Attraction Review: Xtreme Scream Park

At a time of year where I'd usually be back to back with visiting scream parks and scare attractions all over the country, you can be sure that I was rejoicing to the Halloween gods that one I'd planned to visit this year had managed, through some miracle, to remain operational during these (say it with me now) strange and unprecedented times. I speak of course of Melton Mowbray's iconic den of debauchery that is Xtreme Scream Park. 

Located inside Twinlakes Park, Xtreme Scream Park is a hardcore scare event featuring five live action horror mazes. Repeatedly nominated as the UK's Best Scream Park at the Scar Awards, Xtreme Scream Park sets itself aside from other UK scream parks with it's more intense attraction offering and generally meaner and angrier vibe - extreme by name, extreme by nature! I've visited this event twice before and usually like to take a year off between visits so that I can guarantee there's some newness when I revisit, and this year I was excited to check out the brand new Belvoir Manners as well as enjoy some old favourites like Ash Hell Penitentiary and Pie Factory. Let's get stuck in!

I've called this roaming entertainment but really I'm talking about just anything spooky going on outside of the mazes. One downside of this event taking place in a park that hosts a family friendly spooky event during the day is they're never able to go too OTT on the spooky decorations, lest they face the wrath of the parents of a screaming child they've traumatised. Which I get. That said there are a few spooky scarecrow guys dotted about here and there as well as some bonfires which set off a nice autumnal ambience (especially if it's not absolutely pouring down which unfortunately it was when we visited!)

Absolutely adored the spider-person creepily contorting themselves in front of their web background and the fire-dancing lady who heroically carried on her act even throughout the downpour. It's little touches like this that I think really help elevate scream park events from good to great and these guys certainly helped keep us entertained between mazes. 

Highlight for this year absolutely has to be Joe Erotic, a roaming character inspired by the Tiger King himself hurling Joe Exotic style insults at pretty much every guest walking past. Absolutely hilarious and one of those things that really helped inject a little more personality into the event - walking into a scream park and being called a bitch by a spooky Midlands interpretation of an iconic 2020 pop culture figure certainly helps frame your expectations for what's coming next!

We kickstarted our evening with the new for 2020 Belvoir Manners, which replaces the old Stilton Hall Hotel & Spa attraction. In the past this has been one of my favourites and I've always been a huge fan of how extensive this maze is both in terms of length and theming. Sadly for me Belvoir Manners didn't live up the Stilton Hall length-wise, with the entire upstairs section no longer taking place. I appreciate I'm approaching it from the perspective of somebody who has experienced the previously excellent attraction that was here before but it's hard not to. That said, I think the theming is still excellent and I love the attention detail and set dressing in each room - stand out for me was the games room playing a really creepy 1970s bingo song leftover from some tragic holiday park. Everything about it feels quintessentially British and there's something in my brain that really appeals too, especially when it comes to Halloweeny things where British attractions can tend to lean on the American side of things. 

I'll be honest...I'm still not particularly sure what the storyline of Belvoir Manners is. I've read the backstory online a few times and can gather that it is some kind of care home where the elderly residents replace any aging body parts with those of younger 'donors'. A fantastically original concept for sure, but it's a shame that this doesn't come across too clearly within the attraction. That said, it's still bloody scary and kind of gross feeling - it's not hardcore terrifying like other attractions at Xtreme Scream but there's a general sense of morosity that carries through the entire attraction which any self-respecting haunted house would be jealous of. 

Returning for my third visit to the iconic Ash Hell Penitentiary and one of my favourite scare attractions in the UK was certainly foreboding. Scare mazes are fickle beasts and when you love something as much as I love Ash Hell there's always the worry that this time it won't be as good, especially with that gloomy COVID cloud lingering overheard. Needn't have worried. Still intense. Still angry. Still vicious and brutal and full of rage. You can feel the fury resinating out of the building as you queue outside and wait for the terrifying moment where you're next to enter this angsty hovel, I suppose that carries through the soundtrack mostly but I swear to god there's an aura of hatred that pulsates from the building itself. 

For me it's all about those first few rooms - it feels like you're on the set of some gritty torture porn movie on the dark side of the internet. It's so bleak and violent, and from the instant you set foot inside you're being screamed at from every angle, accompanied by that hatefully slow light that flashes on and off and keeps you lingering in darkness just a little too long. It's honestly like torture, and it's the perfect set up to get you into this horrifically vulnerable headspace that primes you as an easy target for terror throughout the second, arguably lighter half of the maze once you get into the inmates' cells. It's high-octane, white-knuckle, heart-racing scares from start to finish and fantastically enjoyable for sadists like me who enjoy that kind of thing. 

Out of the hell in a cell that is Ash Hell Penitentiary and into the opposite side of the scare coin that is Hoodoo Voodoo, arguably a much light and more update attraction themed around the Voodoo Queen of the New Orleans Marie Laveau. I've never much been one for bag on head mazes and I certainly was intrigued to see how they'd get around that in COVID-land. Turns out blindfolds essentially do the same thing in terms of restricting the senses that a bag on the head does so issue solved there. The first half of this maze really isn't for me. Having fallen over in a maze similar to this in previous years I'm really not a fan of being blindfolded then being forced to walk across uneven floors, especially in the rain. I'm scared for all the wrong reasons - not because I think the Voodoo Queen is going to steal my soul but because I think the platform Dr.Martens are going to betray me and I'm going to end up being airlifted to A&E with a broken ankle. 

The second half of this maze, or the non-blindfolded section, is where the magic happens for me. A kaleidoscope of colours and an upbeat Voodoo-inspired soundtrack leads the way and each scene is vibrant and alive but still packs the scares in too. I love that there are so many layers to this maze - one minute we're in a blacklit room filled with voodoo dolls, the next we're traversing a rickety bridge through a swamp before truding through a swamp infested with Voodoo witches into a solemn New Orleans graveyard. There's a really clear story being told and although I don't find it particularly intense or frightening, I do enjoy it visually and physically because it does so much with the space. 

In the past Pie Factory has been one of my favourite mazes at Xtreme Scream Park. It's a PORK PIE themed maze at a park located in MELTON MOWBRAY for god's sake! That will never not be hilarious and amazing to me. But yes, I love a good butcher/gore themed maze and I love Pie Factory's particularly unique take on this scare maze genre. It also manages to mix in that musty gloom present in Belvoir Manners alongside an autumnal country farmyard vibe which I'm also a big fan of. On paper it's very much up my street and in the past I've really enjoyed this attraction both for its intensity and its originality. Sadly this year there was something a little lacking. I don't want to be too harsh because the reality is I have no idea how much of an impact COVID has had operationally for these attractions, but the cast of Pie Factory just didn't really seem to have their hearts in it. Compared to the vicious intensity of Ash Hell, Pie Factory seemed a little lacklustre which is such a shame, especially the chainsaw finale - I was expecting to be chased screaming but instead our guy kind of stood behind a fence and waved his weapon at us unenthusiastically. 

It wasn't wholly without it's good moments though. The vile pig puppet in one of the first scenes is still to this day one of my favourite gags at a UK park and this year I got a full face of it which conjured up full blown 80s kids movie nightmare fuel vibes which I am all for. It gets me every year but also the butcher pig guy bursting out the the fridge, excellent, amazing, iconic. Xtreme Scream are really good at creating sets where the actor hidey-hole isn't obvious so, especially if it's your first time, it's really easy for them to catch you off guard by bursting out of something that as first glance appears just to be part of the set.

The Village was the new hotness when I last visited in 2018 and although I enjoyed the attraction I didn't quite get the hype others were giving it, so I was intrigued to get back into this cursed scarecrow cult fuelled nightmare too see what I was missing out on's just excellent isn't it? I adore the fact that it's HUGE and spans multiple scenes through multiple buildings, it really does feel like walking through a cursed village and I love both its ambition and originality in that. The benefit of splitting the attraction up into multiple buildings means you get to experience that pre-maze apprehension you get at the start of a haunt over and over again which is both clever and cruel (in the best way). 

For a maze so spaced out you'd expect there to be some dead (pun intended) areas but not so, the areas between each building are also themed and even if they're not they're pitch black so still creepy as hell. The scares come thick and fast - my favourite being the first room with a double scare from both the front (scarecrow out of nowhere) and the back (curtain blowing at the window that Conor got properly entangled in to the point that I have the hilarious image of my husband flailing and screaming burned into my brain forever for my enjoyment). The creepy school building is a highlight for me, particularly the kid's toilet block with the ominously slamming doors. Vile. 

The finale is as grotesque as ever, I love the building sense of foreboding as we slowly wind our way through the pews inevitably towards the lead scarecrow knowing some doom awaits us. It's an agonising build up and certainly a different way to end an attraction like this that I'm yet to experience elsewhere. 


All in all a fantastic visit to Xtreme Scream Park. It was a real shame about the weather as I'd have liked to have hung out around the bonfires for a bit and maybe had a drink and soaked up some of the atmosphere but alas it wasn't to be, and it certainly didn't put a dampener on the spooks for us! As with all scream parks that I visit over and over again, I do begin to tire of some of the older attractions so I'd love to see further updates to the likes of Pie Factory and Hoodoo Voodoo but I'm sure those will come with time, and it was great to see that even with COVID measures in place the park were still able to operate a fantastically terrifying and extreme Halloween event. 

Did you visit Xtreme Scream this year? Which attraction was your favourite? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,


  1. Always great reading reviews makes it worth while doing the job, glad you enjoyed it.