Screamfest in Burton-upon-Trent, a popular, must-experience Halloween event in the Staffordshire Moorlands is back once again for the 2022 Halloween season – a year that sees the return of a successful attraction, the end to a Screamfest staple, and a strong line-up of other mazes. Attraction Source was invited to the preview event on Friday 7th October to experience everything the event has to offer.
Returning in 2022 is Insomnia, having been absent from last year’s event. After a successful first year in 2018, this popular scare attraction, the brain child of Andrew Porter, has come back to Screamfest but in a different location to the previous incarnation that also featured in 2019’s event. An attraction that takes you into the nightmares of Tabatha and her haunting of Cracker Jack, the story begins in the indoor section of the queue line where you meet Tabatha and her mother in their home and everything is not as it seems. Stepping into Tabatha’s bedroom you have your first encounter with Cracker Jack escaping from Tabatha’s wardrobe, all before you’ve actually entered the attraction itself. Once inside, along with a new location, this attraction features a new route with an outdoor section that stimulates the sensors with a wood bark floor surface, smoke, lights, and actors. This section got us with some very good jump scares. Overall this new incarnation of Insomnia lives up to the original, with the new scenes adding to the overall experience. Don’t forget it’s the White House with the Red Roof.
We were unable to take any images inside this attraction but below are a selection of promotional images from Screamfest themselves.
This year we say goodbye to a Screamfest classic, as Professor Heart is taking last orders at his final speed dating event in the Diced Heart pub in “Love Hurts – Last Orders”. Professor Heart isn’t leaving without a fight, that’s for sure. With the instantly recognisable immersive external façade and impressively detailed sets throughout, Love Hurts has definitely been one of the strongest mazes at Screamfest. As you journey through the professor’s five tests of love, you never know what he has in store for you or which of his tortured rejections you will encounter next.
We did not have time to capture images inside this attraction this year, but have included a selection taken during 2021’s event.
Returning for a second year, following its debut in 2021, is Creed Farm. Run by Butcher Bill, this farm holds some terrible secrets, so while you may believe you have come for a tour of the meat factory, guests are in for a shock when they realise they are about to become the product itself. Screamfest’s twist on a corn maze starts with guests being the backstory of Creed Farm, before being sent down a pitch black tunnel with only a rope to find your way through. As you finally get out into the farm’s corn field, you slowly realise this is going to be anything but a normal tour, as you encounter various members of the farm’s family, who tell a story as you venture through the five stages of meat processing.
Back for a third year is the best day out in the south, Hillbilly Joe’s Zombee Zoo – a whacky comedic take on the traditional zombie attraction. As a zoo, you really do encounter all different breeds of zombie creatures, with each enclosure holding a different theme. The varied costumes that feature range from a Santa zombie to a hot dog zombie. Throughout the maze you’re also met by different members of Joe’s family who will guide you through, but don’t be fooled… they are not as friendly as they seem…
Another returning attraction is Freakout On Tour. Guests initially find themselves as part of a group invited to take part in an illegal rave at what used to be the clowns’ playground. However, just as the power comes on you’ll soon discover the clowns haven’t abandoned it yet. As you look to find your way whilst out avoiding the murderous clowns and circus folk, the pace builds to become increasingly chaotic. Unlike most attractions, this one really does take the name of a scare maze literally, as the clowns toy with you as you attempt to navigate dead ends, loops and a really disorientating mirror maze full of scares.
At the heart of this scream park is a hub of varied food outlets, entertainment and plenty of covered seating. Entertainment is provided on the stage throughout the evening by extreme performers, a live band and the park’s Demon DJ. Just off from this hub is a selection of fairground rides and Hill Billy Joe’s Zombie Paintball Smash – where you can shoot real life zombies on the loose from Joe’s Zombee Zoo. These attractions require an extra charge with tokens available to purchase on the night.
Overall, Screamfest is once again a must-visit attraction. Featuring five solid scare mazes and a great atmosphere, there’s plenty going on in every corner, and something for everyone to do. Whether local or travelling from further afield, you won’t be disappointed with the event.
Have you visited Screamfest this year or have a trip planned before the end of the Halloween season? Let us know via the Attraction Source social media channels.