The Howl Scream Park is back in 2019 for 12 nights of scare, and we were invited down to experience the opening night. This established Halloween event is located at Mead Open Farm near Leighton Buzzard, and is home to 5 horror mazes and a host of roaming creatures, there’s also live music and food & drink options to easily fill a whole evening visit. The 5 mazes this year are the same name and theme as last year, but don’t let that put you off if you’ve been before, because with various updates and new cast members, it definitely felt as fresh, funny & frightening as ever!
“So where do unwanted ‘arrivals’ go? Why, The Shed of course.”
Entering into what looks like an abandoned farm warehouse, this attraction features plenty of narrow and dark spaces you can never be sure where an actor may attack from creating an intense experience. The experience also features a lot of authentic theming from wooden pallets to work tools to really make you feel like you’re in a ‘shed’, it even comes complete with a tractor. If the inhabitants don’t get you screaming and jumping, the consistent ending should have you running out!
Scare: 8/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 8/10 – Actors: 8/10 – Overall: 24/30
“He’s not a clown that deals in laughter, he prefers screams!”
Venturing into this funhouse might be fun to some, but there’s lots of scares too as it takes a darker turn the further you go. It’s quite a standard clown maze overall, but the actors and a couple of sections really make it stand out from the rest. The level of energy for both scares & humour from the clowns inside created such a fun yet unnerving experience, we somehow couldn’t get enough. Our highlights were some of the innuendos, and would sound weird out of context, but a donkey on a kids toy tractor! But that’s not all; you’re teased throughout the maze about Mr. Topper, who you do come face to face with at the end to certainly make you uncomfortable.
Scare: 7/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 6/10 – Actors: 8/10 – Overall: 21/30
“What happens in The Attic after dark is too gruesome to imagine.”
This attraction was new for last year and takes you through a haunted hotel with lots of chilling guests; inevitably you end up heading physically upstairs into the attic which has some great themeing and an eerie feel. This was the weakest maze in our opinion, the themeing in places like the finale felt a little bland and just struggled to match the level of enjoyment and scares from the rest of the strong lineup. It’s still a must-do whilst visiting The Howl, with some creepy sights and even smells, just might be worth starting with this one to ease you into it.
Scare: 5/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 7/10 – Actors: 6/10 – Overall: 18/30
“Step into the woods if you dare. Happily ever after doesn’t exist.”
Immersed into a dark & twisted world of red riding hood, nowhere is safe, through the forests, a cabin in the woods and various other scenes the inhabitants were using their space incredibly well, following you through whole sections of the maze at times, as well as teaming up to create some intense scares from all angles. We found this attraction much improved from last year. Whilst this maze is pretty short, it really does make an impact… will you find Red, or will the wolf get you!?
Scare: 8/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 8/10 – Actors: 10/10 – Overall: 26/30
“Squeal, piggy, squeal! Did I forget to mention that it’s you they’ll be hunting?”
The pigs that inhabit this yard are out for revenge, and it’s humans that are on the menu; this maze has it all from storyline, to themeing, to intense scares. This maze feels really authentic with old farmhouse buildings used, as well as animal trailers, the actors are also cast very well to provide the most intimidating and intense experience. There is a lot of interactivity and dialogue from the ‘pigs’, and the maze provides so many vantage points for jump scares as well, and they also like to split the groups up. At one point we were particularly picked on and made to sit on the floor and sing a song, we really were made to feel humiliated and that humans are inferior in this attraction. We did prefer this attraction in previous years, as the new changes have made the group splitting and scares a bit less prominent; but it’s still the best attraction at the Howl and is suitably finished with a familiar noise and choice of weapon that most people hate and will be running out screaming!
Scare: 8/10 – Themeing & Storyline: 9/10 – Actors: 9/10 – Overall: 26/30
In our opinion, we found the atmosphere and ‘feel’ of the park to be lacking a bit this year. On our first visit in 2017 the overall theme was coherent with grandma and her dysfunctional family that made up the roaming actor cast, with key characters having the mazes based on them, namely grandpa the werewolf! 2018 continued this theme, and we loved the crude humour and scares created by the family of roaming characters who had no concept of personal space or where they could roam in the park. Whilst the variety of new creatures this year were great and entertaining to all in the spaces they roamed, we can’t help but miss the ‘family’ and overall theme of the park from previous years.
We would like to thank The Howl for our visit, and we were definitely howling with screams & laughter throughout the night. See below for links to their website and to purchase tickets for a shockingly good time.
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