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.
During your month-long trial membership at Anytime Fitness ($99 enrollment fee, $45 for fitness, $49 charge for key), you can re-bloom your wilted health with the state-of-the-art facility's diverse range of cardio and strength equipment. Exploit muscles for non-financial gain with free weights, tone legs on the treadmills, undergo a demanding tour de fitness-center via exercise bikes, or just catch up on reruns of Homeboys from Outer Space on the flat-screen TVs located on the treadmills, ellipticals, and Lifecycle machines. If the flawed workout plan you concocted yourself results only in frighteningly muscular ring fingers, one of Anytime's motivating trainers can prescribe a regimen designed to help you meet your fitness goals during the personal-training session included in your trial membership ($60). Complete the sculpting of your flesh-statue with an Apollo finish in Anytime's tanning beds ($29 tanning fee), and then purify yourself of sweat and fried-cheese memories in Anytime's private showers.
Under new ownership, the recently renovated Freedom Lanes welcomes pin-pushers seven days a week. Alley cats can bring the whole bowling brood for a family night, granting each person two chances to go for the glory. The option for bumper-equipped lanes lets amateurs put pros in their places. With modern scoring technology, refinished lanes, and brand-new pins, a melodious symphony of strikes or gutter balls drowns out impromptu rental-shoe tap dances. After perfecting hooks, bowlers can celebrate a victory or drown sorrows in a large consolation pizza and four large sodas. Those thirsty for more can check out Freedom Lanes' extensive lunch and dinner menus, packed with sustenance options to refuel for parking-lot instant replays.
Along the westernmost edge of Lake Murray State Park lies Lake Murray Golf Course, an aesthetically pleasing golf course that stretches for 6,327 yards and incorporates features of the rugged landscape. The course’s fairways form tunnels through forests of ancient oak trees, leading players past a natural waterfall and, on the 10th hole, a fountain in play that shoots water skyward. After a round, players can regroup on the outdoor patio of the stone-and-wood clubhouse, where they’ll be able to shout post-round handshake critiques to other groups as they come in from the 18th green.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 6,327 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 69.3 from the back tees
Course slope of 118 from the back tees
Three sets of tees per hole
Male and female competitors climb over rope walls, splash through mud pits, sneak under barbwire, and climb over oversized tires in a goodwill 5K and 10K race. Runners of all skill levels gather at the start dressed however they like, sprinting through the course shirtless or even in mesh smoking jackets. During the 10 a.m. wave, racers are encouraged to don their favorite patriotic garb. Everyone competes at their own pace, and all participants receive a Medal of Honor to hang round their neck upon completion.
Past events have attracted up to 2,100 racers, all of whom are treated to a post-race, beer-filled celebration with live music from local bands. Photographers document the entire event, capturing a portfolio of epic action shots and barbaric yawps. Water stations are peppered throughout the course, and a gear check allows racers to safely stow belongings with a watchful staff member.
Blue Sky Media leverages a bevy of strategic marketing partnerships with premier Texas courses to grant golfers access to some of the state's finest fairways. The group's annual Blue Sky Golf Passes dole out fistfuls of discounts to courses throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, freeing up some coins for golfers to use as ball-markers or throw into water hazards to wish for more coins. Between putts and drives, discounts on pro shop gear and fare refuel hard-swinging golfers and caddies exhausted from polishing the dimples of each ball.