It’s the scariest time of the year. A lot of amateurs try to deliver the frights on Halloween, but North Texas is full of professionals adept at making your worst nightmares come to life. If you’re feeling bold, head to some of the most horrifying, gory, absolutely terrifying haunted houses around. Here are 10 of them.
Cutting Edge Haunted House
Where: 1701 E Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth
When: Through Nov. 1; Fridays & Saturdays 7 pm-1 am, Sundays 8-10 pm; daily 8-10 pm the week of Halloween
Why: The world’s largest haunted house (Guinness called it and everything) is a perennial top dog on national lists of the best haunted houses in the country. Cutting Edge gets bonus points for being located in a genuinely creepy locale: a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant.
Thrillvania Haunted House Park
Where: 2330 Co Rd 138, Terrell
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays & Saturdays 7 pm-Midnight
Why: HauntWorld Magazine once proclaimed that this 50-acre park featured in the October issue of D Magazine will “go down in haunted history as one of the greatest haunts of our time.” Wander the property and proceed through four haunted houses — full of frights from a veteran group of actors who develop their own haunted storylines — at your own pace and at your own risk.
Strangling Brothers Haunted Circus
Where: 2602 Mayfield Rd, Grand Prairie
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 pm-Midnight; Mondays through Thursdays 7:30-10:30 pm
Why: This should be a big hit with anyone nurturing a deep abiding fear of clowns. This circus-themed park advertises that it features real-life clowns — scary enough on their own — and some supremely gory performances.
Where: 2615 Elm St., Dallas
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays and Saturdays 8 pm-12:30 am
Why: Traditional haunted scares are available right in Deep Ellum. Once you’ve survived the walk through the Slaughterhouse, you can easily party your fears away in one of Dallas’ most vibrant entertainment districts.
Hangman’s House of Horrors
Where: 4400 Blue Mound Rd, Fort Worth
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 pm-Midnight; Tuesday-Thursday 7:30-10 pm the week of Halloween
Why: The longtime Fort Worth haunted house moved to a new spot in 2014, but continues to terrify visitors in its new home. It’s also scary for a cause, with proceeds going to several charities. If you frighten easy, visit the attraction on Oct. 11 for “scaredy cat night,” when the lights come up and you can appreciate the visual charms of the park without all the screams.
Where: Cousins Paintball, 8975 FM740, Forney
When: Through Nov. 1; Fridays and Saturdays 7-11 pm
Why: This paintballing outpost puts a post-apocalyptic spin on the traditional hayride by loading guests into a “zombie response vehicle” bus. Shooters (there’s also a less expensive ride-along option) can fire paint at hordes of the undead.
Dark Hour Haunted House
Where: 701 Taylor Drive, Plano
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays and Saturdays 7-11 pm
Why: The suburban spook joint in a former sports goods retailer is made up of three distinct areas: Dominion of the Dead, Coven Manor, and Voodoo Vengeance, each with a solid mix of live actors and elaborate animatronics.
Dan’s Haunted House
Where: 501 Swisher Rd, Lake Dallas
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays and Saturdays 8-11 pm
Why: Dan’s Haunted House makes it a point to avoid horror cliches (zombies, clowns, etc.) and instead features a storyline and scares that draw heavily from the supernatural elements of Japanese folklore.
Reindeer Manor Halloween Park
Where: 410 Houston School Rd, Red Oak
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays 8 pm-midnight, Saturdays 7 pm-idnight; bonus Nov. 7 show from 8-11 pm
Why: Take your pick of three haunted houses, each with their own frightening background. We’re partial to the sound of the 13th Street Morgue, but the entire “trifecta of fear” has been rated pretty highly by HauntWorld, so choose the form of your own horror.
The Parker House Haunted Attraction
Where: 8550 W University Dr, Denton
When: Through Oct. 31; Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 pm-midnight; Tuesday-Thursday 7-10 pm the week of Halloween
Why: A 45-minute thrill walk in Denton.