Well, it's that time of year again: the first — and only — holiday of the season that doesn't require you to spend multiple days with relatives in cramped quarters that put everyone on edge by the end.
Halloween is the libertarian's holiday, where you can be as into it (or not) as you want, and nobody can really call you out on it. Perhaps there's no better representation of this than the haunted house.
Personally, we enjoy a good spooking only when Spagett(!) is involved, but we aren't here to judge if you want to go hang out in the woods and get scared in an abandoned house/barn/teepee/random Scooby Doo location for a few bucks. We like to put sriracha sauce on everything.
We get it. Everyone has a different way of feeling alive. Which is why we put together a list of haunts for your perusal.
13th Street Morgue
Located in an old farmhouse in Red Oak, 13th Street Morgue takes you back to a 1930s mortuary that is based on an actual morgue that existed in the farmhouse. Or so they say. The actors here are known for their commitment to their craft, and the production value is top-notch. There isn’t a lot of gore, but when the performers can reach out and touch you, there might be bodily fluids other than blood on display. (You might pee your pants, is what we’re saying.)
With the Walking Dead returning for its third season this weekend, you might be inclined to get your zombie on at the Zombie Manor in Arlington. This one is all about brains and a story involving Creole voodoo and a lot guts. Like a lot of guts — large and small intestines, kidneys, hearts, etc. Yum.
Cutting Edge in Forth Worth is the big kahuna of North Texas haunted houses. Ranked the no. 6 Best Haunt by Hauntworld in 2011, Cutting Edge is also the Guinness record holder for longest walkthrough of a haunted house at 55 minutes. It consistently makes “Best of” lists across the nation. If you want a good scare, this is the Disney World of spook (and we mean that in the most terrifying way possible).
Dollz West End
This one is making the list for two reasons. One, the back story involves dolls made of dead little girls’ body parts, which is all sorts of crazy. Two, this is two blocks from our office, and every morning for the past two weeks, we’ve had to look at a giant picture of a crazy, killer doll/girl corpse on our way to work. It’s not something that puts us in a good mood — but that’s the point, we suppose.
Don’t let the Bedford strip mall location fool you. Moxley Manor will spook ya. It’ll spook ya real good. There is a section called “Phobias” that confronts some popular ones — clowns, bugs, tight spaces, darkness — in what we’re sure is a tactful and not-traumatic way. It’s so nice of them to provide contact info for therapists at the exit.
This one is a bit of a cheat. Screams in Waxahachie is actually a whole theme park devoted to the scary. That said, this is more family haunting than anything else. You’ll be less spooked by the attractions and more traumatized by how much money your kids will suck from your wallet by the end of the night. But, hey, it never hurts to start twisting impressionable minds as soon as possible, and there’s plenty here that’ll scare the candy corn out of them.
This might be the only haunted house accessible by DART. It’s located on Elm Street (yes, the jokes have been made already) in Deep Ellum and was redesigned this year. At least you’ll be able to grab a drink pretty easily with Anvil Pub and Adair’s Saloon just around the corner. Make a pub-crawl game out of it where whoever cries the most buys the first round. That way you can see which of your friends are scared easily and which are really cheap.