Terror Island – the thrills, screams and scares!
A Review by Elizabeth Fahy
WOW! On Friday evening we took a sneak peak at this years Terror Island event at Blackgang Chine; and we’re still shaking now! Does anyone have a big pillow we can hide behind? As always, the team at Blackgang Chine and Vectis Ventures have not disappointed, we might be terrified but we are also thrilled!
On arrival the first shock got us; the entire entrance has been moved to allow for a much bigger scare arena this year! Terror Island has seen a huge expansion since last years event, and we don’t just mean in space! A new maze, more entertainment than ever before, themed cocktails, a party atmosphere with stage for bands and DJs, and disco lights all around; but don’t get too comfortable, there are creatures lurking, even on the dance floor! Fire dancing, fog machines and fire pits all add to the already spooky atmosphere. (Not complaining, we enjoyed some delicious toasted marshmallows over the fire pit!). The performers spinning fire are dotted around the site with awe-inspiring tricks, as well as there being a huge shooting gallery and axe throwing for more wince-inducing performances!
Food & Drink
Our first stop was to The Bloodshed Cocktail bar; the themed cocktails do not disappoint, (we recommend The Bleeding, fruity and punchy!). Despite gory appearances, the drinks and food items on offer are rather tasty! We didn’t mind some liquid courage and a quick bite to eat in the restaurant, before heading to our first maze. We armed ourselves with chilli dogs and burgers and cautiously approached Amphibious.
If you have visited Terror Island previously, you’ll remember the sunken wrecks and scares in Amphibious; if you haven’t been before, be sure to step carefully through this immersive maze, and be wary as it’s a trick on your senses. Wading through the murky waters and feeling the creatures grabbing at your legs and feet beneath the surface; it’s a classic! (Don’t worry, no wellies or waterproofs are required, just bring your bravest face, they can sense fear!) We love this one because of the underwater theme; it hits close to home! Imagine the Island is taken over by a zombie apocalypse, you are marooned, isolated and surrounded by whispering water; you can’t go over it, you can’t go round it, you’ve got to go through it; that’s Amphibious.
This years new addition is The Summoning; a replacement where Hexcavation was located. The tale of The Summoning is a harrowing one, you’re sure to have shivers before you’re even inside! Based on an old orphanage full of horrors, keep your hands on your buddy’s shoulders and be careful not to get caught. Like Hexcavation, The Summoning features crawl spaces and narrow paths to squeeze through; if you’re looking for a work out as well as a few jump scares, this one’s for you!
The Bloodshed was next on our hit list, but we remember from previous years this maze is particularly gory and graphic; so we needed another pitstop for cocktails o
n our way. Feeling foolishly full of ourselves, we headed over to The Bloodshed. We quickly realised we had been tricked, lured into a false sense of security by the bar staff; we were not prepared. The Bloodshed is our highest rated on the scare scale; the other mazes trick and tease at terrors, The Bloodshed is not teasing and they don’t mess about it in here; it’s a full on, nonstop adrenaline rush. There’
s just something about being chased through a narrow slaughterhouse by a chainsaw wielding crazed butcher, it really shakes up your sense of reality! We can see why this maze has stood the test of time and comes back year after year; we just wish we’d packed a change of underwear.
Finally we enter the last maze, Blind Alley. Blind Alley was introduced last year and it’s hard to describe the experience, given that we can’t see it! Upon entering, sacks are placed over heads and strict instructions are given – follow the leader, hold onto them for dear life, do not let go, do not get lost, and pray your leader has a good sense of direction. If your leader’s internal compass is even a fraction off, you could be stranded in this one for a while. Blind Alley does what it says on the tin, and more. Just like last year, it was a real scream!
After crawling, running, screeching and panting our way through the mazes, we couldn’t resist a ride on Extinction. New for 2023, Extinction is an adrenaline-inducing 360-degree pendulum swing; and in the dark, it’s a whole other experience from our summer visits! If your stomach is a little too weak for the upside-down experience, they do offer a 120-degree swing option, so you can experience the excitement of Extinction without losing that chilli dog in your belly on the way up and over. We also took a trip to Evolution, the family friendly, (but still tummy turning), drop ride, 400ft above sea level!
Terror Island this year feels new; they’ve kept the classics we loved from previous years, and polished them up a bit with upgraded thrills, new areas such as the bar, access to their new rides, and also expanded the whole area to provide for more entertainment like the stage and street performers. There’s also plenty more space for the ghouls to chase you around the site – if they see you flinch as they pass by, they’ll make you a target! You’ve been warned.
TOP TIP: The mazes are popular and for good reason, so queues can be lengthy. Terror Island offer fast track wrist bands for a very reasonable cost! Definitely good value if you’re keen to make a whole evening of it, enjoy the music, experience all four of the mazes, try the rides and sample those tasty food & drinks menus.