The legend began in the 1880s, when Hezekiah Jones, the "Hangman," wandered through McDagenville with a bloodstained rope, attempting to cleanse the town of its evil. By his hands, more than 100 people died on the banks of the Trinity River before a lynch mob finally caught up to him. In their hysteria they strung him up to the limb of a rotted oak tree and left him to die. But in the morning, when they came to cut him down, only the frayed end of the rope was dangling from the bough. Now people say that the Hangman still wanders the night, clad in his black hood, searching for his next victim.
Visitors to Hangman's House of Horrors keep an eye out for Jones as they creep up dimly lit stairways, dodge more than 100 souls lurking in the shadows, and seek his advice on tying a proper square knot. The scream center has been featured on the Travel Channel's list of scariest Halloween attractions and named one of north Texas's scariest haunted attractions by NBC 5. Apart from the legend, Hangman's House of Horrors’ success is due to the hard work of more than 1,000 annual volunteers who redesign more than half of the house to fit the yearly theme. Their combined efforts have entertained more than half a million patrons and raised more than $1.8 million for local charities, including the American Cancer Society, Wish with Wings, Cenikor, Rocky Top Therapy Center, and SafeHaven of Tarrant County.