Alton Towers has, for some years now, extended their season to capitalise on the Halloween trade with their annual Scarefest.
Opening the park until 9pm, the rollercoasters and kids rides continue running into the darkness ( a treat in itself), but the focal point become the hair-raising mazes inside the old towers in the middle of the park, designed to put the frighteners on you. And believe me, they do.
With names like ‘Terror of the Towers’ and the deceptively-sounding ‘The Sanctuary’ - an asylum in which the crazed patients have taken over - it’s never going to be just a walk in the park.
Stumbling single file through the underground mazes in groups of 10, you’re greeted with all manner of sights, sounds and weird smells.
You’re then preyed on by all manner of hideously terrifying actors, ready to jump out and leave you a nervous wreck. You know it’s coming, but not when, and that’s the worst, and best, part.
For the ultimate rush, make sure you’re at the front of the group, it’s guaranteed to have you quaking in your boots.
The downside is that to enter both mazes, it’s an additional £14, on top of the £49 entry into the park, and can prove a costly family day out.
Plus, many descend on the attraction at dusk (as we did) for the full Halloween effect, leaving some pretty lengthy queues.
But even if you choose to skip the spooky stuff, it’s still a thrill-a-minute novelty to ride rollercoasters in the dark, and walk around the park bathed in green light, dry ice, and plenty of revellers dressed to kill, literally.