Fright Night makes for screaming good fun

By Rebecca Sayers

Halloween has once again taken over the Jungle NI with their annual terrifyingly brilliant Fright Night. Throughout the night visitors got to experience numerous scare attractions, an immersive forest and just when they thought they were in a safe zone, chainsaw wielding zombies appear from the shadows! 

As visitors parked at the event, based on the Desertmartin Road in Magherafelt, they could hear the bangs and screams of those who went beforehand. As visitors handed in their tokens, the zombies come running, officially starting the actual Fright Night experience. 

The first of the scare attractions, “The Cornfield Maze”, is located right beside the ticket booth. But just because it is so close to the entrance, does not mean you’re in for an easy time.  Make sure you plan your footwear and clothing accordingly as once you reach the end of the maze, you will not be clean. The muddy ground adds to the terrifying atmosphere as once you begin running, you will be slipping and getting stuck in the mud, all while hoping the creepy creatures never catch up. 

The path from the Cornfield Maze to the rest of the attractions is dark, wet and creepy. You find yourself approaching a tunnel with flickering lights and possibly something waiting on you. This is when you are truly in the centre of Fright Night. The layout is like a theme park, everything is out in the open and you find the scare attraction of your choosing and queue. Thankfully, the waiting times were never long. 

The next scare attraction that was on the list was the “Inbred Horror House”. In this one, beware of the confined spaces where danger always lurks. Fright Night unlocks even more of your senses in this attraction as once you turn a corner, you are hit with a disgusting, sickly smell that will have you questioning if you are running from the terror or from that smell.  

“The Ward” feels like you are stepping into the hospital from hell. You are taken through the hospital, meeting many of the tortured patients along the way. They’ve been trapped in their own hell for so long that they can’t wait to inflict it onto you. If you are looking for a scare attraction with less jump scares, then this one would be for you. However, that does not mean it is suitable for the faint hearted.

Just like the “Inbred Horror House”, “The Circus” also has an official rating of fear factor “5/5” on the Jungle NI’s website. This is one you do not want to skip. At the beginning, you are thrown into a mind-altering maze, without knowing when a killer clown is going to make an appearance. If you make it through the first maze, you are once again thrust into confusion and fear. The suspense of trying to find the exit, while also staying on alert for anything that is hidden in the shadows makes this experience even more gripping than expected. 

If you hate small spaces, then the “Claustraforest” is a challenging scare attraction for you. To get to this one you must complete a relatively long walk uphill as it’s located at the very back of the Jungle in the dark depths of the forest. This is a firm favourite, as the characters don’t just chase you, but they interact and try to block your way. Again, this scare attraction has many maze elements to it, but it is dark and wet, so you don’t want to get lost for too long. I would encourage you to hold on tight to whoever came with you as there will be a lot of running in darkness. 

If you need a break from the constant jump scares, you can enjoy some delicious food from the many outlets situated on the main grounds. As you sit on the benches, the smells of the variety of food will tingle your senses and make you want it all. You can have your pick from hot foods, sweets, or some dinky donuts. 

Don’t think you’re safe here though, terror always lurks at Fright Night at the Jungle NI!

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Journalism Lecturer. Former Belfast Telegraph journalist. Current Irish News Columnist and Field Producer with Al Jazeera, Vice News, CBC News, ABC News, PBS Newshour and others