Everyone is afraid of something. Some of us have a fear of spiders, others are afraid of the dark, and some are scared of the monster hiding under the bed. And Fright Dome, Hong Kong's newest attraction, is using those common fears to terrify people in the name of fun and Halloween.
The original Fright Dome started in Las Vegas in 2003. It quickly made a name for itself scaring big-name celebrities from Michael Jackson to Paris Hilton, and horror icons like Elvira. While the Las Vegas location has more than 25 rides and attractions, the Hong Kong set-up, which opens today, is much smaller. But production manager for Fright Dome Las Vegas and consultant for Fright Dome Hong Kong, Drew "Kannibal" Beddow, believes that even with a smaller space, Hongkongers will still experience the same terrifying results.
After a brief tour of the city last month, Beddow is confident that people here are ready to be frightened.
"I've seen the reactions from locals on the streets during our photo shoots. We scared so many people while we were here," he laughs. "They were all smiling and having a great time. Expanding to Hong Kong had always been something we dreamed of, and so far, the feedback has been nothing shy of remarkable. I really have zero doubts about the success of Hong Kong's opening season."
Next year, Beddow hopes to incorporate elements from the Asian horror film genre. But for now, "we will stick with what we know will work for sure".
With expert make-up artists and a cast of creepy characters, the attractions at Fright Dome certainly promise to inspire fear. For Beddow, it's the actors that really make Fright Dome the fun and scary success that it is. While animatronics and new technology might seem fun, it can't replace the interaction you get when face-to-face with a "real" undead zombie.
"My favourite part of Fright Dome is, and always has been, the actors," Beddow explains. "Without the heart and soul of properly trained live actors, you might as well have a museum." And no one is scared of a museum.
Along with roving actors and themed scare zones, there will be two hi-tech haunted houses onsite, including the Texas Chainsaw Massacre attraction. Fright Dome promises to be distinctly different from any other haunted house or Halloween event Hong Kong has seen.
"We have never been too concerned with competition," Beddow says confidently. "The level of quality we have consistently brought to attractions is rarely equalled."
Fright Dome is better for those aged over 13, but there are no age restrictions on the fun. "I have seen guests come in with infants in strollers, and I have personally guided a lady through Fright Dome on her 80th birthday," Beddow says. "All are welcome."
You might want to get your security blankets and nightlights ready before you go, but the fright and terror is all in good fun. As Beddow says: "Everyone, to some degree, enjoys being scared."
Fright Dome opens today on The Peak,and will stay open to visitors through Halloween until November 2.