Rugby father's warning after daughter left horrified by Warwick Castle Halloween event

Actors from the event. Photo: Warwick Castle.
Actors from the event. Photo: Warwick Castle.

A Rugby father said his 11-year-old daughter has been left horrified after actors at a Warwick Castle Halloween event ignored her pleas for them to stop chasing her.

Richard Armstrong said he wanted to warn other parents as his daughter, Elizabeth Armstrong, was left "tearful" and unable to sleep after three actors refused to stop chasing her at Warwick Castle's plague themed Halloween event.

Named Outbreak 1349, the event sees visitors being frightened by actors dressed as plague victims.

Mr Armstrong said: "She visited the outbreak of the plague exhibition and entered with her friend and her friend's parents.

"A frightening recording of a woman crying loudly and as if in pain was played and then suddenly staff dressed in plague clothing, wearing plague make up jumped out scaring children.

"At least three adults chased my daughter on three separate occasions which terrified her.

"She screamed 'please stop it now' but they did not respond to her pleas.

"In the end, the father and mother of her friend had to step in to block off the actors, saying 'please stop, she is not comfortable with this'.

"The actors ignored the parents' pleas and continued to harass my daughter - causing the parents to shout loudly and bodily step in front of the actors to stop their intimidation."

While there are signs advising visitors the attraction is recommended for those aged 12 and over, the group joined the queue at a point where they could not see the warnings.

Mr Armstrong called the castle the next day when his daughter returned home from her friend's house.

While calling to make the castle aware of the incident, he said staff were "arrogant" and did not seem concerned.

He said: "Their response was at best indifferent and I really do think that they need to be brought to book over this incredible failure of a duty of care to a child of eleven years of age."

Mr Armstrong said he understood the event was intended to be frightening, but said the three adult actors should have known his daughter, who is asthmatic, was in distress.

He said: "You shouldn't expect three grown adults to chase a child they can see is in distress."

Nick Blofeld, Divisional Director at Warwick Castle, apologised for Miss Armstrong's distress but said age restrictions are in place at the event.

He said: “Our Halloween scare attractions provide recommended ages for attendees; for Outbreak 1349, this is 12 years and older, which is displayed by the attraction’s entrance.

"We are sorry for any distress caused by the performance and are speaking with our staff to ensure they remain alert to unease and handle complaints in the correct manner.”