6 Rides That Still Genuinely Scare Me

Whenever you see marketing for new rides, a lot of the time they play up the fear factor as a big selling point. DARE YOU RIDE? CAN YOU HANDLE IT? ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH? Thing is, as theme park enthusiasts who have ridden these things time and time again, being on a ride is often a comfort zone for a lot of us, meaning that edge and extra adrenaline rush you get when your mind is crippled by fear is often heavily diluted, and sometimes not even there at all. Because we've numbed ourselves to the rush - we're so familiar with the way these machines affect our bodies that riding them no longer triggers that chemical reaction in our brain, and in a way, I miss it. I miss that OH SHIT OH SHIT feeling of pure, unadulterated terror. When you really have no idea what to expect and find yourself gripping onto the restraint for dear life and praying to whoever that you make it through to the other end alive.

Today's post is in celebration of those oh-so-rare attractions nowadays that still have that effect on me - here's six rides that still genuinely scare me!

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OK, so before riding this I remembered seeing a few Theme Park Review POVs of this where literally everybody riding is just yelling in fear and pain. I kind of half put this down to TPR being TPR and slightly exaggerating things for the reactions but I'd be lying if I said it didn't stick with me. I'd also been on X2 at this point so had a vague idea of what to expect from one of these S&S 4D coasters, but nothing on earth could truly have prepared me for what ensued once we left the station on that fateful day in Fuji Q. The minute we unlatched from the lift-hill we were flung into a frenzy of violence and chaos. The total lack of control was terrifying and genuinely not being able to have jurisdiction over which direction my limbs were flailing was petrifying.

You're backwards, you're forwards, you're upside down, sideways, and everything else in between. The whole experience is so utterly disorienting that by the time you hit the brake run you genuinely feel like you've been mugged on the street and have no idea what just happened. On reflection I did secretly quite enjoy it but it definitely errs slightly on the edge of 'too much', suffice to say I wasn't exactly running straight back round for a second ride!

It's always been a mystery to me why my body really protests when it comes to drop towers because I honestly have no issue with heights at all. I'm the twat on the glass bottom roofs in skyscrapers that's jumping up and down on the glass to test its strength. It doesn't bother me at all. But drop towers, urgh, there's nothing more vile than that slow ascent up, when your restraint is locked into place and your brain is going ERM NO WHAT I DID NOT AGREE TO THIS?! but it's too late to do anything so you just have to sit there silently shitting yourself, resigned to your fate. And then you think we must be there by now surely but it's not even half way up so you shit yourself that tiny bit more. Falcon's Fury has all of that bumhole clenching terror PLUS when it gets to the top it's even more of a dick and your seats tilt forwards so you're literally facing the ground ready for a face first plummet and wondering what kind of moron you were five minutes ago when you decided that riding this awful contraption was a good and fun idea.

My first ride on this I was deadly silent the entire ride. Breathing heavily and palms sweating my trying my damnedest to keep my cool because I knew my dad would take the piss if I showed any fear. But urgh, I can still feel how heavily my heart was pounding in my throat and trying desperately to focus on anything but the inevitable vertical plummet ahead of me. Terrifying.

Anybody who says they aren't scared going up the lift hill on The Big One is a damned liar. It's vile, it takes ages and you're usually being battered sideways by that brutal Blackpool wind. I always opt for back row for maximum fear - nothing has my bum squeaking quite like that moment where the back car whips around the first drop as the rest of the train plummets to the ground. It's SO VIOLENT. And it's just lap bars so you feel all exposed and vulnerable.

Plus there's the whole ropiness of an old school Arrow coaster. I feel with the likes of B&M, Mack, Intamin, etc, you feel like these are really robust pieces of kit, like you're being cradled in the strong protective arms of some hulking beast and that everything is going to be alright. Not so much the case with Arrow. It definitely feels like the whole thing has been clobbered together in some nutter's back garden shed and it's a miracle it's still standing. Nothing like the threat of safety to really inject fear into your heart!

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This could potentially be the scariest ride in the whole world, and the terror is solely delivered by the positioning of the thing. You know, dangling 1000ft in the air over the Las Vegas strip surrounding by drunk blokes on stag dos. It's petrifying. And you KNOW that the thing is safe, and that it's designed to do this, but there's no silencing that little voice in the back of your head that gleefully whispers ooooh but what if the whole thing dislodges and tumbles over the edge to the ground? Wouldn't that be AWFUL?! Anyway, have fun! Honestly if anybody is really looking for an injection of fear back into their thrill agenda I can't recommend this ride enough, it's vile! Plus it's super fun to watch everybody else on the ride too who're all shitting themselves as much as you are.

I have such funny memories of riding Karnan for the first time. I'd managed to avoid spoilers for this ride until that very day annoyingly, but even so I wasn't completely clued up on what was about to happen to me. Also FYI if you don't want this coaster spoiled for you I'd suggest skipping past this one! Anyway, the thing is fucking HUGE. It's a massive tower that sticks out like a sore, terrifying thumb in the middle of Hansa Park. I visited this with CoasterForce and that morning we had ERT on the ride, and all silently and solemnly marched towards the thing like a fucking funeral march. It was hilariously quiet, everyone was kacking their pants so much that we couldn't even speak to each other - very unusual for us! Also, I mean, the words Gerstlauer hyper coaster don't exactly strike confidence into one's heart do they?

After much faffing and procrastinating we finally had to face up to the fact that we should probably ride this thing and get it out of the way. Next thing we knew we were all sat on a vertical lift hill, held in only by lap bars, feeling incredibly exposed and vulnerable and screaming out loud, begging the thing to get it over with and just drop backwards already! And I swear to god even when you're expecting it there's nothing that can prepare you for that moment. Utterly vile! It plays on everybody's darkest fear about those vertical lift-hills anyway where you swear you're going to drop back down the thing at any moment - at Hansa Park they actually made those fears a reality! Perfectly petrifying coaster, and a heck of a follow up layout too!

I have no issue with shot towers, what I have issue with is tower rides in the dark where I have no fucking clue what is going to happen and any clue of what might be going to happen is being angrily shouted at me by a loud german man. Then WHOOSH. Up into the darkness as the ceiling of flashing light and strobes gets worryingly close. That image of all the tower benches hanging in the dark, strobe flashing and nothing but inky black awaiting below is one that has been etched into my nightmares since my first ride. I don't think I've ever screamed as loud as I did at that moment, the anticipation completely getting the better of me and just wanting the fucking thing to drop already so it could all be over with. Don't get me wrong, it's a fantastic ride and the elation that comes with the relief of finally plummeting back to earth is extremely satisfying but dear god, the terror.

Urgh, I need a hot bath and a beer after writing that, I've spooked myself by reliving all those terrifying memories. Kidding, kind of, but it's definitely a good kind of fear that only serves to further intensify the after effect of the ride. A little dose of terror certainly makes for a memorable experience if nothing else!

What's a ride you're still genuinely scared of? Is there anything you've not actually been able to ride yet because you're too afraid? Let me know in the comments!

Talk later xoxo,

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