Spoiler level: No spoilers.
The location of Blackpool’s Pasaje Del Terror has always amused me. Parked proudly on the bustling Ocean Boulevard Promenade, its facade adorned with a hooded, red-eyed figure who glares menacingly at passers by. The fact that it’s nestled in alongside the entrance to Blackpool Pleasure Beach is even more amusing to me – one is a gateway to a haven of frivolous, family-friendly fun; the other a gateway to a dominion of darkness. Although to a scream seekers and adrenaline junkie such as myself, the two are not mutually exclusive in terms of fun to be had! So after a couple of days of Blackpool shenanigans, we headed into Pasaje del Terror, the blood-soaked cherry on top of our trip.
Having visited the attraction many years ago, long before this website, my memory of it was vague. Thus, I had very few expectations. The only thing that crossed my mind as we approached was this: considering the aforementioned placement of this attraction, it would be fair to say that in order to pull in the crowds, what’s required of Pasaje is really quite simple. It needs to be scary, and objectively so; a basic pattern of tension and release.
I’m thrilled to report that Pasaje goes above and beyond this format.
There were many elements I hadn’t expected to see. Self-referential theming, for starters. Multiple scare styles and tactics. Attention to detail. Misdirection. Lively, engaging and enthusiastic staff. Granted, there were one or two rooms where nothing much happened, and the ending was a little anti-climactic for me personally, as a seasoned fan. But with the combination of horror film references, original setpieces, the aforementioned flair and a few unexpected touches, there is more than enough to satisfy here.
My biggest takeaway from the experience was the overarching sense of pride in the attraction, which was encouraging and genuinely exciting to see. Pasaje doesn’t rest on the laurels of its impressive location; there is genuine effort and enthusiasm at every turn.