Texas Haunts – Haunted House News and Reviews

Thrillvania Haunted House Park

13.10.2018 (2:49 am) – Filed under: Reviews,Thrillvania

October 12, 2018

Score-9.5

Site Here

Location-At the southeast corner of I-20 and Wilson Rd in Terrell. 2330 Co Rd 138, Terrell, TX 75161. Across from the TA truckstop. About 25-30 minutes east of downtown Dallas.

Phone  972-428-9653

Dates and hours open-Fridays and Saturdays in October, and Halloween. Saturday, October 13th from 8pm-midnight. Friday, October 19 from 8pm-11pm. Saturday, October 20 from 8pm-midnight. Friday, October 26 from 8pm-11:30pm. Saturday, October 27 from 8pm-midnight. Halloween, from 8pm-10pm.

Price-General admission tickets are $29.99, plus tax. Speedpass tickets are 39.99, plus tax. Parking is $10 per car. Tickets can be bought online here.  Group tickets (15 or more) and combo tickets with Cutting Edge are also available here.

Miscellaneous-Thrillvania is a haunted park, so wear comfortable shoes with good traction. Thrillvania does have concessions, with great corn dogs, among other offerings. Go to the concessions stand before you enter the trail. The trail leads to the park exit. A pumpkin patch is located just inside the park grounds.

Number of attractions-Three: Verdun Manor, Cassandra’s House of Clowns, Sam Hain’s Trail of Torment.

Walk through time, for all attractions: 30-40 minutes, depending on how fast you and the people in front of you walk.

 

Review

Thrillvania has had it’s ups and downs over the years, probably more than any haunted attraction I can think of. Things are definitely looking up for Thrillvania this year, and it looks like this historic haunt park has a bright future. It would be nice to see more merchants in the midway in the coming years. One of the things that made the old Thrillvania special was that it was a Halloween festival, in addition to having Verdun, Cassandra’s, and Sam Hain’s. Fortunately, the food concession is still in place. I wish it hadn’t been raining so hard while we were there because I really wanted to have a couple of corn dogs and a frito pie. If it isn’t pouring rain when you’re at Thrillvania, you need to get at least one corn dog. Your visit won’t be complete without it. If you’re in the market for a pumpkin or two, you’re in luck because you have to walk through a pumpkin patch to get into the park.

With the way Thrillvania is laid out, it’s best to start with Cassandra’s. The line won’t be long if you arrive early, and it’s a fun way to get the evening started. Cassandra’s is a 3D clown house, featuring a vortex tunnel, lots of neon paint, an area divided by high wire fences, and lots of hyper clowns. There are some cool touches, like the shaking hallway and a bridge that feels like it’s sinking as you walk over it. The actors are the best part of Cassandra’s. They do some unusual things, like walking on the railing of the vortex tunnel, and climbing on the wire fencing. Getting in your face is their thing, and they do it in every part of the house. The 3D glasses reduce peripheral vision, so the clowns tend to come at you from the side. Hiding behind curtains, to the side, is their bread and butter. I could do without the chainsaw toward the end, since I hate the fumes chainsaws produce, but I guess every haunted house in Texas is obligated to have at least one.

The best time to get your corn dog is after Cassandra’s and before Verdun, since you have to walk through the midway to get to Verdun. The Manor was bathed in eerie red lighting as we approached, and the mist in the graveyard in front of Verdun enhanced the atmosphere. This short approach to the Manor looks good, but I do miss the old trail that wound behind Verdun and eventually led to the graveyard.

There has been a major change to the inside of Verdun, the lighting. The downstairs used to be pretty well lit, to allow the customer to examine the well decorated rooms. This year, Verdun is emphasizing fear, rather than decor, and the downstairs is as dark as a traditional haunted house. Actors now have the ability to surprise customers, by moving around in the dark. The trade off is that it’s not easy to see much of the gorgeous Gothic decor, but the change is a welcome one since Verdun had looked basically the same for almost three decades. The entryway, parlour, dining room, and library still look good in dim lighting. Perhaps the focus on scaring customers has energized the actors in Verdun, because they have never been this effective at startling people. The actors upstairs were great, and for the first time, I was caught off guard a few times downstairs. The drop down window after the swampy hallway was especially effective since it was paired with an actor who came up behind me when the noise from the window had my attention.

The stairwell in Verdun is still well decorated and well lit. The first part of the upstairs looks like a home, with a bedroom and a den. There are some creepy little girls in this area, and they seem to enjoy getting in your way, and not letting you pass. This part of the Manor seemed a little darker too, but not as much as downstairs. The home gives way to a funeral home next, then you venture into the laboratory. This has changed some over the last few years, but it looks like it is still an area to perform experiments on unfortunate captives, to turn them into something else, possibly werewolves. After the lab comes a dungeon, which makes sense given that test subjects have to be kept somewhere. The descent into the catacombs is still perfectly lit, and the catacombs are narrow enough to make me wonder how many people have had to be pried out of the narrowest parts. Werewolves and chainsaws await in the final part of Verdun, then it’s out into the park, and on to Sam Hain’s.

As I mentioned before, be sure that you do not want to do anything else before entering Sam Hain’s trail. You’ll exit the park after the trail. It was raining heavily on the night we reviewed, and had been raining all day. The trail was pretty much a mud puddle, despite the efforts of the ground crew. Seeing the buildings and old vehicles along the trail in this sort of weather was interesting, but I really wish the rain had stopped for a few minutes. Even in rain, Sam Hain’s is fun walk. It always makes me think of the area the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was set in. Hats off to the actors who made the best of the terrible weather and didn’t stop scaring customers.

There aren’t too many nights left for you to see Thrillvania, and it’s definitely worth a look, even if you’ve been there in the past. Enough changes have been made to keep it fresh, even for regulars. It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for the haunt park that Lance Pope built. From what I saw this year, all signs point to a great future.