Here at Manufacturing Excellence, we believe a happy team provides a more productive and collaborative work environment. So how do we make such a tightly bonded team? Well what better way to bond than being scared out of your skin and having to run for your life whilst gripping the hands of your colleagues? All in good spirits of course! Every year Manufacturing Excellence organise an annual Halloween night out for those that are brave (or daft) enough! This event allows the team to have fun, whilst building and strengthening those important bonds. So this year, we went to HallowScream at York Maze. 

The first thing we spotted, was an ambulance on standby (reassuring!). The expectation that someone might ‘give up the ghost’ (if you’ll pardon the pun) really set the tone for the evening. After being chased by clowns and mad scientists with chainsaws when we’d barely even got out of the car – we knew we were definitely in for a scary, jumpy night! After a quick brief about the backstory, we cautiously entered the main area. It was spooktacularly decorated, with food trucks, bars, terrifying zombies lurching aimlessly among us and freakish hallowqueens dancing on podiums. There was even a spooky DJ, because, well, why not?  I challenge anyone not to start tapping their foot to Ghost Busters or throwing both hands in the air to the Time Warp.

HallowScream consisted of 5 separate rooms each with different themes, which were all brilliant! First, we went into ‘Corny’s Cornveil’, a circus-themed room with scary clowns jumping out at every opportunity! It was awash with mind-bending optical illusions such as spinning rooms, shrinking corridors and a mirror maze. We all were well and truly warmed up after the first room and had all ‘buddied up’ to ensure there was a hand to hold.  

Safety in numbers, we gripped hands and proceeded to ‘Barnaggedon 3D’, a neon themed room with 3D tricks and people covered head to toe in hair raising neon designs.  After another sprint from a ghoul with a chainsaw, we headed over to ‘Fleshpot’ – a slaughterhouse themed room based on a farmer selling human meat. This room consisted of hanging flesh and terrifying half pig/half human creatures with butcher knifes! 

Thankfully, after managing to escape with all of our body parts, we tip-toed on to ‘The Singularity’. This was a futuristic room, with humans involved in scientific experiments to create a human-robot hybrid. After witnessing some gruesome experiments and getting trapped in a room so bright and smoky we couldn’t find the exit – we finally managed to get out alive! 

We ventured onto our final room, ‘2073’, a ‘post Trump’ nuclear apocalypse (the scariest part being not knowing if this was imagination or premonition!). We were led out into the Maize Maze with Zombies jumping out of the crops. Additionally, there was soldiers with guns, fire engines and ambulances…it was chaos! Finally, we had to be quarantined and decontaminated before being chased out of there by, you guessed it, another zombie with a chainsaw! 

After calming ourselves down and letting the adrenaline settle (and a quick head count!) we finished the night with a meal so we could laugh at the best bits, talk about the scariest moments and listen to everyone’s highlights! We all felt that little bit closer having endured such a thrilling experience together.

So why do these experiences help build relationships?… When we get scared, we get a rush of adrenaline and dopamine. When we experience these senses of elation with other people, our brain misattributes it from the fear experienced to the people we were with instead. Put simply, we push the terror from our short-term memory and store long term memories of euphoria with our friends – thus building better relationships! 

All in all, HallowScream was a fantastic night leaving everyone hungry for next year. Until next time, creep it real!