Mangled, blood caked hair frames a smeared face. Her head encased in a Saw-like lethal puzzle contraption. The strobe crazed picture flashes before me in disorientating slow motion. So slow, I think she may be a dummy. But, on the third head thrust she breaks free, flailing to the floor and grabs at my leg. Damn, she’s real. I scream as she uses my ankle as an anchor to slide herself towards me. I shake her off and embed my nails in the shoulder of the poor man in front of me. I bet he’s so pleased I had my acrylics done earlier.
That was just for starters. As we spent the next hour inching our way around the 11th-century haunted maze of Hinchingbrooke House, the smell of two stroke oil burnt my nostrils as the whir of chainsaws was too close for comfort. Dismembered body parts swung into me throughout the evening, zombies grabbed at me and the soulless mask of Michael Myers peered through me. For a short period, the coarse threads of the bag over my head itched my nose and the warmth of my breath steamed my eyes. At the point when I asked Mr T if it was him grabbing at my waist, I knew deep down the answer was going to be ‘no’. It was an immersive hour of shocks and scares.
By the end of the night my throat was hoarse from the screams and my rib cage ached from the laughter. And it’s official, I am a complete wuss. So much for being a zombie fighting bad arse, I wailed my way around like a banshee. My only saving grace, the middle aged man in front of me, who proved to be an even bigger scaredy cat than I was. And where was Mr T in all this? Planted right behind me chuckling all the way. It appears I provide good value entertainment. It always helps to know who your friends are hey!
Horror at Hinchingbrooke House is something I’d been eyeing up for a while and this year I decided to bite the bullet and treat myself in the name of a birthday outing. I had no idea what to expect. But amidst the queue of people awaiting entry, it was evident there were plenty of other mad souls looking for a cheap scare. We were put in a small group of ten to enter the house and we fearsomely conga lined our way around the maze of rooms, hands comfortingly plastered on the shoulders of the stranger in front. I have to admit that there is something to be said for safety in numbers. If I’d had to walk around alone, I fear I would have been a gibbering wreck. The costumes, props and make up were horrific (in the right way) and the actors were sneaky. They would pop up out of nowhere – you’d turn your head to a vacant set of haunted eyes mere millimetres from you. I jumped in shock a good few times that night and the sound of my post scream giggles filled the corridors. I made it out alive and in all honesty, I cant remember the last time I laughed so much. But I have to admit I’m now thinking twice about Challenge #32. I might need to call on my inner zombie warrior a little more before round 2.