Next up on Sunday’s double feature was a trip to Halloween World at Cattows Farm near Coalville in Leicestershire. Cattows Farm grows pick your own fruits such as pumpkins, strawberries and other soft fruits. They also have a farm shop and tea room.

Halloween World is completely run by an external company 2Four6 and is in its first year and features two mazes, Clown Carnevil and Field of Screams. It’s not clear on the website, but the family-friendly maze is not a third one, but a daytime-only event.

On arrival, the first thing that’s noticeable is the amount of mud. Wear wellies ideally, boots if not and anything you don’t mind getting splattered in mud. British weather in October is usually horrible and we’ve been to our fair share of outdoor events that have suffered from the weather. This event from the fairground entrance through to the trails themselves are by far the muddiest we’ve ever been to. At the stage that we went around, even adding a bunch of hay, probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference.

Before you enter the main event, there’s a small area with a burger van, sweet van, one midway game and a travelling ride. It looks like there is a lot more nearby including a ghost train, but it was all closed. As we entered, one of us had our temperature checked. Not sure why just one of us needed checking. We were gifted VIP tickets which allowed us to go through the two mazes as many times as we’d like and a torch each. We didn’t really need them, but other groups did use them. Torches and shoe protectors were also available as an up-charge on the standard ticket price of around 20 quid.

We weren’t sure how the event would be run and we ended up waiting for about 15 mins in the VIP queue before we could enter. It looked like others had been waiting in the standard queue for a lot longer. The main entrance had a nice façade and we had the usual COVID safety briefing with a third helping of alcogel. There was a short walk with a couple of fun scares before we ended in another queue this time for Clown Carnevil.

During the time we spent in the queue, in front of another impressive circus-themed façade, we were entertained by a ringmaster who helped in a nicely theatrical style tell us the story of this maze. Sadly, this decent entrance wasn’t consistently kept through the rest of the maze. We’ve already mentioned the mud, but it is worth reiterating just how bad it was and you spend most of your time concentrating on staying upright, that when the few actors along the maze do anything, it really doesn’t land. That said there were a couple of OK scares, but that was about it and the long linear walk through the corn maze had very limited theming, and some of the props we encountered didn’t make much sense.

Next up was Field of Screams (Extreme Edition). Like the previous maze, this had a nice façade and was well introduced by another theatrical actor giving us the expositional spiel. Sadly, for us, this “more extreme” maze felt anything but. Fewer actors and those that there were there didn’t hit as well as they could have, we were again compounded by another incredibly muddy path. From a COVID point of view it felt safe, actors kept their distance and were wearing masks. With the batching, we never caught up with anyone else and only had other customers get near us towards the end of the second maze. There were a couple of bits of theming, but that was pretty much it.

Whilst we could have gone around again, given the struggles in the mud and honestly not feeling that anything would have been markedly different, we decided not to and made our way to the exit some 45 mins after we’d entered.

We love a good maize maze and when done well can be very effective, even in the current climate as an outdoor maze is easier to keep more COVID-secure. Sadly, the lack of actors, very little theming and of course all the mud, meant we didn’t have a great time at Halloween World and sadly this experience doesn’t feel worth the 20 quid it would cost for a standard ticket. Hopefully things can improve for any future events.

Author: Steven