Halloween Unfairground is the annual Halloween event located on the Grand Pier at Weston Super Mare, Somerset. Throughout the year, the Grand Pier operates as a normal pier with arcades, rides and other attractions keeping guests entertained. During Halloween, they open the pier after the usual opening hours for a unique, eerie Halloween event which has continued to develop over the years.
Halloween Unfairground is running for even more nights during 2019, with 6 nights of scares (2 more than 2018), you can see how they are becoming a much bigger event. 5 scare attractions take over the pier, with most of the attractions taking over existing attractions and being a spooky overlay including actors, special effects and more.
The line up for 2019 is as follows; Cirque Du Fear, Crazy Circus, House of Horrors Alive, Carnevil & Puppet Museum. Puppet Museum is new for 2019 whilst all of the other attractions are existing. Also new for 2019 is the street “feartre”, which includes the addition of several roaming actors across the pier from dolls to clowns, creating much more of an eerie atmosphere the event is known for.
Halloween Unfairground has a really unique and spooky setting based indoors on the pier after hours where they turn all the arcade machines off and dim the light to give a real unnverving, spooky feeling to the event. With the walk up to the pier including a dark corridor with twisted music playing and actors lurking in the dark, this gets you straight into a unsettling place of mind before you get into the event. At the end of the walkway and as you walk into the pier building, you are met by some of the street feartre team, including a doll within a claw machine that I can assure you, you wouldn’t want to win!
A night in the circus has taken a terrifying turn as killer clowns roam The Big Top. You won’t be laughing when they come for you…
The clowns take over an existing attraction within the pier being the fun house, where you still have to go around the fun house obstacles but with the added distraction of the clowns. The scares were very tame due to the lack of actors and spaces they could use. This was more fun than scary. There was no additional themeing and the storyline wasn’t really a thing for this attraction however, the fun element was to experience the fun house with added distractions. The actors were fun, entertaining and very in your face. Even though they couldn’t touch you, they got as close as they could as they jumped about within the attraction. Overall, it’s a weak attraction in many areas however, this is quite fun but different to what you normally get at other events.
Scare: 2/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 4/10 – Actors: 6/10
House Of Horrors Alive
Climb aboard the Ghost Train and be transported to a world of darkness where things really do go bump in the night. All manner of ghouls, zombies and creatures of the night are lurking in the black around every corner – will everyone who boards get off again at the other end?
The attraction is an overlay of the ghost train attraction on the pier. With little additions can be done to the ride itself, the addition of actors is used within the confined spaces to make it a much more spookier experience. The scares were quite jumpy with the actors using the space they had to their advantage. Although the ghost train is quite confined and tight, there was still plenty of hiding spots. With us thinking we were safe with the doors shut, we were shocked to have actors come into our cage as we really wasn’t expecting it. With no additions to the themeing or storyline, the attraction worked with what was previously there to keep it creepy. Overall, for the event this was much better than it has been in previous years and can’t see it getting too much better for what they have. With this said, it’s a perfect attraction for an eerie event even though it lacks in some departments.
Scare: 5/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 4/10 – Actors: 6/10
The Freak Show has been cancelled. Abandoned by their once-great showman, and left alone in the dark, the freaks have turned wild and dangerous. After a lifetime of being stared at, they’re out for revenge now: if you look at them, they’ll take your eyes.The only way through their lair is not to see anything at all.
A returning maze but with a different story and twist on previous years. Located and using the mirror maze, Carnevil includes an in depth introduction from the story above from a blind women explaining that we must move forward but hooded. The scares were much scarier than ever before and with it being a hooded maze, the actors really ramped up the scares with sounds and touching you (or you touching them). What was also scary was the mirror maze had dead ends and you couldn’t see, so getting out was incredibly difficult. With the start and end of the maze not including a hood, we were shocked at how many scares there were and how the storyline was given through a short attraction. This short attraction wasn’t short in time with the experience lasting around 5 minutes. With us not being able to see the actors until the end, the clowns really chased you out and not allowing you to fully see them in the true light. Overall, a massive improvement in scares and storyline from previous years and is another great twist on a hooded maze using the space they have.
Scare: 6/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 7/10 – Actors: 8/10
Every lonely little boy needs some toys to play with, and you look like the perfect plaything! Enter the lair of the infamous Puppet Master, a ruthless killer who delights in turning his victims into his own personal toys. Can you escape without becoming part of his collection?
Brand new for 2019, the attraction uses a recently added addition to the pier being the museum. A perfect setting for a Puppet Master and his toys theme. The Museum itself isn’t big however, they use the space amazingly well with you walking along the pier so far that you hit a dead end and have to go back the way you came. The themeing worked and was pretty unique as they were able to use the museum to its full advantage. The scares were creepy and very jumpy with the cast being able to hide within the showers before coming alive in the Puppet like state. For a new attraction in a new space, we loved how they used this space along with the theme and how terrifying it was, which matched the rest of the event.
Scare: 8/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 8/10 – Actors: 8/10
Cirque Du Freak
This used to be The Greatest Show on Earth… Prepare to enter a world of magic and illusion where nothing is quite what it seems. This once-great illusionist has a way of making people disappear, but will you be able to find your way back to reality?
Cirque Du Fear returns for its 2nd year using a unused space of the pier. More of an actual maze styled attraction, it takes you through a story driven introduction with a fortune teller and show man setting the scene perfectly before the scares began. This attraction was truly terrifying with small groups going in and the groups splitting even more as you go further in, with the biggest size being groups of two. With the small group sizes, this allows the scares to be super impactful with it being much more of a personal experience with the actors. With some of the best actors we’ve seen throughout the night, there was enough comedy aspects brought from the team along with the scares to keep you on your toes and moving forward at a quick enough pace. With some dark corridors throughout the maze, these were used as ideal scaring spots whilst the other more decorated areas were more theatrical. Overall, another huge improvement for the event and the attraction with great splitting sections, comedy and scares!
Scare: 10/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 7/10 – Actors: 9/10
Overall, The Grand Pier’s event Halloween Unfairground was a fun yet scary evening. With many shocks and improvements from previous years, it’s great to see on it’s 3rd year of becoming scarier, how they’ve developed to become this bigger and better Halloween event. Nothing compares to the overall spookiness of the dark arcade setting and the fun location of some of the attractions. With even more scares than they ever have produced, the event is much higher quality than it ever has been. With still some improvements to be made to continue developing in the right ways with areas such as through puts, we are sure The Grand Pier are on the way to a winner in future years.
We would like to say thank you to the The Grand Pier management team & press company for allowing us to visit on Halloween to experience Halloween Unfairground. As you can see through the review, we were able to collect many exclusive images from the mazes themselves to share with you. We cannot wait to see what’s in store for 2020 and we will make sure we will be back for another year of spooks on the pier next October!
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