Last night, on a dark Gloucester farm, we witnessed a group of girls being chased by an axe-wielding monster wearing a creepy mask. And we filmed the whole thing. Their terrified screams were drowned out by our hysterical laughter. No, we weren’t shooting a horror film, we were attending Frightmare, Gloucester’s Halloween scare fest. And it was brilliant.
We’d never heard of Frightmare, but we were invited by Dan Hopkins, Calamityville’s number one fan. Yes, we were shocked too that someone who wasn’t a friend watched the show. In June he told us that he was involved in Frightmare and asked if we would like to go. Does Leatherface like chainsaws? As much as we love Cardiff, it sucks for Halloween events. The whole of south Wales is terrible for Halloween events. The only ones are for children. Every year we struggle to find something scary for adults. So when Dan gave us the link to Frightmare and we saw it had FOUR scary attractions, we were more excited than Freddy Krueger at nap time.
We decided to go as ghost ship pirates and rocked up only to discover we were the only ones dressed up. And everyone stared at us like we were the weirdos. What is WRONG with people? It’s a Halloween event! This happened to us about five years in Tredegar House. Our mum went dressed as a death spirit and we were corpse brides with creepy crawlies hanging from our veils and bouquets and blood streaking our faces. We walked in to find everyone staring at us, because they hadn’t bothered making an effort. Anyway, we headed for the toilets, which were porta loos out the back. While Neen and Cat were in them, a group of girls ran out, screeching like Twilight vampires in a fifty percent off glitter sale. Then an axe-wielding pumpkin man lumbered after them. Lynx was waiting outside the toilets, so did what anyone would do – laughed at the girls and filmed their terror. He cornered them by the porta loo Cat was inside, while they cowered against it, knocking it and almost dying of fright. Think of a scene from any slasher film and that’s what it was like. It was hilarious :D All Cat heard was deafening screams, and pounding on the door as the girls tried to get in. Then the porta loo was jolted. Luckily she’d only just stepped inside so hadn’t even reached the toilet. Did she open the door to save these terrified girls? No. She just hoped when she stepped out, their blood wouldn’t stain her pirate dress.
When Lynx went to the toilet, a chav girl of about 18, who had used a foundation shade we can only think of as ‘pumpkin blush’ asked Cat and Neen if they worked there. They said no. She said “then why are you dressed up?” Cat – “it’s a Halloween event.” Girl: “so do you like Halloween?” Why would we be dressed up at a Halloween event if we didn’t like Halloween? That would be like grinches (ok, us) showing up as Santa’s Grotto in full elf regalia. Cat – “yes. We’re Goths, we love Halloween.” Neen – “I’m not a Goth.” Cat – “my twin and I are Goths.” Girl – “why aren’t you a Goth?” Neen – “I’m just not.” Girl – “Don’t you like it?” Neen – “I do like it, I’m just not one. The clothing is beautiful though.” Cat – “until the cats grab your lace sleeves and keep you prisoner.” Girl to Cat – “how long have you been a Goth?” Cat – “since forever.” Girl – “so do you like it then?” *Facepalm* Cat just stared at her for a few seconds, trying to work out if she was putting it on or if her orange dye had nuked some brain cells. Cat – “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like it.” We really hope she was drunk. Either that or her skull had been hollowed like the pumpkin she had colour matched herself to.
We went to our first attraction – Panic. We won’t go into too much detail because we don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t been. We were stalked by a teenage boy holding a pumpkin (he was an actor, not some random boy). As we got to the front of the queue, the guy asked for our wristbands. We stared at him blankly. He explained that when you handed your tickets in, you were given wristbands. We hadn’t seen anyone to hand our tickets to. We were directed to the queue out the front door. Turns out, we’d come in the back way and because we were the only ones dressed up, security thought we worked there and let us in! :D We queued with the rest of the attendees who looked more like they were going to Tesco than a Halloween event. The security guards and staff loved us because we’d made such an effort. One of the actors kept coming up to talk to us whenever we were queueing and Pumpkin Boy stalked us for most of the night. Pumpkin Man lost interest when we didn’t run from him.
We returned to Panic and were put with two teenage girls. Whenever we do this kind of thing, we always end up with teenage girls. And there are always two of them who are both terrified. It was pitch black inside Panic, so we were told to hold each other’s shoulders as we worked our way through the maze of bloodied curtains and concealed actors. We immediately started doing the Conga. The girls didn’t join in. We soon dropped our arms and left each other to possibly be mauled. The girls were so scared that the one behind Neen was practically on Neen’s back, she was holding her that tightly. They shrieked at every actor, we laughed and grinned the whole way though. We particularly liked the bit where you walk through a prison with strobe lighting, because one minute you can’t see anything, the next an escaped prisoner is standing face to face with you.
There was a photographer taking photos of people posing in the stocks. He asked if we wanted a photo. As we deliberated, he said “please can I take your photo? You look fantastic.” It would be rude to turn down a begging man.So we agreed. He was probably sick of photographing jeans and wellies. And his helper was a nice bit of Halloween eye candy ;)
We made our way to the Fright House and caught the attention of Pumpkin Man, who was attracted by the camcorder’s light. We lured him over so he could terrify the rest of the people in the queue. In the Fright House we were put with two lads who were late teens/early twenties. As we made our way through the blood soaked passages, a clown jumped out. A girly shriek echoed around the darkness. It was the guy behind Lynx. Think Ned Flanders’s scream. Lynx had to fight from laughing out loud. There was a girl dressed as a creepy doll in one of the rooms. Her costume was amazing. She was by far the creepiest actor despite the fact she mostly stood in the corner and offered to cut out our eyes.
We stopped for a drink and were entertained by the actor we’d been talking to, chasing a teenage girl through the marquee. She ran and screamed like a true horror actress. We were practically wetting ourselves laughing. She ran outside then tried sneaking in behind someone. We spotted her and sent the actor after her. We’re helpful like that. She was even scared of Pumpkin Boy and he just stood there, silently staring. We thought it would be funny if we were to do the same – find a group of teenage girls and just surround them, staring. It’s the only time of year we won’t get arrested for it.
The third attraction we visited was Seance. It had a really cool old house front with creepy hands on the wall. While we were queuing there was a clown behind us doing stuff. There’s just no need for clowns. He wasn’t a killer clown, just a regular one in a suit with a sad face which somehow made it worse. The kind of disturbing clown that will haunt your nightmares. When we walked in to Seance, the actor said “it’s the Calamityville girls!” It was Dan! We’ve never met him before, so encountering him in a creepy house in full Halloween costume was a unique first meeting. The seance was brilliant – far more active than any seances we’ve done :D Maybe we need to recreate it for a future episode.
By the time we left Seance, it was time for our Haunted Hayride. Neen stood behind a teenage girl and frightened the life out of her :D We don’t understand why people go to these events if someone in costume scares them, but at least it provides free entertainment for us. The clown was also amusing the queue for the hayride so we were glad when we turned the corner so we wouldn’t have to see him *shudders*. The hayride was a lot of fun. We were in a trailer pulled by a tractor which was speeding over bumpy ground in the dark. Every time it stopped, creepy actors would surround the trailer and some got on board. The girl Neen scared was convinced she was going to wet herself. Then the driver got out to ‘move a tree’ when we were attacked by cannibals. They scared the driver away. The girl was petrified! She kept saying “where’s he’s going? Has he left us? Is he coming back? Why has he left us?” We were laughing so hard we weren’t paying attention to what the cannibals were threatening :D We offered her a cup if she needed the toilet. The cannibals hijacked the trailer and took us to a pitch black barn. It was so dark you couldn’t see the person in front of you. This time we actually obeyed the hanging on to the person in front rule. We somehow managed to get separated from the rest of the group, so the actors were probably disappointed as none of us are the shrieking kind. We laughed and smiled our way through the attacks and greeted the actors with a cheery ‘hello!’ and asked to join their lucrative body parts operation. Being dead, they had no use of us.
The hayride dropped us back at the attractions, but we had to go through a corn maze, which was guarded by two scarecrows. After asking one if he’d escaped from Arkham Asylum, he then followed us through the whole maze, trying to pop up and scare us. We invited him to be our man slave and we think we liked the idea because he stuck with us after that. A terrifying scarecrow butler is much better than a man in a suit. We could set him on sales people and Jehovah’s Witnesses. We rounded the corner to find two teenage girls cowering in a corner. One of them was the one who had been pursued through the marquee earlier. When they saw us, they asked if we could go first, clearly seeing us as protectors. So we did what any great protector would do – led them to safety then tracked down the scarecrows and sent them after the girls. No need to thank us, you are most welcome.
Most of the attractions had finished by the time we got back, but we wanted to speak to Dan, so we hung around for half an hour, waiting for Seance to close. Dan eventually left Seance so so we nabbed him for a photo and a chat. There was no way we were leaving without getting to speak to our number one fan. We would never have known about Frightmare if it wasn’t for him. He was really lovely and we’re so jealous that he gets to be involved in something so fantastic. He and Pumpkin Man (Troy) made the Seance house. Dan’s now going to be joining us when we investigate Littledean Jail.
We don’t have many traditions in Calamityville (unless getting lost counts) but we might have to start a new one with an annual trip to Frightmare. We highly recommend it. It’s running ’til Nov 1st so there might still be tickets available. Do it now. NOW! Or we will set Pumpkin Man after you…