Scream Camp 2021
Scream Camp will always be a special event for Scare Directory being the event that Ashley and Steven met for the first time. The whole team were able to attend this event and as it was Josie’s first time this review has been written primarily from her perspective.
Scream Camp… Wow. This was my first time visiting and beyond the promo video and excited whispers about how amazing it is I really didn’t know what to expect. From the moment we arrived at Higher Counterhill Farm it was clear that health and safety is paramount to the event. On arrival everyone had to stay in their cars while they completed a Covid test (all negative, phew!) and during the wait we were introduced to the ‘Evil Twins’ who kicked off the entertainment in a way that set high expectations for the night. We were not disappointed.
After arriving at camp and unloading into our tents we were introduced to ‘Tracy and Lola’, two hilarious and wacky sisters who were our hosts for the evening. They did an excellent job of setting the tone with a creative narrative that called back to previous events the team had run. We were told that ‘The Boss’ was on the farm looking to recruit followers to his cult and that through the night we would go through gruelling tests to decide if we were Superior or Inferior followers. Group members were picked one by one until we’d all be split into two teams: Team Tracy and Team Lola. This instigated some fantastic competition and team camaraderie. As dusk started setting in we gathered around the fire and got to know each other while Tracy, Lola and the Evil Twins entertained us with their banter and playing games to earn points for our respective teams. Just as darkness crept in and we started to feel settled and comfortable, we heard chainsaws in the distance and Tracy and Lola told us to hide in our tents. What followed was a test of camp goers’ mental and physical limits.
At various times throughout the night we were blindfolded, led off into the night in small groups and bundled into The Boss’s Uber for a hell of a bumpy ride before he and his followers got stuck into tormenting us. I won’t go into too much detail to save the surprises but if you plan on attending you should expect to get dirty, wet and a tad bruised. Wear old, comfortable clothes and practical shoes, and go in with an open mind. Expect to be insulted, manhandled and fiercely competitive, and in between challenges laughing until your cheeks hurt.
Between the abductions, we bonded whilst toasting marshmallows over the fire and playing more games. As the sun rose we were all together again, sharing our reflections on the nights events and continuing the competitive banter. At this point there was a serious medical emergency involving one of the group (unrelated to the event) and the team sprung to action. All of the actors recognised there was a problem instantly and performed incredible first aid whilst also managing the group. The level of professionalism and care in handling the situation was outstanding.
In addition to Covid safety prior to the event and the quality emergency response, the importance of safety is evident in each of the challenges. Throughout the night each interaction is designed to push you but the team has been creative in delivering high impact challenges which enable you to test your limits whilst ensuring the safety of those attending.
Not only was there a medical emergency but there was also a trio of attendees who arrived together very late and were disrespectful of the event and the team from the outset. The rest of the group made attempts to bring them into the fun with little success and the team did an amazing job of managing the difficult individuals without impacting the experience for the rest of the group.
Overall, the story of the night was effective, well written and the setting was perfect. The scare actors were all committed and intense, and the quality of the acting was outstanding. The challenges were well spaced out through the night and were just excellent. The only very minor constructive comment I have was that the team could incorporate a couple more physical games around the camp fire in between abductions, but even with the games we played we still had so many laughs. Scream Camp was a night I will never forget and I will definitely be back.
There are limited spaces for the 2021 run so if you like the sound of this event check out the Scream Camp website for more.
Scream Camp The Ritual 2019
It was a dark and stormy Friday evening (sorry couldn’t resist) as we made our way up to Higher Counthill Farm on the Pennine moors near Oldham. On arriving we had to drive past a group of eerie looking people wearing cowled white robes, standing silently and creepily staring at us as we parked up. We and ten others that evening had been chosen to attend The Ritual, led by the mysterious Charlie Howell, and his band of acolytes.
The Ritual is this year’s Halloween event from the team behind the amazing Scream Camp. Their initial event earlier in the year was what got Steven started on his journey of discovery in to all things scare related (and where Ashley and Steven first met) and so this very limited run of only two nights was a must for us. From the opening it was clear that this was a very different beast to the summer event.
Whilst the Summer Scream Camp was full of fun and frolics around the campfire interspersed with more intense scenes, the Ritual started off as a much more serious and sombre affair. Once it got in to full swing we had our vision deprived from us before being led to the opening scene and introduced to Charlie and the overarching narrative was explained to us.
What followed was a series of different scenes designed to test our worthiness to become one of his cults Superiors , if we failed or disappointed him we would be anointed as an Inferior. Each of the different scenes elicited a different potentially trigger inducing emotional state. From the very beginning we were made to feel vulnerable, incited in to what we would potentially do to other strangers, and witnessed a hilarious dance routine. We will never remember that particular song in the same way again.
There were some disgusting things to be done and smelt, a team building exercise with particularly messy consequences, elements of mental and, mild for us physical endurance plus a similar to the Summer, a rather daunting trust section, although this was a very different experience. The three hours of this event led to a particularly powerful and emotional crescendo, parts of which will stay with us for a long time.
In our humble opinion the Scream Camp team have knocked it out of the park yet again, creating an event that is very, very different from a traditional Halloween ‘boo’ scare event and have produced a hugely intense immersive piece of horror theatre, that took us through a barrage of different emotions.
Scream Camp The Ritual took the group on an emotional journey. Testing our limits with a beautiful piece of immersive theatre. It was an attack on all the senses and was a stunning, emotional, tear jerking, fun, fearful, distressing and overall fantastic event.
Scream Camp 2019
Higher Counthill Farm in Oldham was the location where 23 campers joined Tracey and Lola for a night of spooky stories, campfire games and marshmallow toasting. Sounds quite nice, doesn’t it?
We arrived just before 9 PM and were met by the producers who handed us the waivers. This is a full-contact event so the waiver was needed to highlight the possible things that could happen. We were given the safe word ‘MOUSE’ and given a briefing about how the night would work. Shortly after this, we were greeted by Tracey who walked us to camp where we also met Lola.
The camp was set out well with a number of tents around a roaring campfire. We placed our items into the tent, not really expecting to sleep much I didn’t even unpack the sleeping bag.
Around the campfire, we had an icebreaker where we got to know everyone. Shortly after this, we were put into teams. I ended up on team Tracey. We played a number of fun camp games throughout the night all gaining us points for our respective team. Being quite competitive I really got into this and did my best for team Tracey.
It wasn’t long before we were instructed to get into our tents, it was from this point the night started to get scary. I’ll do my best to remain spoiler-free as not to ruin it for people who haven’t been yet.
Throughout the night we were ‘selected’, meeting The Boss, Shadow, Luna and the Doc. We faced a number of tasks and challenges pushing people to their limits of fear. Very quickly into the first task the safe word was shouted by one of the other campers this meant that the task was over for them but continued for everyone else which was a nice touch giving everyone the ability to take part and not be excluded from the other activities if it was just one that they didn’t like.
Back at the camp it became apparent that one group of campers were not fully into the experience, this was handled professionally by the team who escorted them safely from camp.
The night was relentless with tasks and campfire games going on for most of the night. Around 5AM we had one last team challenge and the points were added up. Initially, we thought team Lola had taken the win but after a recount, it became apparent that team Tracey became victorious.
This was a well put together and carefully run event. I found each task to be challenging and innovative with each one having key elements that would test people in different ways. The event isn’t for those of a nervous disposition but if you want to push yourself, love being scared or just want to have a unique camping experience Scream Camp is for you.
My thanks go out to the team for putting together a superb event that is something different for the UK. Scream Camp has sold out for this year as well as the Halloween show but I’m hoping after the success of this years event it returns next year.
You can find out more at the Scream Camp website.