Horror at Hinchingbrooke House 2023 Review
We’ve had a couple of mixed experiences previously when visiting Horror at Hinchingbrooke House, just outside Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, so we were keen to return and see how this year’s event stacked up. Thankfully it was a triumphant return to form for us and up there as one of the best experiences so far this spooky season.
First up as you enter the foreboding gates that wouldn’t look out of place in a castle wall, you have the spooky and very atmospheric Hinchingbrooke House itself, resembling a grand mansion out of classic horror movies. In the front court you have a couple of food and drink options as well as a photo collection booth. There were also a few roaming actors entertaining in this area and occasionally terrorising the car park on their very loud motorbike (a nice touch).
Horror at Hinchingbrooke House is a linear scare event as you wind your way through a couple of buildings, tents and open areas, each with their own distinct themes. The whole thing will take about an hour.
We were lucky enough to go through as a group of three, but generally batches are grouped with 6 to 8 people and at the start there is a very healthy amount of time that is left between the people entering. In a few key spots, there are also marshals who regulate the flow of groups going into the next section. Through our run we only started to encounter other groups in front and behind in the last quarter of the experience so we had to self-regulate a little when it came to entering sections where there wasn’t a marshal.
This was a vastly better experience than our previous visit, where bunching of groups became an issue in the first section and lasted throughout the run. Thankfully this wasn’t the case this time and we were largely undisturbed by other guests. We were however disturbed by the huge number of actors from the beginning to the end of the entire experience.
For us, the level of intensity and the hands-on approach that Horror at Hinchingbrooke House use, has always been a massive plus point to the experience and again this latest incarnation is no exception. Scares are impactful, numerous, come from all angles, use distraction well and as mentioned you will be touched, pushed, moved around and in one of our groups case, carried off somewhere.
Sections are varied and are changed up every year. You start off inside the imposing house itself which is always an atmospheric start to proceedings. In here the actors in a variety of different themes from creepy nuns and priests to a recently popular animatronic creepy dancing doll to a particularly bloody prom scene. The actors brilliantly set the tone right from the start.
Next up was the always entertaining school section which is a mixture of popular TV and movie themed sections. The zombie lifeguards right from the start were superb, acting more like zombies than any we’ve seen before.
The next section was similar, but more homages to familiar tropes. The orange jumpsuited women prisoners again set the tone brilliantly through to the werewolf bikers and one very ‘friend’ly section.
The intense scares continued throughout, passed some lost hikers in a forest, some voodoo inspired areas, cannibal Texans, eerie corn fields, a toy factory with a brilliant operation based scare and ending with a chaotic and intense extended clown section. The touching of the chainsaws was quite light, which reduced their impact for us. We are quite jaded by chainsaws though so unless we’re being properly attacked and touched by them, they’re unlikely to garner much of a reaction from us. Very minor quibble though.
We had a great time at Horror at Hinchingbrooke House. The intensity and breadth of themes was as great as ever and the batching problems we’ve had in the past were vastly improved. Thank you to the team at Horror at Hinchingbrooke House for inviting us along, we look forward to seeing how you manage to top it again next year.
Horror at Hinchingbrooke House 2021 Review
We had a fantastic time at Horror at Hinchingbrooke House back in 2019, so expectations were quite high for its return in 2021. Unusually we arrived at the impressive venue just outside Huntingdon a bit early. As soon as the previous timed entry slot queue had died down we were allowed to join and, after a short wait enter the attraction bang on the start of our slot.
Horror at Hinchingbrooke House is one long walk through attraction with a series of distinctly themed scenes as you wind your way through the old house, the school and a number of marquees in the grounds.
The opening section in the old house is impressive with fencing / barriers being used to create the maze with some nice bits of set design and theming dotted around. The actors in this part were probably the most impactful of the run, not afraid to get up close and personal and a little bit touchy at times.
Next up, after a particularly impactful outdoor chainsaw scene, we entered the school buildings, which had been decked out as a wonderfully fun, horror version of Rydell High. As the Grease soundtrack blasted through our walk, the actors did a good job again getting a few impactful scares.
The rest of the event follows a similar pattern with a number of different themes, and ended up with a visit to Arkham Asylum. One brilliant interaction with a couple of Jokers henchmen before we went in.
Sadly it was a day of terrible batching. Despite a healthy wait of a few minutes and walking at a snails pace, and being held up by actors at numerous points we quickly caught up with the group in front, and were caught up from groups behind us. In the initial briefing you are instructed to wait and / or overtake, which we did, but sadly to no avail. It also doesn’t help when some groups keep to the utterly pointless hands on shoulders rule.
The constant stop / start nature of our run, and actors unable to properly reset meant we missed a great deal of what were likely to be brilliant scares and interactions with the predominantly high energy and passionate acting troupe. They were excellent when they could focus their attention and did their best when unable to.
That said, we still had a really enjoyable time at Horror at Hinchingbrooke House, and will return again. If the issues with batching could be sorted, this would easily be up there with the best.