Last night I was lucky enough to head down the road to Mead Open Farm in Leighton Buzzard (practically on my door step!) to check out and review their Halloween scare attraction, The Howl Scream Park.
I love anything scary and have been to similar things in the past, such as Dr Fright Night’s, so I had high expectations of this place and was really looking forward to it.
Upon arrival, it was clear to see a lot was going on, such as a bonfire, actors roaming the park/farm area, a bar and even a live band. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to check out much else other than the actual attractions which is a huge shame because as well as being scary, the whole place had a really laid back and seasonal vibe. I’d have loved to have stayed and checked out the band and even had a few drinks – but there’s always next time!
Still, there was of course plenty of time to scare ourselves silly and so we braved the five scare attractions/mazes/walkthroughs on offer: Hotel de Basquervilles, Topper’s Twister, House of Hounds, The Shed and Squealers Yard.
I will try my best to avoid spoilers here but if you have yet to go and really want to be surprised, I’d stop reading here. Still, I cannot quite describe the tension and the fear factor we felt going through each attraction so even if you do read on to discover what some of them have to offer – set wise, anyway – there’s still lots to anticipate.
Each attraction had it’s own unique storyline and was rather different from the last; no two felt the same and I thought this was done really well. There’s only so much you can do with these type of attractions and although the set’s and theme can be different, often scares are the same.
This wasn’t the case here though. Yes, essentially people jump out at you but scares and jump tactics actually varied per walkthrough which was really good. In one, we found ourselves exploring a bright white room filled with smoke and fog, making us unable to see or anticipate what was coming for us. This really built the tension in a way I hadn’t felt before. In another, we had fun finding ourselves disoriented with a rotating tunnel, which meant I had to try and concentrate on staying on my feet and try and avoid getting too scared!
The attention to detail in each attraction was amazing. I particularly loved Topper’s Twister, which had a real twisted circus theme to it, with fake slides coming out of the walls and giant toy blocks. There was also a small ball pit, but I was rather disappointed to learn we were not going to go through that, haha.
How fun/scary would it be trying to escape a clown whilst wading through a ball pit?!
But my hands down favourite had to be Hotel de Basquervilles. This spooky haunted hotel had so much to see and offer in each individual room, from a creepy white static TV to clothes and material hanging from the ceiling. It was really cool and I liked that there were a few less actors in this particular walkthrough as it instead gave us the chance to really notice each room and for the tension to build too.
In terms of scares: I certainly jumped and screamed a lot. Some attractions had more ‘jump’ scares than others, but I liked that it wasn’t too over the top. Some places go overboard with scaring their audience, meaning the audience doesn’t have the chance to really enjoy themselves or take in anything. This was just right.
Overall, it was so much fun and I actually want to go back again to explore each set in further detail and experience those scares again! The Howl Scream Park is definitely one of my favourite scare attractions yet and I’ll no doubt be returning next Halloween.
If you haven’t yet popped down, make sure you do. It’s a great night out to get scared and then have a laugh with friends and family afterwards with a cold beer at the bonfire or with some warm food listening to live music.
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