“Come on everyone, follow me!” shouted one half of the Scare Addicts team to the group in ‘Infested’, one of the mazes at Scarenation. I will never forget that one; I declined to follow, favouring the relative security of being within a bigger group so, unbeknownst to him, precisely no-one else followed. This maze was quite unique in that it had a ‘half time’ waiting area. When we arrived at said spot, our hero was nowhere to be seen. I presumed he had gotten so far ahead that he’d even cleared this batching room. That was until the group behind us joined the room about 5 or 10 mins later with the intrepid explorer in tow. Basically, after breaking from the rest of the group, he spent about 10/15 mins completely and utterly lost in this maze, walking around in near total darkness, alone. Heroics haven’t been attempted since.
That’s what makes these mazes fun, especially the more non-linear ones. Every person’s experience is unique and these little things can happen that add to the fun of it.
We had another good experience at Scarenation where three girls joined us to make a group of five. They were too scared to go at the front or the back so I went at the front and the ex-hero took up the rear. The maze was called ‘Afterlife’ and it was supposed to simulate being buried alive and crawling out of the coffin. This one was in total darkness, so much so that they equipped the person at the front and the back with a head torch. What ensued once we got in there was nothing short of hilarious. The torch at the back was very quickly stolen by one of the scare actors, leaving me as the only person with illumination.
So what happened when a zombie appeared? I carried on crawling, not realising that the girls had frozen in fear and I, unwittingly, took the only source of light with me. I then heard them calling out my name and soon realised what had happened. However the scare actors, in character, weren’t allowing me to backtrack. I could wait but I couldn’t make my way back towards them. I soon heard someone scurrying around the corner and the Scare Addicts team was reunited after the girls were circumvented. Now that we were back together, we couldn’t be bothered waiting for the girls to catch up with us and, with the only light, made our way out of the maze, hearing their calls fade into the distance.
That happened to us once before, at Six Flags Fright Fest back in 2014. The first maze that we did that night was called ‘Vault 666’ and, being the first maze early in the night, the queue line was empty saving three ten year olds who were debating as to whether they should go in or not, asking the host how scary it was. She motioned to us and said, ‘you can go in with those two’ to which the kids went ‘yay, adults!’. Who knows where the parents actually were but we didn’t mind them coming in with us.
The only problem with this was, due to it being so early in the evening, I don’t think they were really ready for us. The first few rooms had enough scare actors and such to suggest otherwise and we momentarily got split up from the kids as they froze when confronted with one of the beasts. We didn’t actually notice this until we entered the next corridor and saw a big sign saying ‘EXIT’ and an open door. Naturally, we walked through it and into a clearing where the rest of the cast members were sitting at benches, eating their lunch. They saw us but didn’t acknowledge what had happened. Instead, we carried on walking around the side of the building until we found ourselves at the front. We then remembered that the kids were still in there so just hung back for a minute or two just to confirm. They never appeared. Presumably, upon seeing us, someone must have dashed across and shut that door so no-one else did what we did. So the terrified kids were then left alone in there… We returned to the maze later in the night and confirmed that the door wasn’t supposed to be open.
And there was one time in Virtually Dead when, if we were in a real life situation, we would have all been killed. Towards the end of the show, we end up in one room with a closed door and zombies on the other side. The soldier in the room with us shouted at the guy nearest the door to make sure that the door stays shut. Well, our guy confuses ‘shut’ with ‘open’ and opens the door. This shattered the illusion momentarily as there wasn’t anyone or thing on the other side of the door but in that moment, if there was, we would have been swarmed and eaten alive.
And it’s those sorts of things that make these events fun. You’re not stuck on a rollercoaster following a fixed track, sometimes unpredictable things can happen that make events feel real. And you also learn things about the human condition such as the time someone near pushed me to the floor at Secret Cinema in an attempt to get away from the infected!
With that, let us know what yours are – we’d love to hear your funny experiences in a scare attraction; we’re sure everyone has a couple! Shoot up our comments below!