In the summer of 2012 AtmosFEAR! Scare Entertainment won a successful tender to develop, design and produce Portugal’s first permanent scare attraction.  The vision of our client, LBTE Entertainment, the attraction would be the first of its type in Portugal, capitalising on the huge tourism and native audiences who, following a feasibility study, were screaming out for an attraction which would both scare and entertain.

With a clear directive to design an experience which was scareactor driven, and not reliant on static animations or animatronics, a period of research and development was undertaken to select the very best stories, legends, and factual historical occurrences which would lend themselves to a horrific interpretation inside the attraction.  With more than enough source material to bring the attraction to life, a total of 10 separate narratives drawn from both fact and fiction were selected for story development and Imagineering.


Mixing historical fact with legendary tales presented its own questions; how do you ensure guests engage with scenarios based on fact and fiction within the same experience?  The answer was to present the experience ‘out of time’, in other words to place them in an environment where a simple narrative would explain that they were connected together and collectively cast into the abyss (Hell) for their dark deeds.  Whether these characters were in fact ‘historic’ or ‘legendary’ made no difference, as each would be presented in the same fashion, engineering guests to accept what they were presented with, and not question the ultimate validity of each ‘story’ implemented.  Ultimately the collective experience of ‘horror’ would become the focus, and primary memory of their journey, and not the individual story elements presented.


Early on in the project, it was suggested by the creative team that the experience should perhaps incorporate some unique element which would ensure the attraction would stand apart from any other attraction’s that guests might have seen.  To this end, the concept of separating one guest from the others was developed, and eventually became ‘The Oubliette’ – a singular experience in which the room itself ‘hugs’ the guest within.  With only one member of each group experiencing this element, it would encourage repeat visits, maintain an element of mystery, and ensure an interesting talking point.  This is a unique feature which, to our knowledge, has not been presented in any other scare attraction in the world.

It was decided that in order to engage guests with the narrative, but present an ultimately ‘jumpy’ experience, dialogue would be heavy at the beginning and end of the experience, with less emphasis on this throughout the rest of the experience.  In order to take guests on an ‘emotional rollercoaster’ we added a heavily theatrical scene midway, and a comedic skit towards the end, therefore taking guests through elements which were intended to shock, revolt, scare and even make them laugh at certain points.  The goal being to make them permanently ‘on edge’; never able to predict what might be coming next.



Following two years of development and planning, Labirinto Lisboa opened to the public in 2014, but shortly afterwards was the victim of a local fire which consumed the roof and caused considerable damage to the interior of the building.  The attraction was temporarily closed for refurbishment and opened once again in early 2015.