ScareTOUR Review of 2017
So, there are still many people that believe that scare attractions are only for Halloween, which is completely wrong. Over the last year, we have been up and down the country (and beyond), checking out exciting events throughout the year. So as the New Year rolls in, let's take a look back at what happened in one of our biggest ever years for scare. Don't forget if you want to read more detail about any event, use the handy search functionality to go straight to the review.
The year started off with a bang in 2017 as The Venue Selby opened their Meet the Murderers event, and a new production company opened The Big Day - an unusual wedding themed scare attraction in the Midlands. Having not been for a year or so, the ScareTOUR team went along to check out the updated Zombie Shopping Mall story in Reading, and we were honoured to be the only scare attraction review site to attend a pop up scare attraction/room escape created to celebrate the launch of the latest Resident Evil 7 computer game.
In February we experienced Circus of Terrors, the latest show from Room Escape Southend, as well as visiting Scare Kingdom Scream Park for their latest ValenTerror event. Down South, Zombie Encounters opened up a new experience in a mock up of a Victorian setting, called Zombie Town 1888.
As Spring approached, the number of scare attractions seemed to keep increasing. In London - The London Bridge Experience celebrated Easter with their Leporiphobia event, whilst The Harrowing debuted as a new immersive scare event and The Neath opened in the Vaults as an underground club run by the devil. Up in Scotland, Hell's Gate Horror opened their first event - St Valentine's Massacre, the Witch Hunter came to Edinburgh Dungeon and we finally got to check out Dread Glasgow. In Essex, the talented Hide and Shriek team debuted Delectably Dead - a new horror dining experience and at Thorpe Park, Derren Brown's Ghost Train got a large makeover - Rise of the Demon to make it even scarier. Finally Nakarian Contagion opened in West London for a short run.
As summer edged closer, escape seemed to be the theme of the hour with London Dungeon opening The Great Escape and Blackpool Tower Dungeon hosting a seasonal show - Great Escapes. Amsterdam Dungeon made some operational changes to the way it runs multi language shows and Immersive Events held some fun scare mazes in a one off Spring event at Shrewsbury Prison. Two titans of extreme style attractions met up when Heretic Haunted House came over from the US to challenge Cursed to a fight! We managed to get out and about as much as we could and also visited The MacGuffin Project and Ouija room escapes in Bournemouth. Finally, over in Amsterdam, The Clinic had a new VR counterpart called NeuroGen.
In May we were back in Essex again! Room Escape Southend had just launched Down The Rabbit Hole and Hide and Shriek were running their amazing Seance attraction. We also popped along to Walpurgis Night at Scare Kingdom Scream Park and made a cultural visit to the theatre with the amazing Horror by Jakop Ahlbom - a horror show like no other!
Summer was here and the industry celebrated at ScareCON at Alton Towers. After a full day of trade show and seminars, the SCAR awards were presented to the best of 2016. During ScareCON, everyone was treated to a very special visit trip through Altonville Mine Tours: Uncover the Legend of the Skinsnatchers. Elsewhere, Snuffhouse After Dark opened for a few weeks at Scare Kingdom Scream Park and in London Apocalypse Events created Whitechapel: Suspects, Lunatics and a Leather Apron.
In london, we had fun at London Bridge Experience with their "Zombie in a day package", as well as checking out the press night for Alien Escape at Madame Tussauds. Up in Yorkshire, Dick Turpin arrived at York Dungeon with a barrage of dick jokes, and Faceless Ventures (ex Primrose Unknown Projects) created a one off immersive event called Fraternity.
Despite being Summer, there was still a lot going on. We were honoured to be invited to Annabelle's House, a one off promotional scare event to promote the new Annabelle film. The rest of the month was about zombies with Outbreak by Secrets Beneath opening in Portsmouth, the rebranded Apocalyse World Tour, Zombie Uprising and Zombie Infection Courthouse. In our search for scary room escapes we also escaped from a Poltergeist at Puzzlair and just survived The Haunted Hotel at Trapped Gloucester.
In September - the volunteer team from Fort Amherst held their first overnight event Dusk2Dawn, Escape Reality Leeds hosted their first Zombie Apocalypse event and we escaped from a Cabin in the Woods at Escaper MK. Of course September also saw the start of Halloween 2017 with Farmaggedon leading the charge in the UK and Scare Me in Holland. Other events to open early this year included Traumatica at Europa Park, Fright Nights at Thorpe Park withe The Walking Dead, Frightmare and Outbreak at M&Ds. Although not originally scheduled as Halloween events, we also manged to experience Dread Glasgow 2, The Cabin by Room Escape Southend and a new version of Dead Centre by Hide and Shriek.
By main Halloween season most attractions were open for business, but there were a few surprises along the way. Disappointingly Scarenation, Twisted Attractions Terror Farm, Horror Nights NL and Nevendon Manor Events failed to re-open for 2017, but the season did see new events such as The Groundsman by Walsall Scaremaze, Hammer House of Horror, Contained Liverpool, a relaunched Fear Fest Evil, new production team at Stockeld Park, Fear Island at Fantasy Island, Unit 260, The Doomsday and the opening of Ghoulies Haunted House in Liverpool. Our Halloween itinerary was incredibly busy as we visited over 60 different attractions - all our reviews and experiences can be found here.
Halloween stretched into November for a few days as some events such as Tulleys Shocktoberfest, Fear Island and Scare Kingdom Scream Park stayed open for 1 weekend more. Zombie Uprising held another version of their popular Circus event
As the year started to wind down, many attractions decided to go for seasonal makeovers including FestEVIL at Scare Kingdom Scream Park, Santa's Grot Hole at Ghoulies Haunted House, Bad Santa's Twisted House at Walsall scare maze, a Zombie Christmas at Southend Room Escape and Christmas Cabin in the Woods at Escaper MK
As you can see, 2017 has been a very busy year indeed and 2018 looks set to be just as busy. Join us tomorrow as we preview what we know about the upcoming year already..
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