Articles, Review

Psycho Path

Last night the Raven took flight and left the relatively safe confines of her beloved cemeteries and headed to the latest Hallowe’en attraction in the North East of England: Psycho Path.

WARNING: this article contains spoilers of sorts so please don’t read if you want the experience to be completely fresh.

Armed with seven worthy companions I was confident all would be well. We had all bases covered: head torch, team members who would kick down Psycho Path actors if they dared touch us (and touch they do…), runners, screamers, and those who think nothing of using you as a human shield.

As A commented “you find out things about yourself by doing events like this…“. Indeed.

The intrepid team of Psycho-Path walkers

Anyway back to the event, the website promised:

an endless maze of devilish doom. Set deep within 700 acres of isolation. We bring you fear unimaginable until now.

FAQs revealed that the path was mostly outside in the woods on uneven paths and around 2 miles long. Oh and a medical disclaimer is oh-so reassuring.

Prepared? Of course we weren’t!

The Psycho Path back story

The trailers for the event are phenomenal. They are mini horror films.

The back story is of a 1970s Government testing programme that goes wrong. The test subjects are human – but they are also the most terrifying and debauched criminals the UK has ever seen. The tests leave the inmates mutated and inherently evil. In July 2018 one escapes and releases others into the farmland surrounding the test centre. They are wild and crazy. They are waiting.

This is Psycho Path. And we are most welcome!

A lovely drive

The journey to Lintz Farm takes us along unlit, narrow and winding country roads. It’s now that it dawns on me just how dark this whole thing will be. Looking out over the surrounding fields you can see absolutely nothing. Just shapes. And we all know that shapes are not good in horror movies. I’m sure that this area of Durham is beautiful when you can actually see it!

To add to our trepidation we are tailed by a car for about two miles. He’s practically on top of us. We arrive at a junction to see a truck waiting with the engine ticking over. It’s like Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

The drive at least gave us a chance to cover “stuff that’s scary“. So we’re going in knowing that terror triggers include: chainsaws, machetes, clowns, hatchets and knives.

On arrival

We arrive to the the sounds of pumping house music coming from a barn, fairy lights, craft beers and gins and the smell of hot dogs and burgers.

Ooh it’s like a party” proclaimed one of my group.

But as in any horror movie, the joy was short-lived.

Also in the barn was a man who kept hammering nails into his head and swinging said hammer alarmingly at people. There were shrieks and laughs as he spooked people on his route around the room.

Apparently we’ve now added “hammers” to our list of terror triggers.

The barn and the wait

Our designated start time was 8.30, but in reality was more like 9pm. There’d been some problems out on the course: a couple of vans had broken down. The problem here was that there was no communication as we stood waiting for 30 minutes.

This is where the barn was fun and nice. It had a lovely warm atmosphere. It was welcoming and friendly (not withstanding hammer man). But they could have used this time to build up fear and apprehension. The barn would have benefited from hammer man 2 or even just playing the fantastic trailers around the place.

Psycho Path begins (at last)

Finally through the gates! We are herded into pens behind a gate. Oh and there’s a screen showing the back story…but there’s no time to watch it. *sighs*

The van

At the end of the path there’s an egg van. We walk up to it expecting something to happen. Someone should jump out? Nothing. We try the door, it’s open. It’s filled with hay bales. Like sheep we get in.

If you see a van with this chicken on it, stop it and save us.

There’s banging on the side of the van and a man in a balaclava slams the doors. It is inky black. We wait. He bangs the van some more, opens the door and brandishes a metal hook at us all.

No phones, no talking“.

He hits the van some more which generates laughter and noise.

No talking…” he pokes the hook at my friend “stop talking“.

All right” she mutters “but get that stick out of my face, I dunno where it’s been“.

I sense balaclava man has his work cut out tonight…

We’re driven in complete darkness to a new location where the walk begins properly. Well it does after they steal some of our party…

I’ll not go through everything as a) that’s very spoilery and b) I can’t remember the order of everything anyway!

The woodland walk

The set up is fantastic, paths are pretty decent, though very dark. We have been given a small torch by balaclava man. That, along with our own head torch means we’re feeling pretty confident.

First path leads us past scarecrows. I love scarecrows – they can be incredibly creepy. Psycho Path do the misdirection thing very well. You honestly don’t know which are real people and which aren’t.

Kudos to the actors throughout – their timing is impeccable. They wait just long enough for you believe they aren’t real then shriek in your face.

After our first encounter with the Farmer we are sent screaming into the night and deeper into the woods. The actors in Psycho Path properly chase you and aren’t afraid to grab an arm or neck at certain points!

The containers

Throughout the woodland walk you are forced to enter a number of containers and ‘houses’. The first feature the crazy and deformed inmates.

We are confronted by a man who wants to chop us up in his mouldy house, a crazy man who is sawing the leg off a doll while gently rocking and singing. As we pass him he flips out, screeches, grabs a girl in our party round the neck and comes forward to touch my hair (ew) before banging his head against the wall repeatedly allowing us time again, to run screaming into the woods.

There are meat freezers to face, these are filled with dangling pieces of plastic (they stick to you like rotting seaweed) and swaying carcasses to navigate. Every step of the way is punctuated by people yelling at you to run and leave this place. We run through metal tunnels – Psycho-Path are fond of banging metal with metal.

It’s all very stressful and actually bloody boiling. We’d dressed for winter, some of these containers are stuffy and hot.

The sick bay

Of course no mutated medical test facility would be complete without crazy nurses (“are you ready for your test” they shriek), the smell of rotting flesh and the sound of radioactive alarms going off.

The stench in the sick bay is horrendous. I pity the guy who spends his nights in there. I was a bit sad to be rushed through the medical facility – some of the set pieces were fantastic – the mutated bodies especially deserved more time.

Finally we’re out

Well we’re out of the test facility. Now we just face a maze of hay complete with clown (terror trigger), a crazy nun and church (apparently nuns are one we missed off the TT list) and finally a chainsaw (terror trigger – ding, ding ding).

Next there’s a creepy rabbit that was a cross between The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog and the one from Donnie Darko. There are so many shocks and surprises around the course – there are too many to list.

The end, or is it?

There’s another bar and photo opportunities at the end. You then just have to wait for another van to get back to the main barn.

Once in the van you relax into the familiar pitch blackness, the banging and clattering and the shouty balaclava man. That is until he only lets half of your van out at a time….

Before you go there’s another dark maze filled with screaming, clanging and shouting. Finally you emerge blinking into the lights and into the arms of hammer man….

Don’t show him you are scared.

There’s still time

There is limited availability for Psycho Path this year. The last night is Hallowe’en. Try and get tickets – it’s so much fun!

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