Inform · Connect · Entertain

Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

Inform · Connect · Entertain

Spartan Scoop


A viral Willy Wonka sensation hit the internet, and it’s not about the new movie
Jadis Veal
A hand-drawn illustration of the Unknown behind a mirror, enveloped in darkness.

When you imagine Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, what does it look like? Is it colorful? Full of candy and magic? For a lot of people who watched the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movies, this is exactly what one might imagine an imitation to be: a place for both children and parents to come together and experience a truly magical thing.

Up until now, the Chocolate Factory was merely a fictional setting.

From the depths of Glasgow, Scotland, an internet sensation was born. A new place advertised as a Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory replica captured the attention of a lot of people (both Scotland residents and not). Beneath the surface of the advertisements, though, there was something else lingering.

The Chocolate Factory started out by being advertised with magical, colorful posters displaying arrays of candy. The advertisements were eye-catching, but further examination proved that they were AI-generated. This would be the first thing to note which made the Chocolate Factory seem less credible. Guests who decided to buy tickets and experience the factory in person were further disappointed.

The “factory” was an empty warehouse with a few decorations scattered about the open space. Hired workers were seen throughout, including actors who appeared to be cosplaying the iconic Oompa Loompas.

The Unknown was a centerpiece, reportedly resulting in the proposal of an indie horror film focusing on this new character.

The initial impression of this lackluster factory upset some ticket holders so much that the local police were called to the event. Photos of the inside of the warehouse spread like wildfire across social media, showcasing the minimal Chocolate Factory decorations. Event onlooker Stuart Sinclair shared his family’s experience in a CBS interview: “It was all described as a massive immersive experience, great idea for the kids, chocolate fountains… there were four or five props, a few jellybeans for the kids. Half a cup of lemonade. Just not what was promised whatsoever.”

House of Illuminati, the name of the group who hosted the experience, shared their condolences with people their attraction upset. Each ticket per person cost 35 euros a piece (or 44 U.S. dollars). The event made its debut on the 24th of February. It is now shut down for good. The event followed closely after the new film Wonka, a movie telling the origin story of Willy Wonka himself starring Timothee Chalamet.

The script given to the warehouse cast was also AI-generated (just like the visuals in the event advertisements). Actor and comedian Paul Connell shared this information on TikTok after he was hired to act as Willy Wonka in the event. He was told to give each attending child only one jellybean and a quarter cup of store-bought lemonade.

Kirsty Paterson (who played the part of an Oompa Loompa) said she had a side career in children’s entertainment; she explained on her TikTok account that she tried to make the experience better for the children, and photos online have surfaced of her in costume. One post on X (formerly known as Twitter) from user agneponx wrote about one of the images: “This photo from the Willy Wonka experience is single handedly the photo of the year. I know it’s only February but close the vote there’s no topping this. Please find this woman she needs to be interviewed ASAP”.

Additionally, there was another character created solely for the whole experience called “The Unknown”. It adorned a metallic silver mask, dressed in all black. The Unknown was said to be an “evil chocolate maker who lives in the walls”.

The actor who played The Unknown shared her experience on TikTok. She said that she was invited to the set by House of Illuminati. She was going to be cast for a different character. However, after reading the script, she didn’t like it, and was cast as The Unknown instead.

The whole event was, in the eyes of the audience, a mess. Pictures and memes are circulating the internet after the event garnered public attention. What was advertised to be a fun time and a good experience for kids made some cry… literally.

Something more has come out of this, however. The Unknown was a centerpiece, reportedly resulting in the proposal of an indie horror film focusing on this new character.

There’s not a whole lot of information to go off of in order to be creating a movie out of The Unknown; however, inspiration struck, and the studio Kaledonia Pictures is rushing to maximize profit from the internet fame. The movie’s plot will revolve around the main character and his wife grieving the loss of their son. In an attempt to escape their grief in the Scottish highlands, a dark evil awaits them.

Warner Brothers, the company that owns the film rights to Roald Dahl’s character Willy Wonka, has not issued a statement.

Additionally, Kaledonia Pictures does not have an online footprint. The company’s website is dedicated solely to the movie project, which appeared on the internet only a few days ago. Kaledonia Pictures is not a registered company within the United Kingdom, and no mention of it can be found on Companies House (which would be expected of any UK film development firm).

The movie is set to have a late 2024 release date. Fast production is essential to Kaledonia Pictures, as they chase after the short-lived fame of the Willy Wonka experience in Glasgow.

In an interview about the film, a Kaledonia Pictures representative said “We are excited to begin production and look forward to sharing more with you as soon as possible.” There’s no name attached to the quote.

Like some news stories, the Willy Wonka imitation may end up fading into obscurity. Its fame was short-lived as the event was shut down so soon after its initial opening. There’s no telling where House of Illuminati will go from the closure, and whether or not they will continue to try and create fun family experiences. But with the potential Kaledonia Pictures indie film coming out this year, there may be more on the horizon for this short-lived internet sensation.

About the Contributors
Finley Wiseman
Finley Wiseman, Reporter
The only thing keeping me going this year is my paycheck.
Jadis Veal
Jadis Veal, Illustrator
"Where's everyone going? Bingo?"- Leon Kennedy