Every year, locals stand in line and await their fate, as the night creatures call for a thriller night in haunted houses across Amarillo. This year proves to be no different as haunted houses are stepping up their game. This includes one haunt that is going above and beyond to make the experience of their haunt more interactive and thrilling.
“The customers get on a hayride that has paintball guns attached to it and they travel to the end of the field shoot zombies on their way out, and all the zombies that they made mad chase them through the corn maze,” Derinda Patton, owner of the Amazingly Fun Farm and Farmageddon, said.
Other than to give people a night to remember, Patton wanted to make sure people are getting what they paid for.
“We want to give people their money’s worth, haunted houses are expensive and what I wanted to do was to have something that was over and above that would stand out from all the other haunts in Amarillo,” Patton said.
Their haunt does just that, as it provides many different angles and ways in which to be scared.
“It’s already eerie being in the corn at night because you can’t see where you are going and having people jumping out at you from every angle just makes it that much more thrilling,” Caleb James, personal assistant to Patton, said. “It’s not like every other haunted house.”
Another haunted house in Amarillo, The Sixth Street Massacre, takes a different year-long approach to making their haunt stand out.
“We are the only haunted house who has a person working here all year round,” Mike Fisher, owner of Sixth Street Massacre said. “On Nov. 1, somebody will be here working. We go to haunted house conventions during the off season and we use what we learn there and our own ideas to improve our haunt all year long.”
Sixth Street Massacre also brings together the best of technology and scares to put together a haunt that will not disappoint.
“It starts with the haunt the haunt,” Fisher said. “However, I enjoy the technological side of it. It’s my thing, so if you take the technology and wrap that in with the haunt than you can make a pretty awesome place.”
However, to get to the thrilling haunted house they have now, The Sixth Street Massacre had humble garage beginnings.
“We started this because we would go around to the other haunted houses and they didn’t change,” Fisher said. “So we started with scaring people in our garage and people would come to the house and say this is better than what we are paying for and so we started doing it for money.”
“Fast forward 10 years and we are where we are now in a 10,000 square foot old movie theater from the 1920’s,” Fisher said. “The building is a historical landmark.”
However, in this theater, people want to see the movies that have scared them to come to life.
“We use movies for inspiration because it is familiar and that familiar aspect that the movies bring allows the customer the opportunity to be scared,” Fisher said.
However, what locals are looking for in a haunt might be different. Local DJ For 96.9 Kiss FM, Tommy the Hacker, is leaving it up to the listeners to decide what they like the best.
“I have my own prospective on who I think has a good haunt, but we leave it up to the listener,” Tommy said. “There is a handful of great haunted houses this year, so we put a poll on our Kiss FM website and let the listeners have at it and by the end of Halloween, we will see who is the big dog in town.”
It takes a great haunt to make Tommy the Hacker scared.
“What makes the hair on my arms stand up and my toes cringe is a haunted house that has good actors, good special effects, it has to be dark and very well put together,” Tommy said. “Of course you have to have the Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy.”
As for all the local haunted houses, Tommy supports them all.
“We promote all of the haunted houses here in town and all of them that advertise here on Kiss FM,” Tommy said. “I’m a huge haunted house fan as it is, so as soon as Halloween comes around, I start celebrating on Oct. 1 and I celebrate it till the end of the month. I celebrate it and I tour around and go to all the haunts in town.”
Tommy the Hacker advises all who are going to a haunt to do two things.
“Don’t wear flip-flops cause you will be running and get ready to get scared; they definitely stepped up this year on the haunted houses,” Tommy said.