ARMED POLICE quickly put a stop to a dramatic Halloween ‘zombie-style’ survival game after mistaking it for a real kidnapping.
A member of the public saw participants being bundled into the back of a van by men holding guns and wearing balaclavas and quickly dialed 999.
But the group of 20 men and women were actually part of a survival event called Outbreak, taking place in the village of Albourne, West Sussex, on Sunday, organisers said.
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The Halloween experience, created by White Knuckle events, saw ticketholders meet at a secret location in central Brighton where they were taken, by military escort, on to the South Downs.
Participants were told they would be able to crawl, climb and navigate within areas of reduced lighting, and they were likely to get muddy and wet.
Outbreak spokesman David Parker said: “Most of the participants thought the police were part of the event.
“It took a while for them to believe that the officers were actually from a real police force.
“We believe a member of the public walking past the private land where the event was taking place saw one of the scenes where people with replica guns force participants into the back of a truck and called the police.
“Before we knew it, armed police and the helicopter had been despatched.”
Mr Parker said more than 1,000 tickets had been sold for the event, which took place all weekend and involved a cast of 60 actors.
He said the people affected were the last group of the weekend to take part.
Mr Parker said Sussex Police had been made aware that the event was taking place but he understood that they had to take a report of this kind seriously.
He said: “It was definitely a case of crossed wires”.
“As soon as they realised the guns were plastic, it all ended very quickly.
“One of our cast members even thought we had set them up and it was all part of the day.”
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