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A night in Dr Death's Institute or fighting off zombie army? Gloucestershire has it all for Halloween

By The Citizen  |  Posted: October 30, 2013

A night in Dr Death's Institute or fighting off zombie army? Gloucestershire has it all for Halloween

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LONGHOPE is generally a peaceful community, set in picturesque surroundings with rolling fields and farms for neighbours.

Not, you would think, a prime location for a zombie invasion or such a thing as Dr Death's Institute.

But Halloween does strange things to people and those are exactly the kind of scenes you can expect to see played out tomorrow night as one of the county's most anticipated fright night events comes to fruition.

For Dan Hatton, October 31, 2013 will mark the first day in a career change unlikely to have been copied by many before. He gave up his job as a bicycle repairman earlier this year to set up ZombieXperience, pictured above, – a Dawn of the Dead for real experience which sees groups of zombie hunters let loose at an airsoft centre in Longhope to wipe out an undead army.

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Tomorrow is the first event and he's determined to become the big name in his bloodthirsty industry.

"We're already in talks about expanding to other sites to, in Birmingham and I've contacted the Ministry of Defence about using some of their land," said Dan, from Tredworth.

"It's becoming a massive thing. Zombies are the fashion at the moment and I'd like us to become the best destination in the country for this type of activity. There's nothing else like it in the South West so I think we're already the destination in this area."

After the Halloween special, which 30 people have signed up for, along with 50 volunteer zombies for the night, he plans to run weekly events.

It comes just days after the fourth annual zombie walk through Gloucester on Saturday when more than 100 living dead marched through the city.

And with Lyn Cinderey's Gloucester Ghost Walks shop, and the UK's most haunted B&B – the Ancient Ram Inn – at Wotton-under-Edge, the county could well take the title of the spookiest around.

If something a bit less adrenaline-fuelled, but still pretty scary takes your fancy, Over Farm's famous Frightmare, complete with Dr Death's Institute, can be experienced this week.

By day, pumpkin carving and other child-friendly activities go on but by night, a terrifying haunted house-style extravaganza comes to life.

Organiser Matt Keene said: "We've sold 5,000 tickets already this year."

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