When we first met the lovely horror family of Terror 13 at ScareCON I was immediately intrigued, placing their year-round underground attraction near Liverpool high on my to do list. Their costumes were an absolute eye catcher, but perhaps it was the somewhat The Devil’s Rejects-like vibe they were emanating that drew me in the most. Nice enough people, but with a nasty side you don’t necessarily want to encounter, hidden júst underneath the surface. Opportunity arose, and soon enough we found ourselves standing in a derelict alley near the seaside of New Brighton, waiting for the front door to swing open.
I was actually nervous about entering the asylum of Terror 13, and that doesn’t happen all too often. I had no idea what to expect whatsoever, and in their Facebook messages they were just a little bit too eager to meet us. After standing around for a couple of minutes (we would be the first guests of the day) we were heartily greeted by a huge guy dressed as something between a jailor and an orderly, with a thick Texan accent and a large grin. The dark surroundings and the grumpy old man sitting behind the cash register contrasted greatly with his enormous hospitality and presence. Under the desk, a Siberian husky was looking at us with eyes that appeared to already know what would become of us. Immediately, we were fully immersed in the attraction. We were taken down a staircase, and thrown in the deep end.
From here on, Terror 13 never lets go of you. A huge number of larger than life characters come begging for attention, some more forcibly than others. Sometimes up to seven actors were working the different rooms, inching closer from each side, so that there always was an opening to surprise us, every single time. Completely outnumbered, we staggered from scene to scene. The orderly acted as our guide through this madhouse, but eventually even he couldn’t control the situation anymore. We started off in dark asylum-like housing, through the medical bay, but when we dug deeper through the underground rooms, the freaks inside had made their own cosy little homes, and we found ourselves in ever stranger scenarios. You never know when it’s going to end. We were separated, forced to interact with a variety of objects and characters, it’s a complete assault on the senses. When it was finally over, a huge bewildered smile was cemented on my face – I’ve rarely had this much fun in a haunted attraction.
I always love the conversation immediately after going through a horror maze, comparing the details we noticed, the scenes we loved. This time, we didn’t even know where to begin. So much happened in little under half an hour, the actors worked their asses off, some of them combining multiple high energy roles. Even the smallest part was played with an enormous passion for what they do, and they make sure you are completely immersed, as everything from the ticket booth to the rule check is fully part of the experience. I’d absolutely recommend this, and for only seven pounds each it’s terrific value for money.
If I had to compare Terror 13 with another attraction, it might come closest to a UK equivalent of Nightmare in Budapest – relying less on jump scares, but a whole lot more on interactivity and characters. Maybe it’s not as contact heavy as Budapest, but then again, I did French kiss a clown, so there is that.