For the bravest of guests, Chessington is offering more intense and immersive experiences of two Howl’o’ween mazes and scare zones. These are not for the faint-hearted and both come with a disclaimer and waiver to sign before entering. In these after-dark experiences, the actors WILL touch you and you might be made to crawl at any part of the attraction.
"During the experience, those you find within the experience will touch you. This can involve grabbing, poking and putting hoods/bags over your head. At no point will they harm you. You are NOT permitted to touch them under any circumstances."
We managed to book on to both after-dark experiences on the first night of Howl’o’ween. We advise not reading into these too much if you plan on experiencing an after-dark experience at Chessington this year. Of course, each experience differs depending on the group size and actors throughout the night. We watched a few groups enter Vile Villagers and the start of the maze was different every time!
Vile Villagers Afterdark:
As darkness falls over Vile Villagers the maze gets even scarier but nowhere near as scary and fun as after-dark can be! The night started as the last few day guests exited the attraction where the actors took a quick break before having some fun and running the after-dark event.
After signing the disclaimer we were walked to the entrance of the maze where we were told again the rules of not touching the actors but they will touch you. The beginning of the maze was different for every group we watched going in before us, all of the villagers of the maze were almost possessed by the moon or something more sinister.
We entered the maze as a two (the size of our group) and said to each other see you at the exit as this wasn't the first time we'd done something like this. Grabbed by some of the actors we were both taken to different sections of the first little bit of the scare zone, I was forced to smell the "meat pies" and told I was going to be turned into a pie if I didn't do what they said! The other person in our group was put in the stocks and told she was a witch. Along the scare zone, we both got shouted out, grabbed, told to crawl and got told to lay on the side of the maze in a fake muddy gravestone. I (James) even had my shoes removed and then had a sock removed so you could really feel how wet and damp the floor was after a long day of wet weather.
Overall we both really enjoyed the after-dark experience on Vile Villagers, in total we were in the attraction for around 10 minutes which is crazy thinking you are only normally inside it for around 3-4 minutes. This run-through isn't for those scared easily and we would definitely recommend this to anyone that has done a Brave It Alone at Fright Nights in the past!
Creepy Caves: Elimination Afterdark:
2022 isn't the first time that Chessington has done a more extreme version of Creepy Caves, a few years ago before covid the park did a more extreme version of the maze. However, it wasn't very well advertised and only ran for the last week of Howl’o’ween from memory. Creepy Caves: Elimination Afterdark is different to the extreme run-through we've had before but it had elements which we found terrifying before. This after-dark experience was amazing and so much fun! A proper send-off and final goodbye to the maze!
Entering the caves as your group size again you're plunged into darkness, where the decontamination then goes wrong. We were both shouted at to get into the briefing room. Split up from each other again we both had an agent standing right next to us. Whispering into our ears and trying to distract us from anything going on around us. The storyline remains mostly the same but the way the actors act is a lot more extreme and not so predictable. The angel fire plant is alive and they REALLY don't want you to touch it!!
As soon as the pre-show is done the chaos begins! You are instantly split up and cornered by actors being shouted at, pulled and sometimes spat at in the face with water. You were warned that you might get touched and get wet, there's no going back! During our time in the caves, we were plunged into darkness put into actor corridors where it's pitch black and you can't see anything, told to crawl and at one point ridden as if you were a horse. And we've not spoken about the madness in the finale scene yet!
Entering the final scene it was pitch black and we didn't know what was about to happen. In our extreme version a few years ago we heard that some people had been firemen lifted/carried out of the final scene, it had never happened to us... until now! As soon as the big red button was pressed utter chaos started and the whole room came alive. Actors seemed to appear out of nowhere and the atmosphere and energy went through the roof. We went from standing and watching to being on the floor in seconds. After the actors were done running around, screaming and shouting for a few seconds, we had someone grabbing an arm and a foot each and we were being carried out of the maze.
Absolutely crazy but so much fun! A big shout out to both Vile Villages and the Creepy Caves Elimination actors. There were moments we went no it can't get more extreme than that than it did! We've missed out some details so you don't 100% know the full story, but our experiences were so much fun and we couldn't recommend it more. Of course, if you wanted to stop or didn't want to do something you could have said no and they would have stopped.
If that doesn't sound like fun to you, we would advise you do the 8+ version from midday!