As the final scare attraction I visited, on Sunday the 30th of October we drove out and visited the highly acclaimed York Maze Hallowscream event. My overall impression of this event was that it was definitely promising, however had quite a number of flaws that really pulled down the evening.
One was being that there was a lack of actors in the mazes, especially in Carnevil. The general atmosphere outside however was fantastic; actors were wandering around all over the place, chasing people, which was great, but, the mazes in terms of actor presence were not. On the plus side, the sets were very good, and the Curse of the Corn was probably the better part of the evening as actors were in abundance here. However, our group encountered the problem of missing scares due to catching up with other groups, and this was also a problem in Carnevil on top of there being barely any actors. So, I definitely think a better management system for separating groups (maybe set periods of time before letting groups through?) is needed here.
An overriding method of scaring people in York Maze Hallowscream this year was extremely loud noises. Now, I can tolerate the odd air pressure blast, but in Barnageddon, I was experiencing temporary dulls in my hearing due to how loud and frequent these noises were. So by the end of Barnageddon, I was past the point of enjoying the attraction, and instead trying to rush out in fear of going deaf, which was more distressing than anything. There was also a strange little man following me around with a klaxon, which I found quite irritating. Sneaking up on people is just, if not more, frightening than a loud noise. So I think that would be a better alternative, as well as removing the air blasters all together – as I simply do not think they add to making the attraction more frightening.
One part I think should definitely go was See No Evil – while this is an interesting concept, the film lacked continuity in tying it in with the present (masks were different than on screen, and the setting of the film was daytime but it was dark outside, for example) and the entire thing felt too long. Also with the volume of people fitted in watching the film, it was near impossible to feel remotely frightened.
While this may be an off night as I can totally understand (with the presence of actors in mazes being minimal) , it does aim to scare and I feel given a few tweaks, York Maze Hallowscream could be a really fantastic event. Above any other attraction that has fell short of my expectations I feel hopeful towards York Maze to improve– and I think this is purely because I can see it has potential - good sets, good general atmosphere, actors seem to be in abundance outside, however again there a number of things needed to be improved upon. Therefore, despite my bugbears with certain features from this experience, I would still make a return visit.