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.
Anytime Fitness lives up to its name by giving clients 24/7 access to exercise machines, weights, and tanning facilities. The fitness center even feature private bathrooms and around-the-clock security monitoring. A personal-training session for every new member helps clients put their best foot forward as they start exercise regimens.
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.
Dallas Athletes Racing's director, Dan Jones, likes to pepper his runs with fun. He creates themed events throughout the year, starting with a St. Patrick's Day Triathlon and culminating with a costumed Monster Triathlon held around Halloween. He hosts a load of events, but one of his favorites is the Wounded Warrior Half Marathon and 10k—an event that raised over $60,000 to benefit military charities in 2013 alone. Whatever type of event he's organizing, Dan waits at the finish line to witness the runners experience "the satisfaction of completing the event and enjoying themselves."
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Reservations/Appointments: Not offered
Most popular offering: Our THEMED RACES
Pro Tip: You know if you do a DAR event you will have a fun, safe, and competitive event.