The Barn, which is part of the annual October Screams Halloween event is just one of many haunted attractions that has recently opened in the UK, thanks to the demand of a growing fan population there. Here in the United States, Halloween is big, big business – over $10 billion annually, according to some experts in the industry. It’s only natural that fans around the world have taken to the spooky themes of haunted attractions for immersive and interactive experiences; and it’s only natural that business developers and creatives across the pond have started tapping into this extremely lucrative genre for themselves.
Theme Park Adventure loves haunted attractions, the people that create and run them, and of course, the fans – because that’s what we are on an extremely large and geeky scale when it comes down to it! We have friends and TPAers in every of the world, including all over the UK. That’s why we are really excited when we have the opportunity to share haunted attractions with TPAers from different parts of the world that many of us will never get to visit in person.
With that sentiment in mind, we take a look at The Barn, a walk-through haunt created by our friends at PUP Events for their October Screams attraction at Beacon Hill Farm in Woolley Edge, which is between Leeds and Sheffield in West Yorkshire. TPAers that have followed any of our stories on UK haunts will remember PUP Events as the creators of Caine. Who am I?
Here’s an advert for The Barn, located at Beacon Hill Farm, a year-round working property that is also well-known as one of the region’s Christmas tree farms, where families gather under more pleasant circumstances, usually:
What you may know as a destination for family entertainment, actually holds a much darker history. Local research into the area’s history has shown that in 1613, local farmer Benjamin Saunders and his family were accused of slaughtering local farm animals… and residents, in the most brutal and inhumane manner. They were quickly evicted from their farm (which stood half a mile away from where Beacon Hill now stands) but as there was no jail to place the prisoners, they were contained in a nearby barn and resorted to incestuous relationships with each other to ensure family members never died out spurred on by the fact that the local community came together to make sure the family never escaped. This tradition continued through generations of locals – and a safe-house was even erected for the “jail keepers” to reside in, as they kept guard of the local prisoners – through donations from anonymous sources. Nothing good lasts for ever, and the funding soon dried up. Among private local meetings it was decided, that in 2014, the family should be let out…
Now, the barn is masked by standing on a fully operating farm. However, there are still areas of the barn that haven’t been explored for decades and dark shadows have been seen in the fields of the farm…
Local funding is needed to secure the future of this farm to try and find out how many people are still left in the building. Locals state that over the last few months, the family have now grown to be friendly, normal and ready for the outside world.
They do need your help to make sure every inch of the barn is searched.
So sets the stage for The Barn’s inbred, psychotic family theme. It’s a fairly common story premise here in the US, so one would figure it would be equally as popular in the United Kingdom. And that would be correct. 2014 was The Barn’s second year at Woolley Edge, and according to PUP Events’ Lee Conway, the draw in 2014 was double what it was in 2013 when it debuted! That’s both exciting and reaffirming that haunted houses and attractions that have become such an important part of the American Halloween tradition are now spreading around the world like wildfire – we love it!
The Barn utilizes approximately 15 volunteer scare actors – the youngest this year being 12! The next generation of haunters is being groomed in the UK, it seems! Kudos to everyone involved, older folks and youngsters alike; let those nightmarish freak flags fly!
Theme Park Adventure has never been to the UK; perhaps one day, that will change. Until then, we are thrilled to at least be able to see haunts such as The Barn through images and video via the Internet – and share them with our own TPAers, in turn! It makes the world a little bit smaller, and our haunt community a little bit bigger by showcasing the talent and work of others, regardless of where they are; that’s what we’re all about.
Special thanks to Lee and the gang for letting us peer into the darkness of The Barn! It looks like a spooky good time!