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I remember loving Halloween as a child. I used to get dressed up with my brothers, invite school friends over and we’d go trick or treating. Sadly by the time I reached 13, this had all stopped. It wasn’t deemed “cool” to go trick or treating at that age, so instead, a group of us would go to someone’s house and we’d stay up all night watching horror films and telling scary stories. This lasted until I was 16. From then on, Halloween just wasn’t exciting anymore. Occasionally (as an adult) I’d go to a club night, but they’re all pretty similar. Cheap and tacky decorations and god awful music with people dressed in some costumes which they bought from Poundland. It felt like Halloween was just another date in the diary with no real meaning. But it shouldn’t be like that. Halloween should be a fun holiday where it doesn’t matter how old you are.
But what is there to do on Halloween as an adult that doesn’t involve just slapping on some fake blood then heading to club to get drunk?
How does zombie tag sound? (spoiler alert: it sounds amazing!)
On Friday night, I took part in what is quite possibly the best game of tag in the world, 2.8 Hours Later. Now this isn’t your run of the mill game of tag, oh no. This is something on a whole new level, that will get your adrenaline flowing and your heart pumping.
So what is the night all about?
Well, a week or so before the event, you’re sent the address of your starting location, in this case, it was a warehouse in Stratford. Here you are issued with your arm band and sent through to get your safe city passes from the Welfare Office. In teams of 4-6, you’re sent off to get scanned and checked to make sure you haven’t been infected with a deadly virus that has swept across the country, only leaving a few safety zones. Once you’ve been cleared of any viruses, you’re sent out of the compound with your map and given the first location you need to go to. Once you’ve reached the first location, you then get processed and put into “the system”, which then leads onto another clue. Then the running and screaming begins.
Our team was sent into a car park, where we encountered a young lady who needed medical supplies. In return for these, she would help us to get to our next location. “Fetching medical supplies? Easy!” I hear you say. Well in normal circumstances, yes. But these aren’t normal circumstances.
IT’S A BLOODY ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!!!
We got to the car park level we were sent to and were greeted with about 15 zombies all sprawled across the place. Now, I’ve never actually seen a zombie, but if I did, I’m pretty sure they would move and sound the way these guys did. You really can’t help but get swept up in the frenzied moment. I’m not afraid to admit it, but I did scream… a deep manly scream. If at any time a zombie catches you, you then have to stop and you get marked as infected. But not to fret, you can still carry on playing the game. I unfortunately did get infected and had a good sulk about it.
After we handed the young lady the medical supplies she needed, we were then sent off to find more clues around London and were chased by more zombies, a lot more zombies. This continued until we reached the zombie disco at the end of the game. Here they separate the “survivors” and the “infected”. The survivors are sent through one door and the infected are sent through another door, where they transform into brain munching, and blood thirsty zombies. After the makeover you’re allowed to party the night away with the help of a pop up bar, food van and disco.
That’s the basic set up of the game. It’s extremely fast paced and a lot goes on that I could tell you about, but in doing that, I would ruin a lot of surprises and give away quite a lot of the game too and will take away the fun from the evening if you ever decide to part in 2.8 Hours Later.
What I can tell you about the event though is that the planning and organisation is something of pure brilliance. How these guys managed to pull it off is beyond me, especially when it comes to getting permission to use some of their locations. But what made it really incredible were all of the actors and zombies. Not once did they break character and they really got you into believing what was going on.
The night was just brilliant. I couldn’t fault one thing about it. If there was to ever be one thing I recommend people to do during Halloween, this would be it. Tickets for the event start from £30 and go up to £60 depending on which night you book it on. Every penny is well worth it in my view. But if you can’t afford it, don’t worry. The guys from 2.8 have a special scheme in place where you can volunteer for one whole night and in return, you’ll get one free game! The game can last from anything from an hour and a half to three hours, so make sure you wear warm clothes and comfortable running shoes. There’s a lot of running (I’m still recovering). The London game runs up until Saturday 2nd November; but be quick with getting tickets as most days are now sold out.
Do not worry non-Londoners, 2.8 Hours Later also takes place in Nottingham, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Cardiff, so there’s plenty of chances to play. Do yourself a favour, take part, fall in love with Halloween again and run through a city shit scared.
For more information on tickets and when the next set of events are being held, please visit www.8hourslater.com