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.
The Ritual has already ended for 2019, however tickets are still available for the Summer Scream Camp event in 2020. We can’t wait to see what that will be like.