Thursday, 4 February 2010


New Rollercoaster, Th13teen, Proves Lucky for one Builder

Alton Towers Resort calls in Harley Street hypnotherapist to cure coaster builder of his life long phobia of the number 13 (Tridecaphobia)

44 year old Paul McNicol has conquered a debilitating phobia of the number 13, enabling him to return to work on the new £15m Alton Towers Resort ride of the same name.

Resort bosses, determined that the project is completed on time, have resorted to hiring hypnotherapist Bonita Rayner-Jones, for Paul to undergo an intensive treatment course.

The Site Manager from Staffordshire is partly responsible for ensuring that the ride’s secret element is correctly installed. Never before has so much theme park technology been combined in one ride, proving a challenge for designers and builders alike. The ultimate thrill ride, Th13teen will join a long line of world first attractions at the Alton Towers Resort including "Nemesis", "Oblivion" and "Air".

When the name was revealed in December it provoked an intense reaction from Paul. “He literally couldn’t get further than the front entrance to the park without breaking out in a cold sweat,” said Bonita, who has been helping phobics overcome their fears for several years as an experienced member of the National Council for Hypnotherapy and a Certified Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

“Tridecaphobia, or a fear of the number 13 is a surprisingly common problem for many people. Working with a combination of intensive hypnotherapy techniques, we were able to finally tackle the problem, once and for all.”

Paul, who has worked on the construction of some of the world’s top rollercoasters has suffered from a fear of the number 13 ever since he can remember, leaving him crippled by an intense paranoia and anxiety in everyday life.

Paul explains: “I’d always been slightly ashamed of my phobia, it’s pretty embarrassing, especially for a 44 year old man. It can be perceived as trivial, or even just a simple superstition, but it’s not.”

“I couldn’t have imagined entering a house that was numbered 13, visiting the 13th floor of any building or even reading the 13th page of a book, the list really was endless!”

“The treatment was intensive and pretty emotional at times. Before I just couldn’t bear the thought of going to work; now I can’t wait to return and put the finishing touches to the secret element! To be honest I’m surprised and amazed that I’m saying the word 13 right now.”

In the UK, roughly 2.5 million, or nearly 4.25% of the population suffer from phobias of varying degrees.

Morwenna Angove, Sales and Marketing Director at the Alton Towers Resort said: “We take all our employees welfare very seriously and are thrilled that Paul had such a positive response to hypnotherapy. Paul is integral to the project and the team would be lost without him. We’re all looking forward to having him back on site.” Continuing, “Located in an area of unexplored woodland known as the dark forest, Th13teen will take guests on an ultimate ride, exploiting rider’s vulnerabilities and playing with their minds. We’re excited that the Alton Towers Resort is able to offer visitors the chance to experience something unavailable in any other part of the world, which will be every ride you’ve ever dreamed of in one!”
The Ultimate Rollercoaster, Th13teen, launches on 20th March 2010!

In a bid to help thrill seekers experience Th13teen, the Alton Towers Resort is offering free hypnotherapy treatment to sufferers of Tridecaphobia.
To find out more about the Alton Towers Resort hypnotherapy offer, bookings for which are being offered on a first-come, first-served basis in January 2010, please contact

For more information on the launch of Th13teen visit


For further information please call 0207 693 6999 or email

Notes to editors:

MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS GROUP is the leading name in location based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 59 attractions and six hotels/ 2 holiday villages in 13 countries and across 3 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 35 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13,500 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions – SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The Merlin Entertainments London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and Zoo, Underwater Adventures, Heide Park and Earth Explorer.
Bonita Rayner-Jones, BA (Hons), Dip.C.Hyp, MNCH is an experienced National Council for Hypnotherapy registered Hypnotherapist and a Certified Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). She is also a member of the Telegraph's Health & Wellbeing Specialists & the NHS Trust.
Bonita is a professional, full time, female hypnotherapist based in Harley Street, London and Blackheath. She has helped thousands clients with a variety of issues ranging from stopping smoking and weight management to phobias, stress and anxiety, confidence building, eating disorders plus many more.
Bonita's working ethos is instilling a belief in her clients that they have the capability and tools to overcome their problems and with this belief system in place, change is often dramatic and fast. Her approach is compassionate, friendly and warm coupled with exceptionally high standards. She is fully committed to helping her clients overcome difficulties and reach their full potential through the use of hypnotherapy, task setting, NLP, EFT and the teaching of self-hypnosis.
Bonita trained at Regents College, London in the practice of Cognitive Hypnosis but her training did not stop there, she has also received specialist training at the London College of Clinical Hypnosis in Eating Disorders, Psychosexual problems, Smoking cessation, Trichotillomania and many more conditions. This expanse of training in both Cognitive and Clinical Hypnosis means that a variety of techniques have been studied during training rather than just one approach enabling her to treat clients from a solid, ethical and well rounded background. She holds the first nationally recognised Diploma in Hypnotherapy from the NCFE.
Bonita is a Member of the National Council of Hypnotherapy (N.C.H) and the General Hypnotherapy Register (G.H.R), adhering to their code of ethics at all times and is covered by their Indemnity Insurance.

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