This year’s horror walk includes a trip on four rides – and a whole lot of screaming
My idea of a scarewalk when I was a kid was some boy in the year above dressed as a toilet roll ghost jumping out on us shouting ‘trick or treat’ as we walked home from school.
But the bar has shifted so much higher in recent times, or shall I say lower, to the depths of hell, in Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s case for 2021.
The make-up, costumes and masks are good enough for a movie close-up, props are disturbingly realistic, actors have been rehearsing for months to perfect their sinister characters and then when you mix all that with riding roller-coasters in the dark, you have the perfect ‘freak night’ melting pot.
Journey to Hell: Freak Nights is the resort’s latest late-night Halloween adventure and LancsLive were invited to the preview ahead of it opening to the public on October 8.
The walk takes you through nine zones spread across the park, which has been mysteriously cursed and it is your job to uncover the secrets of the curse – and get out alive.
I went through the experience alone, but I would recommend attending with at least one other person, so that you can sit with them on the four rides dispersed throughout the route – and also squeeze their hand when you’re spooked.
Otherwise, you’ll end up instinctively grabbing a random person’s arm, like I did.
The route weaves through several disturbing characters, from evil clowns, Day of The Dead, ghost-like ninja warriors, ghouls, Plague Doctors, evil scientists and skeletons.
The journey begins at The Legend of the Cursed River Caves in total darkness, which is unsettling in itself, then you throw in live actors hellbent on adding to your terror and imposing special effects, and you emerge into the night afterwards sufficiently freaked out.
“There’s only one way out” I’m told by a grumpy and unsightly ‘conductor’, as we’re then ushered into the appropriately-named Hell Tunnels before taking in Blind Faith, Day of the Dead and the BIG Dark Abyss.
I’m conscious to not give away exactly which rides you’ll get to experience but I will tell you there is a sadistic twist at one of them that will give you a whole new experience, even if you have been on that rollercoaster several times before.
There’s some classic – and predictable – jumpy moments and some of it is quite silly, but the majority of the characters are engaging and believable and the experience is as immersive as you – and your imagination – allow it to be.
If you love all things Halloween and riding rollercoasters, this after-dark adventure is not to be missed.
The event is not recommended for anyone under 10 due to the content and that’s even more understandable given the amount of swearing and aggressive language used by the actor.
Expect several sets of steps, water spray, sudden naked flames, smoke, strobe lighting and limited visibility.
It takes around 90 minutes to complete the whole walk, with some long stretches between zones, but you are efficiently directed along the way by a combination of security staff and actors.
Journey to Hell, which runs until October 31, is a separately ticketed event to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and tickets start at £32.
It is designed for staggered entry and for groups no bigger than six.
The resort will then open at weekends only from November 6 to December 12.