Nightmares are brought to life as Screamfest returns with a brand new maze and a range of great Halloween attractions and entertainment for 2018. Based at the National Forest Adventure Farm in Burton-on-Trent and located 20 miles from Alton Towers Resort. TowersTimes were invited to the preview night to be some of the first to see what this independent Halloween attraction has to offer.
The theming begins with guests greeted in the car park and drop-off point with two Halloween scenes featuring a hearse and carriage and a range of Halloween statues and decorations. It can take a little time to enter during peak periods, so it is good to arrive early as well as booking online to save money and guarantee entry, as some dates will sell out in advance.
At the heart of the scream-park is a stage with lots of seating, a range of foods outlets, a bar, and Pennywise as the DJ. Games stalls, including Hill Billy Joe’s Zombie Paintball Smash, are also available for an additional charge. During the evening the stage hosts a variety of entertainment, whilst an array of roaming characters provide scares and smiles around the park.
Screamfest features five scare mazes, with the lineup for 2018 consisting of return appearances of Dia de los Muertos, Demonica, Love Hurts, Freakout, as well as a brand new attraction for this year; Insomnia.
Demonica, features enthusiast favorite Gerry Cannell, who developed a large following playing Doctor Kelman in The Sanctuary at Alton Towers, as an attraction host. With an impressive facade featuring a fire effect as well as the creative use of water in front of the attraction, the maze takes place in almost complete darkness. After stepping through the portal, the darkness can create some excellent anticipation and some good scare opportunities, however, sections can feel clunky as guests fumble in the dark, groups can also end up catching up with others forming long chains that can lessen the impact of scares and reduce the ability to reset for the next. Whilst the end section improves the experience a little, it’s not the strongest attraction at the park, so the maze is worth completing earlier in the evening.