Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review

Hallowtween at York Maze claims to be the UK's only Halloween event for 10-15 year olds. This post is based on our visit in October 2021 and designed to give you an idea of what to expect plus a few top tips. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review

Last year we bought our tickets on 20 September which is around the same time they were released for sale. Our tickets were £14.50 each. We booked a 1:30pm time slot which did give us just enough time to see and do everything at a leisurely pace before it closed at 5:30pm (it opens at 12:30pm during October Half Term). 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review

You need to arrive within 30 minutes of your time slot with your tickets on your phone. Your QR code is scanned and everyone is given a 'pass' which is stamped as you enter each attraction but more on that later. Make sure you keep these safe. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review

I know lots of readers love visiting York Maze during their regular daytime events. Hallowtween is very different to the usual York Maze. In fact, the maze part of the attraction isn't even open / there.  Another difference is that dogs are welcome at usual daytime events at York Maze but due to the nature of the attraction, they are not permitted to visit the Hallowtween events. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review

Hallowtween is aimed at families with kids aged 10-15. We visited with kids aged 10, 12 and 15 who do not really scare easily. This is just a recommended age and not set in stone. If you have 9 year old / 16 year old who you think would enjoy it here, you will be allowed to bring them. Just make sure you are well briefed on what to expect and understand that it may be scary and no refunds are given. There weren't really any young kids there on the day of our visit and it was mostly kids aged 8-16 having a day out with their family I would say. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review

One thing to note is that all under 16s need to be accompanied by an adult aged 18+ at all times. EVEN in the scare houses so there is no getting out of it for mum and dad. This actually added to our day though and the fact that I was the most scared gave the kids a really good laugh.

One adult can supervise up to 8 under 16s so if you are super scared, there is the option for you to wait outside of the scare houses if another adult in your party can supervise the kids. You've paid for the experience though and I would say if you can, just go for it. 

If your kids are older and more teenage than tweenage, check out 'Hallowscream' instead which takes place in the evenings and really ramps up the scare factor and recommended for children aged 14+. With Hallowscream, you do need to be age 14+ to enter. There is no leeway here. 

Back to Hallowtween though....... 

First of all, the theming is fantastic. Expect smoke, balls of fire and Halloween decor througout. It looks good too and not tacky at all. It doesn't feel like they've just gone to Poundland to pick up some decorations, some effort has been put in here. 

Watch out for some scary walk about acts wandering around. They are fab and actually really scary. There was a man in a monkey suit who was creating mayhem stealing peoples' food and jumping on their tables and a 'grandma' who would rev a chainsaw and chase after kids (and grown ups). She gave me the creeps and I avoided eye contact at all cost! They are frightening but the scare never goes on for too long. The kids all seemed to love it and they'd pose for photos afterwards too. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - food stalls

There is a big food barn with different stalls and lot of covered seating plus more covered seating a little further along. We stopped for lunch and ordered a mix of pizzas and corn dogs. All of the food was really good and much better than a standard greasy burger van. 

You cannot bring your own food / drinks on site. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - pizza

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - pizza menu

With this being an afternoon event, you could of course have lunch at home and skip the food court / just visit for drinks. York Maze is a cashless site and everything was paid by card / contactless. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - food barn
Food court seating 

Next to the food court was a funfair which looked good with 'older rides'. This isn't included in admission and is chargeable. The kids didn't ask to go on anything so I just didn't offer and saved myself some cash. 

There is also a Birds of Prey area (included) where you can queue up and hold various birds. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - birds of prey

Onto the main attraction though and the scare barn. All of the scare houses are located in this barn and you just join the queue for the entrance of each house. The atmosphere is fab with a live DJ playing Halloween hits, scary lighting, stage shows (think zombies dancing and fire dancers that kind of thing), side stalls (additional cost) and the walkabout acts roaming around and scaring people. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - scare barn

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - scary make up

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - stage shows

As mentioned at the start of this post, everyone is given a 'card' on arrival and as you visit each scare house, this is marked off your card by a member of staff just before you go in. One visit per scare house per person included with admission. You can visit the houses in any order you wish, you will see the queues for each house inside of the barn. 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review  - scare houses

There are lots of t&cs / disclamiers to read through including that there may be small spaces, darkness, large noises, things that will make you jump, scary noises, tight coridoors, low ceilings and uneven ground. One thing to note is that none of the cast will ever touch you and you cannot touch any of the cast. 

During the Hallowtween events, there are no 'real' actors inside of the scare houses but there are some pretty realistic props and prosthetics. 

If you really can't take it, there are marked emergency exits at certain points. 

If you LOVE the scare houses and want another turn, there are various upgrades you can buy on the day including paying for another one off turn (I think this was £4) or buying a VIP ticket which gives you unlimited entry to the scare houses and queue jumpers (again, this is an upgrade available on the day).

Personally, I don't think this is worth it as the queues aren't long and kind of add to the anticipation. Plus, part of the fun is going into the unknown.

I don't think the houses would be as scary if you visited more than once. Plus we filled a whole afternoon so wouldn't have really had time to go in the houses again and again. If you REALLY loved one particular house, one final go before you leave might be worth paying extra for but that's all I'd say. 

I recommend wearing trainers and clothes you are comfortable to move around in. I am plus size and had no problems with the small spaces and narrow coridoors. 

Most people were wearing tracksuits / jeans and a hoodie. You can get dressed up if you want to and there is specialist make up stalls there too (additional cost). You are not permitted to bring in replica weapons etc..... Basically use your common sense. 

We had such a good time as a family in the scare houses. They stagger the groups going in so it is usually just your family walking through and you have no idea what to expect! I was actually really scared / slow and took my time feeling my way around.

I screamed out loud on mulptiple occasions too. The kids thought this was hilarious and showed zero fear as they pushed ahead in a very matter of fact way. I still don't know if this was a front or not! Despite them not being too scared inside the houses, they still had a blast and loved the horror aspect of it all. 

No photos were allowed in the houses and even if I could, I very much doubt I'd have been in the right frame of mind to take a pic. I needed to concentrate in order to get out! haha. 

The houses will probably change in 2022, but here is what we we experienced in 2021....... 

The Singularity - this was a futuristic house where robots had taken over in a dystopian future. You had to walk around scary lab experiments and avoid being taken for experimentation yourself! 

Hallowtween at York Maze | A Review - Flesh Pot House

The Flesh Pot - This one involved walking around dead pigs and corpses. Not one for the squeamish! 

Barnageddon 3D - This one involved wearing 3D glasses and it was crazy. It felt like I was in another world and had no idea where I was going. There was a lot of colour and illusion and I still don't know what was going on. I kept trying to open doors that weren't there and wasn't sure what was real and what wasn't. It was disorientating, crazy and fun. 

Corny's Cornevil - This is the house of the Circus Clown who was murdered on the farm. It is a twisted fun house where rooms shrink and spin, there are never-ending mirror mazes and the walls seem to move in on you. Not one if you are scared of clowns! 

Each house probably takes around 20-25 minutes when you take into consideration the small queue for each. They are scary, little kids will most definitely find them scary but if you don't mind a jump or fright and the kids are up for the challenge, they are good fun.

There were a few scary moments that stood out - one when we were in a pitch black room with another family and had to feel around to get out with the odd flicker of strobe lighting, it felt like we were trapped and would never get out and there was definitely an air of panic. 

Another when a horrible zombie flashed up in front of me right as I turned a corner, another when I got lost in the mirror maze and separated from Steve and the kids and another when we had to walk through a tunnel with two air pillows blowing on either side of me - it felt quite claustrophobic.

I was actually scared the whole time and screamed as we turned pretty much every corner but that's my personailty. It was just the right level of scariness for tweens and younger teens and didn't feel in the slightest bit babyish at all.

The overwhelming feeling was that we had such a good laugh doing something together with the kids on Halloween and it was a day out which the kids really enjoyed and highly rated. 

The houses were done to a very high standard in my opinion. It was a well organised, well thought out event and it was definitely worth a trip for us. 

Keep an eye on the Hallowtween website for details of their 2022 event and make sure you follow them on Facebook for announcement / sneaky peeks.  

There is free on-site parking at York Maze. York Maze is around a 1 hour 45 minute drive from Newcastle (straight down the A19). Why not combine with pumpkin picking at Spilman Farm near Thirsk in the morning? 


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