We love a good scare, albeit within strictly-proscribed boundaries: you can keep your Saws, Human Centipedes or The Others.
No, what we prefer are zombies and scary clowns; specifically being chased by zombies and scary clowns. It doesn’t take more than a bit of cod psychology to figure out that this all stems back from childhood; being chased round the garden by one’s dad was enough to send a child over the edge. Later on in life, watching films like It and The Ring sealed the deal on a lifetime of ‘weird face’ phobia.
So when we originally heard about what Farmer Ted’s Farm near Ormskirk has to offer in the shape of the ever-expanding Farmageddon, there was no question of going. And having found some willing folk to accompany us, a crack team of zombie-busting chicks – prepared to kick our way out of trouble – set off into the night.
First things first: if you’re going to brave Farmageddon, wrap up warm. It is an actual farm, complete with actual bales of hay and unperturbed livestock. Winding your way down narrow country roads in the dark is a great set-up for an evening of the eerie and uncanny.
Queuing up is an interactive experience in itself: homicidal zombie nurses, clowns and – perhaps most alarmingly – exceptionally tall transvestites seem to appear on your shoulder at regular intervals. If you appear in any way troubled by this, they’ll simply chase you around, to the pleasure of the onlooking queue who are just relieved that it’s you and not them.
It’s a busy place, having concentrated all its ghastly activity into just a few weeks of the year, the queues can be long but Farmageddon have provided plenty of diversions to get you in the mood. We won’t spoil it, but the entertainment is designed so as to prepare you for what’s to come, injected with humour to take the edge off just a touch. Otherwise no-one would go through with it, we’d imagine.
Exhaustingly, Farmageddon comprises three separate houses that you walk through, encountering various scenes of enthusiastically acted-out mayhem to include torture chambers, mental institutions and not forgetting the aforementioned crazy clowns who want to kill you. These houses have names like Psychosis and Insanity, just so you’re clear that this isn’t a petting zoo.
It’s hard to remember with any accuracy what actually happens inside, as the whole thing is designed to disorientate you – impossible maze or spinning tunnel, anyone? However, highlights comprised a chance encounter with Freddie Kruger and a chainsaw-wielding madman. All in all a lovely, cosy Saturday night well spent.
If you think your friendships or relationships are pretty solid, observe how readily you’ll be prepared to climb over, trip or clothesline your mates just to avoid being at the back or front of the group. Kind of shakes your faith in human kind, temporarily.
Farmageddon has secured itself firmly as one of our annual Halloween pilgrimages. Leave your dignity at the door, wrap up warm, take a hip flask, and whatever you do… don’t look back.