This behind the scenes footage shows 10 terrified human guinea pigs taking part in ‘scare tests’ for Derren Brown’s revamped ghost train ride at Thorpe Park Resort. One terrified participant’s heart rate TREBLED to 183 bpm as they tried out the shocking VR attraction under laboratory conditions. The footage, captured with the approval of the participants, shows Derren Brown experimenting on ‘fearless’ participants chosen especially for their perceived ability to withstand shocks and fear. The subjects were the very first to preview the new VR additions to the illusionist’s upgraded Ghost Train – renamed Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon.

Derren Brown said: “Over the last few weeks I have been testing out the components of the attraction and decided to run scare tests on a selection of participants who claim they are totally fearless – the reactions have been incredible.
“Visitors to the Ghost Train will experience a heart stopping combination of next generation technology, grand illusion, live action and special-effects, completely unalike anything they will have seen before. We are making this bigger, better and scarier than last year. The changes and improvements that have taken place will scare the sh*t out of guests”.
The trials resulted in terrified reactions including spine-tingling screams, falling out of the chair and curling into a ball, with one test even resulting in a VR headset being flung across the room.
The average resting heart rate is 60 – 100 bpm – however one subject’s heart rate reached 183 bpm. When combined the participant’s heart rates reached a total of 1,452 bpm and typically their heart rates increased by 31.9 bpm each.
And the participants displayed a range of physical responses including screaming, crying, pleading and an inability of determining reality from the VR content.
The VR footage was created as result of feedback from fans in 2016 who demanded more shocks and it will feature in the revamped Ghost Train when it re-opens on 31 March 2017.
Matt Sproit, an ex-prison officer said: “I’m used to dealing with terrifying situations, so I was never expecting the VR footage to scare me that much. When I took off that headset I was physically shaking.”
Stunt woman, Carol Nulty said: “I thought I had to be pretty fearless in my job, but this lived up to expectations, the VR is flawlessly real – you really believe there is a demon in the room with you!
“This is not a ride for the faint hearted.”
Another participant, Emilia Cain-Heritage, said: “As a bungee jumper, I face fear on a regular basis but this was a new level in fear – so, so real and absolutely terrifying.”
And now the park is appealing for more people who can withstand ‘shock therapy’ to register for advance testing. Participants can enrol for the next round of testing at Thorpe and signing up to the newsletter. They are specifically looking for the following:
• Natural born adrenaline seekers / junkies
• Adventurous souls seeking a new mind-bending challenge
• Those looking to test their strength of mind
• Individuals who thrive on multi-sensory experiences
• Must be good at keeping secrets
Dominic Jones, Divisional Director at Thorpe Park Resort said: “We are always looking for ways to make our guests’ experiences bigger, better and will be making a terrifying attraction even scarier for 2017 – Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon will leave guests hearts racing. Derren Brown’s Ghost Train is pushing the boundaries of theme park attractions, providing a fully immersive journey. Scares aren’t just for Halloween, Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon will be open for scares all season.”
The video is the latest in a series of reveals from Thorpe Park Resort to promote the attraction. Previously, a Christmas TV ad promoting the ride was banned from being aired due its terrifying content being deemed too scary for TV. Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon opens on 31 March 2017. For the latest updates on the attraction and advanced booking visit:

Name: Occupation: Heart rate (bpm):
Nick Ferreira Ex-Boxer 138bpm
Joseph Sands Security Guard 129bpm
Alo Raptopoulos Martial Arts 127bpm
Matt Sproit Ex-Prison Officer 112bpm
Matthew Larmond Security Guard 169bpm
Carol Nulty Stunt Woman 145bpm
Freddie Pearce High School Teacher 133bpm
Emilia Cain Bungee Jumper 183bpm
Faye Carmichael Police Detective for Gangs Unit 159bpm
Roxanne Gregory TA Army 157bpm


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