We attended Blackpool Pleasure Beach for the press night of Journey to Hell – Freak Nights a new experience coming to the Pleasure Beach this October. Like most attendees, we weren’t quite sure what to expect from the event, but shortly after 6
The room was dimly lit, the central circular section of the building was nicely decked out with coloured lighting giving the vintage carousel horses an eerie glow. The space was filled with spooky props and we were offered the choice of a blue or red blood bag drink, with or without a syringe of alcohol, whilst everyone mingled. After a while, still wondering what was next, a siren went off. Everyone stopped what they were doing as it went off again, then a very angry post-apocalyptic ‘American’ survivor burst in to the room, hurling instructions and abuse around whilst selecting the first batch of people to ‘get a f*cking move on’.
Confusion reigned with the rest of us, but after a few more minutes we had the same treatment ‘Faster, faster’ he shouted not wanting to get caught by whatever we were running from we all sped up as we were hastily hustled to Pasaje Del Terror. Another short wait with some nice interaction with the queue actors and our not very friendly saviour, we went through the usual, and always fun, Pasaje del Terror experience in a nice small group of four. We were blessed with a screamer in our group, which for both of us always makes the experience way more fun.
As usual Pasaje del Terror didn’t disappoint and actors were on top form. As we were a smaller group of only four we got the opportunity to see more theming than ever.
After the Pasaje del Terror run through, we exited into the Horror Bar, which had been brilliantly decorated as well, there was more blood bag and slushy drinks on offer, burgers with blood-red buns, spooky cake and a display of all the cool merchandise that will be on offer. We got talking to some of the other invitees whilst we waited for everyone to go through the Pasaje del Terror. Some of the reactions as people exited were hilarious.
Once we were all gathered together, fed and watered. The creative team behind the Journey to Hell – Freak Nights event gave us more detail about the event and a short video trailer. After the video, we, and many others were very surprised by the appearance of a number of scare actors who roamed around the room and interacted with everyone.
Each of them gave an impression as to what might be expected during the upcoming event, from the silent plague doctor with their hood, the hilarious cannibal hillbilly, angry American survivor again, creepy circus ringmaster, fixated with his alternative teddy bear, sultry blonde vixen, sinister nun with her bible and Ouija board and a favourite, angry sullen post-apocalyptic angry guy. He loved getting into staring contests Steven might have upset him at one point as he complimented him on his mascara and eye shadow. He didn’t take that well, crouching to the floor and letting out an almighty scream.
All in all a really fun and informative couple of hours. Many thanks to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Pasaje del Terror for putting it on, it was great to meet and chat with the creative team behind this event and their passion and vision genuinely came through as well as getting to chat to the other invitees and meet some people we’ve either known on social media for a while or met at previous events. Our only regret is that we won’t be able to attend due to prior commitments. We are both genuinely gutted by this.
The described event does sound like a solid concept, instead of following the more traditional theme park approach of multiple unconnected scare mazes and scare zones. Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Pasaje del Terror have instead opted for an overarching story across the whole evening, with three scare mazes, some in areas of the park previously inaccessible to the public e.g. the tunnels, two immersive pieces of horror theatre and a night ride on one of the parks rides with a final run through of Pasaje del Terror, ending in the Dracula-themed Horror bar that will have a DJ, entertainment and will be open until 3am. It also sounds like this will be a more adult event with some S&M elements to some of the scares and the bar.
We really hope that they do well in the short run this year as we feel like they are trying to do something slightly different in the UK scare attraction industry, and variety is always a good thing. We also hope it does well so that they can prove the concept and do more events in the future, ones that I hope we can attend.
This event looks epic and is definitely not one to miss.