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Behind the scenes

Creepy Caves Unearthed

Chessington's unforgettable Howl'o'ween

Last year, Chessington World of Adventures Resort launched its scariest attraction yet, Creepy Caves Unearthed.

The attraction played on the mystery surrounding the closure of Chessington’s reptile and creepy crawly exhibit ‘Creepy Caves’ at the end of 2016. The scare maze ‘revealed’ that Zoo Keepers had been going missing from the reptile house after the discovery of a strange plant with powerful properties. The attraction launched with the warning ‘enter at your own risk’.

The maze went on to win the 2018 award for Best Original Concept and Design, so we want to know just how do you create an award winning scare maze?

Head of Entertainments, John Knapman, is one of the brains (and guts) behind Howl’o’ween, has been working at Chessington for over eight years and knows the ins-and-outs of everything spooky.

John explains, “We made a believable backstory by incorporating the history of the Park and utilising a pre-existing space. Creepy Caves had been closed off to the public for a year, we then re-branded it as ‘Creepy Caves Unearthed’ in response to the rumours surrounding the closure.

This was the first time we’ve added a real scare attraction to our line-up. Everything was created here at Chessington from the idea, to the build, the costumes and the delivery, it was all in house. It all started with an idea in our little office as we wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before.

We’re really excited to have Creepy Caves Unearthed returning for 2018, alongside favourites such as Curse of the Lost Tomb, Room on the Broom Spooky Story Time, Trick or Treat Wood and more. We’ll also be showcasing our new show, Howl’o’ween Live, where guests will be able to waltz with witches in a show-tapping spectacular.”

September 2018

John
Merlin Entertainment