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Scarefest: more details

Park News
Wednesday, 18th July 2007 By Dan Ketteringham

The park have released new information on this year's Halloween event, the Alton Towers Scarefest.

As previously expected, there will be three haunted mazes this year - one on park and the other two at the hotels.

Making a welcome return will be Terror of the Towers, the maze that takes guests through the Towers ruins themselves, which will not be suitable for those under the age of 14. The press release about the event states: "The Master of the Towers has made room at his table for a few more guests - will you be on the menu?"

Also at the park, it's now confirmed that the Haunted Hollow - the spooky short-cut between Merrie England and Gloomy Wood which is new this year - will have live actors in it during the Scarefest event. According to the park it will be suitable for "brave families" but not for small children.

Over in Fountain Square (between Ug Land and Cred Street), there will be a laser, lights and special effects show set to spooky-themed music playing three times a day in the evenings throughout the event. It will be suitable for all the family.

Speaking of Cred Street, it will keep its kid-friendly theme for the event, with lots of activities suitable for the little'uns. The press release says there will be a Pumpkin Patch playground, Trick or Treat doors, flying witches, barmy bats and a pile-up of pumpkins.

Over at the hotels, the haunted maze Room 13 is confirmed as making its return in 2007, after last year's successful debut. Situated in the Alton Towers Hotel, next to the Secret Garden restaurant, Room 13 will only be suitable for older children. The blurb states: "Over 10 years ago, the hotel management locked and bolted the door of Room number 13 after guests began reporting some disturbing occurrences during the night. Now each Halloween we open the door to Room 13 to the brave and the foolhardy. Step inside and face the terrors [that] lie within." Like last year, the maze will get scarier as the evening progresses.

Outside the hotel will be another haunted maze, The Field of 1000 Screams. Preparation for this new maze started months ago, with maize being planted ready for the event. The press release says: "Picture the scene. A lowly field of corn gently swaying in the breeze. Night falls. Shadows begin to appear from within the depths of the field. What lies within? Dare you investigate?" The maze will be suitable for "brave families", and like Room 13 the later it gets, the scarier the maze becomes. Free for hotel guests, it is expected that both Field of 1000 Screams and Room 13 will also be available to day guests, but for an extra charge.

Inside the hotels, there will be more entertainment during the event, all of it family-friendly, including the Dance with the Devil show, The Monster Mash party, as well as fancy dress competitions, trick or treat trails and spooky bedtime stories with Captain William.

Also at the hotel will be a Halloween zoo, where legs will be the main theme, available on selected dates throughout the event. Kids can expect to see tarantulas, millipedes, snakes and spiders as they attempt to conquer their phobias.

Finally, one of the most interesting additions to this year's line-up are the Scare Rooms at the hotels. Subject to availability, these rooms won't be so good for the actual sleeping, but are sure to be a big hit with those who like a good scare. The press release says: "Ever heard strange tapping noises in the night and not been able to justify who or where they are coming from? Stay in one of our dedicated Scare Rooms this Halloween, and we guarantee you'll be first to check-out as dawn breaks!" It's rumoured that those brave enough to stay in one of these rooms can expect frights up until 2am!

It's fantastic to see so much effort being put into the return of the Halloween event, which is of course replacing the traditional end-of-year Fireworks shows, hampered in recent years by legal action from disgruntled local residents, Mr and Mrs Roper.

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A good meet up place is by the leapfrog fountains on Towers Street.