Scare Rooms

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Hi guys. With Scarefest now on the horizon, it’s now approaching the time of year where I don’t visit any theme parks due to my anxiety surrounding many elements of the scare season and the fact I’m not generally a fan of Halloween. That’s besides the point, however; I won’t deny that I still find many elements of Scarefest interesting to read about and learn about, and one element of the event, an element that hasn’t been around for a number of years now, that I must admit I find interesting to read about are scare rooms. As far as I’m aware, these haven’t been a thing since way back in 2013, but they seem like an interesting concept for a scare experience.

I’ve seen a few video clips of the scare rooms on YouTube, and I must admit that they look absolutely terrifying (not my cup of tea at all…), but I’d be keen to know; did anyone on here ever stay in a scare room? And if so, what was it like? How did you find the experience? Would you like to see them return at some stage?

I’d be really keen to hear about some of your experiences!
 

jmc

TS Member
I stayed in one way back in the early days, when FO1000S was about.

Theming wise it was just a regular explorer room with some relatively minor spookiness by way of bloody handprints on the bathroom mirror (and on the kettle handle funnily enough), cobwebs, and a torture chair in the corner of the room.

The actors would come into the bedroom at regular intervals and do their thing, each time a different character. The two most effective instances I recall were:-

- A character bounding in the room, chasing you about, jumping on the bed etc and then quickly leaving. But he didnt really leave, he hid behind the shower curtain until someone came into the bathroom and he then proceeded chase them out.

- A scared girl in regular pyjamas knocking on the door, asking to come in as her friends an adjacent room are scaring her. She sat and talked amongst us for a good while until another character stormed in, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her out. Must admit this one had us fooled!

It was a lot of fun if you fancied carrying on once everything had finished on park (although these were the days when the mazes were by the hotel and went on till 11pm) and went on quite late. If I recall correctly there were a lot of noise complaints from regular guests which was probably the beginning of its demise.

Slightly off topic but worth a mention if you arent aware; in later years and I suppose as somewhat of a spiritual successor, you could also do ‘Extreme’ versions of the parks mazes after the last regular guests had completed the final run through. It wasnt advertised, but if you headed to Guest Services, asked about it, paid a bit extra and signed a disclaimer you would be given your instructions to arrive at a certain place at a certain time. The actors could pretty much do what they wanted to you (within reason) and it lasted a lot longer than a normal run through. In the Sanctuary it started with everyone in a room and being forced to bow to a portrait of Dr Kelman for what felt like ages. One by one you would be taken through to the maze in a wheelchair, then strapped to a gurney and the actors would tickle you for ages. Following this you were basically just forced through the maze alone with the actors having their way with you as they saw fit. It was fun!


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Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
Can't say I have ever done them or even knew they exited.

But what will I say is that in 2022 having actors in costumes coming in guests bedroom's in the evening would be such a risk for the park. I can see why they don't do that type of thing anymore. Something could so easily go wrong with that.
 

evilcod

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean - Paris
Memory is fading abit but I did them in 2012, that year they gave them a storyline based around the Altonville Motel.

Motel check-in was done by actors in character as the motel owners at a separate desk to the left in ATH

Food was American diner themed in the booths at the back of Secret Garden; again with actors throughout the meal setting the story

You were taken out to a clearing in the woods (I think it was where the Treetop Quest reception would later be built) with a camp fire, ghost stories would begin to be told..... then the zombies (or whatever) attacked and everyone was ushered back to their "motel" rooms and various actors would break-in for the next few hours.

The acting bits were fun with plenty of humour but the scares were very very weak when we did it and by the end of the night we were fairly bored.
 

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Matt.GC

TS Member
I would've loved to have done one. From what I've seen, they looked awesome! Imagine going to the toilet in the night to find a bloodied person in the bath behind the shower curtain? Or lying in bed hearing people creeping around your room? Definitely something I'd do if the brought them back.
 

evilcod

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean - Paris
I would've loved to have done one. From what I've seen, they looked awesome! Imagine going to the toilet in the night to find a bloodied person in the bath behind the shower curtain? Or lying in bed hearing people creeping around your room? Definitely something I'd do if the brought them back.
The main issue is the rooms are not designed for it. In a scare maze you have an atmosphere created, theming, theatrical lighting, sound effects and most importantly places for actors to surprise you from. Now move those actors into a standard hotel room with minor decor changes and they have nothing to go on. The shower scare was decent, other than that you are sat in a hotel room with nothing to do but wait for the next actor to enter through yet again the same door.
 

Britford

TS Member
You can find a full hour long video of the altonville scare rooms on YouTube...anyway, I think they should bring back scare rooms but fence off a portion of the enchanted village and have them there, what do you think?
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
The main issue is the rooms are not designed for it. In a scare maze you have an atmosphere created, theming, theatrical lighting, sound effects and most importantly places for actors to surprise you from. Now move those actors into a standard hotel room with minor decor changes and they have nothing to go on. The shower scare was decent, other than that you are sat in a hotel room with nothing to do but wait for the next actor to enter through yet again the same door.
How much did it cost at the time? Do you think purposely designed rooms with extra cubby holes and crawl spaces could have made it work? I must admit that I'm extremely jealous as I would have loved to have at least tried it, even if the other half would not have been so keen (could I get away with not telling her I wonder?).
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I think if they were to bring something like this back, do it by making fake rooms up in the conference centre or similar with the secret passages and then guests spend 10pm to midnight or similar in the fake room with the scares before moving back to their own actual hotel room.
 

evilcod

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Pirates of the Caribbean - Paris
How much did it cost at the time? Do you think purposely designed rooms with extra cubby holes and crawl spaces could have made it work? I must admit that I'm extremely jealous as I would have loved to have at least tried it, even if the other half would not have been so keen (could I get away with not telling her I wonder?).
Not sure on the cost as I was invited by the park. It would certainly work with purposefully designed rooms but I don't see them making the money back from that.
 
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