We were very kindly invited to this year's The Howl. Whilst we were given free entry to the event, we have full editorial control of what our review of the event says.
The Howl bear Leighton Buzzard has 6 attractions. The roaming characters set a fun atmosphere and offer some great interactions. The mazes offer a wide variety of scares and sets that really all come together for some great experiences. Howl Valley High was the highlight as it was just relentless for scares.
Top Tips - Interact with the roaming character you see.
Things that bite - Nothin
Value for money - Yes
Scare Rating - 4/5
Do we recommend - Yes!
It’s been a couple of years since I personally visited The Howl at Open Mead farm in Leighton Buzzard (yes PSG went last year but it wasn’t me) and I was really intrigued by all the changes I had heard about so of course I had to pop along to find out for myself what these changes were. There are various food and beverage outlets dotted around the event as well as roaming characters. Unfortunately we didn’t really get the chance to interact with the. As they kept walking away but they looked like they were having fun and the guests were having fun with them. The event is home to another Circus of Horrors and 6 scare attractions/haunts. So let’s get it it them.
I’m going to start at the back of the scream park and work my way forward so let’s start with Squealer’s Yard. I love this maze so much. It’s chaos in the best way possible. Its sarcastic innuendos wrapped up nicely in intense scares, simple yet effective theming and ,of course, chainsaws. The scares came thick and fast and from all directions and I really enjoyed my time in the attraction.
The Shed is a strange maze. From the outside it doesn’t seem like it would be scary or intense. But looks can be deceiving. This maze was intense. The scares came out from every direction and the actors were really going for it. The finale scare will never not be confusing in the best possible way. It’s so simple yet so very effective.
Topper’s Twister is the events clown maze. I would class it as an average attraction. It’s not the strongest, it didn’t have many scares but it is fun. It just needed a bit more umph as it felt a bit tame.
I’m not the biggest fan of Red as when I did it a few years ago I found it very open and lacking any real scares and so I wasn’t looking forward to experiencing this attraction. It started exactly how I remembered but I found this year very smokey and full of a lot more hanging foliage. The scares were very mixed with some actors being subtle and some being in your face. The maze is probably the shortest at the event but it packed so many scares into this small maze that I can see why some people enjoy it.
Let’s talk about The Howls new maze Full Moon Manor. We got unlucky as I think we experienced this just as actors were going on break. There was a lot of empty spaces that felt like there should have been actors. It’s got some interesting scenes throughout especially at the beginning, which is an extremely tamer version of a scene introduced at another scare event, but it works for this attraction and build the tension from the start. It has so much potential and I can't wait to see what else they do with it .
The last maze we experienced was Howl Valley High and what an attraction this was. Right from the start it’s intense with scares coming from everywhere. The actors were using all the spaces available and really went for it. I screamed a lot. The sets are really great and it does feel like you’re walking through a school. It was the highlight of the night and I can’t praise it enough.
The Howl is an under appreciated event and it deserves more acknowledgment for its intense attractions and amazing street theatre. Its level of detail on the sets matches Tulleys and its scares are well timed and coordinated to bring an intense and terrifying experience. Thank you to The Howl for inviting us along to experience this years event. For more information and to book tickets you can visit The Howl website.