Review: Killer clowns in the funhouse? Then Fairground Frights is for you
- Credit: Archant
“No-one has been killed on this ride in the last half hour,” assures a half-dead, gentleman ghoul as we shuffle forward in the queue.
Buoyed by this proud safety record we board Disko and are spun fiendishly for a few mintues while the costumed character - who is totally committed to his role - shakes his stick at another victim.
Great Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach has for four nights been transformed into Fairground Frights - its first full-on foray into the world of scare attractions.
And as everyone who has ever seen Scooby Doo knows, theme parks are the perfect Halloween habitat for all sorts of weird clowns, veiled Victorian widows, zombies, vampires, and chainsaw revving baddies - and the funfair has set them all free to wander the park amid bursts of fake fog.
It’s all great fun of course.
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We visited on the first night (Wednesday) and were greeted by a pair of gloomy twins, holding hands and staring blankly - a third muttered madly into a severed doll’s head.
It was quite the welcome and saw my 15-year-old daughter and her friend keep their distance, giggling nervously.
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As a stand-around mum whose role was mainly holding phones and buying doughnuts I was easy pickings and was “got” many times by actors who seem to appear out of nowhere as you rummage in a bag, much to the amusement of everyone else walking about.
With screams rising up from the park it was hard to know if it was something to do with a ride or one of the actors jumping out at someone, and from time to time you will see an axe murderer chasing a teenager encouraged by the whoops of their mates.
As someone who finds fairgrounds pretty terrifying at the best of times I braved the not-so-fun funhouse, thinking it was probably something I could handle.
You enter and are greeted by spooky clowns who loom out of the foggy gloom, at times you can barely see your hand in front of your face and it is pleasingly scary.
Embarrassingly I held my hands up in horror and screamed at what turned out to be a young lad with his mum - the dark can do that to a person.
Elsewhere around the park there are photo opportunities with stocks and seaside-style cut-outs, skeletons, ghostly animated figures, and impressive holographic projections
There were queues for some rides, but not too long, and in all the girls reckoned they got on at least 13 over the three hours 5-8pm.
Visitors are also encouraged to dress up, some giving the excellent scare actors a run for their money.
Overall the actors are all great and stay in character completely, moving about in unexpected and scary ways, banging props and interacting at a distance.
In terms of Covid the park felt safe with regular cleaning and hand sanitising.
It is more fiendish fun than being actually terrifying and there are plently of loping ghosts and ghouls to navigate. Where there is a queue you are generally entertained.
Judging by the reaction of people at the park who all seemed to be enjoying the white-knuckle nightmare, this Halloween newcomer is here to stay.
Hot food and drinks are available.
Tickets priced £17 can be booked here.
The event runs until Saturday October 31.