My Deadly Valentine – Extreme Live Experience – Stoke on Trent

Valentine’s Day, up until relatively recently, was a popular time of year for a few attractions to put on an event and offer us some much needed out of season scares. Sadly a lot of these events no longer run, so it was nice to see that Museum of Horrors was putting on another of their live actor experience days at the end of February entitled My Deadly Valentine.

Museum of Horrors is based in Stoke on Trent and runs regular tours of the museum most of the time, but now is also running live actor scare experiences on a regular basis. These scare days offer two different experiences with standard shows taking place during the day and in the evening they switch it up to their extreme version of the event. As our tastes skew towards more intense experiences we decided that we’d might as well jump in the deep end and go for the extreme version, so this review can’t speak for the original scare experience, nor for the regular museum tours.

Instructions were to arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before our allotted slot and so we turned up to the fairly ominous looking building on a street in Stoke on Trent. Other than a few posters with the Museum of Horrors logo on them, nothing gave away too much of what lay inside. After a short wait we were let in and immediately got a very warm welcome from Bozo the Clown. After a brief inspection in the entrance / reception area we were led into another room of the museum for the calm before the storm. We were handed our waivers and the team were very good at emphasising the safe word and to let them know of any medical conditions so that this could be relayed to the team.

Paperwork sorted, it was time to start and our group of three (two others were a no show) meant it was a very small group for the event. Obviously we’ll try to steer clear of any spoilers in the review, but what followed was a good 35 – 40 minute experience in a few of the rooms at the Museum of Horrors. It started off with some theatrical scenes based on horror movie themes, before a final scene in the basement.

Each of the theatrical scenes had two actors in it, and there were many more down in the basement. Since it was just the three of us, it meant that we all got plenty of attention from the various characters that we met. Each scene had some level of interaction and it was where some of the more intense elements were used. It felt like there was a gradual ramp up in the intensity, but for our money, one of the most disturbing elements came near the beginning when we were made to lightly interact in a way that made us way more uncomfortable than anything that came later. We’d love to see more events and elements that lean more into similar psychological aspects of this than the more traditional gross out messy aspects that are usually present.

That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for these messier parts, and if that’s what you’re after in an experience then Museum of Horrors Extreme experience won’t disappoint in that regard. Smells were used effectively in the earlier rooms and as mentioned the intensity of the elements was gradually ramped up throughout. The actors were all on good form throughout and it was great to see so many of them. We had one other member of staff in each of the theatrical rooms, which did reduce the immersion sadly. We felt that this could be enhanced if there was a bit more of a character element to the role. If it was akin to a crypt keeper style character it could help add some narrative throughput to the experience and would mean that it could be more joined up rather than just a series of scenes to be experienced.

One other aspect that grated with us was during the finale in the basement. This is understandably where the most physical elements take place, and it started with gusto, with one excellently timed and executed scare that hit really well. Sadly the dialogue, as well as the usual style of humiliating content, relied too much on an insistence for us to utter the safe word. Thankfully the behaviour wasn’t matching the dialogue as we’d hate to see this become more of an endurance effort, than an intense experience. For us, experiences should be about pushing boundaries, sometimes physical and definitely psychologically. The goal should never be to get someone to safe word. Though as said thankfully in this instance the goading was just verbal and not reflected in the physical elements. It’s also worth noting that during the basement scene we were separated from the others in our time slot, so we have no idea what happened to them. They were in the reception area when we were finally let out, however. We emerged back onto the street 40 – 45 mins after entering.

Museum of Horrors markets the experience as extreme, and whilst it is definitely much more intense than your usual walk-through scare maze, it is less intense than say some iterations of Psychomanteum, Walsall Scare Maze’s Enola or Horroland’s extreme experiences. It definitely doesn’t veer into what we would understand as a true extreme immersive horror show either. It is however messy fun, with a game troupe of actors who did a great job, some nice theming and effects, and at £20 for around 40 – 45 minutes we felt it was decent value, especially so given the large number of actors and very small number of guests.

Museum of Horrors have already opened up booking for their next live actor scare event, “Beaster Day’ over the Easter weekend at the end of March. We’d love to see how this event is enhanced and built on over time especially as we do enjoy some out of season scare events and especially so events that cater for more intense experiences. More details and booking for their next event or for the normal museum tour can be done through their Facebook page or their website 

Scare Directory
Author: Scare Directory