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Texas Haunted Houses can be found here at www.Hauntworld.com. Are you looking for the biggest, best and scariest haunted houses in Texas? Every haunted attraction in Texas from haunted houses, haunted attractions, hayrides, corn mazes, Screamparks, to everything between can be found on these pages. If you are looking for the best and scariest haunted houses in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth or San Antonio, Texas the scariest haunts are found here at HauntWorld. Texas Haunted Houses are some of the best and scariest haunted houses in the United States. We offer a zip code finder so you can locate the scariest haunted houses in Texas closer to where you live.
 
         
 
 
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Which is the Scariest Haunted House in Texas?
Cutting Edge - Fort Worth, Texas
House Of Torment - Austin, Texas
Thrillvania Thrill Park - Terrell, Texas
Nightmare On The Bayou - Houston, Texas
Terror Nights Haunted House - Tyler, Texas
13th Floor - San Antonio, Texas
Creepy Hollow Haunted House - Rosharon, Texas
 
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Find Professional Haunted Attractions in Texas > (10)
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Professional Haunted Attractions in TEXAS
   
 
Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas - www.cuttingedgehauntedhouse.com - 69223 Views
Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas, BEST haunted house in the DFW area. Awards: -Guinness World Record Holder - Twice -World's Largest Walk Through Haunted House -Fangoria- Top 7 Haunted Houses in America -2011 Haunted House Ratings LLC- Voted Top 3 Haunted Houses in America

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 5 Youtube Videos - 11 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.1 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.2 Skulls
Originality: 9.1 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 9.8 Skulls
Special FX: 9.8 Skulls
47.06 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
PHOBIA in Houston, Texas - www.darke.com - 63334 Views
PHOBIA HAUNTED HOUSES: SEPARATE FREE STANDING KILLER HAUNTS, ONE GREAT SCREAMPARK Phobia: Hundreds of Actors, Hundreds of Animatronics... Countless Scares.

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 3 Youtube Videos - 9 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.6 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.6 Skulls
Originality: 9.8 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 9.6 Skulls
Special FX: 9.8 Skulls
48.46 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
Creepy Hollow Haunted House in Rosharon, Texas - creepyhollowhauntedhouse.com - 23632 Views
Creepy Hollow Haunted House in Rosharon, Texas near Houston is a must see, must experience haunt! Click here for details...

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 1 Youtube Videos - 0 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.5 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.6 Skulls
Originality: 9.4 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 9.5 Skulls
Special FX: 9.5 Skulls
47.45 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
The Haunt House in Caddo Mills, Texas - www.thehaunthouse.com - 16705 Views
VOTED THE ONE OF THE TOP BEST HAUNTS IN TEXAS!!! -HauntWorld

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 9 Youtube Videos - 16 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.1 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.2 Skulls
Originality: 9.2 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 9.2 Skulls
Special FX: 9.2 Skulls
45.99 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
Thrillvania Haunted House Park in Terrell, Texas - www.hauntedhousepark.com/ - 13153 Views
Thrillvania Haunted House Park is located approximately 33 miles east of Dallas, Texas at the intersections of I-20 and Wilson Road in Terrell Texas, 75161. Click here for a map and directions to Thrillvania Haunted House Park. With 4 haunted attractions, including the world famous Verdun Manor, Thrillvania Haunted House Park is an experience not to be missed! You can easily spend an entire evening here. Please join us this Halloween Season and see for yourself why we have been selected as one of the best haunted houses in America by Haunted House Ratings, AOL, Fangoria, Haunted Attraction Magazine, MSN and America’s Best Haunts.

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 0 Youtube Videos - 0 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.6 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.5 Skulls
Originality: 9.3 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 9.5 Skulls
Special FX: 9.5 Skulls
47.39 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
Reindeer Manor Halloween Park in Red Oak, Texas - www.reindeermanor.com - 7363 Views
3 Haunted Houses 1 Terrifying Location: 13th Street Morgue, Dungeon Of Doom and The Haunted House at Reindeer Manor. "Texas Top 10 Scariest Haunted Houses" - Hauntworld.com

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 1 Youtube Videos - 14 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.2 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.2 Skulls
Originality: 9.1 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 9.2 Skulls
Special FX: 9 Skulls
45.69 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
Terror Nights Haunted House in Tyler, Texas - www.terrornightshaunt.com - 7237 Views
This year Terror Nights Haunted House in Tyler, Texas returns and it's BIGGER, BADDER and MORE SCARY THAN EVER! Be ready for the fright of your life with our TWO all new Haunted Attractions. Patient Zero and The Void! Absolutely nothing about this season is the same as last year. Ten's of Thousands will come but only a few will make it out alive... Click this profile for videos, pictures, directions and more.

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 8 Youtube Videos - 7 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.7 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.5 Skulls
Originality: 9.4 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 9.4 Skulls
Special FX: 9.5 Skulls
47.45 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
13th Floor Haunted House - San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas - www.13thfloorsanantonio.com - 6193 Views
TX Haunted House in San Antonio, TX ... 13th Floor Haunted House

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 1 Youtube Videos - 8 Photos
Scare Factor: 9.9 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 9.3 Skulls
Originality: 9.7 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 10 Skulls
Special FX: 9.7 Skulls
48.54 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
Strangling Brothers Texas Haunted Circus in Irving, Texas - www.stranglingbrotherstexas.com - 1951 Views
The Scariest Haunted House in Dallas/ Ft. Worth!

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 5 Youtube Videos - 0 Photos
Scare Factor: 8.6 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 8.8 Skulls
Originality: 8.2 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 8.3 Skulls
Special FX: 8.7 Skulls
42.52 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
 
Haunted Shadows Lake Trail in The Colony, Texas - hauntedshadowslaketrail.com/ - 889 Views
Haunted Shadows Lake Trail is a self-guided journey of over one mile through the woods and weeds along the shore of Lake Lewisville in The Colony. No strobe lights. No blacklights. JUST THE DARK, SCARY WOODS. The wind rustling through the trees The snap of a twig from a footstep The moon shining off the lake The shadows that provide refuge for some UNSEEN HORROR Each group is given a flashlight to negotiate the winding marked trail and to illuminate the various creatures that inhabit the Haunted Shadows Lake Trail.

LEARN MORE -   Reviews - 0 Youtube Videos - 0 Photos
Scare Factor: 7.7 Skulls
Monsters/Actors: 8.5 Skulls
Originality: 9.3 Skulls
Sets, Detail, Theming: 8.3 Skulls
Special FX: 8.5 Skulls
42.33 out of 50 Skull Rating
 
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TEXAS PROFESSIONAL HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS BLOG

 

Texas haunted houses are some of the scariest and best haunted houses in Texas and America. Hauntworld.com will help you find haunted houses in Texas, and more specifically Haunted Houses in Houston, Texas.  The Houston, Texas area has some of the best and scariest haunted houses in Texas and America.  As the editor of Hauntworld.com we know Texas haunted houses well because we use to live in Houston, Texas and have visted Haunted Houses in Texas many times and rate them for our readers. We have seen some of the scariest haunted houses in Houston, Texas because we actually visited this area many years ago and one of the haunted houses we saw was Phobia Haunted House which is a multi themed and multi level haunted house.  Phobia haunted house is one of the most unque haunted houses in Texas because of their very creative style. 

 

Nightmare on the Bayou is another scary haunted house in Houston, Texas which is also connected to a costume shop one of the biggest Halloween costume shops in Houston, Texas.  You might also stop in at another Texas Haunted House called Heatstoppers which is also a haunted house in Houston, Texas.  Make sure you vote on the best and scariest haunted houses in Texas here at www.Hauntworld.com

 

Here at Hauntworld.com you will find the best haunted attractions and haunted houses in Texas which you can visit each Halloween season.

 

Texas haunted houses are some of the scariest and best haunted houses in Texas and America. Hauntworld.com will help you find haunted houses in Texas, Haunted Houses in Houston, Texas, Haunted Houses in Dallas, Texas, to haunted houses in Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth to El Paso and more. As the editor of Hauntworld.com we know Texas haunted houses well because we use to live in Houston, Texas and have visted Haunted Houses in Texas many times and rate them for our readers.

 

Listed below you will find all sorts of information about haunted houses in Texas especially the best and scariest haunted houses including Halloween Attractions, Hayrides, Ghost Tours, and much more.  Are you ready to find the best haunted houses in Texas?  Just remember to come back to Hauntworld.com to rate and review the haunted houses you visit and to help our readers visit the best haunted attractions in Texas. 

 

Find the best and scariest haunted houses, real haunts, Halloween attractions, Hayrides and more near or in the Austin Texas area. Austin Texas is a fascinating city that is filled with plenty of hauntings that when you visit make you feel like you just stepped into the Wild West. Almost every good western has a old hotel and Driskill's Hotell is definatly haunted. It has been reported that the lobby has two ghost that visit all the time. Guest have seen the one ghost who is a old hotel manager for the hotel. He has been known to hand out money from the vault for those in need. The other ghost reported in a young girl you can see bouncing her little red ball down the hall.

 

 

Another of Austin's more famous business for paranormal activity is the Spaghetti Warehouse. Located just down the street from the Driskall's Hotel you can get some delicous food as well as some entertainment from a few friendly ghost as they walk around the bar. Many have reported seeing one of the ghost with just legs, no head or body.

 

Be sure to visit the Texas State Capital Building which is always full of ghosts. The most popluar on being that of Govenor Edmund Jackson Davis (1827 -1883). He has been reported as being seen watching out the first floor window. Be careful not too stare too long, he will stare you down until you walk away.

 

Dallas is the third largest city in Texas. Dallas is known for many different things. The Dallas Cowboys in football, it's barbecue, authentic Mexican, and Tex-Mex cuisine are just a few. Some other things that the people of Dallas enjoy are searching for fossils in the rocks, digging around and hopes of finding remnants of dinosaurs or marine reptiles. No matter what you enjoy you can always count on these specific locations in Dallas to always get you blood pumping and put that extra scare into you.

 

 

 

The first is a deserted road called NW Highway where there have been multiple reports of "something" being throwing such as a blunt object at their cars as they drove by. The happenings are being reported by Flagpole Hill In Dallas and the damage that is being reported is substancial.

 

 

If you ever go to the Majestic Theatre, be prepared of the strange happenings and paranormal activing. Employess and patrons have reported smelling strange smells, the phone lines will light up and no one will be there and on several occasions the stage curtain will all of a sudden move with noone there to move the controls. It is said the old owner, Karl Hoblizelle's ghost is the one responsible for all the unexplaned activity.

 

Find the best and scariest haunted houses, real haunts, Halloween attractions, Hayrides and more near or in the San Antonio Texas area.

 

 

 

Let's start with one of the biggest events that happens evey year. Texas's favorite theme park will be transformed into a month of ghost, goblins and ghoulish fun for you and your family. Come and enjoy all the hair-raising entertainment at Fright Fest going on every October at Six Flags Fiesta in San Antonio.

 

 

San Antonio Texas is rich with history. From the very popular Battle at the Alamo which has been said to lead to the many ghosts and haunted hot spots that San Antonio has. Many of us know the story of the Alamo. The battle first began in 1836 and for the next 13 days the almost 150 Texans battled against the Mexican army to protect the Alamo. During the battle nearly 189 men lost their lives trying to defend the Alamo.

 

Today the Alamo is one of America's laregest and well-known monuments. Mnay will travels from around the world to stand in the glory and remember the history behind the walls of the Alamo. Many say ther eis more than just history hidden behind the walls of the Alamo. Many proclain that the Alamo is haunted. The first sighitngs were reported as early as weeks after the Battle of the Alamo. To this day there are still reports of shadows lurking, sometimes just at nights and other reports od unexplained happenings. There is no doubt that the Alamo is haunted.

 

Houston offers many large historic cemeteries whic can tell one person so much about a city or about an individual. A cemetery is so much more than just a final resting place. To some it is a place to communicate with someone special, a loved one that is now gone. To others it is a ghoulish place that could be filled with ghost and goblins. Houston is lucky enough to have many great cemeteries with a wonderful history to each of them.

 

There are many scary haunted houses in Texas especially haunted houses in Fort Worth DFW Texas like The Haunt House which was featured here on Hauntworld.com.  Another great Texas Haunted Houses is Slaughterhouse Haunted Houses located in the Dallas Fort Worth DFW, Texas area which includes some of the scariest scenes ever before seen in a haunted houses in Texas.  Here at Hauntworld.com you will find the best haunted attractions and haunted houses in Texas which you can visit each Halloween season.

 

 

Gledale Cemetery is the oldest Cemetery in Houston. Built in the early 1800's and through the years it became surrounded by railroadtracks on three sides. Today you will find this beautiful cemetery resotred and open for visitors daily.

 

 

The oldest Jewish cemetery in Texas is the Congregation Beth Isreal Cemetery. This tiny cemetery was originally founded in 1844 and can be located in downtown Dallas. The cemetery is know for some of it's beautiful designed by architect Joseph Finger.

 

Lastly is the Olviewood Cemetery whic h holds some of Houston's most well-known African American's. One being Elias Dibble who was a freed slave who become the first black ordained Methodist minister in America and founded the Trinity Methodist Church. This cemetery started in 1875 by a group of freed slaves. To this day only part of the land where the cemetery was remains. Through the years and time many have been lost and no longer exists.

 

In additional there are many ghost tours, and other real haunted house places throughout Texas. Find the best haunted houses and more here at www.Hauntworld.com

 

To find pumpkin patches in your area go to www.HalloweenAttractions.com.

 

If you visit a haunted house in your area please come back and rate and review your experience.

 

Ghost Towns in Texas

In the mood for a real fright? Spend the month of October spooking yourself from visits to some of the scariest ghost towns in the state of Texas. You are sure to be frightened  by the dilapidated, eerie ruins that are left in these towns.

Indianola, Texas:
Business was booming and Indianola, Texas was one of the most prosperous cities on the Texas coast. Now, most of the city is located underneath the bay. Residents of the city thought that they were protected from hurricanes, but in 1875 a giant hurricane took place and wiped out the town. There are faint remnants of the town, such as pieces of the town courthouse that remain and can be seen by visitors. A visit to Indianola is eerie as there is a clear understanding that a bustling town with a booming economy used to exist there.

Helena, Texas:
Helena was a busy city until the town made the decision not to pay a bonus to the railroad. City officials made this decision to avoid having the railroad go around the town. During this time, any town without access t to a railroad had a difficult time keeping business afloat. In response to not paying the bonus to the railroad, the president of the railroad company re-routed the train to be even further away from the town. Residents began moving away and in a flash, it became a ghost town. Plenty of ruins from the town still exist and are certainly worth a visit.

Thurbur, Texas:
This coal-mining ghost town was once a booming town but today has a population of 25 people. With over 10,000 people in 1886, this town specialized in mining coal and was known as one of the largest coal-mining towns in all of Texas. In 1903, the mining employees unionized and the mines closed down. Thurber then became a ghost town. A cemetery still exists which has over a thousand graves to see. Other buildings also remain standing, such as homes, a church and old businesses.

 

 

Hauntworld Reviews Texas Haunted Houses

Welcome to our Texas Haunted House and Halloween Attraction page where you can find all sorts of haunted houses in Texas. Some of our favorite haunted houses in Texas are located on this page.  Listed below are some of the best haunts you can find in the state of Texas.  If you know of a haunted house, haunted hayride, ghost tour, real haunted house, haunted attraction, scary attraction, or Halloween attraction in Texas please refer those attractions to our site so they may create a FREE listing.  If you you would like to review one of the attractions we have listed please create an account.  Once you create a user account you may post your reviews and rate any haunted houses on our system.

 

One of the scariest haunted houses in Texas is in Fort Worh The Cutting Edge Haunted House. This haunted house is so intense that the visitors who survive are thankful they can live to tell about it and warn others. You are surrounded by complete darkness and creatures you only dreamed about as a child are crawling all over waiting to claim their next victim to try to escape. Think you are brave enough? 

 

 

The House of Torment in Austin, Texas featured in Hauntworld the Magazine in 2008 is one of the best in the nation known for its innovative and over the top scares. You will come face to face with monster dropping from above and illiousions that will make you question your sanity. Monsters have rage that they take out on guests or should we say VICTIMS. Click here to see more 

 

Another Austin scare can be found at Mansion of Terror two gorey haunted houses that will keep you awake for nights with the gruesome sights you will see and experience.  Featuring Death Asylum-zombie Carnage where you will witness some of the most mentaly ill zombies who are seeking fresh blood to keep themselves alive. Click here to see more www.mansionofterror.com

 

 

Also in Houston is Heart Stoppers Fright where creatures will scare the crap out of you and your friends. You will fall into the depth of fear when you eneter the 150 foot snake pit. You thought the Boogey man only scared you as a child but he is back and ready to take your soul to the other side this time. Once inside you won't know whats real and whats not...till its too late. Visit them online at 

 

 

Another great Houston haunted house is Phobia NINE seperate attractions in two different locations where you are invited to enter upon your own free will but you may not make it out. The sick and twisted things that you will see are enough you make a grown man become ill. Mental Asylum patients will chase you, Clowns will try to eat you...RUN! Run as fast as you can to survive the dark. Click here for more details

 

Another must see haunted house in Houston, Texas is Nightmare on the Bayou located next to a Cemetery the ghost of those that have laid to rest are creepy into this haunted house where sometimes.even the employees are scared to be there alone. These aren't just people dressed like ghost. they are realy paranormal inhabitiants lurking the grounds who never wanted to be disturbed.

 

Dr. Haunts Chamber of Fear in Gainsville, Texas a haunted house that thrives on tortured souls. Once you enter the darkness you will beg for your life as monsters bring to life your worst nightmares. You will hear blood curdling screams from those who are trapped inside, see savaged killers who are looking for their next victims and witness unspeakable acts that will make you scream for mercy.

 

The Slaughterhouse in Dallas, Texas is home to some of the most horrifying scares you will ever experience. You are brought face to face with ax carrying madmen who seek to behead the weakest souls. Once you are inside these walls you will be begging for your life but no one will hear you because they too have all been slaughtered to death.

 

The Haunted House in Caddo Mills, Texas is sure to have you screaming once you are inside the dark that awaits. Look ahead or you might not make it out alive, and don't fall down or you will be pulled into the darkness never to be seen again.

 

 

Fear at Kaska Farms in West, Texas inhabited by visitors to the farm who never made it out alive and their murders have never been solved. When the sun goes down their sould creep from the ground to make those who have disturbed them pay for their horrific murders. Besides the cornfield haunt at Kaska Farms there are also child friendly activites

 

Texas loves to scream so please be our guest and click on the profiles for Halloween attractions in Texas listed above.

To read more about the haunted house industry subscribe to HauntWorld Magazine www.HauntedHouseMagazine.com

To find Corn Mazes and Pumpkin patches in Texas go to www.HalloweenAttractions.com
 

 

 For whatever reason, Texas is a major Haunted House state. Next to Ohio, Pennsylvania & Michigan it was just one of those places full of attractions that people were always talking about. In the late 90’s when we were just getting rolling, names like Dr. Blood’s Screamscapes (The brainchild of Drew Hunter, now with Sally Corp.), Hangman’s Haunted House (D'Ann Dagen’s place), Verdun Manor (masterpiece of the late great Lance Pope), Cutting Edge (owned by Todd James) and Elm Street Haunterpreneurs (Leonard Pickel and Beau Baumann) all called Texas home. Other Texas names often surfaced at Transworld and on the message boards of the time, folks like the late JB Corn of Castle Dragon, Patrick Matthews with Nightmare in the House of Wax and the legendary Dr. John Anderson.

I like to joke that in Ohio it was the proximity to Lake Erie that contributed to the local creep factor, but I still don’t know what it is about Texas. But one thing is for certain, all over that great state they love scaring people! In 2008 an Austin, Texas haunt, a mere youngster by Texas standards (at just 6 years old) emerged on the national stage and dropped jaws, a new attraction with a powerful visual presentation that would do the long tradition of Texas Haunts proud….The House Of Torment!

The House of Torment?
It started with a video posted on the Hauntworld forums, a black and white nightmarish presentation featuring a pig-headed man and some truly twisted imagery. Then came the photos, stunning shots of two or three story construction, a toppled steeple, a blasted city filled with rubble and filth, and some crazy custom creatures. Then came the website, featuring a 2008 theme trailer that looked and sounded like a Hollywood movie! Other parts of the site resembled a video game with creature power ranking graphics and pop out monsters and then there was the infamous “Creep” call, a feature that would allow you to get a phone message from their icon “Mr. Creep”. Cool stuff that so impressed Larry Kirchner and the Hauntworld message boards that the HoT ended up on the Hauntworld Top 13 list! But who were these guys and where did they come from? I was about to find out!

One Dark Night…
It was a weeknight in early October 2008 at NETHERWORLD when the House of Torment came to call. All four of the core team members had made the trek from Texas just to see us. In attendance were Daniel McCullough, the Owner / President of HoT; Jon Love, the Vice President and marketing whiz; Matt Garcia, the Art Director, creature creator and alter ego of “Mr. Creep”; and Mike Garcia, the General Operations Manager, actor coordinator and slider also known as “Sgt. Graves“. It is always fun to have fellow haunters come to visit, but we were in for a special treat! After going through our haunt, Matt Garcia and Mike Garcia transformed into their alter egos and spent the rest of the evening scaring and entertaining our customers with the rest of our lot actors. What a blast to see Mr. Creep comparing top hats with the Collector (our top hat wearing skeletal guy) and Sgt. Graves doing power slides with our slider goblin Caliban and downhill spins with Baron Samedi!

After NETHERWORLD wrapped for the night we spent several hours comparing notes on haunting at the local Denny’s and heard some of the background on this emerging haunt. It was clear HoT was on the fast track with their event, and growing at a huge rate. What were the secrets of their success? Don’t touch that dial!

Beyond October….
The 2008 season now behind us I saw The House of Torment yet again, this time on America’s Scariest Haunted Houses 3 playing back on my DVR. The season at last over it was time to relax for a moment and catch up on all of the Haunt Shows that had aired in October. There they were, greeting and terrifying patrons on their own home turf, flying from zip lines, and generally rocking the joint. The sets and costumes really looked different from most haunted houses, and I started to get the bug to check ‘em out first hand. Of course, Larry called within the week and asked if I wanted to write a story for Hauntworld about them. Before I knew it, it was late January and I was on a plane to Texas!


The Trip to Torment…
Now I couldn’t go all the way to Texas and just see one haunt… So I stopped by Ft. Worth and saw the infamous Cutting Edge Haunted House! Owner Todd James played a classic joke on me… After driving me to the haunt in his monster truck hearse, we started walking through the show with the lights on and BLAM one of those propane machine guns goes off making me jump out of my skin, the lights go out, Todd disappears and the music turns on. I start walking and actors are leaping out! They gave me a full performance, actors and all, including covering me with 8 feet deep of bubbles in their infamous foam room! It was a massive haunt and a very cool show but that story is a tale for another day…I highly recommend checking it out if you are in that part of the world next October!

A Tour of Torment…
I finally arrived at HoT. They have a very interesting building, a former movie theatre that had been converted to a Laser Tag arena. When they got in the place, the floors were level and all sorts of interesting multi-story ramps were in place. Guests approaching the building are first greeted by the huge Scarefactory Slayer that sits outside, affectionately known as Goggath. Then they must run the gauntlet of marauding characters that stalk the parking lot including Mr. Creep and Sgt Graves. When you enter the main Haunt (called Contagiom in 2008) you are greeted with a massive façade of buildings complete with fire escapes and business signage. The theme was an invasion of strange creatures and some sort of infection of the population stemming from a secret research base. Unlike many haunts they stayed totally on theme through the entire event, and it sort of visually played out just like a video game.

You enter the main haunt through some sort of police station where some creatures are held in cells and then comes the Arena! This striking set is the heart of the attraction. It is a large scene, surrounded on all sides by towering building facades. Directly in front of you is a toppled church steeple, and strewn around are massive piles of rubble. The paint scheme of the entire place drips with dirty washes, almost as if the world has slipped into another realm a la Silent Hill.
In the dead center of the room is an upside down car that guests must wind around to escape the area and that is when some of HoT’s wild stunts come into play. In 2008 they used acrobatic Parkour trained actors to leap OVER the heads of guests, and climb about in the rubble. In one spot covered by wreckage is a stage designed for that very purpose, a platform built to allow a leap to the overturned car! Also in the Arena is a long zip line maybe 80-100 feet. Actors in extremely expensive professional harnesses fly over the crowds landing on the second floor of a building on the other side of the Arena only to rotate around and fly right back!
 
Leaving the Arena you head into a decayed building with several rooms including a bedroom and a living room. One cool thing here is the low ceiling with drop sprinkler heads. Few haunts can afford to do this, and the claustrophobia feeling after the massive Arena is a great effect. Also in this room you come across the first of their remotely controlled scares. From a hidden control room, operators can watch night vision cameras, and decide exactly when to trigger certain gags, in this case a powerful air cannon concealed under the bed. The detail is top notch, webs, drippy paint washes, old magazines and dead flowers are in abundance along with several hidden actor doors.

Back out in the street you have a view of the Arena, passing by police barricades and piles of skeletons near an old newsstand. Then it is into the butcher shop for a surreal experience. After the meat display case scene (where a corpse animation drops down behind the counter) it is into the back room of the shop. Here a nasty stringy meat beast, reminiscent of the THING in the 80’s remake dangles from the ceiling. In the meat locker guests bounce between hanging pigs to encounter a twisted sight, a massively muscled bare-chested actor waits in the back of the freezer, his head that of a horse!
Leaving the shop, guests find themselves on the back part of the toppled steeple with more views of the Arena. Here awaits the second zip line, another chance to be buzzed by crazy stunt actors. It is in this area along the back wall of the building that a funny thing began to happen with the HoT guests. When the alley scene was built they added a fake door to the exterior wall for set dressing. Freaked out guests have repeatedly tried to escape out that particular door, repeatedly ripping it off the hinges to reveal a blank wall!

At this point you enter a collapsed building choked with rubble. A faux wreaked elevator confronts guests, along with a room filled with tons of flickering candles. Now a series of sharp ramps must be hiked up, leading them ultimately to the upper level of the building. The final zip line is found here as a strange creature zooms overhead in a hall of pictures. Reaching the top you wind through a series of rooms including an attic (with a weird animatronic creature hidden among the boxes), an office and other mundane settings all rotted out by the effects of the strange invasion. A long catwalk between sections is actually concealed inside of the clock tower, and now guests are very near to the final section, the Secret Lab!
A busted out wall just past a strobing mass of electrical wires reveals the tunnel to the secret lab. All the walls are corrugated metal, a favorite place for indoor sliding! The Lab sequence begins with an autopsy/morgue area featuring several posed creatures and a thrashing chained body. In a corner is a huge rack full of 55 gallon drums, a favorite percussion area for the actors. Then patrons pass a series of cool custom body chambers, made totally in house. Curved plexiglass walls show strange experiments within the tanks and one has a door for a hidden actor.

Now you descend down a series of ramps past odd displays of alien/creature tissues, deeper into the source of the contagium. The final area is a sewer sequence featuring a semi submerged monster leaping up from the water along with a powerful water/air cannon blast! A quick turn and guests run screaming into the parking lot, glad to be alive!

Illusion Manor
The second attraction at the House of Torment was Illusion Manor, a show that had many of the gothic trappings absent from the more modern Contagium. Guests enter an old mansion façade with a siding wall gag designed to move the last person in the group to the front. Of primary importance were the effects, wild illusions and other visual tricks designed to freak you out! They included a vortex tunnel, 2 squeeze tunnels, a haunted singing bust, Illusionator animated painting, upside down room, mirror maze, curtain hall and gypsy séance room among others. Also nice was a very ornate library sequence, and a custom made rotating wall. My favorite scene was the tilted anti-gravity room, a mind warping set where the athletic Parkour actors could literally run up the walls around the amazed guests! The final scare was a clever gag featuring a hanging TV, but I cannot tell you EVERY thing can I?

Behind The Scenes
We spent hours touring the haunts that day…myself, Daniel McCullough, the owner; Jon Love, the vice president; Matt Garcia, the art director, aka “Mr. Creep”; and Mike Garcia, the general operations manager, aka “Sgt. Graves“. Other interesting areas were the tricked out boardroom they had for meetings, the aforementioned control room (see control room article) and most of all Matt’s creature creation room. This is where all the creatures were sculpted and molded, and the amazing custom costumes were fabricated. The room was brimming with creepy goodies including a vast collection of scary toys for inspiration. Over it all a life sized figure of Mr. Creep stood watch from the corner.

After Hours
It was time for dinner after a long day of driving and haunt exploration. I was treated to a Texas tradition, The Salt Lick, an all you can eat meat feast that would be with me for DAYS! After that we had a considerable amount of tasty adult beverages, returning to the haunt in the wee hours to do a bit of flying on the zip lines! Yes, there was a designated driver/zip line instructor so we were never in any real danger….I think! A huge thank you goes out from me to the HoT crew for being gracious hosts and allowing me such a close look into their nightmarish world.

Torment and Beyond!
Overall the impression of The House of Torment was that of a very tightly themed, very realistic and very SCARY haunt, one that that totally had the vibe of a survival horror video game. The costuming and custom creatures had that twisted, almost S&M look sure to disturb as well as terrify with some of the wildest imagery in the haunt industry.
The environments were initially extremely realistic then covered by a layer of grime and rot that was evocative of the transformation sequences in Silent Hill as a point of reference, a style reminiscent of the paint washes and facading techniques of Universal Studios Horror Nights. For those of you who have been around awhile, it also had a strong feel of BRUTAL PLANET, the Distortions Unlimited/John Burton haunted house from so many years ago that pioneered the central room format and the decayed city look.

I don’t think I have seen many haunts that held so close to an actual theme as this one, as the progression of scenes really seemed to follow a clear story. Yet another aspect that totally rocked about this place in addition to the custom art and the crazy stunts was the vast set of the Arena leading into the tight drop ceiling rooms - a juxtaposition that created an extremely claustrophobic feeling. All this in only their 6th year really shows an astounding potential…I know I as well as their “tormented” fans in the city of Austin will be eagerly looking forward to the new horrors they will unleash in years to come!
 

 

 

 

FAST FACTS:
Name of Haunt: House of Torment
Location: Austin, Texas

Owners:
Daniel McCullough - Owner / President
Jon Love - Vice President
Matt Garcia - Art Director
Mike Garcia - General Operations Manager

2008 Attendance: 40,000
Size of Attraction: 17,000sq ft.
Amount of Actors: 75
Total Operation Staff: 110
Ticket Price: 14.99-19.99
Marketing Budget: classified
Operation Days: 32

Website: www.houseoftorment.com

 

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