up and I can not let nerves get the better of me. So I’ve been feeling pretty chilled of late, and as we made our way in the car, I quite smugly told my hubby my fear this time en route was around 1 out of 10. We parked up, and strolled over to the venue. Fear still a 1. And watched as the clown and two other creepy characters with their faces hanging off emerged and began to wander around the groups gathered together outside. I found repeatedly telling myself ‘they’re not real’ my fear remained a 1. Bingo! Cracked it! Clown made his way over to me, I ran and hid behind my hubby pleading with him to go away…. Fear an 8
We made our way inside the entrance of the venue, and were generously offered a glass of fizz, or blood red coloured Lemonade. I noticed tables neatly set out and decorated with pumpkins and spiders. We were invited to then help ourselves to sandwiches, and made our way over to a selection of slow cooked meats. I went for pulled pork (fear factor is always a zero when there’s food about).
We sat back down with a hot chocolate and tucked into my sandwich, admiring the funky skull chandelier hanging from the ceiling. So we sat taking in the atmosphere, with sinister clown creeping around us, with his horn hooting when you least expected. And this beauty joining us
At this point I thought maybe we were going to have a presentation, or Q & A with the actors and team, and told my hubby I’d actually be happy to do that and go home. The tour itself was optional, and I’d already purchased tickets the day they were released and decided I’d be fine if we waited until then for the whole experience. Basically this was my attempt to wimp out.
But we’d travelled an hour from Whitley Bay. This was just not happening. My hubby again reminded me they’re actors. It’s not real. I know this, but somehow my brain can not process this.
So let’s get onto the main event
I psyched myself up (like a boxer entering the ring, not even joking) then we made our way over to the door (fear a 2). The ‘Door of Terror’ which it shall now be known as by me. The door which leads us outside and a step closer to the award winning horror attraction. We gathered together in a group of 10 where we were quickly briefed. The tours take place in groups of 10 unless you are just not even normal basically and decide to brave it alone. I asked if the tour was longer than the ‘My Bloody Valentine’ one, and was told yes. Much longer. I swore (fear a 10)
We then made our way over to ‘Tates Hotel’. But not just a casually laid back little walk. Nah. We had actors ‘surprising’ us. Eerily ‘welcoming’ us to this absolute horror house. Now I don’t know why, but my hubby seems to like to be at the front of the group during these terrifying unguided tours. I mean we could’ve just blended into the group and felt a little more secure in the middle perhaps. But no, we were leading the damn thing on his insistence knowing I couldn’t make it through any door, without squeezing his hand (to the point I broke two nails), and burying my head into his back.
So as we entered each room, and felt our way through each zone in pitch darkness, we were the lucky ones who got full impact of each ‘surprise’. Such as a blood covered dental nurse brutally asking if we’d like any teeth removed (although not gonna lie – convinced it could’ve been a more pleasant experience than with my current dentist), or an evil clown, or angry butchers with chainsaws. I don’t know how, but at one point we thankfully ended up at the back of the group as we continued to wind our way through the maze of sheer terror.
At this point, I felt calm, and told my hubby maybe i could ‘take in’ and ‘enjoy’ the experience more now I wasn’t burdened with the agonising worry of what or who was about to jump out at me. (I swear at some points I even forgot to breathe and was in danger of becoming a health hazard to myself).
But then I felt something creeping. You know when you can just sense something around you. Creeping right behind me and then felt a little tap on my shoulder. Then the advice of ‘don’t think you’re safe just because you’re at the back, young lady’ followed by laughter. I ran
So we ended up back at the front. Because that’s where my husband ‘get’s the best experience’, apparently. And by this point I thought crack on love, just get me out of here, I literally can not take any more.
I’m not going to give anything away about what happens during the tour, or even who or what to expect. But I did particularly like (like? Is that even the right word for this)? the Cinema Zone. And there’s an outdoor zone in which I felt I was able to get my head together, about half way through. Which was needed because I was close to asking Freddy (insert expletive) Krueger where the nearest fire exit was.
There was also a room which on entering thought was really pretty, magical, and calming. And more fantasy than horror. Until I spotted a clue beneath our feet as to what lay ahead and fear factor zoomed up to 965. And I’ve got to mention the ‘trippy room’. The room where I still do not know if we were actually moving or not. That’s the thing about Scream Factory, all your five senses are put to the test and you are fully emerged into a horror movie. An actual nightmare.
But I made it out alive
I cheered as we made our way out of the final zone. Actually cheered. That feeling of relief I remembered from last time. I said to my hubby I felt like I was in a scene from one of those disaster movies. Right at the end where the sunrises as the sound of police sirens sound out in the distance. He once again reminded me it wasn’t real. But I also felt adrenaline. I am literally fuelled by fear and I’m still feeling it the morning after as I type this.
Last night was up there with one of the most enjoyable night’s I’ve ever had. The build up (I’d been waiting for this night pretty much all year), the actors, the make up, the creativity, thought and imagination which has been put into creating this event is just outstanding The hospitality last night, everything. If you’re looking for a truly terrifying Halloween experience this year, I can not recommend Scream Factory enough.
Oh and shout out to my hubby for giving that extra little finishing touch to the night by making a dash for the car, jumping in, locking the doors and driving off leaving me stranded in the car park.
Check out the Official Teaser film below and deiced whether you’re brave enough to take on the Scream Factory Halloween tour
*This was a gifted experience, but all thoughts and opinions genuine and my own.