We set off late one misty October evening to drive along dark and winding country roads in search of a Halloween festival – the only one of it’s kind in the UK.
As the sun finally dropped below the horizon, we arrived at a set of gates topped with gargoyles and flaming torches.
We had finally reached Tulleys farm – by day an excursion for all the family. By night the home of Shocktober Fest, a scream park with a terrifying reputation.
Tulleys Shocktober Fest
Being Shocktober Fest virgins, we couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the scale of it all. Set on 30 acres of farm land, the park is filled with rides, live music, 3D cinema, food courts, licensed bars and eight haunted attractions (live action experiences).
With the Halloween atmosphere engulfing us we explored the park, meeting costumed characters and excited crowds. Not knowing quite what to expect, we embarked on our journey through the full range of experiences.
The Horrorwood Hayride
A great way to start the evening, the hayride is a leisurely drive through a long forgotten film set, haunted by a number of decaying cast members that refuse to leave. As the trailer is boarded by each creepy character, the passengers are confronted in a more fun than pertrifying way. The sheer length of the trip and scale of the sets is something to marvel at.
As you approach the font of the queue for this experience you’re likely to be shocked (as we were) to see the numerous hangmans ropes adorning the gallery and the large box full of black hoods – one of which you’ll be required to wear as you make your way around the maze.
Having little to no visibility the fear of what you can hear and feel is amplified. Only a solitary rope acts as your guide to freedom as numerous fiends torment you.
Coven of 13
This area takes a decidedly witchy turn as you make your way along a narrow track as hags leap up around you from beneath the low lying fog.
As you enter their cottage (and a particularly convincing witch), members of her coven persue you looking for vengence after their persecution.
The Creepy Cottage
Gouls and ghastly beings dwell around each corner of this authentic looking abode. They’re the ghosts of the previous tenants and if you don’t move fast, you’re likely to join them!
As you tread the squishy, uneven boards it’s hard enough to stay upright, a feat made even more difficult by the residents whose constant harassment is guaranteed to fill you with desperate fear.
If you thought that you had been in some tight situations earlier in the night, you’ll be pushed to your limits as you enter the most claustrophobic maze of them all.
Pressed tight against walls and low ceilings, there’s no way to avoid the creatures that lurk on the other side of the dark orifices that you must pass as you try to escape.
The arrival of this attraction couldn’t be better timed, off the back of the hugely successful cinema release of the killer clown horror film ‘IT’.
After donning a pair of 3D specs, you’re transported to a psychadelic realm filled with loud, garish characters.
Try not to get lost as the dizzying sights and sounds disorient you and threaten to break up even the most close-knit groups.
Scared of chainsaws much? Well you will be after going though this experience! Starting off as a tour of a redneck’s garage filled with car parts and noisy machinery, things take a turn for the worst when the decor becomes more ‘slaughterhouse’ and the buzzing begins.
Find your way through the blood spattered, zig-zagging iron corridors and past the animal carcases if you want to make it out in one piece.
Travel through a wormhole to a post apocalyptic world where infected mutants rampage the land, scavenging for fresh meat.
Unassuming from the outside the Colony incorporates the most terrifying features from the other mazes (except for the hood) and feels like the biggest of them too, as you make your way along a seemingly endless numbers of tracks and trails while your hunters stalk you.
The best Halloween experience
Without a doubt, this was truly the most full on, scare experience that I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. In fact, I can’t imagine a better way to prepare for Halloween.
No matter how tough you are, you can’t help but be amazed at the scale of it all and feel gripped with tension as you make your way around the various areas. This obviously means that it’s not suitable for everyone – it’s pretty full-on.
It’s pretty exhausting, so it’s a good thing that there are lots of other activities to give you a little break from it all. Whether that’s grabbing some food, enjoying the live music, blowing off some steam by firing veg out of cannons or looking around their impressive Halloween shop for some of those last minute decorations or gifts.
We struck lucky with mother nature’s added atmosphere (fog) but I can only imagine how much more exciting the place would be nearer to Halloween.
This is a Halloween experience not to be missed and I’m sure we’ll be paying it another visit next year.
For more information on Tulley’s Shocktober Fest and to buy tickets (including the Fast Pass which we highly recommend) visit their site: