On Saturday June 5th, PSG experienced the much-awaited Walpurgis Night by the Scare Kingdom team. Postponed from 2020, this one night only, sold out event based in Blackburn brings the spooky season forward for those who cannot wait for October.
The first thing we noticed was the new gathering area at the beginning of the event. Where before there were portable toilets and a queue line to enter the attraction, we were delighted to see a lot of seating, a food and drinks stand and a large tent for folks to gather beforehand. With the sun setting, it lent the area a relaxed and comfortable setting before the terror.After returning to the car to put our bags away as we were not allowed to take them through the individual attractions, we joined ScareTrack, Scare Directory and Miss Kate Monroe to see what the night had in store for us.
With the light lasting longer at this time of year, we were given a chance during our walk to take in the sights of the farm and revisit an old favourite attraction - The Paradise Foundation. Although closed for this particular seasonal event, it is a fan favourite for some of us at PSG and we enjoyed being able to take in the aesthetic as we travelled to the first maze.
So on to our first experience, Manormortis. The title of this years version is Malice in Underland, a play on Alice in Wonderland.
The visual exterior of Manormortis is always deceptively simple, keeping the attention on the few props to tell a story.The main piece this rendition had to offer was a tea party on a table. And to compliment these ornaments was a character named Devlin. She had the right amounts of cheeky and unnerving mannerisms and interacted with all the guests marvellously. When it was our turn to enter, Devlin led us to the first room and using social distance, performed a whimsical yet unsettling monologue to set the scene. The journey that followed led us to interact with many somewhat familiar characters, all developing the story as we progressed. At times it was difficult for the entire group to hear the story being told, but due to the safety measures in place with the use of masks, it was completely understandable, and the use of body language conveyed the message across anyway. The set is always beautiful in this attraction, however the one that stood out the most for us was the caterpillar and the way the body wrapped around the entire room which really encouraged a sense of abstract illusion. The only character we felt didn’t quite get enough of the spotlight was Malice herself, though the scene between her and The Red Queen was dramatic. We would have liked to have seen her in the final room, however the actors in the last room worked the space fabulously! Using different levels and props to separate the group, it really left us smiling as we exited.
There was no waiting before the next leg as we approached the latest instalment of Body Snatchers – The Highgate Vampire. The bishop greeted us outside and led us through the entrance. Throughout the first three rooms the story was told by the dynamic duo of Brimstone and the Bishop. You could tell the two actors enjoyed working with each other because their interactions were on point. Using comedy and body language we were in stitches from the very first moment, and even though masks were in use, not a word was lost. The maze of twisting corridors that followed was worked by actors that knew what they were doing. They worked the rooms, herding us into corners and trapping us at dead ends. There was even a tight corridor with a mesh either side so they could reach through keeping the screen between us and them.
The only slight change, which again due to the light outside for this time of year might not have been helped, is that during the finale in a pitch black room we could see the location of the vampire due to the white sleeves, but we reiterate, due to the daylight it could not have been helped, and the social distancing the vampire achieve especially in the dark was well done. Overall, my favourite version of Body Snatchers so far!
For the final part of the night we were eager to experience Psychomanteum. We won’t give anything away as the elusiveness of the attraction is what draws the crowds back season after season. What we can say is that the event this year was once again enjoyed as a pair, and myself and my friend and dear friend of PSG, Emma can safely say that we have never felt closer to each other. We were glad it was a hot summer night as we had to take off a few layers to keep up with the other inhabitants of the rooms within (though thankfully nowhere near as much as them). We were talking about Psychomanteum all throughout the night and even on the ride home the next day. This was my highlight of the night and my most enjoyable Psychomanteum to date, this was truly Scare Kingdom at its finest, and after most scares being scarce for the last year or so, it truly was an amazing night with friends. We give our utmost thanks to Scare Kingdom for hosting this event.
Scare Kingdom will be back in October with their Halloween event. Running on selected dates bewteen the 2nd October and 7th November with 5 scare mazes and 1 scare experience. The Paradise Foundation - Insurgence, Manormortis - Dead Knight, Gothica, Body Snatchers - Gunpowder Plot and Zozoz's Grind House - Skin Stitcher will all be included int he ticket price with Psychomanteum - The Second Coming being an upcharge. Ticket prices start from £20 up 5 (Additional booking fee will apply). Tickets for Psychomanteum are purchased at the event. For more information and to book tickets you can visit https://www.scarekingdom.com/halloween-season