It's nearly the end of July, the weather is scorching hot and already the excitement for Halloween is building. As more and more announcements land, we keep hearing of whole new events such as Leeds Fright Nights or The Morgue Live in Birmingham as well as exciting new additions to existing events such as new mazes at Tulleys Shocktoberfest, Broadwitch HauntFest and PrimEVIl at Norfolk Dinosaur Park. It's also the time when scare attractions and events are looking for scare actors and it will be interesting to see how the demand for actors in certain regions has an impact on the shows (this year the Leeds area will see Yorkshire Scare Grounds, Leeds Fright Nights, Screams in the Barn, The Halloween Adventure at and Nightmare Circus at Doncaster Racecourse)
But before we get too excited looking forward - we should take this opportunity to look back on the first 6 months of the year and some of the things we have experienced. First off - we have published an incredible 30 reviews and have seen some really unique and exciting shows along the way:
Two of the UK Dungeon attractions re-opend this year with big launch events in York and London and we were fortunate to be be invited to both. London was clearly the most exciting event as the attraction was a complete site move to the new home in County Hall. It was a brave move and despite feeling brand new in places, the attraction managed to retain some of its charm (even if we did get evacuated alongside Brian Blessed on the press night!). Of course we couldn't let the old Tooley St show close without a proper goodbye and ScareTOUR organised the last ever public tour through the show in its iconic location.
Talking of the Dungeon attractions, they've all had a bit of a re-brand this year and we have visited Blackpool and Edinburgh to see how the new brand has changed them. Some more successful than others..
We were also invited to the press premier launch of Zombie Blitz 1940 - a brand new event by Apocalypse Events that mixes traditional scare maze tactics with a film like character story and impressive convincing sets and costumed. The event returns later this summer to the tunnels underneath Waterloo station. Definitely worth checking out.
This weekend we visited the 3rd version of Evil Rising (and the 2nd this year). The show just keeps getting better and better and returns in August with some even more terrifying twists! Other out of season shows have included Carni- Hell by Kernow Scare Attractions, Ravenwood Manor by GNG Entertainments, Syndrome by Massacre Productions and The Haunting by ScareCorp. We were also excited to be invited to Purgatory, an end of term drama production by the talented Jade Kelly-Haydon
At the theme parks - the impressive Sanctuary returned to Alton Towers for a couple of months as pre publicity for the Smiler roller-coaster and Pleasurewood Hills unveiled their new walk through/ride hybrid - Hobs Pit
Of course we have also visited all the main UK scare zones including Blackpool for Pasaje del Terror and the Dungeon, London for the London Tombs, Ghost Bus etc and Edinburgh (allegedly the most haunted city in the world) for the Dungeon, Mary Kings Close and Ghost Tours.
Finally - away from the more standard walk through style attractions we have also been to Zombie Earth, 2.8 Hours Later Asylum, Zombie Shoot Out and Horror Camp Live. All of them providing different and unique scares.
June saw the return of the 6th annual ScareCon in London which attracted over 200 scare industry experts, suppliers and enthusiasts. After a busy day of trade stands and seminars, delegates partied the night away at the fancy dress Scareball while the very brave stayed overnight for a haunted ghost experience like no other. Using special effects, hidden actors and a genuinely haunted building, guests were led to believe that there was something out there haunting the rooms. Without a painted face or fake blood anywhere , the screams of the guests as they toured the different rooms was music to our ears!
So as you can see - a pretty busy start to the year - 30 detailed reviews already and a big itinerary line up for the Halloween season. Don't forget that if you want to experience any of these shows to check out our reviews first and once you've been - leave us your feedback via our You Review system. It really is very simple and the attractions love to hear the feedback you send. Also - check out our front page for details of all the latest promotional discounts.
So all that's left to say is enjoy the summer sunshine and start preparing for Halloween - it is just under 100 days away! There's a lot been announced already but we also know there are a lot more things still to come - it's going to be a bumper year. So keep following us for the latest news, competitions and more!
Many of you will know me already. My name is Michael Bolton and I am passionate about Scare Attractions and being scared. I have been visiting and reviewing attractions since 2002. Why not come along on one of our trips and have a scream?