Are you ready to be terrified? PrimEVIL returns to Norwich’s Dinosaur Adventure Park

Staff at the Dinosaur Park prepare for the Primevil event. Photo: Bill Smith

Staff at the Dinosaur Park prepare for the Primevil event. Photo: Bill Smith

It's Shocktober time at Dinosaur Adventure: by day the theme park is a child-friendly attraction, but as Halloween draws closer and dark-ness falls, the park becomes the stuff of nightmares.

Primevil 2016

Primevil 2016 - Credit: Primevil 2016

Thousands of people visit Lenwade every October hoping to be scared witless by a cavalcade of cadavers, a spectacle of spooks and a forest filled with creepy creatures who appear in autumn when the park is transformed into a live scare attraction.

Now in its seventh year, PrimEVIL has established itself as the biggest event of its kind in the area, offering brave visitors the chance to be scared out of their skin in five different scenarios including a pitch-black cottage that visitors must grope their way around, woodlands infested with scare actors, a funhouse where terror lurks round every corner, a town infected by a deadly virus and a deadly hotel where room service is most definitely not a luxury.

In America, Halloween is huge business with more than 2,000 commercial 'haunted houses' and 1,000 Halloween attractions across the US and ticket sales that soar over the £500m mark.

People know their frights and they're increasingly prepared to dig deep in order to get them.

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None of the 'scare attractions' are actually haunted and they don't claim to be – what they are is a series of horror film-style scenar-ios through which the brave walk while actors dressed as vampires or ghosts or zombies or mutants attempt to scare them silly.

The actors aren't allowed to touch visitors (and vice versa) so the fear is most definitely suggested rather than real, although to hear some of the screams piercing the darkness of Dinosaur Adventure on the first night of business, you'd think otherwise.

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My PrimEVIL partners-in-crime are seasoned horror walkers: we've been to every single PrimEVIL there's been and we've visited other scare attractions in Margate and Suffolk.

None, however, can boast a Tyrannasaurus Rex in the under-growth like Dinosaur Adventure.

This year, there are five attrac-tions to scare the living daylights out of willing victims: the return of The Dark, The Forest of Fear, Carnevil of Terrors The Funhouse, Zone 64 East Deadwood and Mayhem Manor Hotel. Whatever your poison, there's a fantastically fearsome fright for you.

There's been significant investment at the park meaning that there are some fantastic new props and scares (particularly in the Forest of Fear, The Funhouse and Mayhem Manor, I won't spoil the surprises) and there seem to be even more of the undead wandering around the park – two of my party were delighted when Michael Myers photo-bombed a selfie.

Our favourite scare attraction of the night was the new Funhouse – you enter through a clown's mouth and encounter walking walls, moving floors, screaming portraits, ball pools and several fun-loving clowns keen to show you a good time.

The last one appeared to be offer-ing to help me cut my hedge – he was very enthusiastic.

Every year PrimEVIL gets better, every year the team find new ways to strike fear into every heart. If you go down to the woods tonight (and every night until Halloween), you're sure of a big surprise. Don't have nightmares.

PrimEVIL is now at Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade, until October 31. The event is not recommended for children under the age of 12 and under-16s must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets cost from £15.95 to £21.95 and are available from the PrimEVIL website

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