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What better time to visit Tulley’s Shocktober Fest than on Friday 13th October?
I was very much looking forward to visiting Tulley’s Shocktober Fest after hearing amazing reviews over the last few years. And I must say, I left Tulley’s last Friday wondering ‘How on earth did I not visit here sooner?’
I’m not going to lie and pretend that I wasn’t nervous, especially hearing that the mazes here are much more intense than what you get at the likes of Alton Towers Scarefest or Thorpe Park Fright Nights. There was me thinking I’d be completely terrified of each one, especially as I’m not overly keen on chainsaws, and one certain maze here has their fair share of them! Yet, I loved the entire event and the mazes that I was nervous of are now my favourites.
The Chop Shop Garage
This was the one maze I was nervous about so I did want to experience this first. As you can guess, this is the maze with a few chainsaws to encounter. The first half of the maze had some brilliant theming, and the actors made good use of the space, hiding in places I was not expecting them to such as lying down on the back of a truck and pouncing on our group. It was very well done. It isn’t long before you end up walking towards the strobe section of the maze with blood spatters on the white walls. This really builds the anticipation when you can hear a chainsaw close by. Because of the strobe effects and how the maze winds around on itself, it gives you the impression that there are more actors with chainsaws inside when it might only be half of what you think you see. Either my bravery kicked in or I was just overthinking how scared I would be as in fact, I loved the entire thing. There were times the actors made good use of the strobes to really make me jump and got very close to me with the chainsaw, I almost had a haircut at one point!
This was one hell of a long maze. At certain points you think it would end then suddenly, there’s another winding path to take you into the next section of the maze. The mix of being indoors and outdoors really added to the atmosphere, and again, the actors really made good use of the space. Hiding in places you wouldn’t expect them to and then bam, they’re right in front of you. Again, I got a few good jump scares. My only issue was how quickly you caught up with the groups in front, even if you were taking your time walking around. This ruined the effect of wondering where the maze was going to take you and it didn’t give the actors enough time to reach our group and give us some good jump scares.
The Cellar is literally right next to the entrance so it can be easy to miss if you are casually walking into the park. There weren’t many scares for me in this attraction, not too sure if this was due to being put with a group of scaredy-cats or I had a bad run-through. I thought the theming was brilliant in the maze, and it can be very tight at times – not one for those suffering from claustrophobia! But I wasn’t left feeling like I should keep going back in the maze. The only surprise I found was the giant snake puppet popping out towards the beginning of the maze – on my first run through, I completely missed this. A proper ‘what the hell!’ moment.
Twisted Clowns 3D
You know a maze is going to be disorientating when you get given 3D glasses. The wonky floors, bright colours and patterns really added to the effect. There were crazy clowns at every turn, giving me more than a few jump scares. Honestly wish I had more time to do this maze again on the night as it was a firm favourite of mine – not quite on the same level as Chop Shop but it was a good attraction to experience.
Horrorwood Haunted Hayride
This was no doubt my all-time favourite attraction of the entire night! There was a real mix of scares and laughs, and there were a couple of times I was picked on by the actors. Great interaction and the fact you get driven around on a trailer whilst pulled by a tractor, you can’t get any better than that. There were some good effects whilst travelling around the attraction, including the fire effects that make you wonder how they haven’t burnt down the trees!
(Photo: Tulley’s Shocktober Fest Website)
‘A hooded highway to Hell!’ as mentioned on the Tulley’s website. As with any maze that follow this pattern with a hood and to follow a rope only, it can be difficult to get scares. For me personally, this was the weakest of all the mazes I experienced on the night. This is unfortunate as you do experience some good effects whilst going through the maze, which add to the suspense. But I wasn’t left feeling impressed unfortunately.
The Coven of 13
Another maze that didn’t really scare me and at times was just like a nice stroll. The first scene that mimics a swamp was probably the best part of the maze, but there weren’t any signs of scares for me. Everyone who has visited this maze will know what I am on about, the lighting is just fab in this section. After this section I was left underwhelmed by the whole thing and I didn’t feel the actors were trying to scare me. This was unfortunate as every other maze aside from XIVI were really going for it. If I had more time, I would have definitely given it another go to see if the experience was better.
This maze is one that you could completely miss out on if you do not have the map – maybe that is why this had next to no queue. It is very tucked away from the rest of the park. Despite this, it is a nice small attraction which makes it very intimate and the actors can really have some fun with you. I wasn’t left screaming but there were a good couple of jump scares to be had.
As with all scare mazes, some run-throughs can be weak whilst others can be amazing. There were weak mazes but I thoroughly enjoyed the entire event. I can see why everyone raves about Tulley’s. I was lucky enough to have the VIP wristband which allowed me unlimited access to the mazes and access to the fastrack queue. This was a good purchase as I could explore the mazes more than once. Truth be told, I wish I experienced XIVI, The Coven of 13 and Creepy Cottage again so I could see how 2 run-throughs would compare. Time was quickly running out for our group, it’s amazing how 4 hours of mazes can just fly by. Honestly, one minute it was 6pm, the next thing we knew it was 11pm!
The general entertainment and atmosphere around the park was brilliant. I really enjoyed the music bands on the stages, playing some Halloween favourites such as Ghostbusters and Monster Mash! I want to make a mention to the 4 Nurses that were roaming around the park. They had great interaction with our group whenever we saw them and seems like they wanted me to join their little group, I’m not saying no to that! *wink wink*
I would love to return to Tulley’s this year however that might not be possible. Who knows! I will be returning next year. No doubt about it. Having done Tulley’s, I will be looking to explore some more Scream Parks around the UK. October really is one of my favourite time of the year!
Tulley’s Shocktober Fest is running till the 4th November.