If you are looking for something that’s actually going to make you scream out loud this Halloween, you cannot miss The I’Scream Factory by Hide and Shriek this Halloween week. So get a group of friends together and check it out!

(If you’re looking for somewhere to take young kids this half term, I’d suggest taking a look at our Halloween Events Guide for Southend. Hide and Shriek: The I’Scream Factory probably isn’t for them…)

The tour of Gordi’s ice cream factory began with a short film, presented by the creepy usher who stood disturbingly close to your side. The short film was a brilliant introduction for the tour to come, showing footage of Southend seaside in the 1950’s to really travel you back in time and set the scene. The film was obviously parodying Southend’s legendary Rossi’s ice cream with a satirical tone which could be compared to the dark humour of League of Gentlemen. We were told the eerie history of ice cream man Gordi Dipple in Southend-on-Sea, and how the ice cream factory came to be…

Gordi Dipple's I'Scream

Following the introductory film, the tour takes you on a twisted route of dark rooms within the ice cream factory with maddening silences and terrifyingly loud jump scares in all the right places. Adrenaline high, I found myself overcome by both uncontrollable nervous laughter and the paranoia of being followed as we made our way through the horrifying ice cream factory. It’s hard not to feel uneasy when the whole tour is designed to immerse you in the story using all your senses. From the sweet smell of ice cream lingering in the smoky air, to the strobe lighting that seems to throw you off balance. With a creepy cast of live actors to guide you on your way, and scare you half to death just when you think you’re safe, you’re constantly in a state of anxiety.

George from Hide and Shriek has said:

“General response has been overwhelmingly positive, people come out screaming the majority of the time and if they don’t they still come out laughing or smiling having enjoyed the sheer entertainment value of the attraction.”

From start to finish, the whole tour experience could take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on how hastily you make your way through and whether you stop to observe the scenery and explore. I think the experience could have been further enhanced with a more interactive concept than simply a walk-through of the ice cream factory. Maybe something along the lines of the escape rooms that have been popping up everywhere and gaining popularity, where there is a puzzle to solve if you want to escape – often set with a half hour time limit to figure it out or find all the keys or whatever (à la Crystal Maze). I think they could have easily doubled the entry price with something like this, and people would be happy to pay it. But if you’re looking for something different to do with your mates this Halloween, something that’s actually scary, Hide and Shriek’s I’Scream Factory is right on your door step. Coupled with anything from a horror movie at the cinema to a curry at the pub, and you’ve truly got yourself a great night out.

George went on to say:

“If this event goes well, we have many plans to host other unique, themed immersive experiences within the Southend area. :)”

Hide and Shriek Ice Cream

Is there ice cream?

For all those wondering, unfortunately there was no real ice cream to be sampled due to the venue’s licensing restrictions. But don’t let that deter you! You probably might not even want ice cream by the time you’ve come out (if you come out)… And if you do still fancy an ice cream, there’s always Creams round the corner.

Tickets can be bought on the door for £9.95
or you can book online for a discounted price of £8.95.

Even lower at only £7.95 if you use the 20% off coupon code: