Every year, London Tombs has a Halloween makeover with this year’s theme being puppets (called ‘The Ventriloquist Nightmare’)! This event is broken into two sections with the first part being the Halloween update and the second being the standard London Tombs maze. Though we missed it last year, we went through in 2014 and have to say that this year was much better!
It began with a really simple but cool gimmick, unending corridors of puppet strings. Threaded into the walls at different heights and angles, there was no easy way to traverse these ropes. Some were just way too low for you to scurry beneath. It became an actual obstacle course as we ducked and climbed along the path! We really liked this idea; it worked with the theme of the attraction and provided some interactivity. The length of this section was great too; building suspense with all the blind corners.
We finally got through the rope section and entered a room full of mannequins. Amongst the actual mannequins, there were live actors and they were fantastic. They were really hands-on, grabbing and pushing us about quite forcefully!
The other thing here that we liked was the occasional pit stop where an actor would deliver a short scene before herding you on to the next room. They tried to develop the theme of the attraction in these moments, building the story. This made it more than just a bunch of rooms full of puppet paraphernalia.
We won’t cover the second half in detail as we understand that this wasn’t really changed for ‘Phobophobia’ and we intend on reviewing the year-round element separately in the near future! Suffice to say, it has everything that you’d want from a haunt – claustrophobia walls, spinning tunnels, strobe sections and even some large animatronics!
First off, the length is great here; you’re in the attraction for a long time. It feels like the ‘Phobophobia’ part is shorter than the second half but it’s still a very decent length. You won’t feel short-changed!
In general, we just love the interactivity here. Not only were the actors lively and permitted to touch but you also had to interact with the environment. This is something that we see less often in haunts than we would like. As mentioned above, pretty much every trick is thrown at you throughout the duration of the event. We’ll always be big fans of the strobing and pitch black sections – anything that can disorient!
We had one real problem with this event and that was the batching in the second half. There were five people in our group and we went into the first section as that five. We didn’t have anyone behind us either. Once we got to the halfway point, a member of staff joined us up with the group in front. This suddenly turned our group of five into about fifteen. We’ll keep saying it forever and a day – large batches are one of the worst things that can happen in a haunt. Given that there wasn’t anyone behind us, we would have much preferred to wait a couple of minutes to go in as a smaller group. It just didn’t seem busy enough to warrant large batches.
Phobophobia (2016) London Tombs
Overall, ‘Phobophobia’ is a brilliant time, a lot of thought and creativity has gone into the event. And having been in a previous year, we can vouch that it’s way more than a simple re-theme! We’d definitely recommend a visit. And we’ll also be paying a visit to the Tombs during normal operations to cover the permanent aspects of the attraction in a bit more detail!
Ticket Price: £27
Address: 2-4 Tooley Street London, SE1 2SY