We were given two free tickets with fastrack entry to the mazes to experience this years Tulleys Shocktober Fest. Whilst we were given the free tickets, we have full editorial control of what our review of the event says.
The Slasher Review - (Our short review)
We were invited to experience Tulleys Shocktober Fest just outside Crawley on Saturday evening. The event runs on many nights throughout October and the beginning of November. There are 9 mazes plus The Circus of Horror's as well as game stalls, roaming characters, live music and food and drink stalls. The mazes had a great mix of scary scenes and humour. Wastelands Penitentiary was the best attraction of the night for the all round experience with Hellements unfortunately being the weakest maze I experienced last night. The acting was on top form for my visit and the staff were so helpful. The food was reasonably priced and a lot of the event is under cover too.
Top tip for the event: Arrive early and leave late and remember wellies if its wet.
Things that bite: Batching sizes in the mazes . Can be put with other groups creating a big group
Value for money: Yes
Scare Rating: 4/5
Do we recommend: Yes
FOR A MORE IN DEPTH REVIEW PLEASE SEE BELOW!
The Stalker Review - (Our long review)
With 9 mazes, The Circus of Horrors, fairground rides, live music, street theatre, food and drink, Tulleys Shocktober Fest is without doubt the largest scare event in the UK and this year it is celebrating 25 years of screams. From its humble beginnings, its grown into the event we see today and we were invited along with to experience this years event.
As always with Tulleys, the first thing that hits you when you walk in is the festival vibe. It's vast array of food and drink stalls as well as its two stages really bring that festival feel to life and it works so well at Tulleys. Add to that the incredible street theatre than you already have a winning combination and this year their street team were on top form. From Frankie and Mummy to the Naughty Nurses to Brian the Accountant, they were all out and on top form. The improv ability of these actors is amazing and they always seem to give it there all every year and just when I believe I have seen it all from them they do something that makes me adore them even more and this year was the same. Just as we were about to leave, all the roaming actors had gathered by the stage nearest the entrance and were dancing and getting everyone else to dance. It was just a spontaneous moment that was actually something very special to see. If you get the chance to interact with any of them than make sure you do as its so worth it.
Maze time now and I started the night with a run through the oldest attraction in the Tulley's line up, Creepy Cottage. This maze may not have a high scare rating but it certainly was the right way to start our night. The actors in the attraction really went for it and really brought the scares as I jumped a couple of times but it wasn't full on terror inducing so it was definitely the right maze to start with and is one that any newbies to the event should start with. Next up was the surprise return of Hellements. I think our group was extremely unlucky with our run on Hellements. Its never been the strongest attraction at Tulleys, even when it was VIXI, but we had probably the weakest run I've ever had on it. It felt like there wasn't that many actors in it this year. There wasn't a moment at all of an actor trying to scare me or talk to me or anything. That mixed with the incredibly slow group leading our group with their constant stopping and starting it just made it the weakest attraction of the night for me.
Twisted, the clown themed maze was next for me and I have a soft spot for this attraction because, to me, its just good fun. The art work in the attraction is stunningly beautiful, especially when you bring the 3D into it. The actors were just chaotic and hilarious with sarcastic comments, double entendre and just a happy and positive attitude really give this maze such a joyous feel and I always feel happy and terrified when I come out. The scares in this are more jack in the box style than the other attractions so the actors tend to just pop up out of no where but it works for the type of attraction Twisted is. After Twisted our group headed to Coven of 13, the witch themed attraction. Previously I have had such good experiences in this maze so I was excited to get back in. This year sees a bit of a change. The entry point is now facing towards the food area instead of round to the side like previous years. You also enter into a smoke filled room which I didn't understand the reason for. I must admit, as we started through and got to the swamp I felt a little let down. The swamp scene is usually really utilised and full of scares but our run seemed to be quite lacklustre. There was only one actor twirling on the spot in each swamp. No scares. I felt really deflated and I know what this attraction can be like. Then we entered the house and its like the witches just appeared out of no where. They were everywhere. It was chaotic and they weren't shy of getting in your face. As the maze went on we caught up with the group who were moving slow so we missed a couple of scares but then we entered the final room, which was another smoke filled room. I have no idea what the fuck happened but there were witches everywhere and they we running around at full pelt. It was utter chaos and even though I collided with 2 witches in the space of 5 seconds it was still a great experience, even if I did feel like they were personally attacking me.
Next up was one maze that I have just never clicked with, The Chop Shop. I always go in really wanting to enjoy it and it starts of so great but the minute the chainsaws start coming it just always falls flat for me. I can totally see why everyone raves about the maze and I can see why its scary and why everyone loves it but I think I have just become immune to chainsaws. I walk through and I just don't flinch. I also felt like there was less actors wielding chainsaws this year. I am probably wrong but that's how it felt. As much as I know people adore this maze, I'm just so desperate to experience it the way everyone else clearly does but I can't fault any of the actors as they were really trying. After The Chop Shop it was time for The Cellar and I adore this maze and I was so happy it didn't disappoint. It was terrifying. Actors were everywhere. They were in the walls, in the fireplaces, in the middle, on top, below. They were everywhere and I hated every minute in a good way. That giant snake was attacking left, right and centre too. It was so great to be back in this maze.
After The Cellar we headed for the new attraction for 2021 The Island. It has a testing facility on an island theme where the creatures escape and have taken over the island. Our run started of pretty quiet and uneventful. There was a couple of actors who kind of lulled us into a false sense of security as they weren't really trying to scare us, so we were actually feeling a bit meh about the attraction. That mixed with the mud and giant and deep puddles due to the severe rain we had all day kind of left us feeling a bit meh but then it completely changed. There were actors everywhere and they were stalking us and attacking us at every opportunity they were given. They were stopping us, coming out of no where and one even stalked us through the maze to time a scare from some corn perfectly. It was utter chaos and It felt like I was back in Colony. It was superb and I really enjoyed it. Because of the sheer length and size of this attraction it needed a couple more actors in the beginning but other than that I really enjoyed it. As The Island exits right next to the entrance to the Horrorwood Haunted Hayride, it was time for this Shocktoberfest staple. What this lacks in scares it makes up for in comedic humour and perfectly timed wit. Its a welcome break from the sheer terror of the mazes and is always such a laugh. Its really hard to review Hayride as its one of those attractions where its best to just experience it.
Last but certainly not least was Wastelands Penitentiary. Oh my god! It was exactly what I remembered it was and was without doubt the best attraction of the night. From the minute you enter you are bombarded with prisoners after your blood. They bang the walls, stalk the halls and are always there. Its truly terrifying and I was scared for my life. We were so very lucky and timed it just right that there was no queue so it was just our little group of three in our batch and what ensued was what felt like 20 minutes of just being terrorised by the prisoners. They wanted our blood and they were making it truly horrific in a good and fun way. We even got seperated and sent through the strobe section alone where the actors just kept coming. It was utter chaos and scares and it was spectacular. I can't praise this attraction enough.
Also included in your ticket is The Circus of Horrors but we decided to miss it this time to soak up the atmosphere. There are side stalls galore with many games and photo opportunities available. There is a lot of different food options from noodles to hot dogs to burgers so there is something for everyone and its all reasonably priced. Also why not check out the little merchandise stand which has t-shirts, mugs, lanyards and a plethora of other merchandise. Why not chill with a cup of coffee and listen to the bands play on one of their two stages and if you're in need of even more thrills they also have a couple of rides.
Tulleys Shocktoberfest have once again pulled of a fabulously entertaining and terrifying event. The street theatre is incredibly entertaining and the mazes have a huge spectrum of fun to terror. I always love starting off my scare season in October with a visit here and once again its been a blast. Thank you to the entire team involved and thank you to the actors who put on an amazing experience for everyone too.
Tulleys Shocktober Fest is open 8th - 10th, 13th - 17th, 19th - 24th, 26th - 31st October and 5th and 6th of November. Tickets start from just £12.00 for a street pass and £35.00 for a maze pass. Additional maze tickets can be purchased on the night for £6.00 each. For more information and to book tickets you can visit the Tulleys Shocktober Fest website. Want more Tulleys goodness in your life? Od course you do. Why not visit one of their escape rooms. Tulleys offer so many different things its probably easier to just check out the Tulleys Farm website!