Scarefest 2022

djtruefitt

TS Team
I agree, I would happily lose all the current mazes. Altonville was about the best of a bad bunch last season, but it’s long overdue a refresh.
The attic just isn’t scary and is far too short unfortunately, and toxic junk yard is just a joke really, slightly improved with its cover last season but still nothing amazing unless you don’t like clowns.

I would love to see some classics back, but the issue is they probably won’t be as good as they were originally. Maybe they could bring some classics back but with a new twist, eg carnival, with some old scenes but also new scenes. Same with original TOTT, etc.
 

LLCorkscrew

TS Member
It's not only 15 years since Scarefest began, but 20 years since the first-ever Terror of the Towers! I really hope they pay homage to that / past mazes by perhaps having a 'generic' scare maze with a variety of ghouls. The original TOTT was such good fun; a relatively simple concept compared to more recent mazes, but very effective at mixing scares (and there were a few good ones!) with laughs. Mr Slice, Esmerelda, and the zombie puppets were three strong characters.

The actress who played Esmerelda is still the best I've seen at Alton; a natural flair for improvisation with wickedly snappy retorts to anyone who dare answer her back! She would later be headhunted by a competing scare event.

For those who didn't do the 2002 TOTT, the first room was where you exit the Mines. She would "welcome" the group into the Towers, tell you about the monsters waiting for you, and dish out instructions to the group (hands on shoulders, don't touch the monsters, etc.), before summoning her trusty assistant, Mr Slice. Once, my Dad said, "God, you're likely my mother" and she snapped, "I never had any children as ugly as you".

I don't think they'd ever bring back a carbon copy of a past maze, but they could play on a past maze by using a similar concept, theme, and name, and enhance the experience. Why not re-imagine the original Terror of the Towers 2002? The original ghouls have returned to reclaim the Towers! The 20th anniversary since the first-ever maze is probably their only opportunity / excuse to play on past mazes.

I strongly agree with most people on here that the maze line-up is in desperate need of a refresh.

It is subjective and we all have our favourites. I do like The Attic, albeit a little short, and Altonville Mine Tours will go down as one of Alton's best-ever mazes for me - its theme, attention to detail, the queue line soundtrack - which is a piece of understated genius - all play a part in making a genuinely scary, authentic, and atmospheric maze.

However, the last couple of years have featured a below average line-up. Covid definitely hindered them (RIP Sub Species), and I imagine budget restrictions did too, so there's only so much they can do and we need to have realistic expectations, but it does need a freshen up. And I don't think that's just an enthusiast's perspective either, I think it probably felt weak for your average guest - I usually take 3-4 different groups to Scarefest but only went with one group in 2020 and 2021 - I'm waiting for a stronger, scarier line-up.

I'd like to see Toxic Junkyard dropped, Darkest Depths moved back to a 'family' category, and two new scare mazes. AVMT is probably stale in a lot of people's eyes, but I'd rather TJ go, and keep AVMT for its seventh year - it's the strongest of the lot still IMO. Toxic Junkard just feels like it's making up the numbers to complete the quadrilogy and justify £30. It's a poor concept and I doubt many leave the maze thinking it on par to the others.

Something that pushes the boundaries would be good (like Sub Species did) - a genuinely frightening maze to the level where some folk have to exit and where word spreads at work, on social, etc. I think there's a market for that. Hopefully the 'splitting up' concept can return because going solo definitely adds another level to the experience.
 
Last edited:
Just thinking about Duel and didn’t want to talk about this in the duel topic.
With the Haunted house been 30 years old this year and Scarefest been 15 years should they bring back duel live for scarefest this year with maybe Haunted Hollow.
 

GaryH

TS Member
Field won’t come back. They don’t have a field anymore, it’s external to the theme park and throughout is too low. Plus it’s open to the elements. Boiler house or carnival would be good though.

Also let’s nor forget the Live! Events they did on some of the rides. Duel Live was excellent.
 

Andrew

TS Contributor
I believe the Live events were stopped due to issues with guests attacking the actors were they not?

I may be misremembering and it may have just been a classic budget cut
 

jon81uk

TS Member
I believe the Live events were stopped due to issues with guests attacking the actors were they not?

I may be misremembering and it may have just been a classic budget cut

The Haunted Hollow ones were yes. Which made sense its a fairly remote location and was easy to miss the signage saying there were scare actors, guests assumed it was another guest about to attack them and reacted badly.

But not sure why Duel Live was gor rid of.
 

GaryH

TS Member
Maybe from a H&S point of view having actors in amongst ride workings - although they had a “barrier” in front of them. It was good fun though and certainly added some extra scares to the ride.
 

Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Maybe from a H&S point of view having actors in amongst ride workings - although they had a “barrier” in front of them. It was good fun though and certainly added some extra scares to the ride.
The only risk would be the cars, as the effects can only be triggered by the "sword" under each one.
 

AT86

TS Member
Were the actors actually placed around the ride? I don’t recall doing Duel Live so not sure if they were just in the queue line and first couple or rooms or in the actual ride area?

If it’s the latter I imagine that H&S has changed a lot in Merlin in that time and this would now be a big no no.
 
Last edited:

Trooper Looper

TS Member
Were the actors actually placed around the ride? I don’t recall doing Duel Live so not sure if they were just in the queue line and first couple or rooms or in the actual ride area?

If it’s the latter I imagine that H&S has changed a lot in Merlin in that time and this would now be a big no no.
To answer your Question @AT86 I managed to find a (so far, the only) POV of Duel live. I counted 3 scare actors, them being one at the trommel entrance, another by the pillar Ghoul, and one where the camera is taken.

And for some reason the Beetlejuice theme is playing in the background, and somehow actually goes pretty well with the ride.

 

James

TS Founding Member
I did Duel Live once. There were actors in the outdoor/indoor queueline, placed around various points of the ride, and on the exit ramp. You would queue via the graveyard area, once near the house guests were batched in groups (the doors to the house would open and it would be the house butler welcoming you in), after some interacting with actors in the indoor queueline, you would then go on the ride. LED lights were deactivated and there was different music playing throughout the queue and ride (I can't remember the Beetlejuice theme playing but maybe it was that).

I think it would be a nice addition to the Scarefest line-up, if it were to return. Not sure why they removed it in the first place, cost-cutting perhaps?

One attraction I wouldn't mind seeing return is Fright Lights. It used to be in Her Ladyship's Garden, however with how Scarefest is ran now I would place it in Fountain Square as that's often a dead zone. I can't imagine it would be something that would break the bank and it would add a new show to the park for guests.

Here's a video of Fright Lights for anyone unfamiliar:

 

Squiggs

TS Team
I can't recall which version of the live Duel experience, but I believe there was also an actor at the entrance to the Hall of Spiders and in the cloisters of the Gloomy Garden (the hooded figure didn't move during that incarnation).

One thing I do recall being an issue at the time was that the presence of the actors was a bit patchy, so the experience was a bit hit and miss. Also, in many of the scenes there were really obvious safety barriers, so you could pretty much always tell where an actor might spring from.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Fright Lights was only really done as they weren’t doing fireworks those years due to the noise abatement stuff.
Not sure they would bother bringing it back now they are doing fireworks.
 

Danscott22

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
Not that pleased to see “Three Spooktacular favourites return” - as they are probably three of last years mazes 🥱, at least we know one of last years has definitely been axed. The surprise would be in the “favourites” are actually past mazes which were highly rated - eg, The Sanctuary; etc.
 
Top