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Tulleys Farm Halloween Festival
From: 2013.10.06 To: 2013.10.31
The annual Halloween Festival at Tulleys has developed over the last 15 years into what is now recognised as the UK's largest dedicated Halloween event. Daytime delights for families include pumpkin carving and child-appropriate haunted attractions such as the Horrid Hayride, Creepy Cottage, Spooky trail and Boo Barn. At nightfall, the real terror arrives with the Shocktober Fest part of the festival which was given a Screamie Award for being the UK's best Halloween event. Here you'll experience the dark and ghastly up-close in a series of attractions that will leave anyone with nightmares. Halloween may not have started in the UK, but one trip to Tulleys Farm and you'll know what you've been missing all these years. In the beginning there were pumpkins ... 1000s of pumpkins! We started growing pumpkins in 1994 and it's no secret that we struggled to sell them. 'Halloween? That's American isn't it?' Was the response to us trying to persuade the Brits to enjoy Halloween as an annual festival. The Pumpkin Carving competition In 1995 we gave 100s of pumpkins away to cub, scout, brownie and guide groups as well as local schools. The condition was to bring some of them back to the farm on a Saturday evening in Mid October and enter them into a carving competition. A fete type event developed with small side shows such as maggot racing, pumpkin ping pong and people just loved it. The Fancy Dress competition and Half Term fun The 1996 season was expanded to run during the half-term holiday with a fancy dress competition as well as the side shows and games. The emphasis was still firmly on selling pumpkins. A haunting time .... Our first, very basic attempt at a haunted attraction was The Creepy Cottage. During 1997 we converted a 16th century barn into a small walk-through haunted house. After several stages of remodelling and the installation of a computer-controlled pneumatic system the Creepy Cottage still survives as one of the fun haunts at the Halloween Festival. The Halloween season continued to gain in popularity but I think we can put the huge recent rise in Halloween celebrations down to one phenomenon ... The Harry Potter effect Harry Potter's influence has been huge, and the Tulleys event has expanded considerably each year in line with the increasing popularity of Halloween in the UK. Small children who were happy to carve pumpkins quickly become teenagers and young adults who wanted to push their boundaries further. Wagon Ride to Haunted Hayride 2002 was one of those eureka moments. A short wagon ride was designed, featuring two spooky scenes and patrons were taken off into the woods in the dark. The long queues told of its popularity and, in 2003, a purpose built track with 20 scenes and bespoke trailers was built for the launch of the new Haunted Hayride attraction. The Tulleys Halloween Festival had come of age. Field of Screams The success of the farm's annual giant Maize Maze attraction in the summer was the inspiration behind Field of Screams, which was built for the first time in 2005. Successfully haunting a 3 acre cornfield, isn't as easy as we thought and the first year's effort wasn't great. However, we learnt from experience and, by 2008, the use of indoor and outdoor haunt spaces within Field of Screams has created a very unique, very, very scary attraction. Further improvements are coming for the 2010 season. October Fest Fun Park Separating further the daytime from the night time event has been an important step in the Halloween Festival's development. The daytime is firmly aimed at families and young children; attractions like the Horrid Hayride, Boo Barn and Spooky Trail, along with some excellent shows and side activities, have continued to impress. The daytime fun park is also still FREE admission, so your day can be tailored to suit your budget as a token system operates for all the attractions. Shocktober Fest Scream Park Developments in 2009 were significant. Two NEW extreme haunted house attractions were built, The Cellar and It's Curtains and they both proved hugely popular although they weren't for the faint hearted.