Parramatta Gaol Is Turning Into a Cinema Again for the Ultimate 'Scream' Scary Movie Session

It's the film that started a horror movie-loving franchise — and it's spooking out an eerie prison for one night only.
Sarah Ward
Published on March 29, 2023

Your phone rings unexpectedly. A gravelly voice asks "do you like scary movies?". If you live in Sydney right now, it's a great time to answer in the affirmative. Horror film buffs know that the above is a scene straight out of the Scream franchise, which kicked off in 1996 and just keeps having another stab at cinemas — including 2023's Scream VI, which is showing now. Scary movie fans also need to know that eerie event fiends Haus of Horror are playing the OG Scream at Parramatta Gaol for one night only.

This event collective just loves showing classic horror movies in spectacular locations, with its Scream session following a past The Exorcist night in the same spot — and also Beetlejuice in Camperdown Cemetery, too. Unsurprisingly, all these movie events are proving popular. And what better film to show next to Sydney's horror aficionados than one that screams "Sidney" (Prescott, Neve Campbell's character, that is) over and over?

Once again, the idea is for the night — which has been dubbed 'Scream in a Haunted Gaol' — is to be as immersive as possible. Parramatta Gaol already hosts ghost tours, and is reportedly haunted by its former inmates if you believe in that kind of thing.

It's certainly a site with history; constructed from sandstone and slate, it was built in the 19th century and operated until 2011. It followed Parramatta's first jail in 1796, which was damaged in a fire before the 1800s hit, rebuilt, and then had its prisoners transferred to the new facility in 1842.

So, if you dare, that's where you'll be watching Scream — aka the story of a town and its teenagers terrorised by a mask-wearing psychopath who really does adore scary movies. Directed by late, great horror director Wes Craven, it became an instant classic by smartly blending slasher scares and self-aware laughs. And, from Campbell (Scream, the 2022 version), Drew Barrymore (Santa Clarita Diet) and Rose McGowan (The Sound) to Courteney Cox (Shining Vale), David Arquette (Quantum Cowboys), Matthew Lillard (Good Girls) and Skeet Ulrich (Riverdale), it boasts one helluva cast.

Haus of Horror's Scream screening takes place at 6pm on Saturday, April 15, and includes two hours for attendees to explore Parramatta Gaol's morgue, cell blocks and showers. Whether or not you'll see Ghostface slinking around is yet to be revealed.

Also on the agenda: a bar serving beer and wine, vegan and non-vegan bites to eat, a live DJ spinning tunes while the sun sets.

The movie will play at 8pm on a grassy field inside the site, showing outdoors under the stars — and picnics are welcome. Tickets cost $39, or $59 if you'd like to book a large bean bag to sit on.

Check out the trailer for Scream below:

Scream in a Haunted Gaol takes place at Parramatta Gaol, corner O'Connell and Dunlop streets, North Parramatta from 6pm on Saturday, April 15 — head to the Haus of Horror website for tickets and further details.

Published on March 29, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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