Halloween 2020 Most Anticipated

It goes without saying that Halloween 2020 is going to be unlike anything we've seen before. It's bittersweet of course - due to the virus that must not be named we've seen iconic Halloween events that have long been part of the furniture of many a Halloween enthusiast's event itinerary cancelled. From spooky season behemoths like Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, Knott's Scary Farm and Tulley's Shocktoberfest to smaller family operated events like Hampshire's Scream Aloud, FEAR at Avon Valley and Hallowscream - the impact of COVID-19 has certainly made a remarkable dent in 2020 scare season.

BUT, the show must go on, right? The other side of the COVID coin is that due to the limitations of the virus we're seeing the incredible creative minds behind these scare events that we love so much really having to think outside the box in terms of delivering the scares in a socially distanced, COVID-safe way and I for one cannot wait to see what difference it makes as I think we're going to be seeing some really cool and unusual twists on what we're used to this year. 

Y'all know I start planning my Halloween season November 1st every year, so the spook schedule is certainly looking a little worse for wear having gone through so many updates and rewrites, but I think I'm finally (touch wood!) at the 'final' line up for what I'll be doing for scare/Halloween season 2020. Here's the plan!

The current plan is still to head to Germany in October. My original plan was actually to head to North East America for my 30th birthday to head to Salem and Sleepy Hollow etc, but COVID swiftly saw to that so we're sticking with our second option of a Bavarian road trip instead. Despite many a German horror event meeting the same fate as that of the rest of the world, miraculously regional German park Belantis, just outside of Leipzig, is still going ahead with their Halloween Abenteuer event. The spooky event consists of five scare mazes as well as scare zones and rides in the dark. Some of my favourite ever Halloween events have been found at regional European parks so I'm really excited to see what Belantis deliver, and I'm going in blind having seen no photos or videos from any of their previous years' events!

A slightly different FRIGHT NIGHTS to what we're used to for this year but still delivering that hardcore horror flavour that Thorpe Park are infamous for. For the first time ever the park is going to be alive with scare zones and shows, alongside two horror mazes including the classic Platform 15 and the new for 2020 Roots of Evil. Honestly, I've been wanting to see more scare zones at Thorpe Park for ages as all of my favourite Halloween events like Halloween Fright Nights at Walibi Holland and Halloween Horror Festival at Movie Land Germany are so amazing purely because of the atmosphere multiple scare zones brings to the park. That plus loads of rides in the dark on some of my favourite coasters in the UK is surely going to be a hit?

Truthfully, I have NO idea how Xtreme Scream Park are still managing to go ahead with their event when everybody else has had to cancel, but hey, I'm not complaining. This scream park is home to some of the most terrifying horror mazes in the UK, including one of my all time favourite Ash Hell Penitentiary. New for 2020 is a complete overhaul of the old Stilton Hall Hotel and Spa called Belvoir Manners. The attraction comes with some pretty hefty background reading to understand the storyline, but honestly if it's half as terrifying as Stilton Hall I'm sure the park are on to a winner. 

One of my favourite park autumnal atmospheres that I never tire of year after year is Howloween at Chessington World of Adventures. There's just something about the place that feel so gloriously magical to me, so of course it's on my must visit list for this year! Howloween isn't necessarily about extreme scares (although it IS hard to put last year's run through of Creepy Caves Unearthed to the back of my mind...), it's about the spooks and this year's line-up certainly doesn't seem short on those. From the whimsical enchanted woodland walk of the Forgotten Forest to Creepy Caves: Resurgence alongside rides in the dark on UK classics like the ever-spooky Vampire, I can't wait to just hang out and soak up the vibes of the October air of Chessington World of Adventures. 

Y'all KNOW I needed to have a drive-through experience on my list for this year, and my attraction of choice is Horror Drive at a mystery location in Essex (?!) Set on an ex government complex in the middle of the countryside, Horror Drive promises we will experience "horror classics from killer clowns to slashers" in a completely COVID-safe and contact free scare experience. I'm particularly intrigued by the "Extra Gore" package where your car will be smothered in blood & gore - sign me up!

Set in the naturally-spooky setting of Alton Towers itself, Scarefest never fails to tickle my Halloween pickle so I'm so grateful we're still able to visit this event this year. Returning for 2020 (although set in an entirely new location) is Darkest Depths as well as the classic Terror of the Towers attraction The Attic and Altonville Mine Tours. New for 2020 is Freak Show: Toxic Junkyard which invites us to discover the secret that turns townies into carnies and escape lest we risk becoming the main attraction of the next show. Something I adore about Scarefest is the fantastic character and world-building that they dip into year after year, changing and building on the storylines. It's great to see the return of Freak Show to the Towers and I'm very excited to see this urban/neon twist to these classic characters. 

It just didn't seem right for me to spend an entire Halloween season without setting foot on the hallowed grounds of Tulleys Farm, so I'm very excited that this family owned park still has a great selection of scary activities for us to enjoy even if it does mean staring longingly at the shuttered gates of Chop Shop et al. First up, Tulleys Pumpkin Nights - a classic pumpkin pick affair except it's AT NIGHT! Absolute genius, I was so excited when this popped up for me and of course I booked a ticket instantly. Everything about this looks like it's going to deliver the excellent spooky vibes that Shocktoberfest would, and even without the more extreme scares I think it will certainly satisfy that need. 

And on top of this the farm are also operating the Tulleys Haunted Drive-In Cinema - a classic drive-in cinema event which looks awesome as it is, with a giant retro neon sign and the opportunity to watch classic spooky movies old-school style. But on top of this, the "haunted" event also includes a pre-film fire and light show as well as a "resident cast of mischievous ghosts" - a little dose of scare acting to set everything off. Can't wait!


So yes, nowhere near as jam-packed a schedule as I would usually be operating during October, nor nearly as many miles covered as I whizz all over the country but hey, all things considered I'm pretty satisfied with what I've managed to cobble together. Now let's pray to the Halloween gods that COVID doesn't spite us further...

What about you - are you planning on visiting any Halloween events this year? What is your plan? Which event are you most gutted about being cancelled this year? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,