- Eric Webb American-Statesman Staff
A haunted house, that seasonal nexus of community theater and Hot Topic aesthetic, is fun. Austin knows this. It’s why House of Torment has been sending children who overestimated their courage straight to a life of insomnia for 15 years. If you do not like being chased with a prop chainsaw by a ham in a pound of latex and Ben Nye makeup, you are simply Not My Kind Of People. Enjoy your “fall festival,” or whatever other kindergarten cakewalk you soothe yourself with come October.
If you’ve never been to House of Torment before, though, consider that this might be the year to bite the stage-blood-soaked bullet. For this year, you see, the Halloween attraction is serving alcohol.
Yeah, that’s right. Vampire vino. Ghoul glog. Jack-o-lantern juice. Spooky sauce. Babadook booze. Et cetera.
Like a Frankenstein’s monster getting really into body mod, this year’s House of Torment (setting up shop at a new, 40,000-sq.-ft. location) promises scares grafted upon previously existing scares: “three unprecedented haunt attractions, a dark carnival with freak show performances, and an extended themed food menu that will include beer and wine for the first time ever,” according to a news release. We’ll glaze over the “dark carnival” thing for a second (whoop whoop) to linger upon this spirited (heh) announcement.
Yes, Kreepy Kabob Eats, House of Torment’s refreshment area, will sell carnival-themed food like popcorn, candied bacon, caramel apples and beer and wine “curated by Haymaker Austin.” So, if the “disturbing clowns roaming freely inside and outside of the property” get you down this Halloween (AS THEY ARE WONT TO DO), you’ll have a few stiff ones to comfort you.
Other unspeakable horrors coming to House of Torment this year include the aforementioned dark carnival (with a “creepy freak show,” in case you liked that season of “American Horror Story” and do not find the idea slightly problematic); those three new attractions (”a creepy manor, haunted penitentiary, and horrifying carnival” — they’ll have animatronics and fragrance pods, which sound a little David Cronenberg, and I am here for that); new “Escape the Room” games; and a popular Nov. 10-11 “blackout” event, where guests escape la casa in total darkness. With beer and wine now available, that could inadvertantly happen on any given weekend, one imagines.
Grab a drink. Run away from a grown man dressed up like an extra in a Slipknot video. It’s almost Halloween, Austin. You only live once ... UNTIL YOU DIE, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
House of Torment opens Sept. 22. You can but tickets online at their website.View full experience