Investigate the paranormal phenomena inside the abandoned Drayton Green vicarage...
|Theme Park||Drayton Manor|
|Park Area||Aerial Park|
The Haunting is Drayton Manor's haunted house attraction, and takes place within the old Drayton Green Vicarage.
Following the unexpected death of the vicar, strange goings-on began occuring. In the original version of the ride, visitors were sent into the vicarage on the trail of a group of ghost hunters who had gone missing.
In 2016, the ride was given a retheme and the story moved forward 20 years with a professional organisation, Research Into Paranormal Activity (RIPA), brought in to investigate. Once again, visitors are invited to join RIPA on an exploration into the depths of the haunted vicarage to solve the mystery of what happened two decades previously once and for all.
The ride's queueline is set within the overgrown front garden of the Drayton Green Vicarage. Due to the nature of the experience, a large group is admitted into the ride every 10-15 minutes. Unfortunately, there are no staff around to let visitors know this, and having hung around for a bit many leave the queue thinking it must be closed. But patience is rewarded, and eventually someone will be along to collect the next batch of riders.
The Haunting is split into three pre-shows, together with the finale madhouse ride itself. The first takes place in RIPA's research lorry which is parked in the vicarage grounds. Here the excentric Doctor Ghostman explains the background story and briefs visitors on the mission they are about to undertake.
Next, visitors enter the vicarage through a passageway. Looking upwards just in time, they see a skeleton swooping above their heads and into the corridor ceiling.
Visitors emerge into one of the vicarage's main rooms and meet the former lady of the house, who speaks with them through a large portrait on the wall. Ghostly spirits fly around the room, as the floor trembles beneath the group's feet.
Finally, having been split into two, the group enters the main madhouse chamber through a pair of corridors decorated with worn looking wallpaper. Once seated, facing inwards towards a tomb like structure in the centre, the entire room begins to spin. Visitors have the sensation of being turned upside-down as more ghostly spirits fly across the walls.
As a final act, the lights go out and then a spooky arm is seen rising from the tomb. In the original version of The Haunting, the lid of the coffin would open and a set of rubber bats would rise out in comical fashion. To be honest, I preferred the original when the ride more readily had permission to laugh at itself.
While many theme parks' madhouses are lavish affairs, Drayton Manor's feels a little more low budget. The chamber itself is small, and the scenery isn't up to the high standards of Hex or Villa Volta. However, there's something quaint and lovely about how homemade it feels, endearing in the same way as a Hammer Horror film. The recent retheme has tried to make the ride take itself more seriously which may have been a slight misstep, but The Haunting still retains its very unique "B-movie" feel.
The Haunting's entrance is partially hidden from view
Ride information sign
The queue is through the vicarage's overgrown front garden
Visitors must wait for a member of staff to collect them
The vicarage has been boarded up
Drayton Green Vicarage
Paranormal investigation equipment
The RIPA lorry - home to the first preshow
Inside the main ride chamber
At the exit, guests are asked whether they experienced any paranormal activity