Over the weekend me and two of my friends visited Tulley’s Farm for their ‘The Howl’ event in Leighton Buzzard. We’d been on about it for a while so this year we finally booked it and travelled three hours to get there. We ended up staying in a hotel in the middle of nowhere (we had to walk along a road with no path for half-an-hour to find it) and had to fork out extra money for taxis to get to the event but it was definitely worth it!
Now although I enjoy horror movies I am honestly the biggest wimp ever so when we got there I was thinking ‘oh my god why did I sign up for this I’m an idiot, I’m gonna have to sit out of all the haunts’. We joined a queue for the first one we saw and I was convinced I’d come out the other side and think ‘nope can’t handle that’ and would’ve wasted all my money. So I’m writing this for people like me who are nervous but want to give it a go!
House of Hounds
We were given a ticket for the person at the front of the queue to sign off before we went in and I believe they were in order of how scary each attraction is so the order was: Topper’s Twister, Hotel de Basquervilles, House of Hounds, Squealers Yard and The Shed. That’s not necessarily the case but that was how we interpreted it. We didn’t think too much about this though so we just joined the queue for the first one we saw which was ‘House of Hounds’.
This one was good because although the farm had been open for half-an-hour the haunts had literally only just opened so the queues were short. As the queues were short we were allowed to go in by ourselves with the group we were with. So for example if you were with three other people the four of you would go in alone instead of teaming up with other groups to make it larger thus speeding the queue up.
Now I’ve literally never done anything like this before, I went to a zombie event at Blists Hill once but it wasn’t scary it was just confusing. So I was stood outside with my friends Becca and Jess absolutely peeing myself because I didn’t know what to expect. The three of us walked inside for the short briefing you get before each haunt and I held onto both their hands and I was shaking so bad! Then it started.
Because I’m such a wimp I held both their hands the entire way with Becca at the front and Jess at the back and although it was scary it was also so funny. I don’t wanna give away too much to anyone else who’s thinking of going but ‘House of Hounds’ is obviously hound related so there were people in cages who screamed and jumped out at you. There were little nooks so they could leave their cages and they’d come right up to you and scare the hell out of you.
I think I would’ve been a lot more scared had Becca not been there. My friends are like two opposite ends of fear, we had Jess at the back who was having fun but wasn’t the least bit scared and Becca at the front who was screaming and jumping at every little thing. My favourite bits were when we rounded a corner and I heard Becca yell “No! Hollie no, look, I can’t!” So I looked around the corner and found someone crawling on the floor, and when we were near the end and someone ran right at us and screamed at us. The amount of times me and Becca cowered into the wall was hilarious while Jess was so chill the entire time.
Also I don’t know how but two minutes in my shoe almost fell off and I was walking around desperately trying to put it back on properly because I didn’t want to lose it. The back of it went under my heel and luckily after a while I managed to kick it back on, it wasn’t like I could stop and pull it back on!
We came out and we were all crying with laughter but my throat hurt so badly from all the screaming I’d done but luckily we exited right by a drinks stand so I grabbed a tap water before we headed into the next haunt.
So this one is supposedly the least scary of the five but it’s also the clown haunt so I was not looking forward to it. Yes I’d had fun in ‘House of Hounds’ and at least I hadn’t lost it yet but I do not like clowns so I was worried this would be the one where I started to freak out. As the haunts had been open a bit longer the queues had gotten longer which meant we went through as a group which we kind of preferred.
We went in with the same formation, Becca at the front, me in the middle and Jess at the back but this time we had a couple in front of us and a few people behind us. This meant the entire way round Becca kept screaming “Guys we’ve gotta keep up with the people in front!”
Although I hate clowns this one was really fun with inflatable walls that made me feel extremely claustrophobic and a bridge that made you feel like you were going upside down when you weren’t. And also clowns at every turn making you jump.
As I said, I really hate clowns. So at the end there’s a triangle shaped door and a clown standing just in front of it so Becca ducked through the door and as I went to the clown came right next to my head and started creeping me out so I moved to the left, rushed forward – and banged my head on the bloody doorway! I pulled back and of course Becca didn’t know why so she dragged me forwards again and luckily I made it through the door this time but my head hurt so bad! Five minutes later I asked my friends if they could see anything and it turned out there was a lump on my forehead! So yeah it was a fun attraction but make sure you watch where you’re going guys!
Hotel de Basquervilles
The queues were really starting to get quite long at this point because it was mid-event so my advice is to show up as soon as the haunts open because that’s what we did and we were there until nearly closing time and you definitely don’t want to miss any of the haunts! Also I went to the bathroom before we headed into this one and found one lady sat on the floor on the edge of a panic attack because she’d found the haunt too scary. Only do what you’re comfortable with guys, it’s not worth risking your mental health for!
We had to queue quite a while to get into this one but we didn’t really mind because long queues meant having a quick emotional break and for us it meant discussing the last haunt in great detail. The only trouble was that it started raining and although the queues are under some cover the rain still found a way in so bring a rain coat!
This one was brilliant too, it’s set in a hotel that’s haunted and you walk through and the actors pull open doors, windows, paintings etc. to jump scare you and it works really well. We went through in the same formation again and this one was making me laugh because Becca started yelling angrily at the people scaring her “No! Stop it! It’s not funny!” There was also one point where a girl was stood on a table screaming “You’re not welcome here, you’re not welcome here!” to which Becca started saying “That’s fine, okay, that’s fine!”
I’m making fun of Becca yet I was just as scared.
I was not a fan of the girl in the exorcism position on that bed and was even less of a fan when she turned around and screamed at us.
It’s not as scary when you go through with bigger groups which was fine by me and Becca because we kept letting people go in front of us. Also the couple in front seemed really chill and kept looking back and laughing at me and Becca screaming every couple of seconds. I’m pretty sure I screamed my throat raw at this event.
I don’t think I was prepared for this haunt at all.
The first three had scared me but they were manageable. This one hit us like a ton of breaks and even Jess said she was slightly scared at this one!
It all starts when you go in and they start splitting people up, mostly sending in men by themselves and splitting them up from their girlfriends etc. Me and Becca stood there praying to God he wouldn’t ask us to split up while Jess genuinely didn’t mind because she’s bloody mad. When there was maybe six or seven of us left he let us go through together. However, throughout the haunt the actors still manage to split us all up but as we were all holding hands we managed to stay together we just lost the rest of the group.
For the first few minutes I was scared but I was also having a great time because Becca was making me laugh so hard – until we encountered a lady who told Becca to stand against the wall and then pinned her against it. I didn’t wanna be next so I let go of her hand and me and Jess carried on walking but I think because Becca looked so panicked by this the lady let her go. I feel a bit bad because I’d have killed her if she’d left me so Becca, I am truly sorry! I won’t ditch you again!
Because of that the formation changed with Jess, the brave one, going first with Becca holding her hand and me holding onto Becca’s shoulders. We went into a room which was so foggy that we couldn’t see a thing until some man was right in front of Jess’ face telling her to squeal like a pig. I was honestly terrified, my head was in Becca’s back and we shuffled out of the room. We ended up outside but none of us could say anything, I genuinely thought we were in a pitch black room until my eyes adjusted.
The last room was another one where you can’t see a thing, there’s strobe lights going off and all I could hear was this really loud chain saw so I was screaming at Jess to get a move on and when I came out I needed a minute to get my chill together. Definitely the scariest haunt there and it was so much fun, Jess gave it a 10/10 and I have to agree. Probably the longest haunt as well it was just really well done and the actors in there were the best of the lot – just make sure you don’t get split up from your friends!
However my only complaint would be that I wasn’t a fan of the fat-shaming like I understand it’s a meat haunt and it’s all meant in good humour but I don’t know, it made me feel pretty uncomfortable. I think had someone said something to me I would’ve just felt like crap so I’m glad no one did.
I was not looking forward to this one, I’d overheard one man telling one of the members of staff that the haunts weren’t too scary but ‘The Shed’ had creeped him out a bit. After the trauma of ‘Squealers Yard’ I really wasn’t sure I was ready for this one. I’m not really 100% sure what the backstory for this haunt was because it was hard to hear the safety instructions and I was pretty scared as it was.
Although it was scary it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Squealers Yard. This time Jess went first with me in the middle and Becca at the back, all of us holding hands again because I was honestly bricking it. Becca at the back did not work just for the record, the girl stood on the back of both my shoes so they nearly fell off, nearly dislocated my thumb and ripped my hair out when she got scared. She is funny though.
The walkways were really narrow on this one like the actors couldn’t stand on the ground because there’d be no room for us to walk at all. We were at the back and Becca was screaming at us to keep up with the people in front of us which was great until we got to the end and they dropped something and they calmly tried to find it while we were screaming and trying to get away from the man with the giant leaf blower.
Although it was scary it didn’t have a lasting impression on me like Squealers Yard did.
Overall, my favourite haunts were ‘House of Hounds’ because that was our first and it was fun going through by ourselves, and ‘Squealers Yard’ because it was just so terrifying. We’ve decided that Tulley’s Farm is going to become a regular tradition but next year we want to go to the one with eight haunts because we had so much fun!
Rules and Tips for The Howl
– Each safety briefing is generally the same: no going on your phone, no hats/masks and no touching the actors. Also you’re not allowed to go through if you’re pregnant or have asthma, a heart condition or just generally if you’re anywhere near the end of your life
– I cannot stress the whole no touching the actors rule enough. You see it on the internet all the time about people who are like “sorry my reaction to getting scared is to hit out”… Well then don’t come? Although it’s scary it’s not hard to remember that they are just actors at the end of the day so even when people were crawling on the floor or right in our faces, there is no need to touch or lash out at them. It works both ways, they will not touch you either so just stick to the damn rule. If your reaction is to lash out then do what I did and hold hands with someone for crying out loud to stop yourself!
– If you’re nervous go with a group of friends. People went in couples but I think three or more works well if you’re scared. It was nice to have a really brave friend and a friend who was peeing themselves. I’d have been 100x more scared if I hadn’t been laughing at Becca the entire time so yeah, if you’re nervous go with a group!
– Start from the least scary and work your way up. Although I don’t regret jumping straight into the third scariest I probably would’ve felt differently if I’d entered Squealers Yard right off the bat!
But yeah, I survived the night and that’s the important thing! Definitely give it a go if you’re thinking about it, it’s so much fun.