Tulleys Farm Shocktober Fest
What I loved about it:
Thrills at every turn and impeccable live performances.
Value for money (out of 10):
The UK's Number One Halloween Attraction
I just love Halloween. Without a doubt, it is my favourite time of the year. Nowhere in the UK honours the spooky season better than Tulleys Farm in Turners Hill, West Sussex, which is celebrating 27 years of the world-famous Scream Park this year.
I grew up 10 minutes from Tulleys Farm and Shocktober Fest has always been a highlight of the year for local Sussex residents. Over the last 27 years the annual attraction has grown from a pumpkin picking patch to the biggest Halloween attraction in the UK, with people coming from all over the country, and likely from overseas too, to get their thrills.
I was invited to the highly anticipated press night, where I mingled with some very recognisable famous faces, including the mighty Rag’n’Bone Man. The atmosphere was electric; everyone was full of both excitement and anticipation for what was to come.
There are 11 immersive attractions to experience, each with their own detailed creepy backstory and all of them brought to life by incredibly talented live performers. The actors are not allowed to touch you though, and you are certainly not allowed to touch them! Each attraction also has its own Scare Factor rating, from a eerie three to a heart stopping nine.
I have been to Shocktober Fest a few times now, but every time it is different. The Haunted Hayride Route 666 has always been my first choice attraction.You sit on a hay wagon, hauled by a tractor, and slowly journey into the dark woods. The new theme for 2023 is Horrorwood Studios. The story goes that the studios have been abandoned for the last 27 years and a box of unedited tapes has been discovered. On the trail, you’ll pass an abandoned bus, come face to face with dirty hillbillys, be spooked by characters from the lifesize Haunted Mansion and much more. I loved the new addition of the grumpy Santa and Mrs Claus, who jumped onboard the wagon to a rock and roll Christmas anthem, taking everyone by surprise. Under falling snow, they proceeded to have a hilarious domestic which resulted in Christmas being cancelled. You must keep your eyes peeled at all times, as you never know who will be jumping out of the big dark woods next!
Doomtown was new for last year and traps thrill-seekers in an 80s video-nasty with the best soundtrack blaring throughout. As you brave the attraction, you pass walking corpses, climb through a broken down minibus and make your way through a lifelike derelict Blockbuster video store. It really does feel like stepping back in time and the music only adds to the sensation. This attraction, like all of the others, seems to go on for a very long time. On average, each attraction is a good five minutes long, apart from the Haunted Hayride which is significantly longer. You won’t feel short changed by any of the attractions here.
Wastelands Penitentiary is definitely not one for the faint hearted! Incarcerated zombies are running wild in the penitentiary, and there’s not a single guard in sight. You’re on your own to complete the maze. It is totally chaotic, with strobe lights, loud banging, and energetic actors everywhere, climbing up the bars, and jumping out of nowhere. Every 30 minutes outside of the penitentiary is a sensational fire and light show. Watch out for the chainsaw wielding zombies!
Other frightful attractions include the Village of Coven 13, a dark witchy trail where blow up sides push into you so you have to force yourself through it, and the Chop Shop, an intense attraction which is guaranteed to make you scream – I don’t recommend starting with this one!
The award-winning live theatre performers add to the ambiance throughout the evening. Outside of the attractions, there are always quirky characters wanting to engage with the visitors including clowns, vampires, and identical twins with perfectly in-time skits. There’s also an abundance of food stalls to choose from (I recommend the gyro from the Turkish food cart), bars so you can calm your nerves and catch your breath, and two live music stages.
I love Tulleys’ Shocktober Fest because the operation always seems so seamless. There is not one part of the experience that has been looked over. The attractions are scary because they feel very raw, but they are not traumatising. You are guaranteed an unforgettable evening that will make you want to come back again and again. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2024!
X-Scream passes cost from £44.95 per person and you can also choose to upgrade your ticket to include some Fast Track passes. Shocktober Fest is recommended for those 16 plus. Those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.