For readers outside the UK, you may not be aware of the bizarre annual Christmas grotto complaints tradition. Throughout December, local newspapers in Britain dedicate far too much coverage to Christmas Grotto events and attractions that the public have deemed unsatisfactory.
Common complaints include handmade decorations, unenthusiastic elves, strange costumes and unrealistic reindeer to name a few.
This year, angry parents have had a slightly different issue with one of these attractions. The Norwich Drive Thru Grotto has been described as ‘creepy’ and ‘scary’, and parents Claim that it has even given their children nightmares!
The actors were not what guests expected, as one attendee told the BBC –
“The Scrooge guy called us all mutants, said Santa has crashed his sleigh and the presents are in the mud, and there was a man in chains by a tree just staring at the car. It was creepy, but was meant to be for little kids.”
Aside from Scrooge accusing children of being mutants, the illuminated trees also gave off a spooky vibe for young visitors. Father Christmas himself was also under attack, with parents complaining that he was deeply sinister and “looked homeless”.
Another mother said “I honestly thought it seemed more Halloween than Christmas. A few ‘elves’ were at the bottom of the drive. Then the big finale – the freakiest looking ‘Father Christmas”.
Honestly, they might have been better going all the way and turning the elves into zombies and Santa Claus into the Krampus! I think I would have enjoyed the weirdness and macabre side of this drive thru event as a child – but do you think it looks too frightening? Have you come across creepier festive characters? Let us know.