Doncaster Fear Factory – Doncaster – October 2023

2023 sees the return of Doncaster Fear Factory for its 3rd year at Thornhurst Manor close to Doncaster in South Yorkshire. We really enjoyed our inaugural visit in 2021, but sadly couldn’t attend last year, so anticipation was high to see what improvements had been made since that first visit.

The event itself is set in a nicely smoky and eerily lit wooded area on the other side of the car park from Thornhurst Manor itself. After the ticket booths, there is a short walk before the first two mazes, Y.A.N.A. Gate and Diabolus – Keeper of Secrets. Just after is a large picnic table seating area with a lively DJ booth as well as food and drink options. Next up is a short walk to the entrance to The Pogo Club, and finally a slightly longer trip through the woods to the entrances to the final two mazes, The Chasm and The Legend of Crackle Hill.

Throughout the area, including the queue lines and even around the toilets the street team roam around terrorising anyone that looks scared or just generally causing mayhem, helping to create a fun atmosphere around the event. Just make sure you say no if someone offers to clean your teeth.

The Chasm

First up for us was The Chasm. We enjoyed the maze in its initial version in 2021 so it was great to see that this has been improved upon. This was based on a scientific military theme in an underground facility. Theming was great throughout and the actors were relentless, full of energy and not afraid to get up close, with some light touching. This set the mood nicely for the rest of the evening with a good combination of scares, fun theatrical scenes and lots of intensity.

The Legend of Crackle Hill

Next we entered The Legend of Crackle Hill. This was a more traditional haunted house style with a great facade and a wonderful extended theatrical opening. Kudos to the actor at the beginning here who, on our visits, consistently delivered their lengthy monologue. The rest of the maze was equally impressive with some fun scares, top notch actors throughout and great use of smells to give a good sense of a burning building. Another cracking maze.

Y.A.N.A. Gate

On our first visit, Y.A.N.A. Gate was probably our favourite at the event despite some dodgy pathfinding on our part, so we had high hopes again for this maze. It’s another scientific military lab where again things have gone wrong, which ties in to the story at The Chasm as well. The theming again was great, with some impressive smells. Acting again was really high energy and intense, with plenty of light physical contact. We even managed to leave the maze properly this time after the intense final room.

Diabolus – Keeper of Secrets

New for 2023 is Diabolus – Keeper of Secrets. Starting off with a nice church facade and theatrical intro, the next section became a bit of a mixed bag for us. We’d have liked to have seen a bit more use of the multiple confessional booths during the intro, and what came after is a very polarising effect often used in scare events and more maligned than loved. During the middle section our group had quite different experiences. This reviewer had a great time with some fun and inventive elements throughout, sadly others in our group had a slightly more solitary experience. At the end there was a cool scene in the church, but one major effect was sadly only witnessed by one member of our group. I’m sure as the season goes on these minor issues can be tweaked to make the experience consistent throughout. The intro and finale were clear highlights for us with the actors in these sections immersing you into the story.

The Pogo Club

Last up was The Pogo Club. Some nice touches on the facade and the banging dance music from inside clearly indicate that you’re about to enter into a nightclub. Pogo gives clues as to another marmite aspect to the theming. For us we loved the concept, clowns and nightclubs are a match made in heaven. Another fun and for some in our group terrifying intro we went into some of the worst smelling club toilets, unceremoniously bundled into a cubicle and from them the mayhem continued throughout. Our only minor criticism would be that the finale felt a little flat after the rest of the maze because of the way it flowed, not because of the actors who were great from beginning to end.


Thanks to Doncaster Fear Factory for inviting us to their press and media event. We had a blast, all the mazes were great fun with a great variety of traditional scares, great theatrical elements including the superb intros and more intense in your face scares. The latter is always something we thoroughly enjoy experiencing, especially when done with such great energy from the actors. All the actors throughout were brilliant, in and out of the mazes.

Visiting Doncaster Fear Factory is an easy no brainer if you are anywhere near and is definitely worth a longer trip for those looking for a slightly more intense scare experience. Doncaster Fear Factory runs on selected nights through to 29th October.

Doncaster Fear Factory 2021

Doncaster Fear Factory takes a slightly different approach to scare attractions and in our opinion one that works really well. It all starts with the social media content. Covering a story about fracking and some unwanted effects of such activity. This sets the backdrop to the storyline and the theme for the 3 scare experiences. Each experience follows the theme of destroying Mother Earth with each experience taking you further into the Doncaster Fear Factory world. The mazes can be visited in any order so we started with the furthest from the entrance working our way backwards. 



A dark and claustrophobic maze greets you. Taking you underground where you meet the creatures that live there. This maze has great scripted elements, some solid scares and the actors aren’t afraid to get up close and personal and the themeing is great. This all came together to give a nice start to the evening.


The next stop was Eden, more of a walk through than a traditional maze but great all the same. There was a fun element near the beginning where you may just spot a few of the Scare Directory team along with other ‘missing persons’ who submitted their photo. This was a really nice touch.

As we continued further into Eden we had some fun and sometimes humorous interactions with the inhabitants. There weren’t loads of scares in this area but we felt this wasn’t the aim. The area definitely had a more creepy vibe and I feel that worked in its favour offering a little bit of respite before the final maze. 


The final maze of our evening and a truly fabulous one to end on. The theming again was great throughout. There was a nice balance between scripted sections and impact scares. The actors really worked with our group well all the way to the final scene which was disorientating to the point we literally got lost. Our group ended up heading in the wrong direction and back through the maze. Due to the excellent batching we didn’t encounter any other guests so we were unsure if intentional or not. Finally we came across an actor who in character got us to where we needed to be. We think a little additional direction from the final actor would have avoided this. The experience of getting lost actually worked quite well even if unintentional. 


This was our first visit to any attraction by the Doncaster Fear Factory team. The scares were varied and worked really well. The additional characters roaming the woods added extra intensity and with actors not afraid to get close or possibly grab you the impact of the experience was only heightened. 

We’d highly recommend a visit to Doncaster Fear Factory. It’s also close to a few other events so you could possibly make a weekend of it if further away.

Scare Directory
Author: Scare Directory