A Visit to the Spookiest Garden in Dallas

For Halloween, a largely fictional tale of horror and woe.

Entering Dragon Park, a small and semi-secret privately owned garden in Oak Lawn, you’re greeted with a warning rendered in Comic Sans, the most terrifying of all fonts. A real “abandon all hope” type welcome. If only you heeded its dire words.

It’s just past the golden hour and into the ghoulish hour. The lighting isn’t great as you try and capture the thrills and chills with your phone’s camera.

Are the statues watching? You can’t be sure, but you step gingerly past a pair of wild-eyed monsters, one grinning with lunatic glee as it pins down its helpless prey. You don’t want to be caught under that beastly stone paw.

You hear movement in the bushes. A cat, collared but nameless in this realm where identity is subsumed in the screaming void, darts across the narrow path. You tiptoe more quickly, too shaken to photograph the gargoyles looming malevolently in your periphery. Wait, a human face. Perhaps some respite from these horrors. You draw closer.

A low moan comes from somewhere. From the statue? Or is it from your own mouth, your soul’s great terror coming out in an inhuman plea. It’s the sound of fear. You flee, only to be stopped in your suddenly soggy tracks by a splash. It’s him. The scaly one. The titular dragon. It is spitting at you.

Panic. You run. Looking for shelter. A trumpet sounds.

Your vision blurs. Your head is filled with gibberish: voices you can’t place speaking in languages you can’t recognize, telling you things you can’t understand. The world is spinning. There is no way out. No way out. No way.

You come to and run to your car. Soon, you’re home. You’re alive, you think.

The next day, because you’re feeling surprisingly chipper, you return to Dragon Park, in daylight. “Wow,” you say. “What a nice, quiet place. Kind of a hidden gem, huh? These sculptures are really neat. It’s so cool that someone made this place. I’d love to come out here, sit by one of these benches that I at first assumed were evil sacrificial altars, and read a good book! Maybe I’ll do that sometime. I guess most of last night’s spooktacular experience was a product of my imagination. It is almost Halloween, after all.”