Texas is ranked No. 3 for the most haunted houses in the country, and Dallas-Fort Worth boasts its share of attractions including the top-ranked Cutting Edge in Fort Worth, which is too scary for children younger than 10. These other haunted houses have some great side attractions younger kids may enjoy with a little side of scary. Check out these kid-friendly but still scare-worthy haunted options this October.
2013 North Forest Park Blvd.
On I30 and North Forest Park Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76110
www.hangmans.comPrice: $25/free kids younger than 7
Hours: Fri and Sat beginning Sept. 21 to Nov. 3 – 7 p.m. to midnight; Oct. 28 to Nov. 1 – 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Oct. 28 – 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.The Hangman’s House of Horrors has been a Fort Worth icon for more than 20 years with the experience and expertise to create a scary haunted house. Featuring four attractions total, don’t miss McDagenville, The Labyrinth and the 3-D Wonderland. Also enjoy music, special activities, concessions and laser tag. That’s what makes this spot great for families. As for the 10 and younger crowd, a few things stand out for them to still get a “manageable” scare. The 3-D Wonderland may be your best bet for a beginner haunted house attraction. It is a 3-D flourescent walk through black light environment as objects pop out at you. There are still wonderful and scary actors based on characters from Alice in Wonderland. The Labyrinth is a great disorienting maze for children 8 and older. A portion of the proceeds go to local charities including the American Cancer Society, a Wish with Wings, Cenikor Foundation, Rocky Top Therapy Center and SafeHaven of Tarrant County.
6921 Bennett Lawson Road
Mansfield, TX 76061
www.terrorplex.comPrice: $27 regular admission/$37 for VIP (discounts available online)
Hours: through Oct. 31 Fri and Sat – 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m; Sun. and Oct. 31 – 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.There are four attractions in this haunted house, and while teens and adults are best suited for Midnight Manor, depending upon your 10 to 12 year old’s “scare” factor Infected might be a better fit. Infected is based upon the idea that a harmful virus is spreading throughout the “staff” at this haunted house and turning them into zombies. The haunted house itself is still dark, yet the attraction is milder than the main one in Midnight Manor, making this a great “start” scare for your 8 to 12 year old. Also, brand new is the Circus of the Dead haunted house attraction with scary clowns and circus acts as well as the outdoor maze, Limbo. For younger kids, Limbo might be better way for them to get their energy out without super-scary monsters and surprises. Enjoy concessions, music, special events, a Fiji Mermaid sideshow and a souvenir shop.
2540 King Arthur Blvd.
Lewisville, TX 75056
www.castlehills.comPrice: $5 for the first half/$10 for the entire tour
Hours: Oct. 19 to Oct. 28 Fri – 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sat – 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sun – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.The Castle Hills Village Shops and Plaza is where the community of Castle Hills can come to for family fun, entertainment and shopping. The Kiwanis club puts on a Haunted House for select weekends in October that is catered toward providing an entire family fun experience. The haunted house is divided into two parts with the first half being the “Spook” side geared toward giving the general public a small dose of what is to come. This side is a great beginner haunted house and is suitable for children ages 4 and older. It lets you know if your young child can handle a bigger scare and go on to the second part, the “Saw” side. The Saw side is a much more scary and intense experience, and children must be accompanied by an adult.
2511 FM 66
Waxahachie, TX 75167
(972) 938 – 3247
www.screamspark.comPrice: $24.99 per person for ages 6 and older/free kids 5 and younger
Hours: Sept. 28 to Oct. 27 Fri and Sat – 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Oct. 28 Sun – 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.Screams is a Halloween theme park with five separate attractions. It serves alcohol, so if you are planning on taking your children, get there early. Youngsters may enjoy special activities, games and attractions. The main attractions are best for kids 10 and older if they can handle it. Children between 8 and 10 may take in some of the other attractions such as the Ghoulish Graveyard and the Trail of Terror with a blizzard theme for 2012. The main attractions include the Castle of Darkness, the 3D Pirates of Peril Point, the Arcane Asylum, and Uncle Kloy’s Klown Maze, which are not suitable for young children, however your preteen may be able to handle them.
2602 Mayfield Road
Grand Prairie, Texas 75052
www.tradersvillage.comPrice: free admission to Trader’s Village/$3 to park
Hours: Oct. 28 – 8 a.m. to duskThe Haunted Hallway is a free family event held at Trader’s Village every year. Trader’s Village is known as America’s largest flea market, and this popular yearly event brings the kids out for free family fun. Kids get a chance to visit a kid-friendly haunted house as well as participate in activities and get candy. In addition to a haunted house, enjoy a pumpkin patch in which photos are available for $5 benefiting the Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce.
3701 S. Custer Road
McKinney, Texas 75070
www.storybookranch.orgClick here for prices/options
Hours: Sept. 28 to Oct. 27 Thurs to Sat – sundown to 10:30 p.m.In the evening, children will get a good scare with the haunted hay ride through the Ghost Ranch. The nighttime pumpkin patch is also available for an additional charge. The haunted hayride includes some scary characters such as zombies and witches. If you’d like to make your Halloween an exclusive event, Storybook offers parties for kids of all ages that include the hayride and pumpkin patch.
Larry Kirchner of Hauntworld.com contributed his vast knowledge of area scares to this report.
Heather Buen is a social media and communications consultant as well as a mother of three that has lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over ten years. She covers all things family and has experience as both a writer and single mom. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.