Hangman’s House of Horrors right off of I-30 in Fort Worth is an old reliable. There will be changes from year to year, but they’ve hit a stride and I’ve come to expect a quality show. This year’s visit on October 1st delivered just that. For those unfamiliar, Hangman’s has a festival type of setup with karaoke, live bands and rides in addition to multiple haunted attractions to make for a full evening of fun where you can stay as long as you like.
Let’s start with the main attraction. Each year they have a new theme for the main house and this year it was “The Final Cut” which promised scenes from popular horror movies. Now as a year round horror movie nut, my mind goes wild with the possibilities and I admit that it would be unrealistic to include everything that pops into my head. However, I felt it fell a little short of the potential as there were only a handful of movie scenes surrounded by your classic haunted house rooms. Now don’t take this as meaning that the haunt wasn’t excellent or fun, it was both, but a boy can dream can’t he (imagine for example an Evil Dead/Army of Darkness room with deafening demonic hags screaming “I’ll swallow your soul!”)? Amongst the movie themed areas they included were Poltergeist and The Ring, along with a surprisingly creepy Nightmare Before Christmas. A couple of the characters really stuck out for me… who knew that lovable types such as a grinning Herman Munster and a diminutive Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas could be so spooky?
Along with the movie scenes were some sections that are expected at Hangman’s such as the maddening sheet maze (stalked by Michael Myers this year), the rotating tunnel, and the giant pumpkin (which is one of the most innovative things that I have seen in a haunted house). Overall, I liked the Scary Tales of last year a little better. I think it was more fully realized. However, this is just personal preference and the attraction itself was still top notch and a lot of fun. Considering that this is a charity haunt and the actors are unpaid volunteers, they have as high quality acting as you are likely to see. It’s certainly impressive how they come up with such a large number of volunteers that take the work so seriously and make this such a high quality haunt.
Where we see a serious upgrade is in the re-vamped smaller surrounding attractions that are new in the place of last year’s more conventional “Mortuary of Madness” and “Mayhem Manor.” They are “Saw Madness” and “Hillbillies of the Corn.” The Saw attraction was a tricky maze made even trickier by the by the presence of, you guessed it, chainsaws. It’s not groundbreaking, but it was fun.
“Hillbillies of the Corn” is Hangman’s jewel this year. Buy the combo ticket, because you can not, and I mean, NOT MISS THIS. Set in, what else, a trailer home, stepping inside is like stepping out of time. You brilliantly enter a port-o-potty and then, like a white trash version of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” you are suddenly a trespasser in Ma and Pa’s living room, and, believe me, you aren’t supposed to be there. Inhabited by an exceptional ensemble cast of hicks, Hillbillies of the Corn makes it a little too easy to suspend reality. These bone-wielding, long john wearing psychopaths don’t take trespassers lightly and don’t plan on letting you just waltz through and out the back door.
Hangman’s is a win/win. It’s conveniently located, so if you want to go there along with other haunts while you’re making the rounds, it works nicely for that. However, the setup is such that if you’d rather make a more leisurely night of it with food and fun, you can do that as well. It’s an all around good time on top of being a big money maker for charity. Add it all up and I highly recommend it to all.
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