Halloween season is officially in full swing here in Houston! Kids, teenagers, and adults alike will be looking to pay to get scared this entire month. While the concept sounds ridiculous to some, it is great fun to many others! Houston's wide array of haunts offer something for every Halloween fanatic. Let's take a look at some of the top contenders!
I've ranked each of these haunts by five categories in a 1-5 scale with 5 being the highest.
Getting Your Money's Worth: Phobia Haunted Houses
Phobia is a Houston staple that has stood the test of time. Once located off Highway 59 then moved to Highway 290, followed by a 2015 move to the Beltway 8 South near Pearland, this grouping of haunted houses is nothing to goof around with. Phobia's actors are second to none. Their in-your-face approach to creating scares is as intense as you will find in the industry. If you like bloodied nurses jumping off walls or demented rabbits crawling under your legs, this haunt takes everything just a step further. The complex features six haunted attractions this season, and it will cost each person $60 to go through each one. From mental asylums to an outdoor trail to the original Darke Institute, the variation of their attractions makes the price worth it. While I'd recommend visiting all of the haunts on this list, visiting Phobia is essentially like knocking out several different haunts all in one night! If you want to go to a haunt and not feel like you have spent money on a 15-minute experience, I highly recommend buying into Phobia Haunted Houses.
Best Ambiance: ScreamWorld
ScreamWorld is the heaviest debated haunt in the city of Houston. One person will love it, while the other will say it's overrated. Regardless of the critique, everybody has heard of it. Ranked #1 by the Houston Chronicle and Houston Press, this house pays EXTREME attention to detail. From well-designed rooms to spinning tunnels to animatronics flying at your face, there isn't an inch of wasted space. Walking through their five haunted attractions is like being in a real, live horror movie. In comparison to Phobia, their scares are probably not as strong, but the storytelling makes up for that. Unlike Phobia, the haunted attractions are combined into one long walkthrough. ScreamWorld is the type of haunt you want to get to as soon as they open. The popularity of this place keeps their loyal fans coming back, and can sometimes be flawed by too many people entering the haunt all at once. For the full effect, eliminate being surrounded by 35 screaming teenagers!
Something Different: The Haunted Trails
The Haunted Trails will offer something different for your spooktacular flavor. Boasting two entirely outdoor attractions, this haunt is all about old school tactics. Constructing a trail gives a more open concept feel and eliminates the flashing strobe lights or music. Warning: If you don't like clowns you will not like these woods! Filled with clowns, executioners, and creatures that blend in with the trees, they are aggressive in coming after their victims. The walkthrough will not be as long as ScreamWorld or Phobia, but your personalized experience will be greater. This is the spot you take your date, while the others I'd recommend more for families. Get on it!
Best in Class: Redrum Haunted House
My personal favorite haunted attraction in the Houston area is Redrum Haunted House. Located in deepest depths of Richmond, this will be a commute for many Houstonians. I promise you that it will be well worth it! Their props aren't the biggest and baddest, their location isn't the spookiest, and their concepts are hardly the most original. Despite this, they are simply the best. Their actors are in your face, their props utilize a more homemade approach that feels natural, and they continue to evolve their scare tactics. Every time I have been to this haunted attraction it has been a unique experience that keeps me returning! The three included attractions range from an asylum, a 3D evil clown house, and the newly added "Cinegore." The clown house contains almost no dark hallways, while creating their scares in 3D. Is it real, is it a prop, killer clowns!? It's a concept we have seen before, but no haunted house has perfected clowns quite like this one. Averaging a walkthrough of more than 30 minutes, this house is on par with ScreamWorld's length, just behind Phobia. I feel like Redrum encompasses the best of all these haunts while maxing out scares on their medium sized property.
Be sure to try these haunts out this Halloween season and let us know what you think of our suggestions on Facebook!