Haunted attractions across the Rio Grande Valley are reaching into the deepest fears of locals to prepare them for Halloween night.
At least, that is the idea for Nightmare on Broadway in McAllen.
Following the theme of “The Death Trap,” Aleck Rios, the owner of the 25-room haunted house, said that the design team had one goal: to prey on people’s phobias.
“Our biggest thing is how do we capture and haunt people on all their phobias,” Rios said. “So, we have spider rooms, we have claustrophobia rooms, we have snake rooms, clown rooms. We have everything.”
This year, Nightmare on Broadway, located at 129 S. Broadway St. in McAllen, had the help of Walking Dead set designer Jorge Maldonado to making the rooms.
This is also the only 4D haunted attraction in the Valley.
“You are going to be given goggles at the front, and when you walk through the rooms, you will either feel mist, or feel really hot, as if you are in a jungle, or you are going to feel the electricity and static of a boiler room,” Rios said.
General tickets for Nightmare on Broadway are $20, and VIP tickets, which allow attendees to skip the line, are $35. The haunted house, which received more than 10,000 people last year, starts at 8 p.m., and will be running until Oct. 31. The house stays open until the last group walks through.
Another attraction that is getting residents into the spooky spirit is Monte De Los Muertos, located at 807 N. Valley View Road in Donna.
Owner John Billman explained that the attraction is different from haunted houses because attendees walk through an open, overgrown wooded area.
“It’s very different compared to any haunted house attraction in the Valley, and across the nation, because it’s an all outdoors experience made from a wooden thicket,” Billman said. “We turned a quarter-mile long trail into a haunted route, where actors at various places are ready to pop and scare people.”
Billman added that before entering the haunted estate, attendees ride what they call the “haunted trailer,” the hay wagon that is usually used for hay rides for most of the year.
“You can’t see out because we want to mess with the victims’ (attendees’) sense of direction,” he described. “It’s enclosed and once you get in, it’s pitch black. It’s about a 12-minute ride, and we try to scare them while they are on their way to the monte.”
General admission tickets for Monte De Los Muertos are $20 online, at http://www.donnascornmaze.com/montedelosmuertos/, $25 at the door, and $40 for VIP, which allows attendees to skip the line. It takes about half an hour to walk through the route.
While attendees wait for their turn to get on the “haunted trailer” and make their way through the frightful trail, they are invited to enjoy the estate’s picnic area, which includes concession stands, volleyball courts and tetherball poles.
Adding to the eeriness of the season is the Toluca Ranch haunted house in Weslaco. Julie Vera, manager of RGV Helping Hands, the nonprofit hosting the attraction, said people have died at the location’s front lawn about a century ago.
“During around 1914-16, there were small wars with Mexican bandits who would rage villages here,” Vera said of the house. “For sure, multiple people have died on the land right outside of the house, and it contributes to the presence outside.”
The haunted house, which has two floors with more than 10 rooms, is open from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday. On Halloween night, the house is open from 8 to 11 p.m.
General tickets are $20, and VIP tickets, which allow attendees to skip the line, are $35.