By Lotte Pegler
Plans are already underway for next year’s Hotham Horror after this year’s success.
The Rox team who organise the annual event are already planning the 2020 event, hoping to hold the event over two days.
After this year’s maze being so popular, they are also planning on hosting an adult only evening for an extra-spooky twist.
Greg Parker, treasurer for Rox Music and Arts, helped organise the event this weekend. He said: “I would say we’ve had about one-in-three people going through the maze.
“Next year we’re hoping to run over two days and build on the maze which will be even bigger. We hope to have one night for only adults which will be super scary.
“I have been doing it since I was about 12, my dad is one of the founders.
“We have done a few of these but this is the first with the horror maze. We have had very good feedback. In fact, some people even said it was too scary.
“ROX Music & Arts would like to thank Bognor Regis Town Council & Arun District Council for their support, as well as Town Force and all our dedicated volunteers for all their hard work over the weekend and the wonderful businesses and individuals that donated prizes!
“Hotham Horror would never have happened without some utterly incredible support from Fear FX and the help of everyone that came down and supported the event, took a trip around the maze and put some money in the buckets.
“We hope to come back next year bigger and better and without gale force winds!” Originally planned to take place on Saturday, due to winds of more than 80mph, the team were forced to move it to Sunday. “It’s been challenging because of the weather,” Greg said.
“We were supposed to have live music on the bandstand but we have lost that because of safety reasons. We have only got two trailers of food and we were even supposed to have a bar.
“Thankfully, what we have got has been great. In the past, we haven’t had much focus on the arts side of Rox so it’s always been quite quiet so it’s nice to have something slightly more focused on the arts and to have it so loved by the children.”
Overnight, trees in Hotham Park had branches snapped off, and some left precariously broken. This forced the event to not only move date, but also shrink in size.
One of the dedicated supporters who helped out on Sunday was Sueloo Brown, who ran the Time Aside stall.
Children were able to let-loose and embrace their creative side as they were presented with an array of exciting crafts equipment and asked to create whatever they want.
The outcome was a variety of spooky and abstract pieces of artwork, each with its own story.
Sueloo said: “Today has been fantastic. It’s been utterly amazing.
“I’m a non decisive people practitioner. There’s no judgment, it’s all about allowance.
“It’s teaching them to have creativity, something they may lose at school.
“I have loved doing it for about 14 years. It do it all across the country, all ages, all backgrounds.”
Pagham resident Jo Stabbins brought her son along for the day.
“The little ones really enjoying Halloween this half-term,” she said, “and this is the highlight of the week before he goes back to school.
“The music drew us in. He’s loved this, getting messy. We can stand back and not get dirty. It’s lovely having something fun for the kids.
“On top of all that it’s a great reason to come to the park.”
The maze was built by locally based Fear FX who have won international awards for their scary mazes and was filled with live actors.
As well as actors in the maze, a couple of creepy figures wandered around, adding to the Halloween feel.
Lee Zombie from Worthing, helped out with the event, dressed in his own sfx & make-up.
He said: “Robin asked for a couple of years so I free-ed up some time. This is the third one I’ve done.
“It’s been great fun and really good to meet all the people who built the maze. I think it was made using 290 fence panels. I would love to come again next year.”