VIDEO: Houses of Horror - East Texans get into spirit of Halloween

Published on Thursday, 24 October 2013 21:44 - Written by By Kenneth Dean kdean@tylerpaper.com

The sound of a chainsaw, the screams in the dark, reaching and feeling your way along, stumbling into the darkness.

And then suddenly a creepy clown jumps out and scares you half to death.

You scream and want to run for your life, but then you remember, you paid to be scared.

Yes, it’s Halloween and across East Texas haunted houses are drawing crowds wanting the thrill of being scared.

Those desires are being fulfilled with zombies, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, chainsaw-wielding crazies and, yes, frightening clowns and creepy dolls.

But in addition to providing creepy entertainment for the masses, some of the attractions also mean big bucks for worthy causes.

Bobby Jones of the Tyler Jaycees said his organization’s The Maze and other attractions on Highway 155 just south of Loop 323 raise money for events the group throws.

Proceeds will help fund a special needs rodeo and Easter egg hunt for the blind. Money also goes to the group’s annual fireworks display at Lindsey Park.

The Tyler Jaycees Maze the Hostels Grim Scare Trail and a kid’s fun house is on Highway 155 just south of Loop 323.Open nightly from 6p.m. to midnight. Cost $10.

Axe of Horror at the Noonday fire station gave a tour this week of their haunt, and the firehouse is a scary place after being transformed.

Jonathan McClish, assistant fire marshal at Noonday Fire Department, said the haunted house has been a tradition for the past 20 years, but the past several years it has really taken off.

“We are seeing large crowds out here, and it’s good to see people liking our work. We’ve actually had people who could not make it all the way through, but we have spots all over the place to get someone out quickly if it is needed,” he said.

McClish said each year the volunteers set up the haunted house and try to put a new spin on it each year to keep it fresh and scary.

One room is set up like a giant closet with clothes hanging on both sides. But is that a sleeve to a garment, or could it be someone’s arm?

“It is a lot of fun doing this, and our actors all volunteer their time. We have some rules people must follow, but other than that, we just want them to have fun and a good scare,” he said.

Proceeds from the haunted house benefit the Noonday Fire Station.

There are several haunted houses and trails in the area open this weekend and through Halloween.

Terror Nights at 616 E. Oakwood in Tyler: $20 for two haunted houses or $25 VIP with limited wait times. Open Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Sunday from 7 p.m. to 10:30 pm.

Axe of Horror at 16619 Highway 155 South: $15 for regular admission and $20 for VIP. Open Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Four Winds Renaissance Faire; Haunts of the Four Winds at 21852 County Road 2178 in Troup. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Black Forest Trail, Haunted Hayride and Chateau du Mort Haunted House. Cost: $5.00 per attraction or all three for $12.00

Doc Wilkes House of Horrors, 1228 Market Street Longview. Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Cost $10 per person.

Exscream Haunted House with a Christian Finale at 401 Kickapoo St. in Jacksonville. 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, and 7:30 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Saturday and Halloween. Cost is $5 for students and $8 for adults.