No bones about it – there’s a Halloween hangout in America’s Dream City that navigates like a nightmare. Six Flags over Texas, a top destination for thrill seekers, may draw even heftier crowds during Fright Fest this fall since several top-rated haunted houses like Texas Scaregrounds, Terrorplex, and the Boneyard have vanished or relocated. Texas Scaregrounds has moved to Alvarado, and the Boneyard shook over to Dallas, but there still are ample local haunts to accommodate serious fright seekers, as well as pint-sized trick-or- treaters.
Fright Fest – Arlington
Blood curdling screams are not entirely unusual for those anywhere near Six Flags’ 60-miles- per-hour, double-looped, roller coaster known as the Shock Wave. However, heightened shrieks can be expected throughout the night when the popular theme park transforms into a monster lair. According to Six Flags lore, an ancient zombie burial ground rests beneath the park’s normally lazy- daisy antique car track while the corpse of a witch lies buried beneath the Titan.
Other supernatural tales include a mountain’s curse, a demon-driven sawmill incident, and a toxic dumpsite that breeds flesh eating animals.
Fright Fest is open on select days through Halloween but is not recommended for children under age 13 who scare easily or who otherwise might become frightened by monsters, hearses or dangling, human-sized cocoons awaiting their injections of venom.
“The park is family-friendly by day,” says the theme park website. “But we turn up the terror at night.”
Along with an assortment of haunted houses, there are also monster mazes and scare zones where visitors will encounter “blood-thirsty creatures” who are on the hunt for fresh victims.
Although entrance fees vary, for $25, Six Flags season pass holders can get unlimited visits through the various Fright Fest haunted houses.
Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax – Grand Prairie
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum in Grand Prairie will not host an advertised Halloween attraction this fall. However, group sales consultant Edie Ibanga says Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax, located inside the museum, is home to a host of year-round monsters.
“We do have an area called Fear,” she says, adding that the museum’s in-house frights include classics such as the Hulk and Freddy Krueger.
Along with “lots of clowns” and rows of past and present film stars, visitors can also view a lifelike replica of war monger Adolf Hitler that may also chill their blood.
Louis Tussaud, a wax sculptor, was also the great grandson of Marie Tussaud, who founded Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London. The Palace of Wax is open 365 days a year. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Ticket sales end one hour prior to closing and cost $18.99 for ages 13 and up and $12.99 for ages four through 12. Children three and under are free.
After Dark in the Park – Arlington
This family-friendly annual festival will be held 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly on Oct. 7-9 at River Legacy Park. Visitors can catch a hayride to the action, which will include storytelling, karaoke, balloon artists, bounce houses and more – all beneath the stars. Kids can also create crafts, get glow-in- the-dark tattoos, and pick pumpkins from the pumpkin patch.
Tickets are $8 for ages three and up, and children 2 and under are admitted free. Food and some activities will require coupons that can be purchased on site. For more: (817) 860-6752.
Haunted Hallway – Grand Prairie
Traders Village is inviting trick-or- treaters to its annual Haunted Hallway, which, according to the flea market’s website, is “the biggest free spooktacular for kids in the Metroplex.” Costume-clad children can do the monster mash, enjoy a fun, candy-filled day, and visit a haunted house.
The Haunted Hallway will be held Sunday, Oct. 30. Traders Village is located at 2602 Mayfield Road in Grand Prairie. Although entrance to Traders Village is free, parking costs $4.
Pumpkin Patch – Arlington
Those searching for a jack-o- lantern to carve this Halloween can also support local farmers by visiting Viridian’s pumpkin patch which will open to the public at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, in Overlook Park located at 1210 Viridian Park Lane.
Boo Bash – Mansfield
The Boo Bash, which is held annually at the Mansfield Activity Center, has delighted Trick-or- Treaters for 15 years but under various names, says Center supervisor Coco Garcia. This year’s event is set for Oct. 28, from 6-9 p.m.
The idea is to give children a fun alternative to just walking around on the streets asking for treats, Garcia says. The hayride, which makes tracks along the Center’s back lawn, is a popular attraction, and Garcia says that though the entire trip lasts only about a quarter of a mile “the kids all love it.”
Candy, s’mores and other refreshments are provided during the event, and partygoers can also bob for apples. In addition, there will be challenging carnival games.
“Of course, everyone is a winner,” Garcia says.
For those who may want to sit down and take a break from the action, a Halloween-themed movie will also be shown. Garcia says that while a blow-up haunted house and a giant black cat will be present, the bash is not a monster den. “It’s not meant to be scary,” she says.
Cost is $7 for children (2-11) and $3 for anyone over age 11. Children under 2 are admitted free.