Texas Haunts – Haunted House And Halloween News and Reviews

Screams Halloween Theme Park Review

17.10.2021 (4:10 am) – Filed under: Reviews,Screams

Score-10

Site here

Facebook here

Tickets here. Box office ticket sales end at midnight.

Phone: 972 938 3247

Attractions-Five main attractions: Cursed: The Witches of Terra Mythica Castle, Hotel D’Feers, Klownz in 3D, Zombie Wasteland Apocalypse, and the Time’s Up Maze. There is an additional trail through Rottingwood Cemetery.

Additional attractions-Full Moon Cafe, Taboo Tavern, Morgue Tavern, Spider’s Web Bar, a large food court, a donut stand with butter beer, Henna tattoos, waxed hands, various games of skill, a psychic and tarot card readings, Scaryoke, a DJ on the main stage, a climbing tower, several Halloween related shops, face painting, and the Screams souvenir shop.

Walk through time-10-15 minutes per main attraction, except for the maze, which can take over 20 minutes. The combined total walk through time for all five main attractions is over an hour.

Prices: General admission tickets are $42 in person, $41 online. Fast passes are $30. Group discounts are for parties of 15 or more, if purchased at the same time, online. Group ticket prices are $38. Active military personnel and up to four people in their party receive $3 off of their tickets, after showing valid military ID at the Screams ticket booth. Screams accepts credit cards at their ticket booth, at their souvenir shop, and at the Full Moon Cafe. ATMs are onsite. Aside from the Full Moon Cafe, all food and drinks at Screams are cash only.

Parking is free.

Location: In the southern part of Waxahachie, at 2511 FM 66, about a mile and a half west of I-35.

Map directions here. Screams is about 30 minutes south of downtown Dallas.

Directions-from Dallas: Take I-35E South to Exit 399A, Go west (right) on FM66 1.6 miles

From Ft Worth: Take Hwy 287 South to I-35E South, Take I-35E South to Exit 399A, Go west (right) on FM66 1.6 miles

From Waco: Exit 399, proceed to FM66, go west (left) 1.6 miles

Dates, and hours of operation. Fridays and Saturdays in October. The park opens at 7:30, the ticket booth is open at 7. The park closes at 1am, but you will be able to see any attraction you are in line for at 1am. Arrive as early as possible. It’s a big park, with five main attractions, plus shops, games, an additional trail, and lots to eat and drink.

Miscellaneous info-Always wear comfortable shoes or boots at Screams. You will have problems in high heels. This is a park, and the terrain is natural. On warm nights, dress in your coolest clothing, but on colder nights, remember that Screams is in the country, so it’s going to be several degrees cooler than DFW or Austin.

Please note that Screams does not allow customers to wear costumes. This applies to decorative face masks. Screams does encourage (but doesn’t require) customers to wear protective, non-decorative face masks. All Screams employees will wear protective face masks.

Make sure to stop by the Full Moon Cafe, the only full service cafe and bar at Screams. It’s well decorated, has two great bartenders, a friendly staff, and accepts credit cards. Full Moon has several signature drinks this year, including Medusa’s Kiss, The Werewolf, Hairy Snakes, Hot Seamen, and my favorite, The Stoneman. Full Moon offers a menu that includes bacon and cheese fries, pretzel bites, chicken tacos, and cheeseburgers. Alcohol sales end at 11:30. See the review of Full Moon Cafe for more info.

Check out the Screams Gallery post below.

Review

Screams is a massive haunted park, and the lines for the main attractions can become very long after 9, so it helps to have a plan for seeing the park. First, I strongly advise you to arrive between 7 and 7:20 so that you can get into line for the park entrance. I would order tickets online, but if you want to buy in person, the ticket booth opens at 7. Once you enter the park, pass the cemetery trail in front of you, take a left, go through Merchant’s Row, take a right at the end of Merchant’s Row, and look for the entrance to the Witches of Terra Mythica Castle on your left. This should always be your first stop. When you exit the Castle, take a right, walk to the end of the food court area, take another right, and look for the entrance to Hotel D’Feers on your right. After exiting the Hotel, take a left, walk behind the food court, and look for the entrance to the Zombie Wasteland Trail. After Zombie Wasteland, go to the left, wrap around Taboo Tavern and the Spiderweb Bar, pass Full Moon Cafe, pass the food court, and cut across the center of the park to get to the Klownz in 3D funhouse. Klownz is to the right of the Maze. Make sure that you don’t go into the Maze first. Their entrances are close to each other. Once you’ve exited Klownz, take a right, and look for entrance to the Time’s Up Maze on your right. Allow some extra time for the Maze. I spent around 20 minutes in it.

I’ve tested this pattern, and it’s the fastest way to see the big attractions. Unless you have a fast pass, wait until after you’ve seen all five main attractions to eat and shop. Even if you have a fast pass, I would still see the main haunts first, and eat, drink, and shop later.

After the main attractions, it’s time for food and drinks. For food, you have a choice of the full service Full Moon Cafe, located on the far side of the food court, or a wide variety of carnival food at the food court. Fajitas, pizza, turkey legs, barbecue sandwiches, nachos, Frito pies, hot dogs, and baked potatoes are some of the offerings at the food court. Soft drinks, slushies, and bottled water are also available at food court. A new stand called Lil Orbits Donuts has donuts, non alcoholic butter beer, and chocolate milk. A kettle corn stand is located behind the food court and taverns, close to the exit for the Castle.

21 and over can find alcohol at Taboo Tavern, Spider’s Web Bar, and the Morgue Tavern. All are located in the food court area. Full Moon Cafe is the only full bar at Screams. A beer stand is located next to the entrance to the Castle. Remember that the food court, and all stands and taverns are cash only. Only Full Moon accepts credit cards.

After you’ve eaten, the games are located across from the food court and taverns. Games include dart, knife, and star throwing, paintball, Heads and Hoops, Skull Toss, ball toss, and a strength test. A climbing tower is located in the back of the park, close to the Maze.

For shopping, head to Merchant’s Row, located close to the park entrance. Waxed hands, jewelry, hand made Halloween decorations, glass decorations, crystals, face painting, a psychic, tarot card readings, and palm readings are all on Merchant’s Row. Scaryoke is now located at the end of Merchant’s Row, close to the Castle. Screams also has a souvenir shop located between Merchant’s Row and the park entrance. Henna Tattoos is located across from the food court. Their tattoos last from a week to four weeks. Before you leave Screams, don’t forget the Rottingwood Cemetery trail. It’s located directly across from the park entrance. There is no line for this trail, you just walk in. It’s a nice way to wind up the evening, and you can get some good pictures without using a flash.

As far as the facilities go, there are port o pottys located close to the exit for the Castle, near the food court, and more in the back of the park, close to the Maze. Do yourself a favor and use the Privies, with flush toilets and sinks, located near the end of Merchant’s Row and the Castle.

 

Main Attractions

Cursed: The Witches of Terra Mythica Castle

The Castle has a story this year. The King had three daughters, who became witches. He grew to realize that they were evil, and expelled them from the Castle. The witches were not happy about their banishment, and what you see in the castle is the result of the King’s decision.

This is the largest attraction at Screams, and usually has the longest line. The Castle looks great as you approach it. This is a Scarborough building, but it works just as well for Screams. Cross over the bridge, enter the Castle, and you’ll meet the King, such as he is. There is great detail in the entry room, and a very good actor who surprised me every time I went through. Attention to detail is consistent throughout the Castle. There are no blank spaces, everything is well decorated. The paintings of the witches that are found through the Castle were probably my favorites, but the evil little creatures in the halls were a close second. Lighting and sound effects are used to set the mood in each room and area. Lighting is dim, but there is enough light to read the printed story of the King and witches, which is found in various parts of the Castle. It may not be easy, but try to take the time to read the story. It explains what is going on in each part of your journey.

As you descend deeper into the Castle, you’ll pass through a library, and a room with wine casks, before entering the haunted forest. I loved the decor along the bridge leading to the forest. The bridge is full of webbed creatures, so you know the forest will be fun. It seemed like actors were everywhere in this part of the haunt. I’m not easy to surprise me, but actors in each of the Screams attractions did a great job of finding good hiding places, and had their timing down perfectly. The swamp creature in the forest did a great job of scaring the guests since he was able to blend in with the background. The halls in Terra Mythica have hidden doors the actors use to come and go, so they can always find a way to get in front of you, or behind you. The effect is that you feel like someone is watching you the entire time.

Once you get to the dungeon it seems like you are well below ground, the air is thick, and you’re already tense due to actors startling you from the beginning of the path. The dungeon looks great, and the haunt becomes more intense as you pass into the catacombs. It must have taken a lot of work to get the walls and celling of the catacombs to look as old and decrepit as they do. It really looks like decades of dripping water have ruined this area. It’s as creepy as anything you’ll find in a haunted house.

Eventually, you will come across the three witches, close to the end of your trip, but you’ll still have a bonus waiting for you outside the Castle. I love foggers, and it’s a nice way to cool down after a good walk through some narrow halls.

If you have time, it’s worth going through Terra Mythica a second time. There is so much going on that you will miss some details on your first trip through. I went to the Castle five times this weekend and noticed some new things on my fifth trip. Great actors, great art and decor, and genuinely creepy lighting and sound effects make the Terra Mythica Castle a must see!

 

Hotel D’Feers

This is definitely not a four star hotel, but D’Feers does look like something that Rob Zombie would enjoy staying in. It has a run down, country chainsaw massacre ambience, with cleverly located fog machines on either side of the sign. The greeters at D’Feers add to the fun. It’s always nice when people outside of the haunt are enthusiastic.

The Hotel gets off to a fast start with a great actress who startled me each time I entered the place. I could hear other guests scream as they entered, so she’s consistent. Hotel California plays on a loop, and I think that the tone of the song adds to the weird vibe in this haunt. Strobe lights and fog are a little disorienting, and really set the actors up for big scares. It’s difficult enough, at times, to see where you’re going, and then an actor comes out of nowhere.

The inside of D’Feers is even more rundown than the outside. Decor ranges from decaying corpses in beds, to a strange doll room, with an actress who looks kind of like Little Bo Peep. There is also a laboratory, which could explain some of the corpses in the hotel. The cloakroom has a great actor who pops in and out of the hotel, at various places. The cloakroom is his home, but he kept surprising the guests in other areas.

The most intense part of D’Feers is the area with heavily fogged hallways. Bright lights combine with the fog to make it extremely difficult to find your way through. I had to feel along the walls at one point, and there are actors in the area. I heard other people mention that they were frightened in this area each time I went through.

The Hotel is enough fun to go through more than once. If you don’t have a fast pass, the line can become long during the middle of the evening, so see it when you arrive (after the Castle) and again later at night. The line begins to die down after 11, or 11:30.

 

Zombie Wasteland Apocalypse

Zombie Wasteland has the coolest exterior of all of the attractions at Screams. It’s located in an out of the way part of the park (behind the food court and taverns) and it has powerful fog machines that must run all the time. The result is a foreboding look that does seem like something out of a movie. The line here can become pretty long between 9 and 11:30, so enter early or late. A fast pass will always help, but the general admission line isn’t bad before 9, or after 11:30.

My favorite greeter works at the wasteland. She has a great costume and really gets into her role. She does a wonderful job of setting the stage for the trail, and keeps things lively, which helps in long lines.

This is an outdoor trail, but it has walls throughout so you can only see the buildings in the background. Because this is in the back of the park, there is very little light from the rest of Screams, making it seem isolated. Fog and lots of noise from sound effects combine with burnt out cars and ruined land to make it a pretty realistic portrayal of what would happen if zombies wiped out society. The trail seemed longer than it has been in the past, and it definitely has more props. I’m not sure whether there were more actors this year, but it seemed like there were quite a few more. It could be that the actors are extremely energetic and were able to scare groups multiple times.

My favorite part of Zombie Wasteland is the helicopter sound effect. It’s loud, and is present in most of the trail. It’s so realistic that one of the managers at Screams thought that a real helicopter was overhead. The noise sounds like it’s following you as you move along the trail, becoming more intense in some areas. Between the helicopter effect and the actors, it seems like you are under surveillance for most of the trail.

In one area, the fog becomes pretty dense and you have to move carefully. Depending on the time of night, it can be so foggy that you will need to feel the walls to move forward. The Wasteland is an intense experience, but it’s so much fun that I heard people talking about going through it again, after I exited.

 

Klownz in 3D

Klownz in 3D is a new attraction for 2021. It used to be the pirate house, but has been extensively remodeled, and has a new theme. This is a very loud, disorienting attraction. It uses lots of disco like strobe lights, and non stop sound effects, which keep you off balance. These strobe lights are unlike any I’ve seen. They have a wavy pattern that makes them more disorienting than normal strobes. Combine that with 3D glasses and massive amounts of neon paint, and you have an intense experience. There are also loud air guns in Klownz that go off in places where actors pop out, or that have strobe lights. The combination of effects works well. It’s non stop action as soon as you enter this house.

Some of my favorite parts of Klownz are the hall of pumpkins, the wall of eyes, the hall of clowns, and the vortex tunnel. Every part of Klownz is well decorated with 3D paint, and there are some good animatronics as well.

This funhouse would work well enough on it’s own, but the actors make it special. They blend in well with their surroundings to startle you, and manage to scare guests even when it’s crowded and people bunch together. Lots of people are creeped out by clowns, and some have a phobia of them. I’m not afraid of clowns in general, but this group did manage to make me jump a few times. They must have had a lot of practice to get their timing down so well, because they were spot on whenever I had just gone through an area with strobes, loud noises, or fog. The actor who looked sort of like a knight startled me several times on Saturday. Klownz is the best 3D house I’ve been to in over a decade, maybe ever.

 

Time’s Up Maze

Time’s Up is another brand new attraction at Screams. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s probably best to see Time’s Up after you’ve gone through the other main attractions. Unless you are incredibly good at solving mazes, or are very lucky, you’re going to spend some time in this maze. I went through it twice, and still had trouble finding my way out the second time. The biggest problem with going through Time’s Up is the lighting. There are lots of strobes in the maze, so it’s difficult to get your bearings, much less try to analyze the layout of the maze.

The greeter sets up the maze by telling you it’s backstory. I didn’t realize this until later in the evening, but the story of the maze uses elements of all of the other main attractions, and ties them together. This knowledge probably won’t help you find your way out any faster, but it will make the trip though more interesting. The actors will do what they can to mislead you, so do not take their advice. They are guaranteed to show you the way to a dead end. Something that really threw me off is that the guy with the chainsaw was not at the exit. I kept thinking that if I followed the smell of chainsaw exhaust I would find the exit, but the chainsaw was closer to the middle of the maze than to the exit. It’s a well designed maze and took around 20 minutes to get out of, both times.

There are some well decorated scenes inside the maze which helps to break up the fences, strobes, and darkness. The actors either mess with your group as much as possible, or wait around a dark corner to startle you. Lots of energy from the cast adds to the quality of Time’s Up, and makes it that much more difficult to find the exit.

 

Summary

Screams is the only real haunted park in North Texas and is the best value around. At other haunted attractions, you drive to the haunt, wait in line, and spend 10-30 minutes inside. Then you leave. Some of the haunted houses in DFW are very good, but Screams is the only place where you can go through each attraction as many times as you want, eat, drink, and shop. It is easy to arrive at 7:30 and stay until after 1am. I was at Screams this Friday and Saturday, arrived at 7 both nights, and left around 1:15am.  Another unique feature is that there is something for everyone at Screams. Even if you aren’t into haunted houses, you can have a great time in the park. In fact, I know people who go mostly for the Halloween festival atmosphere. They have dinner at the food court or at Full Moon, drink at Full Moon and at the taverns, listen to music at the main stage, see Scaryoke, and do some shopping.

Screams looks great in 2021, with two new attractions, new vendors and shops, and a great cast of actors, including the roaming actors you’ll see through the night in the park. They went all out in preparation for this season, and their effort shows in the attention to detail in the houses, trails, and in the park grounds. Be sure to see Screams at least once this season, and remember, arrive early, and stay late!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments are closed.