Frights are in fashion and terror is trending, it’s most definitely the season for haunt couture and with that comes the obligatory Halloween walk through experience. We brought you the preview of the chilling Psycho Path yesterday, and last night we were invited along to the press and blogger preview night of annual scare-fest Scream Factory where we were given a tour of your favourite horror films old and new, with a few terror cliches thrown in for good measure.
On arrival at Kirkleatham Nursery in Redcar, we make the walk down the tree lined drive papered with posters for missing neighbourhood kids, a prelude to what might be coming our way and a huge clue to the movie Scream Factory 2018 takes its inspiration from. Once inside it’s a similar set up to Psycho Path, there’s a holding area serving food and drink, in this case pulled pork sandwiches and hot chocolate, Prosecco or poisoned lemonade. We’re called forward in groups of ten and given a safety briefing before being given once last chance to back out.
Rounding the first corner we’re faced with an impressive set piece called the ‘Tates Motel’ (named after the family behind Scream Factory) and our first, very unexpected scare which literally makes me throw the nearest person in front of me as a human shield and it’s not even a person who arrived with us. We’re off to a great start and Scream Factory just gets better from there.
It’s literally a roller coaster ride of scare after scare after scare, think hidden doors, windows, curtains, pop ups, anything that gives that dramatic fast scare that makes your heart race and your pupils flare; Scream Factory has it all. The team behind this annual Halloween Horror Night attraction work all year round building each set piece by hand and dreaming up new horrors to terrify guests with in the hope that you’ll make the journey to Redcar just so they can get your pulse racing. Let me tell you, it’s worth it.
It’s a different attraction all together to Psycho Path, where Psycho Path is a slow and atmospheric build that plays on its surroundings, Scream Factory draws on everything that is associated with horror. Haunted houses, fun fairs, clowns and every fan favourite horror movie out there, its deliciously satisfying when it comes to the re-telling, if you make it out that is.
The set pieces throughout Scream Factory are amazing, there are some which have been designed to deprive your senses and are so effective, you come out the other end so disoriented that you actually need a moment before moving on. Whether it’s the thrill of the funfair and it’s tilted floor, strobe lit rooms or optical illusion rooms, you’ll leave there feeling like you’ve been upside down and literally chased through a live action horror movie.
The section which pays homage to your favourite horror movie including the Jigsaw series (which left me feeling haunted yet again by the time I broke that guy’s nose in Florida), Nightmare on Elm Street, IT, Halloween, Psycho and a couple of other cult movies is spectacularly terrifying. It’s the type of haunt that’s filled with fast scares as well as those spooky re-enactments including little Georgie’s super softly spoken and uber chilling “Have you seen my boat?”
I don’t want to fill this post with spoilers, it would be so easy to do with this one, because of how much they’ve managed to cram into Scream Factory. There’s no huge space between scares, you pretty much leave one clear scare zone, before progressing into the next ‘themed zone’ and telling you what they all are would just ruin it for you. What you do need to know is that it’s definitely worth a visit. I travelled from Newcastle to Redcar with my sister which is around an hours drive and we felt it was easily worth it, parking is free once you’re onsite and very close to the venue itself. We talked about it all the way home and loved the references to the horror movies, although if you haven’t seen those movies it definitely doesn’t detract from the experience, you’ll still be utterly terrified in the moment no matter what.
Our advice, go, it’s here once a year, it’s the first year we’ve done anything like this in the UK and we were really impressed at the standard of the acting, the sheer scale of the production and the set pieces and the commitment to the themes. It’s such a fun night out and it absolutely lives up to the hype. With tickets starting at just £20 screams really do come true.