Attraction Review: Spooky World

Every Halloween season, alongside returning to my favourite theme park and independent events I also endeavour to make it to some new-for-me events too. The first of these for 2022 for me was Spooky World, an event that's been on my radar for some time now but that I've always heard mixed reviews about. Some stating it's excellent, with high energy actors that carry the event, others saying it's crap and not worth the joruney. Regardless, it's an event that's always intrigued me, and plus there's a haunted hayride there so surely that would be a redeeming feature if all else failed?

Spooky World, based on the outskirts of Warrington, takes place on what is known during the day as Apple Jacks Adventure Farm. Interestingly, they offer x3 tiers of spooky stuff to do: a family friendly thing called Fun by Day, a toned down version of their event called Spooky at Night then the event proper known as Scary at Night. It's for this reason you won't find too much in the way of set dressing or things like that because each event is changed slightly to cater to different audiences, so too much faff to removed anything horrific from each scene and replace each time etc. Makes sense to me, although it would have been nice to have something to take photos of, even the signge of each maze was a very minimalist design, although this arguably made things feel creepier. 

Six haunts are on offer here, five mazes plus the hayride, so quite a lot to get stuck into. We coughed up for Fastrack at £10pp when faced with the non-moving queue of The Slaiughterhouse, but turned out we didn't really end up needing it for the other mazes. You're batched in your own groups, and as there were only two of us this made for some particularly horrific run throughs as I'll get to shortly, but one to note if you're particularly sensitive to these things! Onto the haunts then, I'll review them in the order we did them whilst they're still fresh in my mind!

Sooo turns out we chose to do the most extreme, horrific maze first, and that's why it had the longest queue. Go figure! As this was our first maze of the event we had literally zero clue what to expect, which is my favourite way to enter a maze for the first time. There was so spiel from the ride hosts telling us not to touch the actors, no voiceover explaining the rules, no music. Extremely stripped back in terms of themeing, and thus we made our way through the first wooden pallet corridor and into a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-reminiscent nightmare. 

The maze itself, as the name implies, is themed to a slaughterhouse, but I guess instead of cows/pigs we are the meat and the deranged family inside love to play with/taunt their food (which in case you didn't guess is you.) From the offset its an onslaught of abuse from the actors, who essentially jump out from behind a dark space and berate you with filth and invade your personal space. It's terrifying. 

This maze is unlike anything I've ever experienced. It was so stripped back of theatrics that we were essentially left alone, in the dark or in strobe lights or chicken wire, with actors who were hellbent on spouting the most heinous filth you've ever heard. It was genuinely threatening, and I had to keep reminding myself this was a scare maze, and this is what I do for fun. It toed right up to the line of being unacceptable and without the pre-maze spiel it really did feel like I was experiencing something I hadn't signed up for, but the fact it was so extreme took me by surprise and therefore I loved it. When you've been doing this as long as I have it's hard to experience things somebody else hasn't already done before so I was pleasantly surprised. 

Next up was Haunted House, which one again had a plain, unbranded sign on the side of a barn, so literally no indication of what the theme might be. Turns out it was a bit of a mash up of generally spooky scenes. We had a spooky nun, a possession scene, some sort of demonic creature and...pirates? Yh, I dunno, this one was quite random and didn't know whether it was coming or going. Some of the set design was really cool - I loved the possession scene with all the demonic markings on the wall and one scare actor who had gone the extra mile with their costume but generally speaking this one was fairly weak for me. I don't know how fair that is given that we entered it after being brutalised in Slaughterhouse but still, it wasn't the best.

If you're a long-time reader here, say it with me, 'I don't really find clowns that scary', and as such every new-for-me clown maze I enter I do so with baited breath. What usually makes up for the lack of scares for me with a clown maze is how creative they get with the sets - a clown/carnival/freak show theme lends itself to oodles of creative license and it could literally go in any direction so I'm always intrigued to see where we end up. 

Spooky World's Carnevil was super fun! They have the standard 'red and white flap' maze that seems to be a thing with every clown maze here in the UK, but they also had lots of long, winding corridors that used lighting and forced perspective to warp the sense of space you were end. Ceilings would lower forcing you to crouch down into a vulnerable position where the clowns could then get quite up close and person to perform their scares, and the design of the final scene allowed for some really loud scares to take place, which between that and a clown with a kazoo allowed for a few choice jump scares throughout!

This was the park's new-for-2022 attraction and with a name like The Institution I'll give you three guesses as to what the theme is. Yepppp. I will admit, I was a little upset too see an asylum themed maze, especially as a new attraction in 2022. I think as a society we've moved past this as a horrific theme so it was disappointing for sure. 

With that said, I do want to review the maze for what it is. Firstly, it's huge, but very simplistic. It reminded me a lot of The Asylum at Thorpe Park: hanging sheets, cell bar walls, strobe light, escaped 'patients'. The setup felt very 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' - juxtaposed to the setting the whole barn was blasted with 'calming' classical music, which only made the whole thing eerier. The standouts for me were a Bob Hoskin's-esque character who resembled The Penguin from Batman, and one patient who'd decided upon a dirty protest in her room. I think if they'd gone a little further down this surrealist/comic book angle of the 'asylum' I'd have been able to enjoy it a little more but it was all just a bit too jarring for me. 

Nothing says 'October' to me more than a good old-fashioned corn maze so I was delighted to learn Field of Screams was a thing. There's something really terrifying about making your way in the dark into a corn maze like that, the stalks swallowing you up as you venture deeper. Even more terrifying still to learn that said corn maze is infested with scarecrows that stalk you throughout. There's nothing more horrifying than seeing the corn shifting in the distance and wondering whether it's the wind or some horror waiting to pounce on you. 

I will say that it was incredibly dark in the corn maze, and I do think it could have benefitted from some subtle lighting in some places. I could catch a glimpse here and there of the scarecrow's faces but some parts were so dark I was focussed so much on making sure I didn't put a foot wrong and faceplant into the hay that I couldn't concentrate on the maze itself. Regardless, it was very atmospheric and autunnal so I appreciated it endlessly for that!

Our final haunt of the night was the hayride. The only other one of these I've done in the UK is at Tulley's, so suffice to say my standards were fairly high but I didn't really know what to expect. The one thing I'd been told is to be prepared to get wet, so god knows what I was about to get into. 

Unlike the hayride at Shocktoberfest, and much like the Haunted House, the hayride at Spooky World doesn't have one general theme or narrative, it just a series of heinous scenes designed to make you either really uncomfortable or have you jumping out of your skin - as all good haunts should! We were stalked by masked chainsaw-wielding mainiacs who lean into the trailer and literally press the chainsaw up against your backs (?!), had airguns shot into our faces and, inexplicably, were driven around an oil rig that spews bubbles like you're at a 2010s Oceana club night. Why? Who knows. Who cares? It's ridiculous and fun and exactly what a Halloween thing should be. 

For the finale, you're kicked off the hayride and forced to walk through the 'Tunnel of Terror' which is like a big sewer pipe before pushing through a final squeeze cushion to the exit. Ridiculous. I loved it.


I don't know what I thought Spooky World would be but it's definitely not what I expected. It's extremely stripped back in terms of theming and theatrics, but wht it misses in set design it more than makes up for in the pure energy of its actors. Every attraction was horrific in its own way and very few haunts here in the UK have the accolade of leaving me feeling genuinely scared, so kudos to Spooky World for that - the place is worth visiting for Slaughterhouse and the Haunted Hayride alone!

Have you visited Spooky World? Do you agree with my take? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to have a chat!

Talk later xoxo,