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Halloween Review: Shocktober Fest

28th October 2013

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Want to scare yourself silly this Halloween, but can’t be bothered to organise your own party? The Shocktober Fest scream park is the perfect place to get your heart racing and blood curdling.

Set across the spooky Tulleys Farm on the outskirts of London near Gatwick, Shocktober Fest is a theme park like no other.

Made up of a haunted funfair, the Cirque de Shock and the Woodshock music stage, Shocktober Fest is home to live action zombies, mummies, ghouls and monsters of all varieties, who’ll jump out at you as you walk around the spooky event.

However, it is the six scare ‘experiences’ that really make this a worthwhile visit this Halloween. If you’ve never been lost in a haunted maze before, frantically grabbing onto the shoulder of the person in front of you while waiting for the latest horror to jump out at you, then you’re in for a treat. By the end of evening my voice had been reduced to a croaky mess from screaming and my nerves needed calming with a drink in the Aftershock Bar.

The haunts are truly terrifying. The sense of claustrophobia, anticipation and sheer fear as you walk around each maze is addictive. From the feral creatures of the Cellar Haunted House to the creepy clowns of the Twisted Maze, the live actors are superb and never anything less than convincing.

However, the two best haunts are Hell-ements and Woodshock. Hell-ements involves being led blindfold around the haunt as you descend to the depths of hell, with all your senses being tested, while Woodshock is a terrifying vision of the zombie aftermath of a music festival. Walking around Tulleys Farm’s cornfields in the dark, waiting for the next zombie encounter was genuinely thrilling, while the climax of the haunt involves a chainsaw, lots of running and guaranteed screams.

There are two slightly less scary haunts for those who can’t control their nerves. The Creepy Cottage is a good introduction to the park for those who want to test it out, while the Haunted Hayride is scary but also has some comic moments that keeps things lighter.

One of the most impressive things about Shocktober Fest is the way they vary the scares.

Essentially, the theme park is about walking around mazes and having scary things jump out and chase you. However, it never feels like that and each haunt has its own identity and forces you to confront a different fear, from claustrophobia walls to sense deprivation to fire and water. Because the actors are so good and the set design so perfect, it never feels fake and the scares are real – just ask Jonathan Ross, who was also getting his scare kicks on the night we visited.

The UK tends not to go all out for Halloween the way others do, but Shocktober Fest is the perfect antidote to pumpkins, bad costumes and trick or treating. Come along and you’ll be screaming, hugging complete strangers and swearing loudly (at least I did) around every corner. This is what Halloween is all about.

Tulleys Shocktober Fest runs until the 2nd November, so you haven’t got much time left to get your scares in. Opening times vary, but tickets start from £9.95 with an online discount. Tulleys Farm is located a few minutes from either Three Bridges or Crawley railway station, which in turn is 45 minutes by train from London.

To find out more and book, visit

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