Attraction Review: Dr. Fright's Halloween Nights

How sad, my last non-theme-park scare event I'll be reviewing on the blog this year! But what an event to go out on. This was my third visit to the incredible Dr. Fright's Halloween Nights, located just outside of Northampton, and I can say with certainty it won't be my last. I was blown away by their creativity on my first visit in 2016, I was blown away with the scares in 2019 and 2021 capitalised on both those things and then some. In case you can't tell, I REALLY enjoy this event. It's not high-budget, polished Halloween Horror Nights level horror mazes we're talking about here, it's on the lower end of the budget scale for sure, but my god the stuff these guys manage to pull off with just some marquees, tarpaulin and a clear adoration for horror movies of every genre is second to none, and very much speaks to me as a fellow horror movie aficionado. 

Something I was very taken with when we visited back in 2016 was the over-arching themed that tied each of the mazes together. Back then it was 'Cinemassacre' and took you through the horror genre through the ages, but also framed each maze as the medium in which horror would've been consumed in that era (eg 50s was a drive-in theatre, 00s was streaming, etc). When we went in 2019 no such over-arching tie in was present, and whilst the event was still excellent I felt it lacked that magic of the 2016 event. So I'm very pleased to say that in 2021 Dr. Fright's present the World Tour, where each maze takes us to a different corner of the globes to see what horror each culture beholds. It was so great to have this little something extra back - I do think it helps tie the mazes together by having them fall under one collective umbrella, helps the event feel a little more 'complete' in my opinion. 

With a maze name like that and the fact that I pulled up to the event with Sandstorm blaring from one of the tents you just know you're in for a a good time. Killer Klowns in Ibiza is one of the stupidest horror mazes I've ever done, in the very best way possible. It's every bit as batshit as the name suggests, and takes us on the full package holiday to clubland in Ibiza, but, y'know, with killer clowns that want to murder you? It's Kevin and Perry meets Killer Klowns In Outer Space and my god it was excellent. I literally can't stop thinking about it. 

We see every step of the typical British Ibiza holiday, starting in airport security, through to the waiting room with clown-infested vending machines, down a horrific budget-airline fuselage tensely anticipating with of the horrific clown figures will turn out to be the real one until we finally land in Ibiza itself. Here we enter our hotel and enjoy the beach where we're met with the sight of terrifying sunbathing clowns, wade through the pool where some clowns are enjoying a swim (one of the best effects in the maze) and finally we enter the new clown superclub itself. This is essentially, strobes, lasers, killer clowns and big Ibiza anthems. It was pure, stupid joy punctuated with jump scares and in case it wasn't obvious, I am in love with it. 

Following this was something completely different - we travelled to Japan to enter the famously haunted Yokai Temple which has been hooked up with paranormal investigatory paraphernalia to see if the demons said to haunt the holy place really exist. Put bluntly, this maze was pant-shittingly scary. I don't know why but Japanese horror has always had a deeply unsettling flavour, for me The Grudge and The Ring are some of the scariest horror movies of all time and nobody does a terrifying ghost story quite like the Japanese. 

There were some really cool effects in this maze - a room full of geisha-looking creatures that appeared to be crawling up the walls and ceilings, walking face-to-face with a live-stream of the ghost-capturing technology so we see the spirits on the screen before seeing them in front of us in real life, a horrific walk through a statue garden where some of the statues come to life and some excellent use of silhouetting behind traditional white 'paper' walls. Just so, so creepy and petrifying - easily the scariest maze of the event and one of the scariest I've done this season. 

Over to La La Land next and a dive head first into iconic horror classics, entering via room 237 of The Shining fame. The Shining is one my favourite horror movies of all time so I was very much fan-girling for this portion of the maze and very much appreciated the homage being paid to this horror legend. There's always been something extremely disturbing to me about the Overlook Hotel so that played into my enjoyment/terror of this maze in a huge way. 

You'll find a real blend of horror movie allusions here - we have classic slasher dudes like Michael Myers and Freddie Krueger showing up but we've also got cult classics like Scream 3 and modern day horror favourite The Purge. I do think The Purge scene could've been a little stronger and I did prefer Horror at Hinchingbrooke House's take on it, but that Scream 3 scene of going through the wardrobe with all the Ghost Face costumes, not knowing which one is real, was truly horrendous - a worthy successor to the iconic Stab cinema audience scene from Director's Cut back in 2019. 

I was a little worried we were going to be in cultural appropriation territory with this one but alas, I needn't have feared. This maze very much had a Three From Hell vibe about it for those who are familiar with Rob Zombie's Firefly trilogy, our protagonists in this case a hillbilly family on the run from the law choosing to continue their murderous rampage south of the border. The sets in the maze were really beautiful, shout out to the room full of skeletons, the entrance through a taco stand and giant retro devil mouth entrance into the Lucha Libre wrestling ring.

Compared with the other mazes this one was the least scary to me, just down to personal taste I think as I've developed quite the immunity to the classic chainsaw scare. That said, I do think there's something more unnerving to having the chainsaw guys penned up as Dr. Fright's do, and having them lean over with their weapons as opposed to having them literally in front of you and still not managing to make contact. For me it feels way more threatening, the fear that they might slip and actually get you feels a lot more real!


And that was it for another fantastic year at Dr. Fright's Halloween Nights. If you like quirky events whose mazes think outside the box a little and are genuinely heart-stoppingly terrifying I would absolutely recommend giving this event a try. It has a real character about it, and a clear passion for horror films that I think any fan of the genre will easily resonate with. Something I love about the event is making note of all the little horror movie nods and details and trying to figure out if they were done on purpose or just accidentally manifested organically. 

Have you visited Dr.Fright's Halloween Nights? What was your favourite maze? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,