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Behind the scenes

Behind the Screams at Scarefest

Transforming Alton Towers Resort into the UKs most popular scare attraction

How do you transform an 800 acre, fun-filled theme park into the ultimate scare-mosphere? Do you ‘hocus pocus’ and cast a spell? Not quite! Our scare experts (also known as ‘scaresperts') explain how every year, Alton Towers Resort undergoes a terro-rific transformation into Scarefest, the home of the UK’s biggest and most popular Halloween event.

Work on Halloween begins in June and it takes a team of around 20 technicians four months to create and install the award-winning live scare mazes, working behind-the-scenes even whilst the park is open! It’s a stealthy, secret operation in the lead up to the much anticipated Scarefest reveal.

Each year, the four scare mazes have their own backstory and theme, purposefully designed to individually create a different experience. No two mazes are the same and each use technology in their own weird and wonderful way to provide unforgettable scares to the masses!

Scarefest isn’t just about the thrills and spills of experiencing Alton Towers Resorts famous rides in the dark. In the attractions, every human sense is taken into careful consideration. The team of scaresperts oversee the installation of a whopping 25 smoke machines, 350 lights, 160 speakers and 2000L of smoke fluid across the theme park, all contributing to the spooktacular, fully immersive setting guests experience during Scarefest.

Whilst the park is undergoing its renovation, there’s more frightfully first-class work going on behind-the-scenes in the wardrobe department. The team have to design and make nearly 200, individual costumes. Over 300 metres of fabric is used to create the desired looks, from vampires to zombies, mutants to ghost pirates and the flash mobbing dancers the Alton Ancestors. Some of the costumes start their life from high street stores and then get distressed and altered according the theme of the maze the scare actors will be wearing them in, making them unrecognisable.

Astonishingly, the costume team get through 30 litres of clay, several tons of wax, 13 litres of latex and over 70 cans of ‘dirty down’ used for distressing costumes and crafting masks and prosthetics, for the hundreds of scare actors. After the costume is made the team move on to the accessories - more than 60 sets of contact lenses are used, along with a selection of wigs, teeth, makeup and litres of fake blood to complete each spine-tingling look.

And the pumpkins? We have hundreds delivered just 24 hours before the start of event that are placed across the theme park for that iconic touch of Halloween! Then all that’s left is for the guests to experience the frights and thrills.

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October 2018

Halloween at Alton Towers Kids
Subterra Nemesis scare maze halloween zombie
Merlin Entertainment