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Good to be scared at Rhondda

The exterior of the Rhondda Heritage Park reception building.

Prepare to be scared and feel good about it at a disused mine this Halloween

The Rhondda Heritage Park runs year-round as a museum for Welsh mining

X-Scream has taken over Rhondda Heritage Park for Halloween, and this time it has a Grimm ending.

The horror evening’s annual run has returned with a fairytale twist in Once upon a Time.

Brave guests are invited to roam the mine, above ground and below. The catch: a horde of maniacal fairytale characters await in the dark.

The event runs for 11 nights and pits groups of 13 against the park’s best efforts at creating a living nightmare.

The 16+ event coincides with the release of a study from the American Psychological Association.

Author Margee Kerr of the University of Pittsburgh studied the brain activity of participants in a similar attraction. She found the effects to be not unlike those produced by running or meditation.

“Guests reported significantly higher mood, less anxiety and tiredness directly after the haunted attraction,” wrote Margee.

The scarier the experience, she wrote, the better the brain’s response.

Margee is keen to stress that the experience must be in a safe environment and on the participant’s terms. Even then, she says, this may not be for everyone.

X-Scream is in its third consecutive year

When asked why people enjoy X-Scream, event director Helen Gibbons cites similar reasons. “When scared, there is a release of adrenaline and other feel-good hormones,” says Helen. “If we are scared in a safe environment it allows us to jump, then quickly relax and enjoy the bodily response to the fear.”

The event comes from the “twisted mind” of one of the team at Rhondda. X-Scream has previously used zombies and horror films as its themes. This year Helen relished the fairytale theme. It allowed the team to “Take something soft and fluffy and make it twisted and gory.”

Tickets are available for evenings 25-31 October from 6:30pm at £22.50.

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