You know when you don't even have to go to an event to know that it's going to be one of the best ones you've ever been invited to? Well, those were exactly my thoughts about The Blackpool Tower Dungeon's Festival Of Souls invite when it came into my inbox. Fair warning; they gave us tickets and a free cocktail each - but we were mostly sober and they didn't bribe us into writing good reviews (although they probably could have done with a few more drinks. Joking, of course.) So, last Thursday I set off to Blackpool with Katy to meet Lyd and head off to The Festival Of Souls.
We had a good little trip as we got there and were rushed into the Hangman's Tavern to grab cocktails - complete with jelly fangs on the top and a whole lot of alcohol. These are pretty affordable (and in fact we did buy more after our free ones, and we even paid £6 for our second lot so we could all get a tankard); but all in all - if you want to get in the mood for the dungeons the tavern in the perfect place. Pleasant alcohol buzz, old fashioned decor and vague screams being heard in the background. It's very atmospheric, and I'm all about a good drink so it just really added something pleasant to the night to be able to hang around, sit and catch up before we went through the dungeons.
We were actually the last group to go in for the tour (presumably due to the aforementioned bar) but they made no attempt to rush us through, and I felt like the whole evening was just so relaxed and lovely that I almost forgot that we were at a Halloween event. That was, of course, until we got to the photo opportunity and stood up against a giant green screen in stocks with axes and holding up various internal organs. Firmly back into the spirit of my surroundings, they wished us a terrible time and sent us off to the experience itself.
From before we even got in the lift we knew it was going to be good - we were asked to sign over our souls, we were suitably creeped out and before we had even set foot in the first room I was clinging onto Katy and Lyd for dear life. If you're a history nerd, this is totally going to be your jam because it goes from the Black Plague, to the war of the roses, right through Oliver Cromwell's reign and The Salem Witch Trials. Even if you're not a history nerd, it's hard not to end up engrossed in the stories, as each room is a separate interactive experience from a different time period that includes a new actor, at least one unwilling volunteer from the office and enough suitably gruesome knowledge to get you through the evening.
All in all, it's full of a lot of water being splashed in your face, some clever effects, many a gruesome smell, a mirror maze and an actual ride. Me, Katy and Lyd screamed and laughed our way through and as soon as we came out, all I wanted to do was to go back round and do it all again. If you've done Blackpool dungeons before don't expect a new tour, because it's the same as the original save the beginning, but it's worth every penny and you can take kids in from the age of 8. All I'll say is there's a reason that The Dungeons are the home of Halloween!