• Matt

Reviewed: Pleasurewood Chills 2019

Updated: Oct 26, 2019

The annual Halloween event at Pleasurewood Hills is currently underway and will conclude with a firework finale on Sunday 27th October.

Pleasurewood Chills 2019 offers guests a combination of family friendly attractions such as face painting and pumpkin carving alongside two terrifying scare mazes. The park have teamed up with AtmosFEAR, a company that specialises in the creation of horror themed attractions.

Josh from Pleasurewood Place was brave enough to experience all that Pleasurewood Chills has to offer;

"For those of us who visit Pleasurewood Hills regularly, you will surely be familiar with the park’s Halloween event Pleasurewood Chills. However, this year we are treated to a host of new attractions including 2 brand new scare mazes; Hob’s Revenge and Full Scream Ahead.

Developed in partnership with AtmosFear UK the new scare mazes, located beneath the Castle Theatre and in the old restaurant train behind the ever dire and “no bumping allowed” Hyper Drive, have been created from the ground up, for 2 unique experiences.

Firstly, we visited the bigger of the 2 mazes Hob’s Revenge. Throughput is a bit slow as it appears that one group are allowed in the maze at one time which means a 7-8 minute wait per group. Upon entering maze you are confronted by a distressed urban explorer who tells you that her colleagues have been captured (possibly killed) by Hob who has returned. It is your job to find them. Hob takes a particular dislike to these so called Urban Explorers entering his mine.

As you descend further into the maze you have to duck, crawl and find your way round in pitch black surroundings whilst being frightened and tormented by Hob and his unfriendly miners.

SPOILER ALERT! In a unique twist at the end of the maze you are confronted by Hob himself who expresses his dislike for you. You have to sacrifice one of your team members to be locked away, whilst you leave the maze with one member less than you went in with! Eventually they are, of course, released but my wife was not too pleased with me pushing her forward to be the one who Hob’s retains in his prison cell!

All in all a decent maze experience but for me there could have been more scares and jump moments. Plus points were the pitch black and disorientation as well as the sections where you literally had to be on all fours scrambling through dirt in dark twisty tunnels. A solid 3/5 rating for me on this one.

The second maze was Full Scream Ahead. Before I go into the details of this one I will quickly explain why I thought this maze would be inferior to Hob’s Revenge.

Pleasurewood Chills, although a yearly event, doesn’t always treat us to genuine scare experiences. Sure they have ramped up the scares in Hob’s Pit in the past and last year the miniature train became the Terror Train. However, back in 2013 the park partnered with AtmosFear UK to create 2 mazes called Satan’s Circus (located beneath the castle) and Horror Express (based on the old train).

Satan’s Circus was a pure delight, scares round every corner and a must for anyone who hates freaky clowns. However, Horror Express was bit a disappointment in comparison. Over too quickly and didn’t really hit the spot, like I expected.

Which brings me onto this year’s offering which I went into with low expectations but came out with a big grin on my face.

SPOILERS: Slightly shorter to get through than Hob’s Revenge (approx. 5 minutes or so) you are greeted at the door of the train by the undertaker who explains that the bodies on his train are rising from the dead and you must enter the train for some reason or another (I can’t remember the reason he gave us as to why we had to enter the train other than we hate ourselves and like self-punishment!) As you enter you know in your mind that the train is long and narrow but you quickly forget and soon become disorientated. You are confronted by bangs, clatters, noise and the worst ghosts of all; little girl ghosts! Standing freakishly staring at you and then appearing in front of you is not for the faint hearted.

Towards the end you make your way through an ever-narrowing claustrophobic corridor before meeting the conductor and being chased off the train by a maniac with a chainsaw!

All in all, a scarier and freakier experience than Hob’s Revenge with a shock round every corner that leaves you breathless. Overall a fantastic 4.5/5 for Full Scream Ahead – an excellent addition to the event and well worth the £2.50 in costs (it costs £5 for both mazes which is exceptional value for what you experience).

Aside from the scare mazes Pleasurewood Chills also offered the fantastic Creep Crawly Cave where you can get up close and personal with some of your favourite (or not!) insects and spiders. Based in the castle theatre this event was free of charge and on at select times during the day which meant it could get very busy and take quite a time get through. Also on offer were face painting and pumpkins carving for a small additional cost.

The park in general was decorated with many-a-pumpkin and a number of scary figures placed ideally for a photo or selfie opportunity. Also on display was a fantastic Ecto 1 (the Ghostbuster’s car) replica which was fantastic for the 80s kids to get a bit nostalgic for! It certainly did me.

As for everything else, the park was operating all rides (apart from the Canonball Express and Go-Karts) and still running the ever popular Sea Lion and Parrot shows so there was plenty on offer. Overall a fantastic day out at Pleasurewood Chills 8/10."

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