While Trail of Fear is now Oklahoma's largest haunted attraction, Hauntworld.com reveals that the original format was a small, roadside hay maze operated by a father and son in 1998. Today, a three-story pyramid looms above the theme park's frightful environs and prowling actors. Creators Bob Wright Sr. and Bob Wright Jr. supervise a staff of more than 100—a vast increase from their first crew of approximately 15 people and a few rusty table fans—as they guide visitors through four nightmarish worlds. Though the majority of these helpers return to the job each season with fiendish devotion, their strategies for harvesting screams evolve every year to surprise even the most loyal fans.
The Voodoo Bayou has proven to be Trail of Fear's most intense experience, where ghastly creatures dart from their swampland dens to spook trespassers and ask directions to the nearest zombie hoedown. Elsewhere, a maniacal ringmaster oversees the disorienting maze and murderous clowns of Cirque de Morte, and malformed test subjects rise from The Experiment's excavation and lab sites. Laughter and gasps join the chorus of screams at the Crispy Family Carnival, where performers inject dark humor into their classic sideshow acts, which can be viewed at the Thunderbird Trail of Fear.
On the Halloween Midway, Boo House BBQ supplies fuel for brave souls in the form of burgers and brisket. Fairground games embrace macabre twists; past activities include a severed-head toss and live-zombie target practice. For younger children, Pumpkin Junction entertains with scary stories and magic tricks on select nights. A portion of Trail of Fear's proceeds go to benefit a specific charity every year, contributing thousands of dollars to community causes.
Guthrie Haunts Haunted House crams every corridor with things that go bump in the night, frightening the brave souls who dare to wander its dark passages. Open on weekends for the entirety of October, the spooky spot elicits screams with depraved characters, props inspired by the supernatural, and Teddy Kreuger—the mangled sociopath whose crimes include everything but copyright infringement.
Guthrie Haunts will also be offering an alternative for children, Spookys Mishap Manor. This kids haunt is available for children 3 to 10 and costs an additional $5.
Reliant Stadium’s titanic venue, home to the Houston Texans and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, covers 125,000 square feet of sporting ground. The facility is the first in NFL history to have a retractable roof, which sightseers can view from the field during public gridiron tours. While strolling across Reliant’s stadium floor, fans can relive their favorite memories of Super Bowl XXXVIII, or search every nook and cranny for John Madden’s lost bus keys.
A community-built science-and-art museum, Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse entertains young minds and inspires creative thought with numerous educational exhibits. As it pays tribute to the famed artist, musician, architect, inventor, engineer, botanist, and Tony-winning choreographer Leonardo da Vinci, the discovery warehouse offers a balance of art, biology, and engineering stations to stimulate both sides of the developing brain. Kids can explore a rainforest environment and meet live animals, strap into a space-shuttle flight simulator, dig for ancient fossils in an excavation pit, and create masterpieces in an arts-and-crafts studio. Directly outside of the museum is Adventure Quest, a three-story wooden castle filled with imagination-fueling bridges, slides, mazes, and swings.
Aesthetes and anthropologists can devour an eyeful of wide-ranging cultural artifacts and extensive fine art collections at the Mabee-Gerrer. The permanent collection of Egyptian art claims Oklahoma's only mummy that's not living, and the antiquities section features sculpture and pottery from ancient Greece, China, and Mesopotamia. Visitors can also set their sights on a broad sweep of American works, including timeworn Aztec textiles housed in the Arts of Ancient America collection, present-day paintings by Oklahoma artists in the Contemporary Art section, and the unpainted canvases hanging in the museum's 23rd-century collection.
Founded by Joe Estes as a nonprofit operation, Safari Joe's Reptile World provides a 200-acre sanctuary for more than 250 exotic animals—including lions, leopards, alligators, pythons, and large tortoises—that were unwanted, abused, or neglected. Each week, five to six new animals are donated or abandoned at the facility. Though these animals cannot return to the wild, they receive nurturing care from a cadre of more than 30 volunteers.
While newly abandoned animals remain hidden from view within the sanctuary, the park also boasts exhibit such as Reptile World. This educational, hands-on environment encourages visitors to interact with a slew of exotic animals while learning about protecting each species and their natural habitats.
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