GALLERY: Terrifyingly good fun at Alton Towers' Scarefest at VIP opening
Seeking ghoulishly good times and spine-tingling scares?
Alton Towers has something for all the family - from chilling scare mazes, to eery actors, kid-friendly Halloween-themed fun and more.
New to the park for this year are two scare maze attractions - The Attic: Terror of the Towers and Darkest Depths.
Darkest Depths, located in the park's pirate-themed Mutiny Bay, tells the tale of a terrifying ghost ship The Mutiny, filled with sirens, The Kraken and petrifying pirate ghouls.
This maze, though recommended for aged 10 and above, was for us certainly the scariest of the two new mazes, with actors made up with creepy - though excellent - make-up, from barnacle-filled faces, to blood-dripping cheeks and disturbingly effective contact lenses. They somehow know exactly how to terrify those who enter, with blood-curdling noises and the ability to make visitors jump at every turn.
The Attic, meanwhile is based on a story around the spirit of The Governess who was killed by her master, surrounded by little ghosts in an eery, dark setting. Though we found this one a little less scary than the latter it was still very effective - and had the woman behind us screaming in terror as we walked around the pitch-black attraction.
Other scare mazes on offer at Alton Towers are Project 42, Altonville Mine Tours: Uncover the Legend of the Skin Snatchers, Sub Species: The End Games, and The Alton Towers Dungeon.
Each of these experiences are ranked in term of 'scariness' with a pumpkin rating - the most frightening being given six pumpkins and described by the park as 'for those with nerves of steel, the creatures will touch you'. Under this rating, Sub Species is the most scary, followed by The Attic, Project 42, and Altonville Mine Tours, then The Alton Towers Dungeon and Darkest Depths.
Scarefest also gives visitors the chance to experience rides in the dark as the park is open until 9pm - these include Wicker Man, The Smiler, Nemesis and others.
A whole host of celebrities attended the the VIP opening this year, from Atomic Kitten's Natasha Hamilton, to stars from Hollyoaks, Coronation Street and more:
Scarefest runs on October 12 and 13, then every day from October 18 to November 3. It began last weekend.
For those looking for a little lighter Halloween-themed entertainment, or for those with children, there is also plenty on offer.
The Freaky Fun Zone, recommended for children under the age of eight and located at the bottom of Towers Street, hosts a range of fun shows for little ones: Patch's Halloween Party, Skelvin's Spooky Storytime, Phil and Franklyn's Ghoulish Games, and Gretyl's Spell School.
Youngsters can also enjoy the Monster Ball at CBeebies Land's Big Fun Showtime, featuring TV favourites Bing, Ubercorn, Hey Duggee and more.
There is street theatre on offer too for all the family from The Alton Ancestors, which takes place at Towers Street between 10am and 1pm, and at Gloomy Wood between 2.30pm and 5pm.
Visitors can also enjoy the excellently eerie atmosphere of the park decorated for Halloween, with more than 400 pumpkins across the resort, 350 specially-fitted light illuminating the Towers, pathways and more, and 25 smoke machines adding to the effect.
A tremendously good time for those of all ages and dispositions - frighteningly great fun.
- Scare maze tickets start from £5 per person and can be pre-booked at altontowers.com/scarefest
- Theme park tickets are available from £34 for adults and £28.50 for children when booked online five days in advance.
- Hotel stays start from £42 per person, per night, on a bed and breakfast basis.
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