The clowns have come out to play in the twisted world of fun on offer inside the Carnival of Screams...
|Theme Park||Alton Towers|
Black Hole tent (2011)
Lakeside path between Hospitality Suite and Goal Striker (2012 & 2013)
Some people find clowns extremely scary - something which Alton Towers banked upon when they introduced Carnival of Screams, a circus themed scare maze, for Scarefest 2010.
For the rest of the guests who were not overly anxious about clowns, Carnival of Screams provided an entertaining romp through colourful, crazy and sometimes downright wacky scenes.
Visitors to the Carnival entered the maze through the mouth of a giant clown face, into a world of fun and frights beyond. Highlights included a fortune telling automatron which came to life and jumped out of its cabinet at visitors, a giant escaped gorilla, a life-sized clown puppet room, a polkadot covered room with an actor dressed in a similarly polka-dot covered lycra suit who blended in to the walls, false doors to bump into, and giant inflatable walls to push through.
Over the years, the maze occupied several different locations. After premiering at the hotels in 2010, it had a one year stint inside the old Black Hole tent in 2011, before becoming more of an outdoor experience beside the lake on a pathway between the Hospitality Suite and Gold Striker for its final two Scarefest seasons in 2012 and 2013. Contrary to what you might expect, I think it worked best in the final outdoor location: visitors could immerse themselves in the circus "showground", rather than going from "room to room" in the indoor variant ... since when did circuses have rooms?!
Throughout its run, Carnival proved to be Alton's feel-good fun maze more than a genuinely frightening scare attraction, although it had its moments of funny jump scares! Thanks to its comic nature, it proved a hit with a wide audience who enjoyed its fun house style and mischieviously malevolent clowns.
Carnival of Screams was sited in X-Sector for Scarefest 2011
A poster advertising the maze
The famous clown face entrance
The maze itself shared the old Black Hole tent with Boiler House in 2011
The carnival after dark
Carnival of Screams at night
Guests entered through the clown's mouth
The actual maze entrance was through a bright yellow and red striped tent
The Black Hole tent was covered in bunting and circus theming
Large poster on the tent walls
Carnival of Screams had a new site for Scarefest 2012, with its entrance opposite the Hospitality Suite
Torn poster theming
This guy looks like he's in charge!
Before the maze opened each day there was a clown "breakout"
The clowns had to be rounded up ...
... and dragged back inside the circus
The maze staff had to get involved containing the clowns!
Overseeing the breakout
Carry a clown
Some of the captures seemed quite painful!
Even staff members walking past joined in
Guests entering the Carnival
Another group entering through the giant clown face
The Carnival of Screams exit was through the Goal Striker building
The giant entrance sign was easily visible from the footpath
Carnival of Screams became free of charge for its final year, but the park still made money by selling fastrack tickets to skip the queue
The maze's queueline
Roll up, roll up...
The clown face entrance gets its final outing
Are you supposed to be out here?
Even the nearby game stalls got a temporary retheme to fit in with the circus mood
A well dressed gent
Is this your dog?
Some of the clowns had disgusting table manners
He wasn't very happy
A terrifying beam of terror