Exeter’s Haunted House Pt. 2

Exeter’s Haunted House 2018 – Countess Asylum

Response to Exeter’s Haunted House

As the dust settled after the first Exeter’s Haunted House we collected our thoughts. We all had amazing war stories of amazing guests and terrifying scares. The guests loved it too with people travelling as far as Cornwall to experience our home haunt. We had no doubts that this was something that we wanted to do again and we set about planning something bigger and better.

Countess Asylum

Exeter's Haunted House Countess Asylum
Exeter’s Haunted House Countess Asylum

After looking at a variety of themes we decided to opt for a Mental Asylum. We were cautious about how such an event could be perceived as demeaning toward mental health but decided that it portrayed a view of how outdated some views and treatment could be. The storyline was of visitors who would visit the Asylum for an open evening, Stray from the tour group before seeing the vile practices behind the scenes. The patients would be concerned and reference “No med”. As visitors progress through the experience this “Nomed” becomes a character with faces scrawled across surfaces before appearing as a creature.

There was a scene where we had guests trace the name Nomed backwards on a two-way mirror before flipping the lights and having the creature present. We hoped that this would reveal a penny drop moment where guests would understand that this creature was in fact Demon spelt in reverse.

Our favourite addition for that year was a camera towards the end. We planned a scene whereby guests would end up in a calm reasonably well-lit area. Here a Secretary character greeted them. This was just after an intense section so a big change of pace. The secretary would focus their attention on a cooties poster just below the camera. Once the code word, “Cooties”, was given a Nomed character would quietly emerge from a window at the back to scare the group.

I found it fascinating how the groups approached the scene. From leaving the chaotic area to the group dynamic of positioning when asked to look at something. We found that often the most fearful would retire to the back. Unfortunately for them, this placed them as the primary victim of the eventual scare. Even today, I watch these videos and notice subtle details that have fuelled our passion for scary events.

Countess Asylum Reactions

Will Exeter’s Haunted House keep going?

The Asylum was more popular than ever and we were at the point of causing chaos for our neighbours. After all, we lived on a modest Cul-de-sac which wasn’t used to accomodating the thousand people who attended. We thought that as much as we enjoyed it we were overextending our neighbour’s goodwill. We looked at alternative venues but were unsuccessful. There were times when we were unsure whether it would happen again.

Eventually, we decided to go talk to our neighbours to understand their views. There were concerns that we looked to address and we started planning measures that would make everything run smoothly. We were very lucky to be able to lean on our friends to help with marshalling out the front and keeping calm.

Carnevil of Carnage – The Final Scare

With the reaction to the clown from the first year, we decided that Carnevil of Carnage would be our theme. We planned for this to be the Final scare event. It was decided that this would be an opportunity to celebrate and conclude our activities at our home. This event saw us construct our longest and most ambitious maze yet.

We made the news

It was this year that we managed to attract enough attention to even have the news come to visit. Spotlight from the BBC attended on Halloween and captured scenes of the crowds queuing up to get in.

Exeter’s Haunted House

The Future

With Covid causing issues over 2020 & 2021 and now the escape room taking much of our focus we’re unsure what the future will hold for our charity event. We have already made steps to reach out to the charities to provide complimentary passes and we also hope to continue our fundraising efforts. The Haunting of Mount Clifton Manor holds a special place in our hearts as an ode to the horror genre. Throughout all of this, our friends have been incredible in their efforts in helping us and we owe them so much. We feel blessed to be able to share such amazing memories with them.

Read more about our escape room adventure here. Read Part 1 here.