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Has a Scare Attraction Ever Been Too Much?


Last year I went in the Hysteria maze in the Dubai Mall. I booked it on Groupon months before the trip but when I got there I was the only one in the queue to go in. I tried to stall a bit with the person checking tickets but no one else turned up to join me. Before I knew it the door shut behind me and I was in the pre show room completely alone.

I've done many scare mazes in the past and while I often find myself feeling tense and jumpy it's always been a fun experience, something I go through with a smile on my face. But this felt different, my arms went really shakey and I could feel my pulse in my head, the unknown of what was to come and the vulnerability of being by myself was making me so anxious.

Anyway the pre show ends and I walk into the first room. The maze is a straight up haunted house where each room is a front room, kitchen, etc. Straight away this huge guy in a mask jumps out at me then follows me through the next few rooms where other actors also jump out. It's standard stuff and I'm having fun for this first bit, I'm laughing a bit each time I'm startled and looking around taking all the theming and details in.

I enter the next room and it's chainsaw time. The scene's designed so you run away from it straight into an air cushion squeeze. At this point I want to run but the squeeze means I can only push forwards at a snails pace and this lack of control flips a switch in my head and I start to really panic. Once I emerge from the squeeze I go into adrenaline mode and the rest of the maze I'm just sprinting from room to room with my head down trying to get out as quick as I can. If you've ever had one of those dreams where you're being chased by something but there's something holding you back that's exactly what I was feeling like in the maze, every second was excruciating.

After a bit of running I burst through the doors back into the mall and I'm really confused. I had to sit for a while to recollect the rather blurry memories of the experience and rationalise the emotions I was feeling. The maze itself wasn't one of the scariest I've done and I know that if I had gone through with five mates it would have been fine. But being alone meant you had no relief between the scares, it was a constant barrage until I snapped and went full flight mode.

Do any of you guys have similar stories?


Active Member
My experience at Lost Souls Alley in Krakow (summarised here) was pretty much too much. Ultimately, pitched incorrectly / we were given a different version to what we asked for. But it was all too much, and ended with me saying the safe word all too quickly.


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Going through them alone can be vile - I remember I went through on at Djurs a few years ago by myself and it was pitch black and just absolutely terrifying. Great though.

They’ve definitely gone too far at times - but I’m thinking more of the ‘extreme’ stuff rather than actual mazes. I’m looking at you McKamey Manor.
Sub Species: The End Games at Alton Towers left me reeling towards the end,
Every run through I had on it I always ended up alone and picked on by literally every actor.


New Member
I think it really depends on the individual and what their fear threshold is like. I don't scare easily but there's almost certainly some extreme attractions (including that one that we won't mention) that would probably be too much- but I'm yet to find anything so intense that I've had to leave during.

As for going through things alone, I'd say it's a mixed bag. Some mazes like Sub Species do cause a bit of trouser-browning for me still, but I also did a solo run of House of Nightmares at Grona Lund and kinda just waltzed through. I suppose it really depends on the build up, which is why Sub still gets me after all these years (and as I don't speak a word of Swedish I had absolutely no context to the maze that followed).

There's also the idea of knowing what the actors can and can not do. I generally find I'm not as nervous if the attraction I'm headed for is non-contact, because I keep my own space. But once thats broken, it generally feels like the actors can do literally anything, and that brings a whole new type of fear. I suppose as long as you're heading into an attraction having a rough idea of what could happen and you're fine with being thrown around (or gagged/tied up/whatever), you should be fine. It's all about respecting your own boundaries, and if you want to push yourself, absolutely do- if you're comfortable with it.

Anyway, my personal experiences? The only attraction that's scared me more than any other and made me genuinely uncomfortable past the point of "fun fear" was Phobiarama. It was a weird mash of scare, ride, art and politics that toured the UK last year. There was one particular moment where the voice over was discussing violent crime, and combined with what the actors were doing at the time, it genuinely made my skin crawl, and made me feel far more vunerable than any maze could. For some people sure, that's crossed a line, but I look back at Phobiarama and just see it as an insanely powerful performance as it scared me more than I thought was possible!


New Member
I live for these sorts of attractions (and I love horror in general), so it takes a lot for me. I did the Alone haunt in LA, and while I was nervous at first, I ended up totally enjoying it. I've also been a big fan of Creep based off the three events I've done with them. And while I never got to do Blackout, on reflection, I think I would have enjoyed it.

The hard limits for me is when it becomes more "Fear Factor", and I have to eat something disgusting or have a bug put on me. I'm not phobic of bugs, but it's not really my idea of a good time, even for a haunt.

The 17th Door in Tustin, CA kinda entered that territory a bit (not to mention the very unpleasant storylines that were a bit too drawn from real life, such as rape and child abuse), and for those reasons, it was a haunt I never really wanted to do because it did sound a bit unpleasant in a bad way. The first iteration to Trapped at Knott's Scary Farm also made you eat something, and I somewhat avoided it for that reason (as well as their odd pricing for costing $60 whether you went in alone or up to 6 people--I could never find anyone to go with, so I didn't want to pay $60 by myself). I prefer my haunts to be more fictitious and escapism based.


Active Member
Reading about the unpleasant/dark storylines reminded me of another experience:

Face it Alone, Thorpe Park in 2015. I did Big Top, and one actor spent a solid minute describing in very graphic detail how she had been abused by people at the circus; rape, torture, mental abuse, etc. I guess specific kudos to the actress who did as something like that isn't something you can easily communicate convincingly. Was all very unnerving and certainly very uncomfortable and the borderline of how I want to feel in a scare experience. Could certainly see that being too much for some.

Matt N

Well-Known Member
Reading through this thread, I don't know how you guys can do this sort of stuff! Roaming actors outside County Hall in London during Halloween was too much for me; I can take a roller coaster or drop tower, but I have a very low fear threshold with actor-led attractions! They're not my sort of thing at all!


Zoo Terror and Project Z in Walibi Belgium were two haunted houses I thought that were a little bit over the top.

Zoo Terror (in the former station of Psyké Underground) was this very chaotic maze that was somekind of exhibition with crippled and semi-slaughtered animals in cages. At one point, there was somekind of power failure and all these horrible animals escaped their cages and attacked visitors inside the maze. I remember it being very chaotic with strobelights and extremely loud techno-music. These animals were all very agressive, forcing people in corners on their knees and such.

Another one was Project Z, which was somekind of bootcamp where visitors could join the training of a secret army, preventing a zombie outbreak. First shocker was that visitors got seperated at the entrance of the maze, so everyone had to enter the maze on their own. Next was this sort of tunnel which you had to crawl through. This tunnel had some sort of fake barbwire above it and actors crawling in the other side with chainsaws. The whole thing was filled with very agressive drill-instructors that let us do the most crazy things, such as kneeling in a corner with your hands on your head, do push-ups, stand against a wall and being yelled at...
At one point, you could meet up again with your company as many people were stuffed in a very small cage. Only for a shrt time, as actors dragged you at very brutal, forcing you into a never ending room with about 40 doors. There was this very loud alarm going of and this red alarm light flashing. I remember they let people often walking around very long in this room, before letting them out, being pulled up a stairs. The whole maze could be done pretty quick, but also very long, depending on the actors. I was inside one time for about 25 minutes.