Haunted houses that call H-Town home
October is here, and with Halloween right around the corner, many of the more brave owls will find themselves looking for a frightful time beyond the hedges. With that, the Thresher delivers, with some of our favorite haunts around Houston. Most of these are not for the faint of heart, but we did include some family friendly ones so your friend who was too scared to watch “Squid Games” can tag along. Go visit, if you dare, and scare away your semester sorrows in fun costumes and screams galore.
1. Zoo Boo at the Houston Zoo
Zoo Boo transforms the Houston Zoo, only a short walk from Rice, into a cute and fun event for Halloweeners of all ages. Costumes are highly encouraged, so come dressed to impress. The event includes many of the normal features of the zoo transformed — a “Scary-Go-Round” and a “Spooky Train” await those brave enough to enter. Zoo Boo also includes photo ops throughout the zoo and a beautiful Lantern Tunnel. Zoo Boo operates during normal hours and includes an after hours option on Oct. 29, similar to the Zoo during Christmas, where it is all lit up and ready to give you a spooky perspective on the animals who call the zoo home. With many family-friendly and interactive options to choose from, this a fun and milder option for the whole friend group.
2. Haunted Mayfield Manor
The Haunted Mayfield Manor is a bit of a drive but shows the historical community of Galveston in a hauntingly different light. Open year round and only $10 for admission, the Manor includes twelve rooms of terror and is voted as one of the “10 Best Spookiest Haunted Houses in the USA” (USA Today). The Manor also frequently hosts paranormal investigators to prove the presence of the paranormal on the property, which is a special event that can be attended at the house. Seeing as it once served as a morgue and was first constructed in the 1800s, investigators often find evidence of the dead still lurking. With real ghosts in addition to the normal spooks and scares, Mayfield Manor combines history with modern day fright and will delight all who want a story behind a haunt.
3. Houston’s Scream Fest
Houston Scream Fest, which advertises itself as the “largest Halloween event in Houston’’ has much more than your average haunted house. Paintball, concerts and a carnival style midway make this an all evening affair. Tickets start as low as $25, and the venue is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all through October. Each haunted house — yes, there are multiple — has its own theme, ranging from asylums to graveyards to chainsaw mazes, so everyone can enjoy their own horror niche. If you’re looking for a wide range of scares and a couple hours of spooks, this is the “haunted amusement park” for you.
4. Phobia Haunted Houses
Another location with multiple haunted houses and various themes, Phobia offers a range of prices starting from $15 and going up depending on the number of attractions you want to see. With more sophisticated house themes including mind control, genetic mutation gone wrong, technology takeover and more, Phobia offers a place for you to not only be jump scared but also mind-blown. The park plays with horror and will leave you chilled to the bone.
5. The Haunted Trails
An outdoor adventure, the Haunted Trails are two spooky outdoor trails that answer the frightful question: what could be hiding in the woods at night? A great place to go to not only get your steps in but also get your scream on, Haunted Trails has a general admission that gets you in and an optional escape room package to add on if you want to be scared indoors and against the clock as well. The unique walking outdoor aspect of the venue combined with the cooler fall weather beginning to come to Houston make this the perfect place to get spooked while enjoying nature.
More from The Rice Thresher
With summer right around the corner, many students’ brains will finally have space for things other than organic chemistry or the latest coding problem that needs to be solved. Take this time to read for enjoyment again. The following are a series of summer recommendations perfect for time on a plane, by the pool or just on your couch. All incorporate travel in one way or another, and each has its own adventure that will leave you yearning for more.
Robert Eggers is a filmmaker whose work has been defined by its small scale and intensive focus on characters. His prior films, “The Witch” and “The Lighthouse,” both feature a small cast and embrace environmental horror as terrifying events slowly pull the main ensemble apart. His reputation for his smaller scale and focus is partly why “The Northman” was so interesting upon its announcement — “The Northman” blows up Egger’s storytelling onto a massive scale. The locations, number of characters, and time period all dwarf his prior films. For the most part, Eggers steps up to the plate, succeeding in his ambition. “The Northman” will be available to watch in theaters April 22.