My first time was at age eight in an old farmhouse. It had a lot of the thrills I now recognize as staples of the experience: the gruesome operating room, the bloody execution chamber and the locomotive barreling toward us. But the creepiest moment of my first haunted house came when I slipped and fell. As I rolled over to stand, my hands squished in something slimy. I looked closer and saw that I'd slipped in a mess of chicken organs. These costumed rednecks had gone so far as to cover the floor in slippery organic waste. I realized just how serious they were about scaring kids.
With its graveyard, maze and four separate haunted houses, Screams is just as serious but, as far as I know, doesn't use chicken guts. Pretend it's your first time at 2511 FM 66 in Waxahachie, Exit 399A from I-35E. Screams is open 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays through October 27 and 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, October 28. Admission is 19.99 for ages 6 and up. Ages 5 and under are admitted free. The "Spooky Hollow" area, which promises "no fear, just thrills" for kids 12 and under, closes at 10 p.m. Call 972-938-3247 or visit ScreamsPark.com.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.; Sun., Oct. 28, 7:30-11 p.m. Starts: Sept. 28. Continues through Oct. 27, 2007