As the leaves begin to turn as orange as the store pumpkins, and the chills in the air become a reality, it’s time to turn our attention to that most horrifying of holidays. Whether you fancy a low-key slog through a ghostly hayride, or a pulse-pounding trip into the bowels of an eerie castle, there’s no time as frightfully delicious as Halloween. So wrap your favorite sweater just a little tighter and keep the hot chocolate close; it’s time to explore the goriest and goofiest October happenings in the Big D.

Just a short jaunt out of Dallas and into the foreboding realms of Waxahachie, this blood-curdling “Halloween Theme Park” awaits. Residing on the same grounds as Scarborough Faire, Screams offers thrill-seekers a truly rousing experience complete with themed food, haunted mazes, activities and shows, and spooky hayrides. The grounds are family friendly and range from slighter scares for the little ones to more terrifying temptations like the newly opened Castle of Darkness for the older monsters. 2511 FM 66, Waxahachie, 972-938-3247, www.screamspark.com

Thrillvania Thrill Park and the Verdun Manor
Be warned, trespassers. Touted as one of the most popular haunts in the country, this one-of-a-kind location offers a full night of scares with eight different attractions ranging from the 3D Labyrinth of Terror and the Maze of Chaos to the haunted Voodoo Bayou and of course the werewolf-themed Verdun Manor itself. There’s even a brand new 4D spooktacular this season designed to petrify even the bravest of patrons. Interstate 20 and Wilson Rd., Terrell, www.thrillvania.com

The Boneyard Haunted House
Guaranteed to leave no hair un-raised, this bone-chilling Arlington favorite has earned a national reputation as “the world’s largest haunted house” and features over 2,800 square feet of terror. Willing adventurers take an adrenaline fueled (and nearly hour long) walk through every kind of fright imaginable. Both truly visceral and all in good fun, this one isn’t for the faint of heart. 2921 E. Division St., Arlington, 817-451-2663, www.theboneyard.org

Reindeer Manor
Hold on tight, and get ready for a wild night. A DFW favorite for nearly four decades, the Haunted House at Reindeer Manor is not only an actual house, but it might actually be haunted as well. Steeped in real history going back to the early 1900’s, this frighteningly unique creep-fest prides itself on showcasing a realistic and truly unnerving experience. Ominous farmland and macabre undertones almost dare visitors to run as they make their way through the grounds’ three different haunted attractions. Our condolences. 410 Houston School Rd. Red Oak, 972-514-RATS, www.reindeermanor.com

- Richard Dennis


Originally posted in Where Magazine/Morris Publications

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