Category: Dallas/Ft. Worth (page 1 of 2)

“Twisted Fate: The Death of Kreep” at Dan’s Haunted House

While the name ‘Dan’s Haunted House’ may not sound very foreboding there’s no question the themes and storytelling behind this haunted attraction are uniquing terrifying as Dan’s Haunted House is the 1st Japanese Themed Haunted Attraction in the United States. In Japanese Culture and Folklore, they’re many horrifying tales. Urban Legends of Demons, Samurai Spirits, and Mythological Ghosts that come back to Haunt and Terrorize the living. Come see what Nightmares will torture your mind at Dan’s Haunted House.

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For those of you who have been following the story arc of Dan’s haunted house over the past three years the Japanese Demons of Dan’s Haunted House have taken over the Haunted house industry by storm.

In the beginning there was “Ancient Fear Rising”, which was the onslaught of Japanese horrors invading a sleepy little town of Lake Dallas Texas. Lead by the Oni Demon Hachiman and his host of Yokai, they sought to enslave the locals and possess them with the spirits of the Japanese demons.

There was but one that stood in the way, Slightly Deranged Unkle Kreep, who with his rustic magic raised an Army of Scarecrow to combat the Oni and their onslaught of at this Japanese Haunted House.

The battle took its toll on Unkle Kreep and the following year Unkle Kreep had a psychotic break and in turn, came to believe that he was a Japanese School Girl by the name of Little Yuki who then opened the door for more Japanese demons and yokai to find forms to inhabit.

This was the continuation of the story of Dan’s Haunted House. This year with the continued advances of Hachiman and his host of demons we come to the next part in the saga of Unkle Kreep.

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“Twisted Fate, The Death of Kreep”
After the struggles of losing his mind and the dawning realization of his place in this new world Unkle Kreep came to his senses and was able to rise from his foggy mental break down becoming aware of the previous year he has decided the only way to free himself from the Japanese Terrors is to take his own life.

He has submitted to the Japanese God of War Hachiman and dropped the mantle of Yuki and in traditional Japanese manner decided to commit Seppuku (suicide) little does Unkle Kreep know this will allow his spirit to roam the woods of Dan’s Haunted House now under the complete control of Hachi and his demonic host.

It’s said that the head of Unkle Kreep hangs from the belt of Hachiman and sometimes you can hear the lonely, dejected crying voice of Little Yuki drifting through the woods while Hachiman and his kindred spirits look for new souls to fill their ranks.

BUT WAIT… Did Unkle Kreep leave a parting “gift” for Hachiman and the other creatures? Hmmm…. Stay Tuned.

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No Clowns, No Zombies, No Chainsaws

WE are Dan,
We don’t do that anymore!
FEAR is in EVERYTHING!

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Dan’s Haunted House is an NEW and EXCITING Outdoor Japanese Themed Haunted Attraction that made it’s debut in the DFW Metroplex in 2014

 

Dan’s Haunted House is located at 501 East Swisher Road Lake Dallas, Texas 75065.

Please check out the website for all RULES and RESTRICTIONS.

 

Friday the 13th/Valentine’s Day/Dead Presidents Weekend Haunts 2015

The Fun and Terror Continues….

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There’s no better combination for “off season haunt” than a long Dead President’s weekend with both a Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day. The S&M fun of 50 Shades of Gray is no match to the heart pumping you’ll feel from getting stalked by spooks, frightened by freaks, and chased by chainsaws on Valentine’s Night.

For 2015 many haunts across the country are planning to make the most of the holiday weekend as there’s a nice and long list of Bloody Valentine’s offerings, It’s a known fact that being scared is physiologically arousing and as we always say, love will never do without haunts.

 

Alabama

Warehouse 31 – Birmingham

Arx Mortis – Killen

Arizona

The 13th Floor – Phoenix

California

Talladega Frights-My Bloody Valentine – Bakersfield

Zombie Joe’s Ghosts of the Underground – North Hollywood

Fear Overload Scream Park – San Leandro

Reign of Terror – Thousand Oaks

Colorado

The 13th Floor’s Valentine X – Denver

Connecticut

Scream Acres’s Zombie Prom & Bloody Valentine’s – Covington

Florida

Legends Dark Amusements-A Haunting in Old Town – Kissimmee

The Shadow Grave: A Night to Dismember – Winter Heaven

Illinois

Basement of the Dead – Aurora

13th Floor Haunted House – Chicago

Factory of Love (Teddy Bear Killer) – Moline

Nightmare on Fairgrounds Road: Broken Hearts – Princeton

 

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Kansas

The Asylum Haunted House: My Bloody Valentine – Chetopa

Michigan

Exit 13 Haunted House -Mount Morris

50 Shades of Phun – Westland

New Jersey

Brighton Asylum-Dark Valentine’s – Passaic

New York

Blood Manor – NYC – Scare Zone has visited Blood Manor on Valentine’s Day and had a bloody good time. Read our review here.

Times Scare – NYC

Nyctophobia Haunted House – Eastport

North Carolina

Deceased Farm: My Deceased Valentine – Lexington

Oklahoma

 Guthrie Haunts: My Vexed Valentine – Guthrie

The Sanctuary’s Tunnel of Love – Oklahoma City

Pennsylvania

Castle Blood’s Love & Death – Monessen

Valentine’s Ghost Tour – Philadelphia

Halloween Park – Strinestown

Tennessee

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure: My Bloody Valentine – Gatlinburg

Slaughter House Bloody Valentine – Hermitage

Frightmare Manor – Morrison

Haunted Hell – Nashville

Texas

House of Torment – Austin

Moxley Manor-Valentine’s Day Massacre – Bedford

House of Horrors’s Tortured Love -Clyde

50 Shades of Fear at Hangman’s House of Horrors -Fort Worth

Cutting Edge-Twisted Love – Fort Worth SZ Review

Tayman Graveyard-Valentine Massacre – Midlothian

Dark Hour Haunted House – Plano

The 13th Floor – San Antonio

Utah

Castle of Chaos – Taylorsville

Virginia

Night Watch Haunt’s Dark Hearts – Hellsville

Shocktober’s My Bloody Valentine – Leesburg

St. Albans Sanatorium’s Fatal Attraction – Radford

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We hope you have a horrifyingly Valentine’s NIGHT! We look forward to hearing all about it… if you survive. 

Fear is Everything at Dan’s Haunted House

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Recently we received a message from one of our Haunters about a new haunt they’ve created that will deviate from the common themes we typically see every year at haunts. Of course we were excited to hear more, as we’re big fans for haunts that seek to evolve the scare-scape of the haunt world. This year Haunt Stalkers in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas (and those willing to travel) will have yet another unique haunt option to stalk this season at Dan’s Haunted House.

Dan’s Haunted House is a NEW and EXCITING Outdoor Haunted Attraction making its debut in the DFW Metroplex for the 2014 Haunted House Season. The motto is “Fear IS IN Everything”and this year Dan’s is planning to tap into new fears by breaking from the typical Haunted House template. With so MANY things in the world that are scary; this haunt will feature themes and characters rarely featured in U.S. haunts. So, there will be NO Clowns, NO Zombies and NO Chainsaws.

This year Dan’s Haunted house will set out to place a spotlight on things that have been feared from all over the world with the theme of Ancient Fear Rising. This haunt will take a journey with us into the Japanese Cultural Legend and Folklore of the Samurai, Demons, Ghosts and Spirits. The forefathers of Fear will retake their rightful place.

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Dan’s Haunted House is located at 501 East Swisher Road Lake Dallas, Texas 75065. Parking will be at the Swisher Courts Sports Facility. Once parked, customers will follow the signs on East side of the building and down into the Haunt. This is an Outdoor Haunted attraction so customers should wear the appropriate shoes, open toed shoes are not recommended.

Please check out the website for all rules and restrictions.www.danshauntedhouse.com / 972-821-9154

STRANGLING BROTHERS HAUNTED CIRCUS ROLLS INTO TOWN

New Attraction in Dallas says it’s the “Scariest Haunted House on Earth”. Taking a page from the wildly successful and scary as hell formula of, Freaking Bros. in Las Vegas, here’s another horror show ready to terrorize Haunt Stalkers this October in Dallas, Texas. They promise an hour long adventure of terror in mazes created by an astonishing number of 26 tractor trailers. From our own experience the haunts in Texas go big so we hope some of our Texas stalkers will get the chance to experience and report back for us.

 

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Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus will open their big top tent and traveling tractor-trailers to visitors on Friday, September 19. The Show, which is poised to be the scariest, creepiest, and most exciting haunted attraction this year, is located at Irving Mall, just south of Dillard’s Department Store.

Strangling Brothers offers a different twist to the haunt industry using 26 custom-designed tractor trailers arranged in a maze filled with zombie clowns, curious creatures, cutting-edge animatronics, innovative lighting and wicked sound environments.

Strangling Brothers Circus ClownThe scary fun begins in the 160-foot Big Top Tent of Horrors, an electrifying experience of animated 3D clowns, dancers and a host of freaky and unruly characters waiting to take you away to another world. During the hour-long walk-through, fright fans will encounter terrifying and bone chilling scary sights, such as a gore-filled circus clinic with a deranged doctor and blood-spattered nurse; an eerily lit fog-filled room with grotesque clowns emerging from the mists; and a stomach-dropping fun-house style light show where the walls and floors seem to come alive.

The Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus is based on the tale of a mysterious traveling circus led by The Strangling Brothers, who have spent a lifetime recruiting freaks and outcasts for their horror show.

“Our attraction takes a different approach from other standard haunted houses,” said owner Bob Tillotson. “The Haunted Circus is uniquely designed to scare all who enter this truly frightful attraction with a new dimension of fear. Our goal is to exploit every possible fear and assail as many senses as possible,” he said.

Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus opens September 19 and runs Fridays and Saturdays through October 4 then Wednesday through Saturday except Sunday until November 1. The fear, confusion and fun begin at 7:30pm each night. Ticket prices start at $30 per person and can be purchased at the door or online at www.stranglingbros.com.

Hangman’s House of Horrors Resurrected for 26th Year

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Last year we all thought that Hangman’s House of Horrors had buried its last victims and closed out it’s successful 25 year run. However, in the world of horror does anything ever really die… for good? Fortunately for our Texas Haunt Stalkers the answers is no. For 2014 Hangman’s House of Horrors has been resurrected with a new location and ownership. During HauntCon 2013 we were able to experience this venerable haunt in both a ‘lights on’ tour and in full ‘show’ mode. From our REVIEW it earned a solid overall rating of 3.5 Skulls from us with higher ratings for their Haunt Design and Fright Value.

outbreakHangman’s House of Horrors is one of the premier haunts in Texas and one of the top charity-benefiting haunted houses in the WORLD! To date, they’ve terrorized over half a million victims and donated more than $1.8 million to local charities! For much of its history, proceeds went to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Tarrant County. In 2005, it expanded to include other charities such as the American Cancer Society, Rocky Top Therapy Center, SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Cenikor Foundation and A Wish With Wings. To accomplish this enormous feat Hangman’s has enlisted more than 1,000 volunteers each year — from the actors to ticket-takers and concession workers to security personnel.

For 2014 the haunted tour includes three separate attractions: the classic Hangman’s House of Horrors, 3D Wonderland and Zombie Outbreak! Additionally, the new nineteen-acre property will be transformed into an exciting festival area featuring live bands, food trucks, free photos, festival activities, novelties and more.

For more information on Hangman’s 2014 dates and prices please visit their website.

 

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Bloody Valentine’s Haunts 2014

The first haunt season of 2014 is arriving with some love and lots of fear for Haunt Stalkers. If you find it romantic to be stalked by spooks, frightened by freaks, and chased by chainsaws then check out this line up of Valentine’s Day Night haunts that promise to get your heart pumping.

It’s a known fact that being scared is physiologically arousing, so hold your loved one(s) by the hand and pray it stays attached to their body. As we always say, love will never do without haunts.

 

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Alabama

Warehouse 31 – Birmingham

Arx Mortis – Killen

California

All Saints Lunatic Asylum-Dark Hearts – Apple Valley

Talladega Frights-My Bloody Valentine – Bakersfield

Sinister Pointe-Battle Royale – Brea

Zombie Joe’s Urban Death Tour of Terror – North Hollywood

Horrors of Love” Valentine’s Haunted House – San Francisco

Colorado

The 13th Floor-A candlelit night of Horror  – Denver

Connecticut

Scream Acres – Covington

Florida

Legends Dark Amusements-A Haunting in Old Town – Kissimmee

Illinois

Fear City Haunted House Valentine’s Zombie Massacre Party – Chicago

New Jersey

Brighton Asylum-Dark Romance – New Jersey

New York

District of the Dead-Eat Your Heart Out – Buffalo

Blood Manor  – NYC – Scare Zone has visited Blood Manor on Valentine’s Day and had a bloody good time. Read our review here.

Times Scare – NYC

 

Oklahoma

The Asylum-Bloody Valentine  – Nowatta

The Sanctuary-Tunnel of Love  – Oklahoma City

 

Pennsylvania 

Castle Blood’s Valentine’s Show – Monessen

Valentine’s Ghost Tour – Philadelphia

The Scarehouse – Pittsburgh

Tennessee

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure: My Bloody Valentine – Gatlinburg

Texas

Chainsaw Massacre – Amarillo

House of Torment – Austin

Moxley Manor-Valentine’s Day Massacre  – Bedford

The Parker House – Denton

Cutting Edge-Twisted Love – Fort Worth SZ Review

Tayman Graveyard-Valentine Massacre – Midlothian

Dark Hour Haunted House-Love is Blind – Plano

13th Floor Haunted House – San Antonio

Virginia

St. Albans Sanatorium – Radford

We hope you have a horrifyingly Valentine’s NIGHT! 

 

Haunt Profile & Reviews: Reindeer Manor Abusement Park (TX)

Halloween in Texas is a Scary Good Time ! And as we get closer to that time of year again we’ll soon start to feel the cool breeze in the air, the eerie clouds above the city and the beautiful autumn leaves flowing in the wind. Who are we kidding? In Texas, itʼs 90 degrees in October with maybe a few days of a brisk cool night if weʼre lucky. Nonetheless, Dallas is a thriving Mecca for Halloween. Everything from theater productions, themed orchestra performances, pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving contests, harvest festivals, costume contests, organized trick or treating and haunted houses.

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After attending HauntCon earlier this year we can honestly say that Dallas is one of the largest haunted house markets in the entire country, and now with Halloween being the second largest celebrated time of the year, itʼs no wonder why people travel the distances they do to visit the many haunted attractions Dallas provides. One such place is Reindeer Manor Abusement Park. Reindeer Manor is one of the few attractions in Dallas with a true haunted past. So much that in the off season they host a number of paranormal tours for the many ghost hunting groups in Texas. Is it haunted? Well, you’ll have to visit and find out for yourself.

Nestled in the back country of a small Texas town named Red Oak. Now in itʼs 40th Season, itʼs a property rich in atmosphere and with no shortage of fear. Your journey to Reindeer Manor begins with a long creepy, winding trek down a quarter mile dirt road surrounded by trees, reminiscent of something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. You park your car and are promptly loaded into a tractor pulling hayride that takes you far, far away from the safety of your vehicle. Through the dimly lit trees and cool air, your ride soon emerges into Texasʼ very own dose of fall with a trip around the complex revealing a sneak peak at each of the three attractions taunting you of the fear to come. 13th Street Morgue, Dungeon Of Doom and Reindeer Manor Haunted Houses provide a full night of entertainment while immersing you into the historical and well documented haunted past of this very spooky place.

Reindeer Manor Abusement Park has received such high ranks as 13th Street Morgueʼs readers choice award, Dungeon Of Doom twice being named Dallas Observerʼs “Best Haunted House in the DFW Metroplex” and Reindeer Manor being featured in several newspaper publications, e-zines, magazines and DVDʼs including “Halloween: The Happy Haunting Of America”.

 

Haunt Review: 13th Street Morgue 

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IMG_1802Of the three attractions at Reindeer Manor Abusement Park, 13TH Street Morgue was our favorite. It was non-stop scary with a consistent theming throughout it’s indoor, outdoor, upstairs and downstairs settings.  The details inside are incredibly realistic with cobwebs everywhere and aged prop pieces. Even small details, like the wall paintings, window dressings,  meticulously placed furniture and  knick-knacks make the place believably haunted.

This is also one of the few haunted house attractions that knows how produce unique and believably threatening scares. The scareactors were top-notch with a mix of serious character actors and acrobatic performers who all go out of their way to scare you to death. Their timing is perfect and they all stay in character.  The haunt also employs special effects but only subtly so no to become distractions from the authentically creepy atmospheres.

We have to say that if you’re in the Dallas, Texas area during Haunt Season. You need to make the trip out to experience this haunted attraction. It is the epitome of the Haunted House experience.

 

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 5 skulls
  • Theming: 5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4.5 skulls
  • Fright Value: 5 skulls

Overall Rating of 13th Street Morgue: 5 Skulls

Haunt Review: Dungeon of Doom

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Dungeon of Doom is slightly shorter (but still long compare to standard haunts) and and less elaborate than 13th Street Morgue. This haunted house has more sporadic scenes with less consistent theming. It seemed to have everything that would “cause your doom” featured inside. This maze had more generic scenery  and scare tactics but it still kept the scare factor at an intense level and is a strong compliment to the 13th Street Morgue.
There were some nice effects such as a passage way with strobe lights that gave the illusion of  moving walls. There was also an odd effect with a spinning  platform that is hard to navigate, especially when a ghoul begins to chase you. They also used air guns, a jackhammer, and of course a chainsaw in some of the mazes most startling scenes. The big scares could mainly be attributed to the very eager scareactors “popping out” versus any kind suspense which we encountered inside the 13th Street Mourge. Inside the dungeon we had monsters sneaking up behind us, banging on walls, screaming at us, taunting us, and even touching us. Some of the performers took their acts to levels past PG-13 (which we don’t mind) but it could make other Haunt Stalkers feel sheepish.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 3.5 skulls
  • Theming: 3.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 4.5 skulls
  • Fright Value: 5 skulls

Overall Rating of Dungeon of Doom: 4 Skulls

 

2013 Haunt Season Information

Dates:Sept. 28th, October 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, 31, November 1, 2 and encore performances November 9th

Hours: Fridays 8:00pm-12:30am, Saturdays 7:00pm-12:30am, Select Sunday and Halloween 7:00pm-10:00pm

Location: 410 Houston School Rd. Red Oak, Texas 75154

Cost: $35 Adult Combo Ticket, $17 Child Combo Ticket. Admits entrance to all three attractions. Coupons available online

Websites: texashaunt.com, reindeermanor.com

Special Event:

Holiday in the Dark, Sunday October 27th. Experience all three haunted attractions in complete darkness with only one glow stick to light your way. Three Attractions, One Glow Stick, Total Darkness. Open 7pm-10pm

Hangman’s Unhappily Ever After… The End

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This year will mark the 25th and (sadly) final season of Hangman’s House of Horrors.

Hangman’s House of Horrors is one of the premier haunts in Texas and one of the top charity-benefiting haunted houses in the nation! To date, they’ve terrorized over half a million victims and donated more than $1.8 million to local charities! For much of its history, proceeds went to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Tarrant County. In 2005, it expanded to include other charities such as the American Cancer Society, Rocky Top Therapy Center, SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Cenikor Foundation and A Wish With Wings. To accomplish this enormous feat Hangman’s has enlisted more than 1,000 volunteers each year — from the actors to ticket-takers and concession workers to security personnel.

During the HauntCon Tour we were able to experience this venerable haunt in both a ‘lights on’ tour and in full ‘show’ mode. From our REVIEW it earned a solid overall rating of 3.5 Skulls from us with higher ratings for their Haunt Design and Fright Value.

For their final act their theme will be “Unhappily Ever After…The End”, A creepy and dark retelling of the classic fairy tales! This returns to one of the most popular themes in Hangman’s history: “Scary Tales”. Hangman’s is an enormous haunt and will take a minimum of 25 minutes (at a running in terror pace) to get through. It includes a mix of  scareactors and animatronics within a wide array of rooms featuring elements like uneven floors, spinning tunnels, swinging bridges, claustrophobic hallways, and even a “find your way our” maze. Just about every traditional haunt element and character you can think of can be found inside this House of Horrors.

Unhappily Ever After will feature riffs on Pinocchio, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Wizard of Oz, Hansel and Gretel and other classic tales. And of course perennial favorites, such as the black-and-white checkered room, the scary clowns and the spinning tunnel, will remain. So will the 3-D Wonderland attraction and the Labyrinth maze. The attraction previously inhabited by scary hillbillies in “McDagenville” will change to an on-trend zombie theme of “outbreak.”

It’s disappointing that a long standing haunt institution, like Hangman’s is calling it quits. However, in the world of horror, the term “Final Season” doesn’t necessariraly mean the absolute end and maybe after opening on Friday the 13th, Hangman’s will find a way to  have “A New Beginning”.

Hangman’s FINAL SEASON runs September 13 through November 2

Check their WEBSITE for tickets and times.

Haunt Review: Cutting Edge (Fort Worth, TX)

This week, we continue our coverage of HauntCon 2013 with a review of the “World’s largest haunted house”: Cutting Edge, in Fort Worth.

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Cutting Edge has been on Scare Zone’s “Must Do” list for a long time. After all, it does hold a Guinness World Record for being the largest haunted house, and it’s certainly one of the most well-marketed haunts in Texas. Unfortunately, we came to find out that, as with many things, bigger does not always equal better.

Cutting Edge is definitely massive. It’s located in an old meat-packing plant that occupied more than 200,000 square feet of space. On the night we visited, it was very crowded; the main parking lot was full, and we were directed to a dirt lot across the street. The line was pretty long, but it did move quickly. We noticed that the crowd here looked much younger, mostly preteens and teenagers. In the queue area, extremely LOUD music was blasting. It was so loud that it was very hard to have a conversation while waiting in line, and because it wasn’t themed or providing any kind of atmosphere (since it was just popular music), it really didn’t add anything to the experience. We’re always disappointed when haunts don’t take advantage of extending their experience into the queue. It’s an opportunity to build suspense and anticipation for what’s inside. Unfortunately, Cutting Edge’s queue only built up a feeling of annoyance, which would end up permeating our entire visit.

Although some of the meat-processing equipment of the original building is still used in the haunt, there is no overall slaughterhouse theme. Instead, the haunt goes through many different themes, such as vampires, jungle, clowns, graveyard, a closet full of shirts (?), and even Saw. Although we don’t usually like “haunt stew,” it’s understandable when you’re talking about a walk-through attraction of this magnitude. But we wish more thought had been put into the transitions between scenes. Some of the scenes didn’t make much sense at all and had us wondering “what is this scene supposed to be?” and the lighting was so dim that it was hard to make out the props, sets, and actors. Darkness is definitely an important element in all haunted attractions, but the smart use of specific lighting helps build up suspense for the scene ahead. If you can’t see anything at all, you won’t be scared when something jumps out at you. For this reason, we didn’t find Cutting Edge to be scary at all. Instead, it felt like we were stuck in the world’s longest conga line during a power outage.

Cutting Edge relies on many oversized props for their big “scares.” We saw giant snake heads, giant rat heads, giant lizard heads, and so on. At first, these props were cool, but after about the fifth time of seeing them, they lost their novelty. It’s never a good idea to buy haunt props in bulk. Also, the music in this haunt was disjointed and didn’t have anything to do with the scenes. We heard Marilyn Manson, Depeche Mode, and even Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” as we passed through the sets.

Most of the actors were nondescript, and and their main “scare” seemed to be sticking their hands in front of you as you pass by. This type of scare is not very effective, and maybe the loud music made it pointless for the actors to bother making any kind of noise because most of them were silent. We think Cutting Edge could have benefited from attending the seminar at HauntCon called “Designing an Actor-Friendly Haunt.” Most of the scenes were not set up well for scares, and even though the actors were trying, we just didn’t hear many screams coming from the guests.

About halfway through the maze, we came across an additional queue. A live band was playing as guests filed by, which is pretty unique and a good way to break up the “conga line” inside the maze. The queue led into a Saw-themed mini-maze in which every guest was given a glow stick and told that once inside the maze, they’d have a few minutes in complete darkness to look for the only door out. It was complete chaos inside as people ran around in all directions looking for the one correct “exit” while encountering a lot of dead ends. But it certainly wasn’t completely dark, as 100 glow sticks (plus people turning on their cell phones to help them see) actually created a lot of light. This mini-maze was more annoying than scary or even fun, and it had no actors, just more loud music. After a few minutes, the lights came on, and if you hadn’t find the correct “exit,” you were now allowed to go through any door you wanted.

Finally, we should mention the water. There is a lot of water in this maze and you will get wet. There were probably some kind of signs warning us about this ahead of time, but we missed them and were taken by surprise. At one point, we were forced to walk underneath a waterfall. Other rooms had dripping or spraying elements, and the end of the maze takes you through a room of foam up to your waist. We recommend wearing old clothes and shoes you don’t mind being damp for a few days afterward. The water elements at Cutting Edge are not something we’ve encountered in any haunt we’ve been to before, but they really didn’t add any scare factor.

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Cutting Edge’s website advertises that it will take about 55 minutes to get through the attraction, and we found this to be pretty accurate. However, we were pretty bored after about 20 minutes. This was the first time we ever wished a haunt were shorter. It’s disappointing that a maze of this size couldn’t be more imaginative or scary. Although Cutting Edge is probably the most famous haunted house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we experienced much better attractions during our time in Texas. Although Cutting Edge may be the longest, you’ll get better and more scares for your money at other haunts such as Parker House, Reindeer Manor, and Hangman’s House of Horrors.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 2.5 skulls
  • Theming: 2.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 2 skulls
  • Fright Value: 2.5 skulls

Overall Rating of Cutting Edge Haunt House: 2.5 Skulls

Haunt Review: Hangman’s House of Horrors

Artwork and Logo 2012Hangman’s House of Horrors is one of the premier haunts in Texas and one of the top charity-benefiting haunted houses in the nation! To date, they’ve terrorized over half a million victims and donated more than $1.8 million to local charities! This year marks their 25th anniversary and during the HauntCon Tour we were able to experience this venerable haunt in both a ‘lights on’ tour and in full ‘show’ mode.

During the time of our visit they were still running their 2012 theme – Hangman’s Drive-In Horror. They are currently working on creating a new show for the 2013 haunt season. From what we saw during the ‘lights on’ tour, they won’t (can’t) change around too many of the rooms inside but will make a few changes here and there to keep the experience as fresh as possible for their repeat Haunt Stalkers.

Hangman’s is an enormous haunt and will take a minimum of 25 minutes (at a running in terror pace) to get through. It includes a mix of  scareactors and animatronics within a wide array of rooms featuring elements like uneven floors, spinning tunnels, swinging bridges, claustrophobic hallways, and even a “find your way our” maze. Just about every traditional haunt element and character you can think of can be found inside this House of Horrors.

As our Haunt Stalkers know, we’re not big fans of haunts that don’t have a consistent theme. Going from a room with zombies, to a psycho clown circus, into an alien spaceship distracts us from the scares. Inconsistent theme transitions are  jarring to us and diminish the pseudo-reality of the experience. We can get into the idea that we’re in an alien invasion or demented circus, but don’t believe the two would coexists; unless we’re talking about the Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

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Hangman’s can easily be classified as one of the haunts that’s an amalgam of all things scary. However, they’ve cleverly derived an overarching story that helps them get away with it. By using the Drive-In Horror theme they’ve set the theme of being a terrifying journey through the varied world of horror movies. This is accomplished in the first scene where we’re in a creepy concessions stand that has a big screen playing various clips from classic horror movies. An usher then appears and motions us up to the screen, which impressively splits open to reveal a long spinning tunnel. This is our portal into the movies and the rather random scenes of terror to follow. The simple effort of establishing the maze as a trip through the movies made it easier for us be forgiving to their sporadic mix of themes and characters inside.

It probably wasn’t the best arrangement for us to do the lights-on tour before we went through the full haunt experience. On the tour we saw where the scares were and the secrets to their many special effects. Nonetheless, we still had a few scary moments during ‘show mode’ and even got lost for a few minutes inside the maze room (even though we had tried to memorize the layout). Inside Hangman’s we found some rooms to be much more elaborate than others. We won’t give it all away but there were some noteworthy highlights.

Our favorite room inside the haunt would have to be the room set to the original Night of the Living Dead. This room is one of their newer additions and they recreated the effect of the black and white movie by using flashing black-light against the white sketched sets and costumes creating the awesome effect of actually being inside the old black and white movie. This effect reminded us of one of our favorite HHN Orlando mazes from last year, Universal’s House of Horrors. There also were some very surprising scares inside the Living Dead graveyard and the best zombie scareactor we’ve encountered… ever! The haunt had scenes from Jurassic Park featuring a menacing giant Tex Rex head. There also were scenes from The Toxic Avenger, Sweeny Todd, Trick o Treat, and Friday the 13th. Some of these were interesting and more obscure horror movie references but most of the scenes were nicely recreated. We thought during the show that the Friday the 13th maze could of been much scarier if the scene had better lighting along with giving Jason and his mother more places to hide in. In addition to the movie scenes, there were the traditional clown, dolls, medical lab, and slaughter house rooms; to name a few.

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In addition to the classic Hangman’s House of Horrors they have two side attractions: McDagenville and 3-D Wonderland. The former is a short but elaborately cannibalistic Hillbilly themed haunt with a few good scares inside but some of the scareactors did seem to get overzealous (annoyingly) in their roles. The latter, 3-D Wonderland, wasn’t intended to be scary but featured some extremely impressive 3D sets. It was akin to walking through the Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland.

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Even without the pre-tour we still don’t imagine that we would of found Hangman’s to be a terrifying intense experience. It does have consistent scares throughout the length of the attraction with most being the monster around the corner type of scares. What Hangman’s does offer is a frightfully fun adventure through a horror variety show. This works well as it’s the kind of haunt that newer haunters and seasoned haunt stalkers can both find enjoyment and scares in. During the HauntCon tour we truly appreciated the hospitality extended to us by the Hangman’s team. They’re very passionate about their haunt and are doing it for charity, which is extremely admirable. Hangman’s also features a very large haunt store where you can buy costumes, props, and just about anything else you would need to go trick o’ treating, or for your own home haunt.

If you are out haunt stalking in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area we recommend that you be sure to include Hangman’s House of Horrors on your scare-itinerary as they are one of the top haunted attractions in Texas.

Ratings:

  • Haunt Design: 4 skulls
  • Theming: 2.5 skulls
  • Scare Factor: 3 skulls
  • Fright Value: 4.5 skulls

Overall Rating of Hangman’s House of Horrors: 3.5 Skulls

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