Located near Northampton, an event is celebrating a very special birthday. The event in question is a must for scare fans known as 'Dr. Frights Halloween Nights' who this year is celebrating its 10th birthday so we were excited to see what special treats they had in store for this occasion.
For those unaware of Dr. Frights, it is a scare event that features four scare mazes, all of which are situated indoors within large temporary tents, but don't let that fool you, once in the mazes inside, you'll hardly notice! As we parked up and walked towards the entrance we thought to ourselves about last year's event and how much we enjoyed it, which got us more excited to enter.
Before collecting our tickets, we were invited to take part in a photo, the scene this year is following on the birthday theme, with a large birthday cake in the middle of a long, black table and at either side were various props such as a chainsaw and a barbed-wire covered baseball bat, sound familiar? Photo taken, it was time to queue up to enter the tents, which the staff did great to crowd control and before we knew it, we were in the main hub.
Similar to last year, the hub takes the same Horror Town theme as last year, featuring various props and sets that wouldn't look out of place in a rural Americana town. Within the hub is seating, toilet facilities, as well as a catering van to grab a snack or soft drink and the entrance to the four mazes as well as the Horror Bar, which serves alcoholic beverages but guests are only allowed to enter after going through all of the mazes or sacrificing your ticket, so more on that later! After meeting some of the creatures within the hub, it was time to pick our first maze of the night, our decision was the maze I was most looking forward to.
Killer Clowns On A Spaceship
Enter the USS Nostronzo, a spaceship ran by a hoard of Killer Clowns! Will you make it through the spaceship and to the escape pods in one piece? Prior to entering the queue for the maze, signage at the entrance was advertising a new game at the arcade, as we entered the arcade we were met with a huge color changing sign:
KILLER CLOWNS ON A SPACESHIP
As well as that main sign was the facade for the spaceship itself, a large silver wall covered in wires, pipes and control panels as well as a large shutter surrounded by a giant clown's mouth. We loved the design of the facade and it made me even more excited to get inside the maze. As we queued, various space-themed songs played: Space Oddity by David Bowie, Rocketman by Elton John, etc. It really got us in the mood for the maze as everyone in the queue was singing along.
After a rather short wait, we were next in line and got a glimpse inside the maze, a barrage of many-colored buttons, wires and a console showing a live feed of the earth below. We headed inside and what we witnessed ahead was utter chaos, heavy metal music pumped out around the ship and an outrageous crew of clowns. As we entered this first maze we could see that the theming hadn't declined from last year's event, if anything it was better. If you didn't know any better you would genuinely think you were on a space ship.
The scares in the maze were impactful too, the actors had the timings perfectly and knew when to spring into action, the playful clowns were also all up for a chat and even asked us to stay longer to play some games with them… maybe later! Overall, this maze had the laugh, scares and effects to make this a rather impressive maze, we were all wishing we could experience it again and again.
There's Something In The Woods
Our next maze to experience was 'There's Something In The Woods'. Surrounding St. Agatha's Boarding School is a dense wood full of terrifying secrets, it features a sinister presence that possesses the nuns and students, will you make it through the woods alive or will the evil that lurks claim your soul?
The facade of the maze was mainly the boarding school itself, however to the right of the school is a pathway leading to the woodland with a sign to a hiking trail through it. We entered through the main entrance to St. Agatha's Boarding School which eventually lead to "outside" and we found ourselves in the dreaded woodland.
The further we went into the woods, the more we discovered about the secret of the woodland and the spirit within, however, we feel the story could have been explained further and it wasn't completely clear. The maze features some good scares however as well as some great set pieces and much like every maze at Dr. Frights, the actors were giving it 110%.
Our next maze was Redneck Redemption, where chainsaw-wielding hillbillies have taken over an old western mining town. We entered the queue and listened to many country hits and entered the maze via an entrance for the 'Horrortown Mining Community'. This maze is different to most, rather than hiding the maze from you, you can see the whole maze in front of you, which made the maze look more like a living breathing town with various buildings such as the Saloon and the Jail.
The whole maze throughout had an intention to keep you split up from your group as much as possible as during several points in the maze, the inhabitants of the town will pick certain visitors and have a solo interaction with them, meaning the rest of your group must carry on without you, in fact sometimes the Redneck's don't give you a choice!
We love the interaction you get in this maze, as you get to talk to all the townsfolk and we think the open plan nature is rather unnerving as you know that you are going to have to face that section sooner rather than later…
That's not to say there are no scares, in fact, there are plenty, especially if your unfortunate to be one of those left behind, as dealing with an actor alone can be rather intimidating.
Hollywood Horror: Directors Cut
Our final maze of the night was Hollywood Horror: Directors Cut. Famous horror franchises leap off the silver screen and into reality, how will you fair when face to face with some of horror's most iconic villains?
Last year's variant of this maze was our favorite one of last year as it had the best scares and overall experience so we were excited to see how this year would compare! We entered the rather large queue for this maze and admired the facade which was a pretty accurate representation of Bates Motel from the classic movie, Psycho.
Whilst waiting in the queue audio from classic horror movies played, however, we were rather annoyed by the short loop as compared to the other mazes queue line audio as we must have heard the loop ten or more times.
Regardless, we kept in good spirits because of last year's experience and eventually, we made it to the front and it was time to see what made the cut. During our time through movie history, we were terrorised by Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Penny-wise, Ghostface from Scream as well as many more. The maze features great sets for the films included and plenty of scares throughout, it probably featured the most effective scares out of all of the mazes at Dr. Frights this year.
After our journey through the four mazes was compete, it was time to head into the Horror Bar, a bar serving alcoholic and none alcoholic beverages to relax after the frights you have ensured during the night.
Around the walls of the bar are posters representing every year of Dr. Frights, showing each mazes logo that was at the event for that year, as well as that, above the bar they were showing trailers from each year of the event too, it's great to see the event celebrating its history. The best part of the Horror Bar, however, is the scare cams, which allow those in the bar to watch unsuspecting victims wander through the mazes and it's always a great laugh to see some people's reactions when they get scared after reluctantly making their way through the maze.
Overall, Dr. Frights 10 is a great event this year and we very much enjoyed it and was quite possibly our favorite scare event we visited this year in the UK. The atmosphere around the event is great and we are extremely excited to see what the team does for next year. Happy birthday Dr. Frights! Here's to another ten years!