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The Tourism Darkside - Halloween 2012

Monday, 8th October 2012

As the nights draw in and thoughts turn to Halloween, visitors to Lancashire can expect some top quality, spine-tingling thrills thanks to some of the county’s foremost purveyors of dark tourism and winners of prestigious Lancashire Tourism Awards 2012.

World class scream park, Farmaggedon, took the coveted Best Visitor Experience of the Year award at this annual showcase for the best in Lancashire tourism, with their interactive horror experience; roaming zombies, creatures of the night, creepy labyrinths and dark dungeons attract thousands of visitors each year to this fright on the farm experience in Ormskirk.   A winner of international as well as UK awards, Farmaggedon featured in the world’s Top 25 Must See Haunts and each year grows in size and visitor numbers.  This year Farmaggedon – The World’s End! runs from 5 October until 3 November, with only a limited number of nights still available.  Certainly not for the faint-hearted, participants must be 18yrs or above with 16 year olds allowed entry only with proof of ID and accompanied by a responsible adult.  Approach with caution !

Winner of the Special Recognition Award 2012 was Simon Entwistle, of Top Hat Tours based in Clitheroe. Simon works with a number of attractions across the county offering spooky storytelling in historic buildings, haunted pub tours as well as witch walks around Pendle Hill and other locations linked to the Lancashire Witch trials of 1612. 

This year marked the 400th Anniversary of the Lancashire Witch Trials and has been one of his busiest to date, with Simon’s engaging style and entertaining presentations - dressed in top hat and coat tails, very much in demand with film and TV companies from all over the world. 

With Halloween approaching, not only features these award-winners but a wide range of events, experiences and scary attractions that highlight the visitor’s fascination for the dark, mysterious and blood-curdling. From East Lancashire Railway’s Ghost Trains and Transylvania Mania at Samlesbury Hall, to the dark depths of the Blackpool Dungeon or close encounters with the Witchfinder at Lancaster Castle – Lancashire has dark tourism attractions, tricks and treats to suit all types.

It’s a serious business as Dr Philip Stone, Executive Director of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR) at UCLan (University of Central Lancashire) explains 

“Dark tourism is travel to sites of death, disaster, or the seemingly macabre.  As visitors to Lancashire are enticed to explore the regions’ dark heritage, natural landscapes are being merged with tales of the supernatural to create award winning ‘dark tourism’ attractions and tours. In turn, we have a duty as tourism providers to give an authentic heritage visitor experience, whilst allowing opportunities for visitors to be entertained by our less than savoury past.”

Based in Preston, The Institute for Dark Tourism Research is the only one of its kind in the UK and a world-leading academic centre for Dark Tourism scholarship, research and teaching. 


Media enquiries or to arrange interviews : Anna Izza, Communications Manager, Marketing Lancashire. 01772 426 459 or

Photo shows: Lancashire Tourism Award Winners, Simon Entwistle and Farmaggedon with presenter Wayne Hemingway MBE.  Held at the Guild Hall, Preston, Thursday 13 September 2012.

Other attraction photos available on request.

Notes to Editors

1.         Marketing Lancashire is the new name for Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board (from 1st April 2012)  Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership, `Welcome to Excellence` training and place marketing are all designed to grow the visitor economy and develop the destination as a great place to visit, live and work.

In 2011 Lancashire attracted just over 60 million visitors who contributed £3.37 billion to the local economy and helped support 56,476 jobs.

 2.         The Lancashire Tourism Awards are the foremost industry awards, rewarding excellence in tourism across the whole county.  These awards are organised and managed by Marketing Lancashire and most of the resulting winners go forward to the national VisitEngland Awards.

For a full list of this year’s Lancashire winners click here 

3.         The Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR) based at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England, aims to advance knowledge about the act of visitation to tourist sites of death, disaster or the seemingly macabre. The iDTR brings together researchers who seek to deliver internationally recognised research that contributes to the ethical and social scientific understanding of dark tourism and dark heritage.

The iDTR seeks to research, publish, and consult as to the appropriate development, management, interpretation and promotion of dark tourism sites, attractions and exhibitions, as well as understanding tourist experiences

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For more information, practical advice and support, call Marketing Lancashire on:

01772 426450.