I give The Fatal End three-and-a-half rotting bones out of a possible five. It's in the West End so it's a short drive, and that's nice. I'm not big on commuting for terror. It'll scare you in some sections and startle the shit out of you in others. I will say there's a grand finale that I've never experienced before, and it definitely made me panic, pause. Also, you know, remind myself to breathe.
The entire tour is supposed to last for twenty minutes, but we made it through in fifteen. Granted, we jog-walked through the entire thing because we're chickenshits. We somehow thought if we stayed in constant motion we'd get scared less. What really happened is we wound up passing several groups that went in ahead of us. We'll call them the Haunted House Relishers and us The Haunted House Hustlers. The good news is, no matter how hard you try you can't always outrun fear.
While it wasn't the scariest Haunted House I've ever been in, I'm also in my thirties now and I've lived through the real horrors of adult acne, sun damage and gray pubes. DUN DUN DUN.
The Fatal End is still a good time. It was really hot in the haunted house, which I didn't mind. It helped ramp up the panic (since I was then wiping sweat, trying not to lose my keys and still holding on desperately to someone in my group). Which leads me to this thought--I originally considered going solo to Fatal End. A couple friends joined in at the last minute, but what if I would have gone alone? Would it make it scarier or scarier-less? Like, do we get freaked out because we're with a group and we're all getting into the excitement? Or would walking through alone be the absolute most terrifying thing I could do? Or it be walking through alone with an active white head? Again. Dun dun dun.
The tour guide/guy who tells you not to take pictures let's you know there will be some claustrophobic moments and he's not lying. My one friend has real issues with small spaces, and when we got to that part she froze and refused to go any further. This was, no lie, my favorite part of the haunted house:
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I made it past that part and she was still trapped on the other side so I turned to a deranged girl in a straight-jacket with blood splattered all over her (actor, not fellow tour taker) and said, "My friend is stuck. Can you help her?" The straight-jacket girl immediately broke character and said, "Oh no. Where is she? I'll go get her." It was the single most amusing thing that could happen on a Friday night.
Also, I learned a little about myself that evening.
1. I'm completely useless if I ever wander into a real life slasher film. 2. When it's Texas/OU weekend in the West End you can dance like a total idiot in the streets and look like the sanest person alive.
Tickets cost $20 and while I enjoyed myself, I didn't necessarily $20 worth of enjoy myself. Coupons and special offers are available online so check before you go. Another quick confusing thing - The Fatal End is the Haunted House. Ghost Tours of Dallas is a walking ghost tour. They're run by the same people so they share the same website. Just make sure you're buying tickets for the right thing. Ghostly mic drop. I'm out.