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October 18, 2024 – 1:57 am | No Comment

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Home » Featured, Featured Event

Steve Thompson, Jr.’s Complete Guide to Houston’s Haunted Houses

Submitted by @GunsandTacos on October 14, 2024 – 2:57 pm3 Comments

First a little disclosure- I am not, by nature, a very brave person. Though I am a seemingly large, rugged, and sophisticated gentleman, I scream like George Michael without the slightest provocation. I was the kid in middle school who would fake like he was sick on school field trips to Astroworld in order to avoid riding Grease Lightning. I do like scary movies and consider myself a bit of a horror buff, but there are really only so many times you can watch Ghostbusters II before you know what’s coming.

Haunted House: Phobia
18777 Hwy 290, Houston, TX
(713) 526-3323

8 houses. 2 hours. 1 groped girlfriend.

Phobia is located somewhere between Houston and Austin on 290. Fortunately, I was able to take some people with me to this haunted house, unlike the other places that I saw. Word of caution here- don’t go to one of these haunted houses without bringing someone with you. It’s like renting a scary movie by yourself in a log cabin on Crystal Lake. So unless you brought your Depends, I suggest finding a partner to go with you when you check these places out. Plus, going solo to a haunted house is depressing as shit. I felt like one of those old people you see eating jello in the corner at Lubys.
Phobia boasts eight different houses all scattered across a makeshift pasture that somehow remains muddy despite the fact that it’s rained once in three years. All of the houses are really sort of the same- think Renaissance Fair meets Saw. The cast is pretty impressive numbers-wise: they have someone different jump out at you every ten feet. At first it’s pretty scary, but then it becomes expected, and then it becomes annoying. Most of the crew look like they signed up for easy class credit at nearby Cyfair High School, which might help explain why the girls with us seemed to garner a little more attention than the dudes. At every turn these sweaty youths - painted like they were auditioning for a Marilyn Manson cover band - would corner our females. For some reason, and this was a little distracting, they kept mumbling the phrase “Peanut Butter Jelly and Fetuses.” I’m still not sure about that one, though it might be Haunted House Crew Code for “immediately commence groping under ruse of acting immediately.” One of the houses is clown themed and you get 3D glasses, which is a little cool I guess; though the inside smells like rotten milk and teenage angst. And actually, come to think of it, a little like peanut butter and fetuses.
I give Phobia a C+.

Haunted House: Nightmare on the Bayou
1515 Studemont Street, Houston, TX 77007
(713) 868-3344

"Your fear is my delight. So sayeth Deborah, demon enchatress. Now wherest could my Civic be parked?"

Nightmare on the Bayou is ideally located just off Washington next to Party Boy, so you can not only freak yourself out in Houston’s “only actual haunted house,” but also purchase your Halloween costume next door. I had the funny idea of going as Elvis this year, though when I tried on the costume at Party Boys I was way more Vegas than Nashville. Diet starts Monday.
Nightmare on the Bayou has three different houses and each of them offers a unique experience. The sets were far superior to the other houses I visited. This place was just flat out scary. I felt sorry for the family in front of us- the kids were screaming and crying the entire time while the parents laughed. At one point the dad told them that if they kept misbehaving they were coming back first thing Monday. What sets Nightmare on the Bayou apart is the creativity involved in all the different houses- they have animatronic falling trees, obstacles to climb over, actors who look authentically scary, and - SPOILER ALERT - a terrifying chainsaw chase at the end. It was great.
I give Nightmare on the Bayou an A-, the minus only because I just know in my heart that those kids in front of me are going to be screwed up later in life.

Haunted House: Screamworld
2225 N. Sam Houston Parkway W., Houston, TX (yeah right) 77038
First off, the address you get on the Internet from Google is completely wrong, as I found out when I spent thirty minutes driving out to an abandoned warehouse in the middle of nowhere. A little more research gave me their new address located out at 45 and the Beltway. An hour later I was still not there. The traffic was miserable on 45, as usual- but seriously, a Haunted House located past the Beltway? You might as well buy a plane ticket to Transylvania and see the real thing for yourself.
I give Screamworld an F- based solely on its location. To be fair, I never really even made it to the house as I ran out of money paying for gas on the way out there. But I don’t have to worry about Screamworld promoters getting offended here, as I doubt they have the Internet that far out.

Tickets typically hover @ $30.00 depending on how many houses you want to visit at each location. Also make sure to budget in dry cleaning for getting the peanut butter and fetus smell out of your Elvis costume.


  • DB says:

    I have read many articles from many fine publications (Esquire, GQ, The Economist, Tiger Beat etc.) and I have never laid my eyes on an article as dry and witfully crafted as Mr. Thompson’s. The man is a truly gifted wordsmith and I feel privileged to have read this artice. One can only assume, and hope, that Mr. Thompson will continue to grace freepresshouston.com with his insightful & satirical genius.

  • daisyeight says:

    Hahaha! Peanut butter and fetuses? That is so weird.
    I give Steve’s article an A-, the minus only because there’s no photo of our author in his Elvis costume. Pics or it didn’t happen.

  • Hank Haggis says:

    Standing clap…

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