With Halloween fast-approaching, the next few weekends are going to be filled with as many haunted attractions as I can possibly pack into two days. Luckily for us, almost every decent-sized city in Texas has some sort of scary house with good actors, intricate scenes, and an overall atmosphere that will make every hair on your body stand at attention. Here are 10 of the best – keep reading if you dare.
1. Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus (Grand Prairie)
I've been to a lot of haunted houses, and this one easily tops them all. Before you even enter the house, you wait in line under a circus tent while a video of what awaits you is projected onto a 16-foot screen. When you finally make it into the maze, you'll meet a deranged doctor, maniacal clowns, and a chainsaw-wielding man with an evil monkey sidekick. The animatronics and overall atmosphere are so cutting-edge and beautifully crafted that you'll get more scared out of your mind with every step you take.
2. Phobia (Houston)
If I had to describe Phobia in one word, it would be chaos. There are 5 separate houses, each with a different theme, and within all of them are hundreds of scenes and actors with one main goal: making your life a living hell for an hour or two. You'll encounter rogue machines, genetic mutations, a meat packing plant, and mass contagion. Heed my warning: what you see here will haunt your dreams for quite some time.
3. Haunted Hotel (Beaumont)
I might be slightly biased since this is my hometown, but I firmly believe the Haunted Hotel is one of the scariest haunted houses in Texas. The scenes are immaculate and it's evident how much work is put into them. After all, the actors may tie everything together, but it's the ambiance and atmosphere that really take the fright level over the top. And we can't forget about the infamous chainsaw man waiting at the end. Never in my life have I turned on my friends as quickly as when he was chasing after me.
4. House of Torment (Austin)
House of Torment has been named the #1 haunted house in America by HauntWorld magazine. Between zombies and crazed inbred people, you'll definitely be running for the hills.
5. Nightmare on the Bayou (Houston)
Covering over 15,000 acres, Nightmare on the Bayou is easily one of the largest haunted attractions in Texas. It's comprised of two houses: Ghost House and Bayou Cemetery, each of which is about an hour long. They chose their name wisely - you'll be having nightmares about what you saw here for weeks. Oh, and did I mention the fact that it's actually haunted by REAL ghosts? It's true, just ask any employee to give you the backstory.
6. Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park (Smithville)
For such a small town, I think we can all agree that this is an A+ haunted house. Just look at the lighting effects on the spooky, decrepit mansion surrounded by barren trees that seem to beckon you into their clutches. There are three attractions: the Mansion of Terror, Zombie City, and Slaughter Circus - all of which have a thorough story with some true elements that almost make it believable. So if you like evil children, flesh-eating creatures, and maniacal circus performers, Scream Hollow is the place for you.
7. Terror Nights (Tyler)
If you're from East Texas and tired of all the good Halloween fun being concentrated in bigger cities, redemption is here. Terror Nights will leave you shaking in your boots. Between Chisel Tooth Manor and Nightmare Factory, it's two terrifying haunts. Enter if you dare.
8. ScreamWorld (Houston)
The Houston Chronicle voted ScreamWorld the scariest haunted house in all of Houston. It has 6 attractions - more than any other house I've mentioned thus far. You'll meet twisted clowns, headless demons, and a bloody slaughterhouse. Are you brave enough?
9. Creepy Hollow Haunted House (Rosharon)
This haunted house is so intense, the operators don't even recommend bringing children under 12. There are three different houses: 288 Scare Factory, Haunted Woods, and Pitch Black, all guaranteed to scare the living daylights out of you.
10. 13th Floor Haunted House (San Antonio)
13th Floor has been featured on the Travel Channel, Huffington Post, and other prominent websites. Based on their stellar reviews, this is a can't-miss haunt for Halloween. You get two houses for the price of one, but what awaits you inside might make you go home after the first one.
Have you been to any of these haunted houses? Did they live up to the hype? What are some other haunts in Texas that should’ve made the list?