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Fright Nights' Face it Alone


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Following @Inferno's excellent write up about their Face it Alone experience, I've been inspired to talk about my own. For those who haven't seen Inferno's write up...



To those unaware, Face it Alone was a VIP extra available at Fright Nights between 2013-2016 where, after the park closed, - you guessed it - you could go through a Fright Nights maze...alone! But it was more than that, the run throughs were much more extreme and personal, and unlike anything seen at Fright Nights before or after.




I'll take the opportunity to discuss my first ever Face it Alone experience, which was in Saw Alive in 2013.


But before actually going into it, some additional context. 

In autumn 2012, I had started uni. Thorpe Park had gone from a 5 minute drive away for me to a near 3 hours train journey each way. Instead of cramming in as many Fright Nights visits as possible, I only managed one. And, frankly, it was dreadful. Huge queues. I had bad runthroughs of the mazes. It was terrible. 


After that visit, I questioned whether I would bother going to Fright Nights the following year. Now, I'm too much of a Thorpe fanboy for that to have really been a serious suggestion, but that's how much I hated my Fright Nights 2012 experience. Anyway, the park announced the Lionsgate tie in for 2013 and that had me pretty much sold. And then they announced Face it Alone, and any potential thought of not visiting had been washed away.


So I was pretty much sold on doing Face it Alone. But there was still some concerns about it. There were promises of an extreme experience. But Thorpe market tons of mazes as extreme, was it just empty words? (Spoilers: it wasn't!). I'd done Fright Nights mazes enough in the past on quiet days to have the occasional solo run (plus, Experiment 10 you were split up and could go solo anyway!). Was this really worth the £15 extra??


I had a great day during Fright Nights; an immeasurable improvement from the disaster of my 2012 visit. The mazes were all a good standard pretty much, at it felt like Fright Nights got its groove back. 10pm came and we made our way to the Calypso BBQ, the meeting spot for Face it Alone.


The Director and his assistant (the key characters of Fright Nights) were there, along with some VIP hosts who confirmed our booking and what maze we were doing. The Director and assistant spoke with those who were waiting, and it was hear I got my first glimpse as to what was to come...


I was sat at the bar in the BBQ, enjoying my complimentary drink, when The Director came over and sat on the bar surface. He spoke with me individually and asked for my full attention. Sat on the bar towering over me, he spoke with a level of arrogance and firmness about it, saying about how scary the experience was going to be, and that I wasn't ready for this. Any time I looked at him directly, he told me to keep my head facing straight, not up, meaning I was staring directly at his crotch. 

Describing this, I understand this may come across a bit...sexual I guess? But it did not feel like that at all. It was all part of the act to make me feel uncomfortable and hopeless, whilst also giving that personal experience.


By the time all 6 "Face it Aloners" were here, we were given Thorpe Park ponchos to put on and the Director read the waiver to us. The waiver pretty much said anything could happen: we could be made to do anything, might be tied up, blindfolded, might come across bad language, nudity, bodily fluids, etc etc. The park take no responsibility for any damages, etc. Standard scare waiver. This then ended with the line which is still stuck in my head... "If this all sounds too much for you, you can f*ck off to Chessington". 


If anyone wants to know how all this build up felt... There's a documentary series on Netflix called Dark Tourist. Great show, highly recommend. In the last episode, the presenter (David Farrier) attempts the infamous McKamey Manor, and it shows the psychological aspect of the waiver signing process for that. This felt very similar. Everything in this build up and the reading of the waiver felt designed to put people on edge, intrigue you, but also make you that little worried. In a matter of like 15 minutes I'd gone from "I hope this is more than a bog standard walk through by myself" to "What on earth are they going to do to me?!"


With that signed, The Director escorted me and the other Saw Alive Face it Aloner to Saw Alive. But again, this wasn't quite so straightforward.


The Director clasped a hand around a wrist of each of us, tightly. And he then proceed to take us along. He was walking very quickly, always ensuring he was in front of us. It was like we were being dragged. There was a huge demeanour change here too. In the BBQ, The Director was this mysterious, creepy individual. The classic horror movie trope of someone who has a dark side. Now, he was this rude, snarling guy who didn't care about anything other than make us as uncomfortable and scared as possible.


Whilst dragging us along, he would sometimes stop. Then change direction. Then circle back. He was taking his time. We went around Rocky Express. He then took us towards Saw The Ride. We were made to stand outside the station building, in different corners, roughly speaking in this area:


The Director just told us to stand still and shut up, he would return shortly.


We must have been there for less than a minute, but it felt like a lot longer. I saw rides staff out of the corner of my eye, pointing and seemingly laughing, knowing our fate.


When The Director returned, he was shouting at us, saying we were wasting time and asking why we weren't following him. Again, creating a narrative to make us feel uneasy and second guess ourselves I guess. We were dragged again to entrance bridge. 

It's worth keeping in mind, all of this, and the "Face it Alone" section hasn't actually started yet!


I was told to face away from the entrance, head facing the floor, as the other person went in first. The Director took them in and I waited. I heard The Director from the entrance to the boat shouting and taunting me. Again saying stuff like "I'm not ready for what's coming" and "You should see what's happening to the other person".

At this point, I naturally turned my head to face The Director, to hear him more easily. He came running towards me and snarled in my ear that he didn't tell me turn around, I wasn't to look at him and I was to do exactly as told. He then pushed on my shoulders and told me to sit on the ground and wait. 


Shortly after, I was then dragged by The Director into maze, around the Billy Puppet photo point and pushed into the pre show. The Face it Alone experience was about to begin, and I was already a rattled wreck!


In the pre show, the police woman actor gave what I can only describe as a mini interrogation. Screaming in my face, asking me questions and belittling me for not knowing the answers. The 1 on 1 nature gave the personal touch, but the general script and screaming nature made it feel that bit more intense. Eventually, she told me to get on my knees and crawl through to the next room to face Jigsaw's game. I do also seem to remember her sitting on my back as well, for whatever reason.


Any fears that this would be a 'normal' runthrough ended when I entered the first scene. I was instructed to get up the next actor, and she then proceed to spit a very large mouthful of very cold water directly in my face. Ah, bodily fluids. This took me by complete surprise: the shock of it happening at all, the coldness of the water, the not being able to see for a second. It all just hit me at once. Looking back, it's still something I can't believe they actually did, and these days, it's a concept which would never even be considered by most places.


From here, I was pushed, pulled and shoved around here there and everywhere. I was made to get in the bathtub, told how there was no escape. I made my way to the second scene, and pushed and bounced on the chain mesh fencing. I was shoved into corners and made to squeeze my way out. To exit the second scene, I had to crawl under an actor who was blocking my way, only for another actor to grab my ankle and try to drag me back a little.


I made my way to the freezer scene, which with the water still on my face felt that little bit colder. The nearly nude actor in there then proceeded to spit more water in my face for good measure. Much like with all the actors in the maze, they were playing roles of 'crazed Jigsaw victims who were failing their games, and so didn't want you to pass your's'. A 'pig head' character came seemingly out of nowhere and pinned me against the wall by my wrists, before then dragging me into the fourth scene.


This was the scene that most closely resembled a normal runthrough, though I still had the actors completely filled with energy, ramping up the intensity, and trying to wrap the chains around my arms. But aside from that, nothing major. 


Things become a bit more of a blur for me now (this was almost 9 years ago after all!). Scene 5 involved me climbing over the 'table' in the scene, being pushed, pulled and dragged around. Actors screaming in my face, etc. The final scene (the carousel), involved me being pushed against the mesh fencing where the carousel was, and having air blasted in my face a couple of times. I remember being made to crawl around the whole scene, before being able to exit into the Picsolve area. 


Even then, the experience carried on, and I was grabbed hold of, held against walls and effectively pushed out of the exit onto the bridge by about 3 actors. It was all just full on and intense.


And that was it. That was also the 'end end' - there were no other outside things. I can't remember who specifically was outside the maze (I think maybe The Director and a VIP host, but it might have just been the host). But we were asked how we found it, etc. And then we made our own way out of the park. 


What I found striking was how different the other person's experiences were. They spent a lot longer in scenes 4 and 5 for example (and that included being tied on the table in scene 5), but much less in 2 and 3. The general idea, aim and direction was the same, but there were lots of little differences. 

The actors truly had to be commended for their energy and dedication. Keeping in mind they had done a full shift on a busy Saturday, to then have to give a full on, high intensity experience for two people, and create something that was truly memorable is incredible. And a real hats off to The Director, who definitely must have enjoyed his role!


Walking to the exit, it was a little before 11pm. Given we got to Calypso BBQ around 10pm, and we had interactivity with actors from then until leaving the maze, it was definitely worth the £15. The maze experience must have been around the 7-10 minute mark, and that alone would have been worth it, but the entire spectacle was excellent value.



As I say, I think it says a lot about the experience that almost 9 years on, I can remember so much of this so strongly (this entire write up is done from memory...so apologises if it's a bit jumpy and haphazard in style!). It definitely ranks as one of my favourite scare experiences ever. Truly just magnificent.


It's interesting even comparing to Inferno's experience as they've written up. Cabin sounds equally fantastic, but the pre and post maze experiences sound rather different. Whether that was just down to numbers, or whether they were changing things up a bit, who knows. Maybe the reason we were dragged around the then Canada Creek so much is because there was a delay and The Director was improvising? Who knows! But it certainly would have been great to meet up with other Face it Aloners from different mazes and hear about their wacky experiences too!




So there's my first Face it Alone experience. I'd love to try and write up some of my other experiences too later.

Anyone else want to share the horrors they experienced? 

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Following on, I would like to express my experiences of Face It Alone, during its years of existence. 


After hearing the strange and interesting stories of the event’s first year I decided to try out Face It Alone. I managed to experience it on not one, but three mazes. 

Before each maze, there would be a gathering at the then Calypso BBQ, where several actors and  staff/management would be. The rest of us were given champagne, whilst we waited for our maze with anticipation. The usual waiver applied. 

Cabin In The Woods/ 

This was my first ever face it alone (FIA). I went in somewhere towards the middle, the actors shouted and screamed at me (ofc). They made me lick the wolf, one pushed me along the route whilst another did a piggy back. From what I remember it was a very rough, rocky and intense experience. 

Studio 13

My second one seemed more favourable and was at the end of the then TPM Fright Nights meet. At least one actor pulled me through the set pieces like an over aggressive acting agent, whilst others screamed in my presence. Several female actors threw makeup materials all around my face whilst laughing and squeezing. 

Saw Alive/

My third and final FIA of 2014, which happened by accident due to last minute changed plans. 

In the first room I was asked to go against the wall whilst an actor shouted at me. In the second room, two female actors screamed at me to go into the bath. Later one, there was a half-naked woman in scene four or five. 

Before beginning l, I was asked for my name, which was used by actors screaming it at me several times during the experience. 


I managed one FIA this year, with the new concept. I preferred the old concept with champagne and maze choice, but it was ok. 

There was a ceremony towards the start, where we would have hoods on our heads, before actors confirmed which made it would be. This would be. 

The Big Top

The order we all went in would be completely different, as would the length and experience, as some would get through sooner than others. There was no poncho either. 

Things would include being asked to crawl on the floor, crawl under a clown and escape a chainsaw. I also had a pie of shaving foam thrown in my face. 

This FIA basically saw a TPM takeover of the event and would also be where I first met @Martin Doyle.



Last and least. The same ceremony system commenced. 

Saw Alive

whilst not necessarily terrible, this was my weakest run-through. 

The actors put my head in the toilet, taunted and got close to you as you went around the experience. 

And after this point, it all ended. 

There were some crazy and intense experiences, which I won’t forget. 

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Absolutely LOVE reading up about these!  Thank you for taking the time to write them up!

Great to hear the experiences in the other mazes.


I agree with what you've said there @JoshC. about how vivid the memories still are being a good indication of just how good the BIA experiences were in the early years.


I'll get my Studio13 BIA online soon :) 

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Ahhh yes, Face It Alone X TPM X The Big Top.
For me, summed up in two words: Ball Gag.


Maybe me wearing sparkly cat ears for Halloween insinuated I was "up for fun" 🤔


Will have to see if I can dig out my picture of my bruised hands after spending most of the maze crawling about on the floor and squealing like a pig. Definitely remember shaving foam and then straw being thrown in my face too. Was brilliant having a drink afterwards in FINS 360 VIBES and all the actors coming in! 😃

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Let's have a crack at writing up my 2014 experience then!


I was in the same position in 2014 as I saw in 2013; I could only manage one visit to Fright Nights because of being at uni. But after the successes of 2013, I had to go. And with Face it Alone returning, that just sealed the deal.


When it came to Face it Alone, I took a risk on my maze choice, opting to go for new-for-that-year Studio 13. The previous year, I'd gone with familiarity in Saw Alive, a maze I knew like the back of my hand. So why not up that fear factor a bit and go with a maze I didn't know at all, and would only manage one run before my Face it Alone experience.


The pre-amble was much the same; meet at the BBQ and sign the waiver. The Director and his Assistant were there again, chatting with Face it Aloners and trying to ramp up the fear. It wasn't quite as effective this time, in part because I knew what to expect, but also in part because the actor playing the Director wasn't as strong I think. I do remember speaking with him though, and the topic somehow going onto Alton Towers, where he said "Alton Towers? Yeah, they've got CBeebies Land now...THAT is f*cking terrifying!". That made be chuckle.


With waiver signed, the 4 of us doing Studio 13 were taken over, a very short walk from the BBQ, and made to line up single file by the entrance. And then just left there; no one else around. This was a very different 'start' to the experience compared to last year, and where my heart did start to pump. After a truly unknown amount of time, the first person went in. The rest of us waited, silently, for our turn. Studio 13 had the chainsaw ending of course, and it was only once the chainsaw started revving when the second person was dragged in. 


That gave me time to rationalise what to expect: it was one person only in the entire maze. But what would that mean? Would the entire cast hound you? Maybe. Since it was only a few minutes, how intense would things be? Thoughts were running through my head. The chainsaw started to rev and then I was yanked by my shoulder into the maze.


The first part of the maze just saw me pushed and pulled and hounded with loads of in-story questions. "You're hear for the studio tour?" "Why are you late?" Why are you alone?" etc etc. I then had my "photo" taken (the blinding flashing light effect from the maze), and was pulled into the next scene. This was the make up / wardrobe scene, and I was forced into a chair and had make up sprawled all over my face, before being spun around in the chair repeatedly. 


This left me a little dizzy, but I had no time to relax, as I was picked back up and pushed around by two actors, taking me through all the scenes. Honestly, the maze was a blur from here. Actors would invade my personal space and act intimidating. But at the same time, this didn't feel as intense as last year's incarnation. It was still a step well up from the level Thorpe mazes usually were, but it was all a bit rinse and repeat. Get pushed and pulled around, have actors crowd around you, and then move you on.


Things changed towards the end of the maze. I was following the maze route, then I was pulled backwards and shoved into what I can only describe as a cupboard. I don't know what it's purpose was in normal runs (whether it was an actor hole, a storage cupboard or something designed with Face it Alone in mind), but it was very small and pitch black. I just stood there, facing the door, waiting for something to happen. To my surprise, a door opened to my side, and a new actor appeared. They had some sort of duct tape in hand, and decided to wrap a load around my head and mouth, and also tie my hands in front of me. I then had a bottle of water dumped on me for good measure too.


Things had ramped up very quickly, and I was pulled around to the final scene. For those who don't remember, it was this bedroom scene:


In here, I was greeted by a hillbilly-esque actor, who said he'd been waiting for me, and wanted to introduce me to his daughter (who was on the bed). Said I should kiss her. I don't know what my face would have shown in this moment, but I can assure you, I wasn't enthusiastic about the idea. In any case, the actor decided to encourage me, and pushed me onto the bed so I was lying on top of 'his daughter'. And with my hands tied in front of me, it wasn't exactly easily to move.


Unsurprisingly, the hillbilly was 'disgusted with what I was doing', so dragged me off her and onto my feet. He grabbed the chainsaw and said he was going to give me to the count of 3 to get out of his sight. I started making my way to the exit corridor, and immediately heard a "3", and he started chasing after me. The chainsaw was being revved behind me and in my face, and he was right behind me even after I left the maze. 


And so ended Face it Alone 2014 for me.



What I found particularly interesting was that all 4 of us had the exact same experience. I didn't know any of the other people doing Studio 13, but we all spoke afterwards comparing our experiences, and I remember them being exactly the same. That was very different compared to last year, where everything was a lot more fluid (in more ways the one, I guess!). It will be interesting how similar this was to @Inferno's experience!


So to round off, Face it Alone in Studio 13 was not as intense as my Saw Alive experience in 2013. Part of that would be down to familiarity and knowing vaguely what to expect. Part of that might be down to the cast, or the concept not being new and so having less focus on it. But at the same time, the last minute or so of the experience was definitely up there and pushed the boundaries in different ways, which is a big part of what Face it Alone was trying to achieve.

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