Halloween - 2018 style at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon!

Fun (and scares) for all the family at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon
Fun (and scares) for all the family at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon

Halloween's changed a lot since I was a lad.


Back then it wasn't the hullabaloo it is these days...no dressing up, just trudging round the estate hoping for enough coinage to buy some sweets from the corner shop.

Get in the mood for Halloween at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon

Get in the mood for Halloween at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon

Nowadays, thanks largely to our American cousins, it's becoming almost like a practice-run for Christmas, with its own brand of decorations and soundtrack to get the kids (okay, and the adults) into the mood.

A welcome addition to this spook-tacular season is the Blackpool Tower Dungeon's 'Home of Halloween', which runs until November 4.

They promise 'thrills and spills lurking around every corner...with nine live action shows and one incredible drop ride to finish'.

Now a lot depends on whether you want to spend your time rubbing shoulders with the living dead, overly made-up walking zombies, struggling to make themselves understood.

But once you've negotiated the streets around Blackpool Tower and its 'unique' clientele, the Dungeon itself is truly an experience to behold.

Split into 11 areas, each contains a character whose spiel is both entertaining and, yes, scary, but in some cases, extremely informative and educational.

Take the Dark Chapel, for example, where the Monk tells tales of the history of the Fylde Coast, from Viking invasions to the War of the Roses to the new arrival of a new enemy that knows no fear and gives no mercy.

Then there's the Plague Doctor, who was more than happy to perform a live autopsy (behind a screen) for our viewing pleasure, and the Torturer who, quite rightly, was on the look-out for any wrong 'uns from Yorkshire.

On to the courtroom, where Judge Blackheart wasn't shy in handing out guilty verdicts to all and sundry without being vaguely interested in anything resembling a defence.

The only escape was via the Labyrinth, a confusing maze of narrow streets, and on to the Viking Invasion, the Skippool Smugglers and Pendle Witches.

There's even a ride to finish with...a 'faster than gravity drop', the ultimate end to your Dungeon journey.

Plenty to pack into an hour, but well worth taking the time to do so.

With pricing starting from £14 adults, £11.50 kids and under-threes free, it's certainly comparable in terms of value to the town's football team - with arguably far more enjoyment to be had.

And a special word to the staff as well, who looked after our group - including a wheelchair and a buggy - with care and consideration, including accessing short-cuts to avoid any steps.

One thing to consider, though.

My seven-year-old gets excited for Halloween pretty much as soon as the Christmas decorations come down, and he was super-excited about entering the Dungeons.

While recommended for over-10s, parental discretion is advised...and like most seven-year-olds, wasn't taking no for an answer.

The next hour was mostly spent clinging to his mum for comfort, not enough to ruin the day or scar him for life, but a reminder that Halloween isn't all about sweets and pumpkins.

All in all, very much recommended - although booking in advance is advised as the queues were lengthy on our Saturday morning trip.