Attraction Review: Screamfest Burton

Spooky season is well and truly upon us and as per usual for me my shcedule is jam packed with everything from freaky theme park events to horrirific family run indie events and everything else inbetween! Becuse there's so much to cram in every October I do try and alternate between events but when Screamfest Burton announced that 2022 would be the final year for my all time favourite horror maze Love Hurts I knew I had to make a stop by. 

I'm not sure why but it seems a lot colder this October than years previous, but that didn't stop the spritely street team from harrassing us the second we entered the event. They're a very, talented and attentive bunch - one charming bearded lady who made herself known to us as 'Barbara' got my name and made sure to call it out every single time we saw them the whole evening. The characters are a bit random: there's a Freddy Krueger, a bigfoot and captor, a policeman, a guy with a clown puppet. There's not really any rhyme or reason but each are so much fun to interact with that it hardly matters. 

The event is set up a little differently this year too, with the stage/live music more centrally located near the funfair rides which I think gave a much better ambience to the entire event. It's hard to keep the atmosphere up across a sprawling area like Screamfest Burton have on their hands but I think between this stage and the stacks of pumpkins spewing fire they do a pretty good job - we were never bored or twiddling our fingers for something to do! Right then, onto the maze reviews.

Long-time readers here will know I'm no fan of clown mazes. I don't find clowns scary and everyone and their nan has a clown maze somewhere in their repetoir so I think it's quite a difficult thing to do in a unique or fresh way. For some reason this year I had an absolute blast in Freak Out. Like last year, the narrative was fairly straightforward: this used to be a horror maze, now it's abandoned and we host illegal raves here instead. Perfect. 

The actors were incredible here - just really high energy and obnoxious, leading us the wrong way through, pretending to lick our cameras, being generally bratty and annoying as creepy clowns should. Throw in one or two truly horrific killer clown masks, a vile rubber old man mask thing that looked like something straight out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and an AWESOME scene with tons of fog machines and electric sparking fences and yh, I had a really great time in here this year. It being themed to an illegal rave did leave me wanting a little more by way of soundtrack, but that was only something I picked up on once we were out the other end. 

Next up it was into the incredibly immersive Insomnia, returning once more after a year off last year. Here we delve into a child's nightmare as she's haunted by the absolutely horrendous CrackerJack, a Babadook-cum-Freddy Krueger looking guy who takes us through his twisted world via various scenes of him torturing a child through her dreams. It's very different for a horror maze concept, I don't think I've seen anything else like it here in the UK. It's actually more on the level of Halloween Horror Nights and the way they do their mazes in that the first few scenes we see are scripted, and we walk through like it's a piece of immersive theatre, setting the scene before we plunge head-first into the maze proper. 

The bright colours of the child's bedroom and drawing are immediately juxtaposed with the monochromatic and gloomy world of CrackerJack. Wandering through a closet and a twisted version of the hallway in the house is just so haunting, it's so great at swallowing you fully into the story. I'll be honest...I didn't really get why we were in Victorian London at once point, but the set design was stunning so I'll let it off. Shout out to the dentist extracting teeth with what I can only assume was. pneumatic drill. If you love really great, immersive set design then you'll love Insomnia, a true stand-out maze for Screamfest Burton for sure. 

Yh...I still don't get it. I'm sorry I know everybody except me loves this maze so I fully accept that I'm the weird one here. I think the sets are really detailed, I think the humour of it is just lost on me a bit and I find it really takes me out of the attraction. 

So last year I remember screaming my head off in the pitch black tunnel at the start of this maze because we thought a bloody drone was coming towards us, but it turned out to just be a scare actor with night-vision goggles on. Which it turns out is equally as horrifying! I had an absolute BLAST in this maze this year - it's just so nasty and brutal and horrific. I guess the storyline is that Creed Farm sell human meat or something, and hence...chainsaws and fire everywhere! And scarecrows! And...horrible scarecrow rabbit things! 

Look, it doesn't have to make much sense when you're having this much fun. I adore the autumnal corn field setting too, it sets the whole theme off just right then to have to wander into each little cabin of whatever vile and horrendous scene comes next is just torturous, never knowing what despicable sight you're about to lay eyes on once you're inside. Years of doing this means I'm a little numb to chainsaws at this point but it's always a hoot to see people chased out of a maze screeching with a chainsaw-wielding maniac on their heels. 

5 pumpkins out of 5, no notes. Urgh, please don't make me write this it makes me SAD knowing I'll never get to do this incredible haunt ever again. Everything about it just ticks huge boxes for me from the speed dating, looking for love theme of speed dating to the grungy- Rock'n'Rollercoaster type alleyway you queue for the maze in and everything else inbetween. Wandering aimlessly down the sewers that we enter via a VILE club toilet cubicle (we've all seen them in real life) we're treated to some incredible lighting and set design - between the literal water dripping from the ceiling and the stench you really do feel like you're in a sewer. 

Entering a cage of trapped victims we get some horrifically visceral gore of some poor soul trapped in a meat grinding machine before the finale where we meet our dream date who's hidden, TV-dating show style behind 'curtain number one!' The finale crescendos with our date being revealed to us as a trench-coat-and-gas-mask-wearing chainsaw wielding maniac. Cue chainsaw chase out. End scene. Just incredible, a real loss to the UK scare scene with the closure of this incredible attraction but I trust Screamfest have something incredible up their sleeves to replace it with!


Thus ended our evening at the awesome Screamfest Burton. If you're after some more unique takes on what a scare maze can be, I'd highly recommend Screamfest. It's got some really varied haunts to check out, the atmosphere is good fun and if you don't fancy every maze you can just grab a beer and a burger and watch some live music on a cold October night instead. 

Have you visited Screamfest Burton? What's your favourite maze there? Are you equally as devastated as I am t the closure of Love Hurts? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,


  1. Thank you for your review and visiting us at Screamfest. I always love reading your reviews and thoughts as they are fair and actually create a lot of conversation with how we design our experiences.
    "IF" this is the last year for Love Hurts I feel your sorrow it is the last maze their that I painted and created the artwork inside myself so means an awful lot to me. So for you and your followers who read this, this is the design video for the experience that I create to review the work after each build. enjoy!