2013 will be remembered for many reasons, horse meat burgers, the death of Nelson Mandela and the legalisation of same sex marriage but brooding away in the brain cells of Jason Karl, TV Icon and creative director at AtmosFEAR Scare Entertainments, lies what would become one of the most iconic UK scare attractions ever created. I am of course talking about the legendary Psychomanteum. For those that don't know, Psychomanteum has been dubbed "The UK's sickest attraction" by The Sun newspaper and has an age restriction of 18+ because of the psycho-sexual tones and adult nature of the multi-sensory, hands on, extreme scare experience. When it opened during the 2013 Halloween season, Psychomanteum made the papers after being called out by a rape charity for being "degrading and humiliating" with others showing an immediate and obvious distaste for its "dirty and degrading" nature and even questioning its entertaining factor. The bad press that the attraction received didn't stop the scream park and Psychomanteum returned at Christmas in 2013 with Christmas TREATment. Both this and the Halloween version must have been a hit as Psychomanteum would continue to return.
2014 arrived and Psychomanteum was still here and getting more and more popular. Little information is available online about the third incarnation of this attraction but what I can find is that it was called Psychomanteum Hello Dolly. It ran during an event called La'Mortis at Scare Kingdom which we believe was the first ever Valentines event at the event (Though we could be very wrong on this) but unfortunately I can't find anything else about this version of Psychomanteum. Halloween 2014 arrived and Scare Kingdom were really pushing the advertising around the event, especially around Psychomanteum's fourth version, Deeper Treatment. It would appear that Atmosfear really upped the ante with Deeper Treatment as it was apparently longer and more out there which gave host to a lot of positive and some negative reviews. Psychomanteum returned at Christmas with Santa's Sack in a playfully adult festive version for the festive period.
Psychomanteum had started to become a mainstay in the scare industry and within the scare enthusiast community with many considering it a badge of honour having survived the experience so of course the attraction returned in 2015 with three new incarnations. Valentines saw it transformed into Psychomanteum - Shock Treatment, Halloween it became Psychomanteum - Full Confession and at Christmas it became Psychomanteum - Oral Intrusion. All three versions of this attraction kept pushing the boundaries whilst still being as sick and twisted. Psychomanteum was here to stay, or was it?
2016 came and there was no sign of a Valentines event at Scare Kingdom. Instead AtmosFEAR announced a new extreme event called Snuffhouse After Dark which would happen in the summer. It wasn't until Scare Kingdom announced their Halloween attractions that it was revealed that Psychomanteum had been removed from the line-up. Instead it had been replaced with Snuffhouse Alone, a less sexual, more darker experience where you were at the mercy of the Tormentors. Snuffhouse Alone would go on to return during the 2016 Christmas Festevil event as Snuffhouse Alone - Christmas Dinner.
2017 arrived and Snuffhouse returned for the newly branded Valenterror event as Snuffhouse Alone - Love Bites. It would also return in May for the scream parks first ever Walpurgis Night event as Snuffhouse Alone - Bloodborn. With Snuffhouse Alone being so prominent in the line-up for the past year, it came as a bit of a surprise when the scream park announced that Psychomanteum would be returning for the 2017 Halloween season with Psychomanteum - Resurrection, bringing back its naughty adult nature and sexual intensity. Its return was received very well in general with one or two negative comments from the usual dislikers of it. Psychomanteum's triumphant return would continue into that years Christmas event with Psychomanteum - Bloodmass proving that it was here to keep the crown of UK sickest attraction.
Psychomanteum's steam from its return wasn't fading anytime soon so when 2018 rolled round and Valenterror arrived, the inhabitants of the attraction really brought their A game with Psychomanteum - Heartless. Guests were man handled, put on gurneys and wheeled around and even had a realistic simulation of an injection all thrown at them whilst undergoing the dark and twisted humour and filth from the actors within. Psychomanteum returned with The Queening for Walpurgis Night in 2018 and just after it was announced that the Halloween version of the attraction would take guests back to the where it all began with Psychomaneteum - Zero. Christmas arrived and Psychomanteum was still going strong and it returned to Christmas Festevil with Psychomanteum - Glory Grotto and introduced the world to fun Uncle Bazza.
2019 saw Psychomanteum return for the annual Valenterror event but it had undergone a change. In previous years, you always went through this attraction alone, but Psychomanteum - Heartbroken changed that. This time you were allowed to choose if you went in solo as in pairs which gave for some interesting dynamics. This was the first change for the attraction in a while so it came as a welcome surprise. Walpurgis Night arrived and Psychomanteum - Goremet Cafe was on the menu with this one having a bit of focus on eating and food. Halloween 2019 saw Psychomanteum receive yet another new theme, this time to Trick or Treat? From what I've found speaking to people and reading reviews, this year's version had two different endings depending on which option you got from the wheel and it was heavily themed to a game show. It also appears to have been a lot shorter than in previous years. Christmas Festevil saw fun Uncle Bazza take centre stage again with Psychomanteum - Bloody Fucking Christmas, A tamer version than previous incarnations of the attraction but one that was extremely well themed to the Christmas narrative.
As we all know, 2020 took a strange turn but before the UK went into lockdown, Valenterror returned for a dose of Psychomanteum - Speed Date. The paired entering had returned and things got messy. Then lockdown happened. The annual Walpurgis Night event had got cancelled and it was unsure if Halloween in general would happen. Then came the surprise news that Psychomanteum had been replaced with a new attraction, Terrotica - Origin. As Halloween got closer, news about Terrortica never came. Instead the scream park randomly updated their park map to confirm that Psychomanteum was remaining and had become Psychomanteum - Scared Stiff. Obviously due to the Covid restrictions, the usual man handling was not allowed in the attraction and this forced the attraction to reimagine how they brought the shock and grossness and they seemed to have achieved it quite well by turning you from a victim into a voyeur. When the reviews came out they seemed overall positive for the changes that had been made with some even saying it brought new life to what was a potentially dying attraction. Due to the stupid tier system brought in at the end of the year, the annual Christmas Festevil event did not happen but it was going to be called Psychomanteum - Christmas Crib.
2021 arrived and Covid was still having a huge effect on things with Scare Kingdom cancelling their Valenterror event and postponing their Walpurgis Night event by a month but it did open and Psychomanteum opened with it as Psychomanteum - Dirty Weekend proving that you can never have enough nudity and even took things one step by making guests believe their own clothing (Which was taken earlier in the attraction) was being defiled. Halloween arrived and Psychomanteum - The Second Coming was on the cards proving it was still hilarious and disturbing whilst in its new location.. Christmas Festevil rolled around at the end of year with Psychomanteum - Naughty Nativity bringing with it its usual blasphemous festive tidings.
This brings us onto what would later become their penultimate version of Psychomanteum that opened during the Valenterror event in 2022. Psychomanteum - Cupids Catacombs gave guests something to gag on, literally. Many guests came out of the attraction feeling ill due to the nasty concoction they created for guests to eat but that aside, the usual filth and debauchery that has become renowned for Psychomanteum was on full display. As mentioned above, Scare Kingdom later announced that Walpurgis Night 2022 would be the last incarnation of Psychomanteum and we can't help but feel that Psychomanteum - RainBLOW will help the attraction end on a high and of course, we will have a full review of the entire Walpurgis Night event up on our blog this month.
Whilst its extremely sad that one of the longest running and filthiest attractions in the UK scare industry is coming to an end, its roller coaster ride of a life has been both disturbing and surprising with more twists than Coronation Street. But what does the future hold for the site of Psychomanteum? That is the question and its one we don't currently know the answer too but hopefully we won't have to long to wait to find out.