Hangman's House of Horrors Wednesday night, 10/27/04

Hangman's House of Horrors is a Fort Worth institution and claims to be the most successful charity haunted house in the world raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. It's setup like a haunted carnival with a midway that is intended to get rid of waiting in a line. Basically, your ticket has a group number and until your number comes up, you can just roam around, ride rides, play games, or whatever. This is a cool concept, but on weekends, the line just to buy tickets is usually extensive. But, of course that means that it is a popular place, and that is for good reason.

Let's start with the midway. There are a few Tilt-a-whirl type spinning rides, carnival games, food and even a ferris wheel (with one of my favorite touches: dead grannies riding round and round!). You walk around and will randomly be chased by ghouls or 8 foot tall devils.

There was a total of four haunted houses, each with their own lines (which were very brief on this weeknight). We started with the "Mortuary of Madness" which was in a trailer and set up like, well, a mortuary. You enter through into a chappel, proceed through a flower room and a "meat locker." This one is short and mostly atmosphere with only two or three jump outs. It was neat though.

"Pitch Black" was pretty much what the name implies, also with not that many actors. Half of it was feeling your way through a dark maze. Other parts were black lights. It was creepy to be in the dark, and might have been panic inducing if I was alone, but this one was probably my least favorite of the bunch.

Mayhem Manor had more action but it was in a big tent so there was incessant racket from every direction. There were alot of actors and scenes and was pretty good, but reminded me of a Six Flags haunted house with too much noise, so the scares that were meant for you were less effective.

Now we get to the big daddy, the main house. This years theme was "Scairy Tales...Unhappily Ever After!" The hangman makes an appearance right off the bat to see you on your way and was a very imposing (TALL!) dude. This house is a good long trip lasting in the 30-40 minute range (depending on how long it takes you to find your way through certain sections I guess). About every fairy tale that you can think of makes an appearance, and it was a great idea. Who knew that the three little pigs or blind mice could be so wicked? While the usual vampires and chainsaw men were there, these fairy tale characters made for a great new type of scare. One room in particular has been seared into my head. Bright white light, an entangling sheet maze and neon splatter paint... and that FACE. Cackling and scary like a giant, innocent yet deadly child stalking you. She just wants to play! She may snap your neck in the process, but c'mon, let's play!

Hangman's has an established track record and is definately one of (if not the) top houses in the area. I'd recommend that you not miss it.

- Shrub

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