If you’re a massive horror fan like me and like a good scare around Halloween time, then you’re going to love this haunted house. I became aware of this particular house haunt this year by stumbling upon it on the local news. It’s located in Preston and if you live anywhere in the North-west then perhaps you have come across it too.
This father and daughter team who love Halloween so much that they spend most of the year planning for it, by doing so they take a trip to America every year in order to source out the scariest horror props, spending thousands of pounds to transform their everyday regular suburban house into something that would invoke nightmares.
After hearing what a great transformation this house goes through, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see the house of my dreams. I decided to take a trip out to it during the day in order to have a browse around at the props.
To my amazement I discovered a life-sized coffin and hearse, which were complete with its very own skeleton drivers.
The front garden was completely transformed into a graveyard and all the gravestones were made by hand from a family member.
Whilst I was browsing at the cemetery this black cat came hurtling down the street at me. (I love cats and I am a cat magnet but that’s a whole other story.) I didn’t know where this little kitty lived but they very much looked right at home in this house.
Anyway, whilst there I discovered they open up their house two nights each year for a walk-through. Oh no, the decorations didn’t stop at the front of the house. In fact, a building had been constructed all the way down the driveway which connected to the garage. All the construction, carpentry and electrics were done by family members and friends who donated their time and skills to the cause.
I returned on the second evening of the walk-through, even arriving before opening time I couldn’t believe how the queue was all the way down the street. The house looked even better in the dark, all lit up it was spooky.
The entrance started at the gates and you entered into the extension building, only small enough to let a handful of people in at a time. It was filled with amazing mechanical sound and light props. The prop in the first room jumped out at you, which is the creepy looking person in the picture below.
The connecting corridor was filled with mechanical zombies. From then on there was an option to turn left to the really scary bit or to turn right to skip the scary bit.
I went left of course…
The extension down to the garage were three different scenes; one a zombie nurse with a surgeon and a bloody corpse, a skeleton biker and a Doctor Frankenstein style theme.
They were blood curdling, amazingly scary and all accompanied by family members and friends who had given their time to do some acting (and what great actors some of them were, particularly the doctor above, he was scarily into character.)
Heading into the garage was a labyrinth, a pitch black maze with people in costume jumping out at you and banging on walls. It was very small and very dark, I had no idea how they fit so much into a small space. It was like the Tardis in there, bigger on the inside. From there on led out into the back garden.
The only criticism I have is that there was no prior warning or notices of strobe lighting or confined spaces (although the second one might be assumed.) Definitely not good for anyone who has claustrophobia or suffers from any medical conditions. Also, after seeing what a scary place it was, I think there should have been an age limit on entrance. If you have an aversion to children like me, the crying kids who turned back because they were scared shitless and had to squeeze past you was definitely of an annoyance. This place was definitely too scary for younger kids.
Out of the garage and into the back garden was full of zombies. I literally thought I had walked onto the set of the Walking Dead.
Travelling through the back door was a scary Alice in Wonderland themed area leading into the living room. This was the less scary bit you were diverted to, leading onto the exit which was the front door.
When walking through this house it was hard to believe someone had opened up their home to complete strangers. While it no longer looked like a home, the settings and decorations had been done to the highest standard. I definitely had a few screams walking through here and came out laughing my head off.
I would take coming here over any commercial event, the best kind of entertainment is one done through passion and enjoyment. This is one community spirited family that offers their time, money, skills, labour and passion for the enjoyment of others.
They do have a charity bucket at their home but donations are voluntary, not mandatory, so even if you didn’t donate you could still enter the house. I do believe it’s the same charity every year – Cancer Research. However, if you’re like me and don’t wish to participate in funds going towards animal research, I would like to make another place known.
www.drhadwentrust.org It’s a medical research facility that uses non-animal testing methods.
Even if there was an entrance fee to this home, I would have been more than willing to pay. It was exceptionally well worth it and I shall be returning next year.
Blessed Be )O(