Halloween horror at Hotham Park

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GHOSTS, gore and ghastly sights turned a part of Bognor Regis into its twilight zone.

Hotham Park became a Halloween haunt for its annual party.

Visitors get into the spirit of the event. ks1500553-2

Visitors get into the spirit of the event. ks1500553-2

Fancy dress was essential as party-goers of all ages entered into the spirit of the occasion to take part with relish in the event held by Rox Music and Arts last Saturday.

There were enough witches for a collection of covens and sufficient zombies for a legion of the living dead.

Among those dressed to send shivers down the spines were Lisa Blackwood and her daughter, Izzy Blackwood.

Lisa, 46, of Shearwater Drive, North Bersted, was a witch and ten-year-old Izzy went as Mangle, the robot fox from her favourite game of Five Nights at Freddies.

“We have had a good time,” said Lisa. “It’s been good fun. Everyone’s enjoying themselves. It’s nice to see people having fun.”

The event spanned daytime and evening as the sun went down to transform the park into a night-time lover’s paradise. Extra uplighters in some of the park’s trees added to the spookiness of the surroundings.

Steve Goodheart, a joint founder of Rox, said: “This is a really good occasion. The atmosphere is excellent.

“There’s children from nought to 16 dressed up in outrageous costumes.

“It’s good to see people of all nationalities getting involved. This is including all the community, which has to be a good thing.”

He also paid tribute to the young musicians from the Chichester Academy of Music who were some of the early performers on the park’s bandstand.

“That’s what Rox is all about - giving musicians an opportunity,” said Steve.

Also adding to the entertainment were the Louz Zumba dancers led by Louise Simons. At any one time, there were 15-20 children joining in the routines for songs such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Music Show.

Louise said: “It’s about having fun while doing some exercise. The kids pick up the routines really quickly and they have no inhibitions.

“This is a fantastic event. I’ve got two young children and they’re walking around dressed up and loving it.” Lola Mann, six, was among the young dancers as a zombie from the Transylvania cartoons. She said: “I like dancing because I like all the movements. I wasn’t nervous because I’ve danced on stage.

“I like Halloween as well with all the costumes.”

As well as the music, there was the chance to paint some pottery which was fired and glazed on the spot, a horror maze to frighten young visitors and the scariest ride of the year on the decorated miniature railway in the park.

Face painting and attractions, like an inflatable slide, also provided plenty of enjoyment. The park’s cafe also joined in the fun.

Quieter moments were provided by the spooky storytimes led by children’s librarian, Kerry Brookes.

She said: “I had ten children for my first story which was about a zombie goldfish. I’ve got plenty of ghost stories as well.

“It’s about trying to reach those people who might not come out to a library.”

Witch Kerry White, 51, of Pevensey Road, went with her niece, Bethany Wales, six, of Barnham. Kerry said: “I like seeing everyone dressed up. It’s a good chance to be a bit silly.”

Diane Lyel, 47, of Annandale Avenue, was a Mad Hatter. She said: “There’s young people and there’s grandparents dressed up and it’s absolutely fantastic. People have more fun when they are in costumes.”

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