Halloween was over two weeks ago and as the smell of rotting pumpkins lingers in the air I am still revisiting in my mind the most fun filled day I have had in Hong Kong – Ocean Park Halloween Fest 2015.
Ocean Park is one of two theme parks in Hong Kong and is part theme park part zoo. Ocean Park is more adult geared and thus becomes an exquisite place to be scared on Halloween.
Having arrived before the opening hours the spooky thrills were not yet available. Visiting some sharks, jellyfish and of course fish at this aquatic theme park was our time killer; but my friend and I were here for one reason only…to be scared!
At midday we began sampling all the ghoulish goodness that was temporarily placed in the park during the Halloween season. The first thing we conquered was ‘Toxic Challenge’. This was a small inflatable course that had been installed so that you could race against your friend in a toxic meltdown. It was great fun but very short and the theming was a bit unnecessary as it really was just a bit of fun on an inflatable course.
Scare factor: 0/5 Fun factor: 3/5
The Walking Dead: Survival
Next we descended from the top of the park that is only reachable by cable car or underground train and made our way to the main attraction before it got crowded…The Walking Dead!!! I was very excited about going into a Walking Dead themed horror house that was installed by FOX. I was part of the second group of people to enter and wow, it was amazing.
Entering through a narrow corridor you walk your way through pivotal scenes of the TV franchises first five seasons. The attention to detail here was extraordinary. The bunch of girls who were part of our group were terrified before anything had happened. My friend grabbed my hand and we began edging ourselves into the first room where a sheriff was ordering us to move before he began shooting his gun.
Hordes of zombies began revealing themselves from hidden compartments and we had to constantly keep walking forward as walkers jumped out at us. Walking through darkness, cages were rattling and snarls filled the room.
We entered a prison bus where the deceased were filling the seats and actors reached out to try and bite us. Suddenly, an earth shattering sounds of bullets filled the rooms with flashing lights. This was my biggest jump of the horror house as it took me completely off guard.
Throughout the scenes my friend and I were shrieking constantly. The scares never stopped coming. An open door was nearing but before we could swiftly get to it a female walker appeared from nowhere slamming a cage door and frightened all of the group.
Eventually, we made it to Woodbury and escaped, greeted by the glaring Hong Kong sun we took a breather on a park bench and began laughing. It was so much fun. There was lots and lots of real life actors with immaculate set designs. As we calmed down we watched as other groups emerged from the horror house. Seeing a local family coming out physically drained with crying children was hysterical. I was astounded that children were even allowed into a zombie bloodbath.
Scare factor: 4/5 Fun Factor: 5/5
After experiencing the life of one of Rick’s gang we decided to do what any survivor would do…look at cute pandas. The pandas are the stars of Ocean Park and they are extremely cute and cuddly and I want to take one home!
Trick or Treat: Pumpkin Trail
Opposite the pandas was a family friendly horror experience ‘Trick or Treat: Pumpkin Trail’. I am from a family who despises Halloween so I have never done anything remotely Halloween related in all 21 years of living. Fortunately, Ocean Park would let me go trick or treating for the first time. At the entrance to the trail, staff members will give you an empty bag and let you visit ‘stations’ where after doing something silly a worker will give you some candy.
This was a sweet deal! Free candy is always a winner in my books.
The first station required us to hi-5 the fairy. That bagged us some easy mints. The next station required us to scare the station worker with a big scream. I was amazing but my friend had to redo this activity because the station worker wasn’t convinced with his miserable attempt at being scary. She gave us stickers and a wristband. We continued up the scenic trail collecting lollypops more TimTam’s and stickers. We got to spin a wheel to determine our trick or treat goodies and play a game of rock paper scissors. It was all very easily and silly fun that earnt us a lots of treats.
Scare Factor: 0 Fun Factor: 2/5
15 Years of Horror
We decided that we needed to be more scared so we headed to ’15 Years of Horror’, a haunted house that was a collection of previous Halloween houses combined into one. I never expected it to be that scary but this house ended up being the scariest and caused mayhem to our group.
In a group of six we were given permission to enter the front door where a charismatic fellow told us something (I had no idea what he was saying because it was all in Cantonese and because of this I missed the first scare as a man jumped out at us from a side door). My friend and I were in the middle of the group and we followed those in front around an abandoned fun fair with retired carousel horses remained and cobwebs clung to the rafters. We hadn’t been that scared until the people in front froze with terror and refused to pass into the next room.
In any haunted houses the chances of being scared immediately upon entering a room is very high and the people in front were not taking that chance. My friend was also scared so our group became stuck in the middle of the haunted house. Time passed and then a clown suddenly burst out from the room no one had been willing to enter into and decided to scare us all anyway. People at the back then ran forward, probably in fear of being scared even more by standing still. We entered a Chinese themed room with statues everywhere, and of course an actor who had disguised himself as a stone being.
It was here that we had caught up with an elderly couple who had enter the house before our group. They were petrified and had clearly been moving very slowly through the dimly lit rooms. They were in front and guided us through thick curtains until they stopped! The elderly man was trying to push his wife forward but she too was scared. Horror houses bring out the true nature of people – a husband pushing his wife forward was hilarious. Our entire group had become frightened with fear that once again we remained motionless.
I took this opportunity to take the lead in our group with my friend clasping my hand. We edged into rooms as monsters sprung out from every angle. We turned around and realised that our entire group was no longer behind us. They must have still be waiting with the elderly couple. It was just my friend and I screaming and briskly walking through the maze alone. We saw the exit and daylight to which my friend relieved my hand from his iron grip and made a run towards it. Foolish him because behind the wall was a ghost who jumped out at him causing my friend to scream and flutter in sheer panic. He tripped over and landed outside of the haunted house.
On all fours my friend was visibly shaken but not as much as the people waiting in the line to go into the house. Their nervous faces became a shade paler and we even saw people leave the queue after watching my friend trip out of the house. Walking slowly away from the house we turned around and eventually saw our group emerge from the house. They were about two minutes behind us.
This haunted house was crazily good and made us scream so much that we genuinely feared for our lives.
Scare Factor: 5/5 Fun Factor: 5/5
Fortunately, a very long walk allowed our heartbeats to slow down before we moved onto our next haunted house. However, we passed by the Ocean Theatre and realised that the dolphin show was about to start so we went to watch some dolphins.
Oh my, was the show boring. Using our umbrellas to shield us from the piercing suns’ rays we watched terrible acting as a marine worker pretended to be on a ship in a storm only to be saved by a dolphin. The dolphins were pretty cool but they only jumped a handful of times and the story was very monotonous.
Puppet Masters Deadly Workshop
A little bored, we went in search of our next haunted house ‘Puppet Masters Deadly Workshop’.
This was a haunted house that was based around dolls coming to life. This was the most lit haunted house and I could visibly see where I was going for the majority of the time unlike the others where having night vision would have come in handy.
With no queue my friend decided to wait for more people to join us. A minute later a group of three accompanied us on a walk through the puppet workshop. A live actor was standing next to a bookshelf and I was convinced he would scare us but he chose not to do so. We walked by numerous dolls and were so far unscathed.
It was upon entering a corridor that was the darkest part of the maze that I was attacked, not by the actors but by a female in our group who was screaming in terror. She decided to latch herself onto my bag and began pulling at me in fear. I was getting quite angry so my friend told her off in Cantonese to which she began grabbing onto him!
My friend and I rushed a little forward to create some space between us and the terrified girl. We walked through an open door and hiding behind it was a scary lady who scared me so much that I cocked my right leg up like a dog going for a wee. We walked through rooms with dolls heads dangling from the ceiling draping all over us.
The end was now here. This house wasn’t so scary except for that one jump I had but the ambience of the room and décor was very good.
Scare Factor: 3/5 Fun Factor: 3/5
Lolita Mansion / Bloodborne Mansion
Before the night would descend we went to the last haunted house. This house was special as before 5:30pm it would be more family friendly and after that time it would transform into a scary haunted house.
It was named ‘Lolita Mansion’ before 5:30pm and proved to be very underwhelming. It was just a chance for people to walk through a mansion and take photos with the residents. It did allow my friend and I to get a glimpse of what it would look like when it got turned into haunted house so we made mental notes of potential jump out points and hidden doors.
Whilst we waited for its transformation we explored the rainforest zone and got to see a sloth scratching his balls.
Now transformed into ‘Bloodborne Mansion’ we awaited our turn. Sadly, our group we were with were very annoying and spent numerous times hovering around a door before walking through it, which caused time problems for the actors who presumably are set to scare at intervals.
My friend and I took the lead and we walked through the same mansion we had done early but this time new rooms emerged and we were pushed into them. It wasn’t very frightening. It was only when we entered the dark gardens that it got scary. In a narrow outside corridor with a wall to my left and hedges to my right I had to walk in total darkness with the occasional lightning flash showing my way. It was atmospheric but lacked on big scares. After that we exited.
Scare Factor: 2/5 Fun Factor: 2/5
By now we had completed all the special Halloween haunted houses. We re-did the Horror 15 maze and Walking dead maze but both were not as scary as the first time we took part. With the moon lighting up the night sky monsters began appearing in the park. Blood-soaked clowns, unicorn warriors and other nasties emerged to scare the park guests.
Although stating that we had undertaken all the houses we were wrong. There was another called “H-15” but to access it you had to pre-order a ticket a month in advance and they had all been taken. It was just by chance that we walked past it and asked the staff member who said that there was a standby queue but that it would take around one hour before you could enter due to the queue length.
Currently, we had waited no longer than five minutes for any of the attractions so an hour wait seemed long. However, we decided to wait in line and it was definitely worth it.
This haunted house was special in that you had to endure the ten minute nail biting experience alone. Yes, all alone in a haunted house.
The wait was over and the first thing I had to do was get my photo taken. The reason I had my photo taken was because I was now pronounced as dead. H-15 is a haunted house that is all about the Chinese beliefs and customs of death.
I then moved to the loading area where I had to remove my shoes and socks and tie a body tag to my foot. It was here that I would have to lie down onto a mortuary table (resembling a hospital stretcher). Not only would I have to be on my back throughout the haunted house but I would be strapped to it.
A staff member would then push me head first into the world of death.
My head was being hit by the curtain drapes separating the rooms, it was truly an immersive journey. A white room filled with white figures surrounded me and then one of them turned around and turned out to be an actor. I was rather composed still at this point.
The next room involved my hospital stretcher being turned horizontally and I was pushed sideways into the room where I was then spun repeatedly in a circle. I passed a judge who sentenced me to damnation.
The next room was the only one I had guessed that would occur. My cremation. I was shoved inside a furnace with a glass square directly above my face. It was pitch black and then suddenly shots of air were perforating my body, it was getting hotter and screams of wailing souls were echoing. It was a living hell. Then a loud bang. A skeleton appeared in the glass panel. I was no longer flesh and blood but a skeleton doomed to spend eternity in a fiery mess.
I was pushed out of my cremation chamber and an evil soul began heckling me whilst she used an ice ball to tickle my feet. I was laughing so much but was also in pain. I wanted to kick the spirit so much for torturing me. I was writhing all over the place.
I was then faced with numerous gigantic tarantulas that were giving me the heebie jeebies. I was then being slapped by the tongues of the dead. The ceiling was a mangled mess of bodies with gigantic tongues descending from them. As I was pushed through the room the tongues would hit me but the evil spirt found it hilarious to grab them and slap my face repeatedly. I was being abused whilst tied down…I can now empathise with porn stars.
A dark room awaited with just a slight bit of light revealing skeletons on the ceiling. I expected them to drop onto me and they did. The first one didn’t shock me but as I was being pulled away a second, larger one dropped!
It was hear that my journey into the underworld was over and I had been bought out alive and well. Staff gave me some water and a sweet for being so brave.
This was the most unique and interesting things I have ever done. Although it was not as scary as some of the other haunted houses it was its sheer creativity that made this my most favoured one. Losing all control of movement within a haunted house is petrifying and for those who find it too much to handle; by shouting the magic words “banana, banana, banana” the experience would end prematurely.
Scare Factor: 3.5/5 Fun Factor: 5/5
That concluded my spooky adventures in Ocean Park. The park is very well organised and themed; even the aquariums have pumpkins inside the enclosures.
Ocean Park is a great theme park at any time of the year, but to get the most from your money then there is only one time you should come here and that is for Halloween.
- Get cheaper tickets to the park by using the very useful and easy to use mobile app ‘Klook’
- A new MTR station is being built right outside the park so in the near future it will be easier to access
- Water in the park is eye wateringly expensive, with a bottle costing 25HKD (in 7-Eleven it costs 7HKD and in Welcome you can get water for 2.5HKD) so bring water with you into the park.
All photos taken by myself. Follow me on Instagram: Arik_Dane