Saturday night saw Scare Kingdom open its doors for their annual Valentines event Valenterror. With two attractions included in the ticket price, and Psychomanteum as an added upcharge, it’s the perfect first date for scare fans, but what did this year's event have in store. This review is going to be slightly different to normal as you’re actually going to get two reviews in one. There is a reason for this. Dan and Dane visited at an earlier time whilst Dom visited later in the evening and it turns out they had two different experiences of this event.
Dom - I was booked in for 8pm. We arrived, waited for the others in our group to arrive and then queued to get checked in. It was wet and cold but that didn’t stop the spirit and nervous excitement for my first experience of Scare Kingdom. We were led to Manormortis The House of Dracula. The actor who led us was really lovely and gave us a comedic yet creepy performance. We joined the queue waiting to go in and after about a 15-minute wait it was our turn.
Dan /Dane- We arrived at a wet and windy Scare Kingdom for around 6:20 pm for our 6:30 pm booking, we were told to wait in the warmth of the cafe which is quite limited in seating due to the fact that the park wasn't ready for entries, At around 6:50 pm we decided to join the queue outside to get our tickets checked in and by about 7.00 pm we were at the front of the queue met by a wonderful hooded host who brought an element of creepy comedy to the proceedings and proved to be the great start to Scare Kingdom we were used to, she walked us down to Manormortis and sent us on our way.
Manormortis - The House of Dracula
Dom - Our group of 6 were led in and we were greeted by Dracula himself. He welcomed us, explained the story of his house and then started splitting the group and sending them in groups of 2 with a glowstick. My pairing was sent in last and our adventure had begun. It was dark. It wasn’t pitch black but dark enough that you couldn’t see much. From what I could tell, the sets look highly detailed but it was hard to see in this incarnation of the attraction. The scares however came thick and fast and being at the back of our two I was picked on and followed and screamed at a lot. It didn’t feel like there was a finale as such, it just felt more like you came to the back door but it didn’t really detract from the experience, I just personally would have liked an ending but I still came out of Manormortis feeling like I was in for a good night and if that’s what we got for the first attraction than I was eagerly anticipating the next attraction.
Dan/Dane Our experience of Manormortis was very similar to that of Dom's. We queued for about 10/15 minutes, mainly due to the fact that there is usually a good gap between groups in Manormortis, However, it's worth noting that when we were due to enter Manormortis we did notice that the queue was building up behind us already. But it was nice to hear a familiar audio track from a certain past maze booming from within. We entered and met the main man himself, the Transylvanian overlord Dracula, although the look was less Hollywood Drac and more Vlad the Impaler which was appreciated. Given our glowsticks and were sent into the darkened halls of the Haxenghast Manor to join Dracula's ranks and meet the family. In the dark of this maze with just a glowstick it really does ramp up the scares which seemed to come from all angles, Manormortis did seem shorter than usual but I'm sure this is down to the fact with the glowsticks the normal stop-start theatrical format is taken away. As we journeyed to the end of the maze we started catching up to the other 4 groups of 2 ahead of us, this was not due to the actors but rather the leading guest not knowing how to navigate smoke and lasers, The actors in this area did deliver some impressive scares on exit, with one guy nearly "eating" Dan's face. But like Dom, it has to be said that the finale is a little non-discript as to the reason of what's going on and the random exit can detract from the experience.
Body Snatchers - Dick in the Dark
Dom - We joined a queue for Body Snatchers Dick in the Dark expecting it to be only a 10/15 minute wait like with Manormortis but boy was I wrong. We queued for nearly an hour for Dick in the dark. I was cold, wet and bored. When we finally got to the front of the queue the host actually had the audacity to ask if we were having a good night and offered no explanation or apology for the delay. She sent us in. We were greeted by a lady of the night character who was being drowned out by the incredibly loud and obnoxious sound system. I think she was explaining the story but I honestly have no idea as I couldn’t hear anything she was saying. We then met another character who was also being drowned out by the sound system. He sent us on our way and for some reason, we entered a basement, I have no idea why which we followed with very few scares. The only scare I got was from a hand grabbing my leg. We eventually found ourselves in a room where we were greeted by Dick Turpin and someone else. We were seated and then played a dungeon style show scene which actually was entertaining. The scares in this room were slightly predictable, especially if you’ve experienced the Dungeon attractions, but credit where credit is due, the scene was fun. We then exited the room and walked around a few small corridors and there was a cop who basically told us to leave. I honestly came out of the attraction disappointed and fed up to the point I didn’t want to experience Psychomanteum as it had gotten late by the time we eventually got out. Add the cold and wet to what the two hours for two attractions, I was done.
Dan/Dane - After another short wait of approximately 10 minutes, luckily inside a giant teepee we entered BodySnatchers. Like Manormortis's usual format this attraction is led with a strong theatrical story-driven experience which this time started with the local prostitute character Maggie whose surname does escape me. She told us all about the kind of "visitors" she gets and that there has been one in particular that left a lasting impression, the infamous highwayman Dick Turpin. Before long a more well-to-do gentleman shoos Maggie away with some comedic badinage and informs us of our job, To enter the Cellars and find Turpin ourselves. After this scene, we are taken to the cellar door where another character tells us that Turpin is captured in the cellar and we need to go make sure he's still there but to watch out for his followers that might try and stop us and with that its time to duck down and enter the cellar. This is where the first part of the traditional scares start to come from, some well-timed jumps and shouts come from unexpected places with calls such as "Stand and Deliver" and "Your Money or your life". Following this section we find ourselves in the sit down dungeonesque portion of the attraction, A police officer has Turpin chained up and justice is about to be delivered. Now if you have done BodySnatchers a few times like we have you know what to expect, however, something just seemed to be missing this time around, maybe due to the audio being so loud that we were straining to hear the actors speeches. Rest assured our captor escaped his binds and lead to the final escape out of the building and back into the cold of the night.
PSYCHOMANTEUM - Cupids Catacomb
Like we always state Psychomanteum is best experienced blind due to the pure nature of the experience so this is going to be fairly spoiler-free. For Dan, this might be his seventh Psychomanteum and for Dane, his third but nothing prepared us for possibly the "gaggiest" show the clinic has ever done that we have experienced, and Dan did Gourmet Cafe! The first encounter was with Cupid themselves "played absolutely fantastically filthy" who informed us we were now on a dating show being streamed to the dark web and gave us our first task which was pretty simple to accomplish with Dane being "performer" and Dan being the "voyeur". The second scene is where this incarnation of Psychomanteum will get its future infamy, Cue the interaction with Sh*tbag the gimp. Less said about this scene the better but rest assured we have it on good authority that not everyone has kept their "brown snack" down, never will onion taste the same again. The third scene involved some quick snap bodily positions whilst being judged on success, the fourth scene was a magic trick with a deeply sexual twist and the final scene brought back a returning character from Heartbroken, the dirty fabulous Cilla Noir. Sat back to back blindfolded we were given our final climaxing tasks leading to a moist ending. With that, we were told congratulations you've passed the tests now f**k off! Honestly, the entire cast of Psychomanteum provided for an exemplary show which really pushed some fun boundaries but it made Dan feel at least like this was the Psychomanteum he had always heard about, It may be in a new location but which might not have the dinge of the old but the clinic is on top form and we can't wait for our next appointment.
Dom - I won’t lie, Scare Kingdom Scream Park has a reputation of offering high quality scares and attractions but Valenterror had poor operations that impacted my first visit and it’s a shame that what was on offer wasn’t necessarily to the standard that Scare Kingdom have become known for.
Dan/Dane - This just goes to show how one night can be totally different whilst still maintaining some similarity. Maybe it was due to a slightly late start but our lines for both attractions were good for operations, with the only conga-line hiccup being the end of Manormortis but then again this was out of the actor's hands and was simply down to one guest that impacted the entire group. Both attractions for us were mostly successful and Psychomanteum stole the show. But there was clearly an issue with consistency on the night and being on a later ticket shouldn't impact your show. We do look forward to coming back again soon though.
Scare Kingdom Scream Park will be back on May 7th for their annual Walpurgis Night. Similar to Valenterror the event will have two attractions included in th ticket price in Manormortis Diodati and Body Snatchers Timetrapped as well as the upcharge attraction Psychomanteum Rainblow. Tickets are £15 plus a booking fee. For more information and to book tickets you can visit the Scare Kingdom Scream Park website.