Monday, October 14, 2013

If You Go Down To The Farm Tonight............BEWARE!

If you go down to the farm tonight, you'd better expect a fright.
If you go down to the farm tonight, you'd better go in a pack.
If you're not careful, you won't make it back,
You might experience a panic attack.
If you go down to the farm tonight....Beware.

(To the tune of The Teddy Bears' Picnic...New Lyrics by Helen Richards of Rants)

Today's blog is brought to you from The No1 scare attraction in the UK. It's Farmaggedon. (Well not quite from there as I went Saturday night, but you know what I mean.) And do you know what's even more fabulous about it? It's up north in Lancashire - best county ever.....slightly biased.

So a few months back when I turned the dreaded 30, my delightful friend and her husband (J+T) bought me tickets for this wondrous attraction in Ormskirk and tickets to travel back home to the land of Lancashire. I'd heard great things about it, but when I say great things I mean people throwing up because they were so scared and people walking out and not completing it. Basically people being shit scared. Of course, this only made me more excited! What a present.

I was with a self-confessed 'Super Wuss'. I was tempted to make her a cape. And two boys who of course weren't bothered because they are boys and when are they scared of anything. Hmmmmm. I was merrily somewhere in between with occasional pangs of, "Oh it's gonna be really scary." Coupled with pangs of, "He he. I'm well giddy. Bring it on."

We did stop in the nice pub around a half mile from it, called The Scarisbrick Arms. It was well posh though. And in kept walking pre and post Farmaggedon-ites. You could tell by things like wellies and big coats and that slight hint of trauma in the eyes. Still, after a couple of glasses of wine, I was feeling a bit more relaxed. N.B Please make sure you're not drunk before you go, as they won't let you in. Besides drunk and in a barn with some crazy zombies......not the best idea.

The fantastic thing about Farmaggedon, is that by day it is Farmer Teds petting farm. So nice and friendly for the kids. But by night, in the pitch of the countryside, with nothing but fields surrounding you, the ghoulies come out to play. And out here, no one will hear you scream......

Your ticket gives you a time of admission. Stick to that or they won't let you in. Anyone with kids under 15, or anyone going who is under 18 needs ID and preferably an adult present. They are quite strict about it.

Don't worry I won't be revealing any spoilers, as much as I can avoid it. I want people to get the full experience from it, but there are videos on YouTube, if anyone really wants to know what they're in for.

The way you have to queue before you go in feels like a festival. But in the background all you can hear is a range of pitched screams and those blasted chainsaws. Honestly, when a tree needs trimming, it needs trimming. I half expected there to be zombies in the car park as you were getting out your car, but maybe that wouldn't have been the best from a health and safety point of view. Good old Britain...no fun allowed.

Expect it to be cold when you go. After all it's October and the North but you also have to account for the fear sweats. I had a woolly cardigan, a smaller cardigan and a dress over my jeans and I was dying of heat before we even went in the first barn. Then I had to carry it round all night. So you want to be warm but not too warm as once that adrenaline gets pumping and the fear takes over, you'll be wishing you had less on.

There are three barns and when you enter you get a wristband with three tokens on it. They rip off a token after each barn so they know how many you've been in and you are only allowed to enter each one once, not that most people would want to go back in anyway. I couldn't figure out how to put the band on, like a mong, so the bouncer/security guy did it for me.
"I don't get it."
"You're not the only one."

On the way we tried to devise ways of keeping control of our fear. And one of those ideas was singing. We thought if something jumps out at us, we could just start singing Ghostbusters, or Wuthering Heights or Favourite Things (From the Sound of Music). We also thought we'd try a simple, "Hello." If you talk to them maybe they become less scary?

And so to the first barn. We entered Insanity first. There's a queue system at each barn but even this time is quite fun, for watching other people shit themselves, as some of the zombies/monsters etc wander around in the crowds. So if you don't happen to notice them, it can make for good viewing for the rest of us. Also people banging on doors/doors opening is enough to set off the scream Mexican wave. As we were queuing I noticed one thing that I knew I would never be able to adhere to: No swearing. And I'm sure it was right next to the No drugs sign. No drugs is fine but you want to scare the bejeezers out of me and I'm not allowed to swear. What? Needless to say everyone broke that rule at one point or another.

And so we survived the first barn (I told you, no spoilers) and my 'Super Wuss' friend says, "It's emotionally draining." But I have to say she has lost all 'Super Wuss' status as she has already survived one barn. Well done J. Lots of screaming and giggling and chainsaws and sniffers. These zombies are all about the smell. Sniff sniff. She also says, "That's not the way to treat mental patients." Ha ha. She knows from experience.

You can tell you're getting old when you think things like, oh that floor is uneven and they didn't even warn us about that ramp, whilst walking briskly to get away from the sniffing zombies. Terror and sensibility.

So to barn two and everyone is a little hyper. The screams and laughter are people reliving the first barn, as well as preparing themselves for this next one: Psychosis. Now this for me was definitely the scariest and as I rightly announced, "No. Not clowns. Why does there always have to be pissin' clowns." I freakin' hate clowns but then so do a vast majority of people, thus why they stick 'em in these scary things for us. Thanks.

We queued for a while for this one and a few zombies joined us in the queue. I tried the 'Hello' approach. Worked quite well. I also decided to keep J in high spirits by pretending we were at a cattle market and doing my best auctioneers voice. Yeah, me and brother used to watch them on the TV as kids and pretend to do an auction. "Anyone wanna buy a cow?"

Psychosis bombards you from the moment you step in. If it's not people jumping out, it's people waiting to jump out which is almost worse. I admitted quite readily that, 'I don't like it,' though it didn't stop me scream-giggling my way through. There were tunnels and illusions and it was definitely a mind fuck this one. At one point we sang Ghostbusters and went the wrong way. A helpful zombie had to show us the way out.

Survived number two and J is slowly being handed a bravery award. Two down, one to go. On the way to the third barn, we found a photo-op place where some of the zombies were available for photographs. It's a great souvenir. You can even get in a cage with a clown. Er, no thanks.

And so, follow the tremendously loud metal music and you'll find: Terror on the Farm. It felt like I was in a rock club. Man they needed a dance floor, though they did have some sexy zombies, strutting their stuff. A bit 'a' blue. The music was awesome and after Psychosis we were pretty sure we could cope with anything.

Before we entered, we resumed the position of  T then J then Me then A. Our little snake or conga of safety. I think we all really enjoyed this one, I know I did. In fact I was throwing out witty comments, between scares and making conversation with the sniffers.

One of our favourite moments was when a girl zombie, in her incredible scouse accent said: "You're never leavin'. Ever." The giggle factor was never so high.

What a great night. J has decided she can deal with peril as long as her peril buddies are there. I've decided that I still really hate clowns but that the odd sarcastic comment can make it all better. And all that is left to be said, is GO. Go now! Get a ticket! Experience the craziness of Farmaggedon and one of the top 25 scare attractions in the World, which considering how many must be in America, is pretty fookin' impressive.
www.farmaggedon.co.uk/

Thank you Farmer Ted, you psycho, for an amazing night out.
I leave you with another song, the lyrics specially written by me, for the occasion, for the tune of Old Macdonald, but you won't want to sing this with your kids..........

Farmer Ted he had a farm,
ee-i-ee-i-oh
Rife with some psychotic clowns
ee-i-ee-i-oh
With a scream giggle here and a scream giggle there
Here a scream, there a giggle
Everywhere a scream giggle
Farmer Ted he had a farm
ee-i-ee-i-oh
Filled with all your worst nightmares
ee-i-ee-i-oh
With a sniff snarl here and a sniff snarl there
Here a sniff, there a snarl
Everywhere a sniff snarl
Farmer Ted he had a farm
ee-i-ee-i-oh
Infested with zombie crowds
ee-i-ee-i-oh
with a dribble growl here and a dribble growl there
Here a dribble, there a growl
Everywhere a dribble growl
Farmer Ted he had a farm
Farmaggedon was it's name!

Go there if you dare!

Rants


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