Cutting Edge Haunted House 2016 Grand Opening

chris-ellis-1It is officially the grand opening of Cutting Edge Haunted House for the 2016 season! Cutting Edge Haunted House opens Friday, September 16th for the first time this Halloween season. You can view our calendar here for days/times of operation. You will want to scream, cry and run away, but will have an unforgettable, literally and figuratively, time at Cutting Edge Haunted House. Our monsters, terrifying live actors and special effects will follow you through the multi-story venue and deliver you multiple unbelievable scares.
First time visitor? Here are just a few reasons to make a trip to us for the 2016 season:
• 2015 – Voted World’s Largest Haunted Attraction
• 2015 – Voted World’s Largest Walk Through Haunted House
• We were ranked #7 on Fangoria’s Top 20 Haunted Houses
• 2009-2015 – Voted one of America’s Best Haunted Houses
Don’t just take our word or our rankings and awards for it. Take the communities! Here’s what they are saying about us:
• “The longest adrenaline rush money can buy!”
• “This is the best haunted house I’ve ever seen.”
• “Recognized for their attention to detail, high-quality special effects and overall scare factor.”
We are open rain or shine and are a cash only venue, unless you purchase your tickets before hand online. Parking is available for $10 and ticket prices are as follows (group rates are available online only):
• General admission – $29.95
• Speedpass admission – $49.95
• General admission combo (Admission to Cutting Edge Haunted House and Thrillvania) – $49.95
• Speedpass combo (Admission to Cutting Edge Haunted House and Thrillvania) – $69.95
Cutting Edge Haunted House is located at the intersection of I-30 and I-35:
1701 East Lancaster Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Questions? Call us on our Hauntline at 817.348.8444.

How To Make A – ZOMBIE, by Cutting Edge Haunted House, Fort Worth, Texas


DIY Cover Shot-cropped


Do you love Haunted Houses? Zombies? Have you ever wanted to create a Cutting Edge Army of Zombies..?  I know… we all have, right!  Well the Makeup Artists at a Fort Worth Texas based  Haunted House have put together this easy step-by-step tutorial to help you create your own Walking Dead Army.  So grab your sponges and brushes and get started creating your own legion of the undead.

Have Some Fun!







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Untitled-1 copy1. Start with a clean dry face!

2. Apply a makeup grade liquid latex to selected areas of the models face. Be careful to avoid hairline, brow and delicate area around eyes. We used Ben Nye, Liquid Latex.

3. When latex is dry, carefully pick/pull selected areas away from skin to create a loose, peeling flesh look.

4. Use an airbrush or sponge applicator to apply a light basecoat over entire face. Then add a dark creme makeup to add contour to face and depth inside selected areas. We used Ben Nye, Cadaver Grey for the basecoat and Ben Nye, Death Purple for the contour.

5. Add Black or Dark Brown for additional depth inside selected areas, under and around eyes and below cheekbones to give the face a sunken and drawn appearence.

6. Add Yellow or Green around the outside of selected areas for highlight and to simulate decay. We used Ben Nye, Goldenrod and Sallow Green. Blend all with a sponge applicator or blending brush.

 7. Add Red, inside selected areas, we used Ben Nye, Fresh Cut. Set makeup with setting powder. Add Blood to selected areas after setting, We used Ben Nye, Fresh Scab.

Makeup Artist:  Ray Mitchell, Model:  Lori Wisakowsky,   Photo Credit: Ron Jenkins

The products used in this tutorial are basic stage cosmetics and can be purchased at most local costume suppliers.

Images used in this tutorial are the property of Cutting Edge Haunted House, Fort Worth, Texas.  Images may not be copied, printed or otherwise disseminated without express written permission of Cutting Edge Haunted House or its agents.





Do you believe in ghost?

downloadDo you believe in Ghost? That is the question! This exact question has come up time and time again in our profession. Here at Cutting Edge Haunted House we do believe there are spirits that roam this old building. If you stop to think about it for just a minute, this entire area is known as Hell’s Half Acre. It was dubbed this name in the late 1800’s when famous gun slingers and cowboys from all over the country began coming around for the booming cattle industry and needed a place to “unwind”. Many local business men were more than happy to offer their saloons and gaming parlors for this purpose and Hell’s Half Acre was born. Have you heard the story of Sally? Sally was a young “soiled dove”, many said she was a beautiful young thing and very popular with the “gentlemen” of the area.images Not much more than that is known regarding Sally’s sad story though. One early morning, Sally was found murdered. Her body found nailed to an outhouse door not far from the gaming houses she frequented. Some say Sally still roams the area where she was so gruesomely murdered and placed on display. Many people say it was a unrequited lover who committed the tragic act, angry and hurt that she would not leave her profession to be with him. There are many old timers that tell stories like this about the people in Hell’s Half Acre district. These old buildings have many seen many such unhappy stories play out.images (1) The Cutting Edge Haunted House is one of those buildings. Built over 100 years ago, during the rough and rowdy days when Fort Worth was growing faster than it could keep up. This old Meat Packing Plant has seen more than few tragedies. Sometimes when you are alone you’ll hear it whisper echoes from a not so happy time. You’ll catch a shadow dart out of the corner of your eye, footsteps where there is no one and voices when you are completely alone. So the Answer to the question… Yes… we believe in ghosts. We believe they are all around us. Think about the history of where you are the next time you are asked “Do you believe in Ghost?”

#dfwhauntedhouses #hauntedhouse #hauntedhouses #ghost #fortworthhauntedhouses

Stay out of Lover’s Lane…head to the Cutting Edge Haunted House Fort Worth for a great Valentine’s Day!!

Valentine’s Day may not seem the time to reflect on scary stories or those scary tales we tell around the campfires but there are tales of horror that revolve around love or the ongoing search for love and romance that continue to be shared in the dark. Everyone is familiar with the young man who took his young lady to the local lover’s lane on their way home. He parked in the dark, turned on the radio, and started making his moves. All at once, the announcer breaks in with a bulletin, a crazed murderer with a hook in place of one hand has broken out of the insane asylum and is being searched for in their area. The young lady is understandably nervous and scared and let’s face it, the mood is shot! Lover boy insists that they are safe, the doors are locked, and entices her back to romance. All of a sudden, they hear something in the brush and this time, he cannot persuade his lady love that everything is fine. A little upset, and not just a little frustrated, he starts up his engine, and tears out of the woods and heads for her home. Feeling a little put upon and out of sorts, he refuses to go around and open the door for her, insisting she just slide out after him on the driver’s side. She hurries to scamper out on his side and they start toward her door. He stops just short of the porch, ready to leave and she turns back to him and begins screaming in terror. He slowly turns to look back at where her terrified eyes are staring and sees a hook dripping blood hanging from the passenger door handle… obviously someone was definitely looking for love in the wrong place… As you travel through the dark hallways of the Cutting Edge Haunted House Fort Worth on Valentine’s Day, there are many young lovers looking for love, whether they, like you, are enjoying a night out on the town, or whether they didn’t make it out of lover’s lane one dark and lonely night, well, who can tell…it’s just a story, right…
#Hauntedhouse #Hauntedhouses #dfwhauntedhouses #dfwhauntedhouse #fortworthhauntedhouse #fortworthhauntedhouses #Valentinesday #cuttingedgehauntedhouse #hook #lover # love #hauntedhouseinfortworth

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Cutting Edge’s hours of operation?
Generally, hours are from 8 to 10 pm, however on select Fridays and Saturdays in October, as well as Halloween, we run from 7 pm to midnight. Please check our Hours of Operation page for the day you plan to attend. Closing time, by the way, means the time the last ticket is sold. We don’t actually close the doors and go home until the last guest has run the gauntlet.

What time does the line start forming?
Guests start arriving as early as 5 o’clock on some nights. It’s kind of like a tailgate party in the waiting area, so they come for the atmosphere.

How long is the wait?
Depending on when you arrive and what night you come, it may be anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours. There are refreshment stands, souvenir booths, photo opportunities and live entertainment in the waiting area, including our zombie marching band, to keep you occupied, so it’s actually part of the fun.

Do you have restrooms?
We have an ample amount of “Porto-lets” in the waiting area outside the building. They do tend to attract zombies, however. You might think about using the facilities before you get here if you’re timid about doing your business with monsters lurking about.

Do you accept credit cards?
Credit cards are accepted for online purchases only. We can’t get the zombies in our ticket booth to give them back, so bring cash if you don’t purchase your ticket online.

Do you offer discounts?
Groups of 15 or larger get 15% off. Also, give us your email and/or cell phone number to receive our newsletter, special offers and discount coupons, as well as notifications of special events, contests and Cutting Edge news.

When can I use a coupon?
Anytime you have one to use.

Where can I get a coupon?
Go to our Coupon page and fill out the request to receive a coupon by email. One coupon per person, per email address, please.

Do you offer discounted rates for children?
Children 10 and under receive $5 off the regular $30 price of admission.

Can I buy tickets in advance?
Do zombies eat brains? Of course you may! And you may even use a credit card! Just visit our Tickets page and tell us when you’d like to visit!

Do you offer group rates?
We love large groups – the more the merrier, the scarier! Groups of 15 or more get 15% off when reserved through our Web site.

Can I make a group reservation?
Do zombies play drums? Okay, well ours do, and you may certainly make a group reservation on our Web site, except on certain really busy nights – check the site for details.

Can I wear sandals or flip flops?
If you think you can get away from zombies wearing sandals or flip flops, be our guest. If you’re going to trip and sprain your ankle like some sort of cheesy B-movie heroine, however, maybe you should think about more sensible shoes.

Are there live animals, reptiles or insects inside?
No. Everything inside is undead.

Can we touch the actors or props?
If you don’t touch them, they promise not to touch you.

Will the actors touch me?
Our actors are trained in “terrorizing without touching” techniques. You may inadvertently get bumped by SOMEONE during your trip through the haunt, as people tend to lose their way in the dark, but it is not part of our actors’ modus operandi.

Do you have any clowns?
Yes. If you suffer from Coulrophobia, fear of clowns, we suggest you do not attend.

Do you have any chainsaws?
No, but many of our actors do. Don’t worry, the chains have been removed so that they will not harm you, much…

Do you have strobe lights, loud noises or fog?
We wouldn’t be much of a haunted house without them, now would we?

Can I get out if I want to?
Yes. There are emergency exits throughout the attraction should you decide you cannot continue. You will, however, be added to the list of patrons who “failed to finish.” No shame, really…

If I get scared and leave early, can I get a refund?
No. If you get so scared that you are forced to exit before the end of the tour, then we have done our job.

Do you sell refreshments and souvenirs?
There are a number of refreshment and souvenir stands in the waiting area before you enter the attraction, along with portable restroom facilities for those with a really fast metabolism.

Do you sell alcoholic beverages?
No. And please do not enter the haunt if you are intoxicated. It’s disorienting enough if you are sober.

Is the attraction the same every year?
It’s in the same location every year. Otherwise, all bets are off.

What can’t we bring inside with us?
Knives, guns, Tasers, bazookas, weapons of any sort, alcohol, pets, food and drink, obnoxious drunks and farm animals.

Can we take pictures or video?
No video or flash photography is permitted. Our monsters are sensitive to light.

Is smoking allowed?
Are zombies vegetarians? Seriously, think about it. Get your nicotine fix in the smoking area outside the building before you enter.

Are there any warnings?
Was Dracula a Vampire? This attraction is not recommended for pregnant women, people with high blood pressure, back, neck, health, hearing or heart ailment or phobias, including snakes. No pacemakers! No children under 12 admitted without a guardian. Beware: You’ll receive electrical shocks! The floors are uneven. The slides are fast and dark. You will be enveloped by creeping fog and vapors. Watch your step!! This is not Disneyland, so enter at your own risk! For a full list of warnings and notices, please see our Warnings page.

Can we be thrown out or denied entry?
You will not be admitted or may be asked to leave if you violate any of the rules of conduct. These rules are for the safety and welfare of our guests and we will not allow anyone’s misconduct to put them in jeopardy.

Do you have security?
We have a cast and crew of over 100 working in all areas of the haunt in many different functions, including paramedics and off duty police officers who enjoy being part of our family and work to keep guests and crew members safe and (relatively) sane.

Is Cutting Edge wheelchair accessible?
Yes – No – Maybe so – Er?

Can I go through if I’m pregnant?
No. This is just not a good idea. We love kids. We want you to take good care of yours from the very beginning.

Is there any age restriction?
Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. It’s up to their parents to determine if they’re able to handle the excitement. We’ve had 8-year-olds who have loved it, and 30-year-olds who have peed their pants.

Are you open if it rains?
Neither sleet nor snow nor blackest night – sorry, yes.

Can we wear our Halloween costumes inside?
Sure, but please remove your masks. We don’t want you to trip over anything.

Is there a maze?
There is a 3,000 square foot human maze you may negotiate with the aid of a single chem stick. If you make it all the way through, we’ll give you a piece of cheese.

Is it dark?
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha… Seriously, um, yes.

Are there any rides involved?
Not unless you somehow get stuck on the meatpacking plant’s conveyor system, in which case you’ll be going home in a bunch of little boxes.

How long does it take to go through the Cutting Edge?
That depends – how fast can you run? Most guests take the better part of an hour to make it all the way through. There are a few, however, that we’re still searching for…

Story of Sally- Cutting Edge Haunted House

You know, history, is a funny thing. History is recorded facts, statistics, public information, architecture, artifacts. History is also legend, remembrances, stories told over and over to relay a part of history that isn’t written down, doesn’t always have a physical representation, it is the thread of our lives, knitted together in individuals, families, towns, countries… Many cultures revere their story tellers, they are accorded an enormous amount of respect and gratitude. They keep the very core, the very soul of their culture alive for the young ones. They also sometimes keep hidden the dark secrets that could tear apart a village, a tribe, a family. Among the stories, legends, and tales are always the ghost stories. Ghost stories have always been told, shared, and used!
In the Fort Worth / Dallas area, the infamous Hell’s Half Acre, a notorious section of old Fort Worth, was known for just about every kind of depravity of the day. Prostitutes, drugs, gangs, murderers, thieves, you name it, if you wanted to partake of vice, Hell’s Half Acre was where you would end up. Hell’s Half Acre sprawled out across the south end of town and would eventually grow to occupy over 2 ½ acres. Many attempts were made to clean it up but, just as today, money talked; the argument was made by the leaders of Fort Worth, if they started closing down the trouble makers, they would hurt the legitimate business man.
There are many documented reports of the gangs and outlaws that used the Half-Acre for a hideout, the Sam Bass Gang, famous for the largest single robbery of the Union Pacific, before Sam was shot and killed by Texas Rangers when he was 27. There are even pictures of Butch Cassidy and members of his Hole in the Wall Gang, among others.
And then there was Sally. Sally was a young prostitute, many said she was a beautiful young thing and very popular with the “gentlemen” of the area. Sally was found murdered and nailed to an outhouse door. Many reports of a special beau of Sally’s circulated, but no one could really identify him or even remember ever seeing him. Her murder was never solved. It is believed that Sally still walks the streets of the old area. Is she looking for her lover, is she looking for her murderer, was he one and the same?
At this time, the cattle were slaughtered down at the stock yards and old timers of the area remember a processing house being located down on what is now East Lancaster Street, currently home to the Cutting Edge Haunted House. The carcasses were taken by wagon to the process house, slung up on the conveyer belt that went up through the building to the butchers, processed, and dropped through chutes, that exist in the oldest building still on site, to the cool room down in the basement. As the story goes, this building was built by a foreigner, a man that could speak English, but preferred to speak only his native tongue. He was a quiet, mysterious man; the locals really knew nothing of him. The workmen that he brought in to work the processing were from his homeland; they spoke no English and kept to themselves. Though these men must certainly have found the opportunity to partake of the “amusements” offered in the Acre, there are no recorded stories of any trouble particularly attributed to them.
Old rumors would have that Sally’s lover was this man, that he abhorred her profession, and wanted her to leave it, but Sally wanted marriage and security if she was to leave the only thing that was providing her a living, pitiful though it was. All we really know is that Sally was murdered and records of what happened to the owner and men working the cattle carcass processing house are lost to recorded history. The employees at the Cutting Edge know that there still untold stories that fill the buildings where they walk today, they know that they are not alone. A few years ago, some paranormal investigators came to the Cutting Edge Haunted House and reported the vision of a young woman chained and bleeding and cries that would chill the blood. Visibly shaken, they could not identify this young woman. Could this have been Sally, is she still reliving that horrible deed?
History is funny, is this just a ghost story that old timers tell to get out a rise out of the young or is this one of those tales that is wrapped in the shadow of time but has some element of fact? Are you brave enough to do your own research, to walk the halls of the Cutting Edge? Who knows… one of the cast members in the halls of the Haunted House may really be Sally…, still wandering, still looking for her love, or she could be looking for revenge; tread carefully…
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Cutting Edge Haunted House’s Todd James, Master of the Macabre

Todd James marches to the beat of a different drum – a zombie drum, that is.

As the founder, owner and Head Hauntsman of Cutting Edge Haunted House Fort Worth / Dallas, James brings his considerable expertise as a high school band leader to bear in coaching many undead musicians in a variety of endeavors, from an eerie, apocalyptic sort of precision drum line to a 14-piece zombie marching band.

“It’s not easy teaching zombies to play musical instruments,” says James. “They tend to have a short attention span.” Kind of like teenagers. “And their marching skills, well, you have to be very patient with them.”

Although Cutting Edge would seem a likely moniker for a haunted house built in an old meatpacking plant, with human “corpses” traversing the factory on an overhead conveyer belt system on their way to be sliced and diced and well, you know, human dismemberment was actually the farthest thing from his mind when James came up with the name. As a child growing up in Texas, Todd James knew that one day he would have the biggest, baddest haunted house around, something on the cutting edge of Halloween scares.

“Since I was very young, I was putting on my Halloween stuff in the summer time, hiding in the bushes and scaring young children,” he says with a wry smile.

In fact, it wasn’t until the third year of operation that the Cutting Edge moved to the 235,000 square foot building, built in 1908 on a patch of Wild West badlands once known as “Hell’s half acre.” The sheer size of the plant, the grisly undertones of a meat processing factory and the outlaw reputation of the neighborhood appealed to James.

“It’s perfect, because for one it’s a meat packing plant and it’s about 100 years old. It just lends itself. There’s a lot of character.”

With five full floors of chilling, thrilling action, Cutting Edge is the size of four or five average haunted houses. And with only 70% of the building currently in use, there’s still plenty of room to expand. Expand?

In addition to the Guinness record book title in 2009 and 2010, last year Cutting Edge garnered the #2 spot in Haunted House Ratings’ Top 13 Haunted Houses, as well as the #6 spot in Hauntworld Magazine’s Best Haunted Houses in America, adding to a long list of haunt awards and commendations that Todd James and his crew have racked up over the years, including top rankings from Fangorium Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Yahoo and MSN, as well as a feature on the Travel Channel called “America Haunts” profiling the “most terrifying, well-orchestrated haunted houses” in the United States.

“Every year they manage to come up with more amazing stuff,” he says proudly. “I couldn’t operate this event without a single one of them. They’re all so creative. I’m really fortunate to be surrounded by the challenging group of people that are here. I give them all the credit.”

“We’ve been pretty fortunate over the years,” says James, speaking pretty modestly for the owner of a world famous attraction that has its own Wikipedia page. Cutting Edge features over 400 mannequins and 150 cast members who like to slip in and out of “mannequin mode” so that you can never be sure whether or not something – or someone is real. “The sheer timing of the scare is an art” says Todd, and so after an extensive audition process, successful cast members undergo further training at “Boo U.”

James’ percussionist background also reflects in the thumping reverberations of the massive sound system that sends heart-stopping gothic music resounding throughout the building. It’s not all musical zombies and maniacs with chainsaws, however – although those are certainly frightening enough. A number of animatronic monsters abound, in the form of fiendish dragons and dinosaurs and a giant snake that slithers around in search of human prey.

All in all it’s a massive undertaking, requiring the efforts of several hundred seasonal and nearly a dozen full time employees to create, maintain and operate the attraction. And every year it gets even bigger. Might there ever come a time it could become just too much work?

“I don’t imagine I’ll ever stop. It’s fun,” says James with a chuckle. “I don’t know why I would stop, you know, honestly. We get paid to play practical jokes on people. That’s pretty cool. As long as I can still push a button and make something pop out I’ll still be at it.”

Searching for a Few Good Zombies – Cutting Edge Haunted House

Taking on a part-time job for the holidays is a great way to earn a little extra money, but before applying as a greeter to the local big box store, consider another possibility.

How about a job that involves nights and weekends, where you can be completely anonymous and vent your frustrations by screaming your head off? What if you could unleash your inner werewolf, howl at the moon, act completely demented and not only get away with it, but actually get paid?

If you’re searching for a killer job with the ultimate in career satisfaction, where you get to brandish a chain saw and have a frightfully good time, where your coworkers would rather stab you in the chest than the back, where the boss is a real monster and the working conditions are simply hideous, then working at a haunted attraction is right up your dark alley!

That’s right, as the dark and dangerous Texas nights grow longer, the area’s haunted attractions are gearing up for a season of unprecedented thrills, chills and hair-raising good times. And they’re searching for a few good zombies to take up arms and defend Fort Worth – Dallas reputation as the scare capital of the world.

The benefits of working at a haunt are many, including free uniforms, a complimentary hair and makeup consultation and make-over, scream therapy sessions, inspirational background music, plenty of on-the-job exercise opportunities and more. Working at a haunted attraction is the most fun you can have with your rags and bandages on, while actually getting paid at the same time. Every night is “ghoul’s night out” when you’re working on the fright line!

Take advantage of this spooktacular seasonal employment opportunity by visiting the employment pages at to find out where and when to apply. But be warned; it’s frightfully addictive!

Introducing – DRAGO! Cutting Edge Haunted House

Lights, Camera, Action! Cutting Edge Haunted House (Fort Worth / Dallas) Texas, has a new star! Making his acting debut on the horror stage this year is “Drago” the scariest pet dragon/dinosaur this side of Jurassic Park. Drago lurks in a dark rainforest with the other dinosaurs, just waiting for unsuspecting visitors to stop by and admire the scenery. Then suddenly, without warning, out he springs with a loud, ear-splitting, blood curdling roar sure to make your heart leap into your throat. Frozen in your tracks, face to face with the monster, though your reasoning mind knows this couldn’t possibly be real, you think just maybe – he – is – going – to – EAT YOU! Poor Drago, we haven’t been feeding him lately, and he’s all skin and bones, well bones anyway. So when you come to the Cutting Edge Haunted House this year, be on the lookout for our newest pet. He can’t wait for you to come and visit – he’s just dying for a bite…

Friggatriskaidekaphobia – Fear of Friday the 13th

Mask(Cutting Edge Haunted House Fort Worth / Dallas Texas)
The earliest recorded reference of Friday the 13th having sinister connotations was at the passing of Gioachino Rossino, of whom Henry Sutherland Edwards wrote in a 1869 biography:

“He was surrounded to the last by admiring friends; and if it be true that, like so many Italians, he regarded Fridays as an unlucky day and 13 as an unlucky number, it is remarkable that one Friday 13th of November he died.”

In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners.

Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales, and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys, begin new projects or deploy releases in production. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s.

The fear of Friday the 13th has been called friggatriskaidekaphobia (Friggia being the name of the Norse goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen)… Try saying that one five times fast. Try saying it even ONCE.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day making it the most feared day and date in history. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. “It’s been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day”.

The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics on June 12, 2008, stated that “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th, at least in the Netherlands; in the last two years, Dutch insurers received reports of an average 7,800 traffic accidents each Friday; but the average figure when the 13th fell on a Friday was just 7,500.”

Conversely, a 1993 study published in the British Medical Journal found that in the region sampled, while consistently fewer people chose to drive their vehicles on Friday the 13th, the number of hospital admissions due to vehicular accidents was significantly higher than on “normal” Fridays, concluding, “Friday 13th is unlucky for some. The risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent. Staying at home is recommended.”

At the Cutting Edge, we double-dog dare you to confront your friggatriskaidekaphobia and come to our Friday the 13th opening! Don’t hide under your bed like a little girl – take your fate in your hands and carpe diem – seize the day! Friday the 13th also has a reputation as a day to win the lottery or come into uncommon fortune for those brazen enough to face their fears. And when it comes to fear, we’ve got plenty for you to face.
See you Friday night – we’ll be waiting for you… at Cutting Edge Haunted House

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Three Urban Legends Centered Around Haunted Houses

An urban legend is basically a tall tale; a kind of bizarre farce just plausible enough to be believed, that somehow goes viral until people have heard it so many times in so many places that they believe it to be true.

People love to spread a good urban legend, and what better subject to base one on than a haunted house? After all, there’s no better time to spread a mythic story than while waiting in line, anticipating the thrills to come and building up the suspense. Here are three urban legends that have been circulating for some 50 years or more.

The All You Can Eat Haunted House

Kind of like the monster-sized ribeye steak, or the chili that’s too spicy for anyone without a Teflon gut to consume, rumors abound about a haunted house so terrifying that no one is able to make it all the way through, and a refund is offered to any intrepid guest that does.

While Cutting Edge’s (DFW Haunted House) manager does carve a notch in the handle of his chainsaw each time a guest runs screaming through an emergency exit, there is no prize – nor refund – for making it all the way through the attraction, save the nightmares that will haunt your slumber for many nights to come.

We have it on good authority that there is not, nor has there ever been a haunted house that promises to refund the price of admission to anyone brave or foolhardy enough to make it all the way through. That’s just silly.

Haunted Houses are Associated with Demons and Devil Worship

Haunted houses are created for one thing only, and that’s to scare the living daylights out of all these who want to have the living day lights scared out of them. To that end, we may depict some pretty frightening, eerie and even bizarre things, certainly pushing the bound arise of that which is odd, strange and spooky, all in the name of fun. As a matter of fact, many Haunted Houses donate heavily to local and national charities. Many church groups host haunted houses as a way of fundraising and as safe alternatives to door to door trick-or-treating. Cutting Edge Haunted House relishes in providing a creepy environment where you can, at your request, get scared silly, scream with terror and laugh until your sides hurt and all the while know it’s not real…..presumably!

Rest assured however, were all just good ole boys having fun, and the only thing we really want is to hear the shrieks and screams from our satisfied albeit terrified guests.

Some Haunted Houses Have Real Ghosts

Haunted houses create elaborate back stories in order to develop their themes and enhance the experience for guests, and if a rumor gets around about the possibility of a real haunting, so much the better for the box office. Just like what you read on the Internet, however, you have to take these stories with a grain of bone dust – except of course, for the strange apparition that’s been spotted by members of the crew at the Cutting Edge, because it IS a very old building, you know, and we’re not really sure what all kind of meat was being processed here, just saying.

2013 Cutting Edge Haunted House T-Shirt Design Contest Rules and Restrictions:

Cutting Edge Haunted House T-Shirt Design Contest

Go to the Cutting Edge Haunted House Pinterest Profile at

Find and follow our “CEHH T-Shirt Design Contest” board

Save the Blank T-Shirt Template for your use creating your Cutting Edge Haunted House T-Shirt Design Entry.

You may use as many of the available images from the “T-Shirt Design Contest” board as you wish, but you must use at least 1 of the images in your T-Shirt Design Entry.

You may use other images to complete your Entry, but the design must not contain, at the discretion of the Cutting Edge Haunted House (CEHH), proprietary, pornographic, contain obscene, defamatory, sexually explicit, obscene gore or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

Click and complete the Entry Form and Upload your T-Shirt Design Image to Enter
Take a picture of your T-Shirt Design using Instagram or Twitter and tag #cehhtshirtdesign to Enter

All Design Entries must be received the Contest Deadline of Midnight, August 17, 2013.

Contest Open to all US residents only please.

Good Luck!

2013 Cutting Edge Haunted House T-Shirt Design Contest
Rules and Restrictions:

Each graphic design, in its entirety, must be a single work of at least 1 image from the Pinterest “CEHH T-Shirt Contest” board designed by the contest entrant. By entering the contest, entrant represents, acknowledges, and warrants that the submitted design is an original work created solely by the entrant, that the design does not infringe on the copyrights, trademarks, moral rights, rights of privacy/publicity or intellectual property rights of any person or entity, and that no other party has any right, title, claim, or interest in the design. The design must not, at the discretion of the Cutting Edge Haunted House (CEHH), contain obscene, defamatory, sexually explicit, obscene gore or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

Designs that include sculptures, statues, paintings, and other works of art will be accepted as long as they do not constitute copyright infringement or fraud.

If the design contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the design, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the design, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the design in the manner set forth in these rules.

If any person appearing in any design is under the age of 18 and is not the child of the person submitting the design, the entrant submitting the design is responsible for obtaining proper permission and contact information from the parent of the child.

By entering the contest, all entrants grant an irrevocable perpetual, nonexclusive license to the CEHH, to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit) in connection with the contest and promotion of the contest, in any media now or hereafter known, including, but not limited to: display at a potential exhibition of winners; publication in a magazine featuring select entries in the contest; and publication online on the CEHH website highlighting entries or winners of the contest. Entrants consent to the CEHH doing or omitting to do any act that would otherwise infringe the entrant’s “moral rights” in their entries. Display or publication of any entry on the CEHH’s website does not indicate the entrant will be selected as a winner. Additionally, by entering, each entrant grants to the CEHH the unrestricted right to use all statements made in connection with the contest, and pictures or likenesses of contest entrants, or choose not to do so, at their sole discretion. The CEHH will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.

By entering this Contest, all entrants agree to release, discharge, and hold harmless CEHH and its affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, agents and their employees, officers, directors, and representatives from any claims, losses, and damages arising out of their participation in this contest or any contest-related activities and the acceptance and use, misuse, or possession of any prize awarded hereunder. The CEHH assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, or delay in operation or transmission; communications line failure; theft or destruction of or unauthorized access to Contest entries or entry forms; or alteration of entries or entry forms. The CEHH is not responsible for any problems with or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of any email entry to be received on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, human errors of any kind, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrants’ or any other persons’ computers related to or resulting from participation, uploading or downloading of any materials related to in this contest.

Entrants may print a copy of these contest rules or may receive a copy upon request to the CEHH.

Working on chainsaw gang..

Nothing makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck more than the sight of a ghoulish, blood-soaked fiend wielding a chain saw, unless of course it’s the scream of the motor revving and the sickly smell of burning diesel coming from the apparatus itself.

Anyone who has seen or even just heard of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” – either the original 1974 version or the 2003 remake has an innate, instinctive horror of being dismembered by this once innocent wood-cutting device.

Chainsaws have been around since the 1930s but were not depicted as weapons of mass gore until the 60s, likely due to early censorship restrictions on graphic violence in movies which is still in place in the public television arena.

The first use of a chain saw for movie violence was in the 1968 film “Dark of the Sun” where a chain saw was used during a brief scuffle.  In 1970’s splatter film “The Wizard of Gore” an evil magician uses a chain saw to cut one victim in half as part of his stage show. She appears normal after the show but is later found dead, cut in half by a chain saw.

Although Wes Craven’s “The Last House on the Left” (1972) was later referred to as “The Original Chainsaw Massacre” in re-release advertising campaigns, it only had one chainsaw scene near the end of the movie.

And then came “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre,” loosely based on famous murderer Ed Gein. Although Gein reportedly dismembered his victims post mortem, Tobe Hooper went one further and had him wielding a chain saw like a battle axe, slashing everything in sight in a murderous bloodbath. The real Gein only actually killed two women (and not with a chain saw) – although he did have a penchant for digging up corpses and fashioning knickknacks from their bones and skin.

The movie inspired one direct sequel, two standalone sequels, a remake in 2003 and even a “prequel.”

Since then dozens of B list horror movies filmed in Hollywood and Tokyo have featured chainsaw-wielding maniacs in their quest for gore, gore and more gore. Let’s face it, if you want to kill someone in a spectacular way and have lots of blood spurting everywhere, few weapons are more effective than a chainsaw.

In reality, a chainsaw is heavy, unwieldy, loud, dangerous to the user and kind of expensive compared to other potential weapons, so real life chainsaw attacks and murders are quite rare.

Just ask any member of the Chain Saw Gang at Cutting Edge Haunted House, it takes a lot of strength to wave a chain saw around all night. These guys train for months, bulking up in the gym, eating their spinach and practicing their technique for hours on end. It’s not as easy as it looks – it takes finesse, strength and a certain amount of grace to wield a chain saw and make it look natural.

In fact, it should be an Olympic sport.

Of course, the Cutting Edge removes the chains, so that although it looks, sounds and smells like an actual running chain saw – because it is – it won’t cut off your arm should one of these guys happen to, er, slip…  No, no, that never happens.  Really, we haven’t lost a customer – yet.

Making (up) a Living at The Cutting Edge

Monsters and zombies and ghouls, oh my!

So where exactly does a ghoul go to get a professional makeup job in Fort Worth these days?  If that ghoul is one of over 100 live actors working at the Cutting Edge Haunted House, the answer is, “Go see Dee!”

Makeup artist extraordinaire and licensed esthetician Delena Williams is one of eight makeup artists who work behind the scenes at the world famous haunted meat packing plant, transforming rookie zombies and seasoned veterans alike into horrific, scream-worthy apparitions night after night for three months out of the year.

This fall, Delena will be starting her sixth season with the Cutting Edge, her first real job after graduating from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  “I did a lot of theater in high school,” she says, “and I always wanted to do special effects makeup.”  Cutting Edge granted her wish; she and her colleagues have roughly two to thee hours each night to make up over 100 actors, many of whom will need regular touchups as the night wears on.  She has been known to stay as late as 2 am on occasion.

Like most of the others in what she refers to as her “loving, dysfunctional family,” Delena also has a day job.  She works full time at a European waxing center, providing facials, skin care solutions and esthetic waxing for hair removal.  Oh, and makeup – only, different.

Working at the Cutting Edge gives Delena a sense of artistic freedom she doesn’t get at her day job.  The zombies aren’t so particular about their eyeliner, and don’t mind if she gives them a black eye or a jagged scar here and there.  Still, it’s humbling.  Despite the elaborate makeup and costumes, sometimes it’s the little things that scare the guests the most – things like, say, a feather.

“There’s a clown, you know, that hides out in a wardrobe, and he pulls out a feather and tickles people.  They go berserk!”  As Forest Gump might say, “Scary is as scary does.”


Walk Like a Zombie

May is Zombie Awareness Month here at the Cutting Edge, so as a public service we are here to provide some public safety tips on How to Survive a Zombie Attack. First and foremost, should you ever come face to face with a Zombie, play undead. This is a bit different than playing dead, which might work with a bear, but if a Zombie suspects you are a fresh kill he will set about to eat your brains.

Instead, play undead, as in walk like a Zombie. Not an Egyptian, a Zombie. This is a little like walking on slippery ice, which is actually walking like a penguin, but with just a little less waddle. Put your arms out in front of you and assume a fixed, glazed expression. Above all, do not scream like a girl and run away; this will only attract more Zombies. Their ears are especially attuned to hone in on little girl squeals and one high pitched shriek will have every Zombie within a square mile on your trail.

Once the Zombie is convinced you are a comrade, slowly amble away. It is very important to maintain your slow, ambling gait, no matter how terrified you may be. It can take a whole hour just to get away from a Zombie, but you must persevere. There are very proactive people the world over who practice this gait by conducting annual Zombie Walks, usually during the month of October. Check the internet to find a Zombie Walk near you.

In the event of a full blown Zombie invasion, it’s important to be prepared with a full complement of emergency supplies. The Centers for Disease Control publishes a comprehensive pamphlet called “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse” which is available on their Website and will prepare you for just such an attack – along with hurricanes, tornados and other, less devastating natural disasters.

So stay alert, stay calm, stock up and be ready. Anyone can be a Zombie; your best friend, your neighbor, your wife or husband. Use caution when approaching teenagers. Oftentimes their “thousand yard stare” causes them to be mistaken for Zombies. And above all, check back often with the Cutting Edge for Zombie Alerts, in case, well, any of ours, accidentally, sort of…you know…get loose…

Big Bad Ray, a Giant among Zombies

Cutting Edge Haunted House’s Makeup Director, Ray Don, or “Big Ray” as his friends like to call him, is something of a gentle giant. At 6 foot 3 and 270 pounds, he could probably squash most haunt-goers like a latex prop. Instead, this soft-spoken, genial grizzly bear of a man prefers to explore his creative side; he’s an artist.

More specifically, Ray is an artist with a sinister bent. He obsesses over all things creepy, dark and dangerous. “I’ve been doing Halloween since the beginning of time, it seems like.”

Ray is one of the full-time crew at Cutting Edge. When he’s not doing makeup you can find him with a hammer or a paintbrush, building and painting the eerie, disturbing sets that furnish the colossal haunt. In his free time he also paints murals and faux finishes, designs movie sets and takes on whatever artistic odd jobs come his way.

Cutting Edge is a maverick in the haunt world, one of the few haunts that opens up at different times throughout the year, for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and every Friday the 13th. This year Friday the 13th occurs in September and December. It’s April, however, and there’s a buzz of activity at Cutting Edge today.

“It’s HauntCon,” says Ray. “We’re one of the spotlight tours.”

The Haunted Attraction National Tradeshow and Conference, or HauntCon, is an expo and convention “designed by haunters, for haunters” held at different places around the country every year. Last year it was Pittsburgh; this year it’s Dallas-Fort Worth, and Cutting Edge is scheduled to provide a spotlight tour to convention goers Friday night, April 26.

As with every other show night, Ray and the 8 to 14 makeup artists he supervises will work in shifts, to makeup Cutting Edge’s 150 to 200 actors. They will keep going all night, retouching as necessary until there is no more need for them. By the time Ray gets through making sure the makeup is put away and the makeup room cleaned, it’s usually 1 or 2 in the morning.

“That’s early,” he says. “Many of the actors are often here until 5 or 6.”

It’s a strenuous job at times, but one Ray wouldn’t trade for all the chainsaws in Texas. “When the show is running, it’s probably the best time of my year. It is so much fun. We have a blast!”

For Ray and the others, one of the best parts about working at Cutting Edge is the camaraderie among the cast members. “It’s a big family, you know. I love them. These guys are crazy, but they’re loyal.”

Still, after a solid month of haunting, it can get to be a little bit exhausting. “By the time October 31st gets here, we’re so over it. (Head Makeup Artist and Set Designer) Frances and I have been best friends for 20 years, but we don’t want to see each other for about a month!”

Rest well, Ray; you’ll get exactly six weeks before Friday, December 13th!

Introducing – Buttercup!

Lights, Camera, Action!
Cutting Edge has a new star!
Making his acting debut on the horror stage this year is
“Buttercup” the scariest pet dragon/dinosaur this side of Jurassic
Park. Buttercup lurks in a dark rainforest
with the other dinosaurs, just waiting for unsuspecting visitors to stop by and
admire the scenery. Then suddenly,
without warning, out he springs with a loud, ear-splitting, blood curdling roar
sure to make your heart leap into your throat.
Frozen in your tracks, face to face with the monster, though your
reasoning mind knows this couldn’t possibly be real, you think just maybe – he
– is – going – to – EAT YOU! Poor Buttercup,
we haven’t been feeding him lately, and he’s all skin and bones, well bones
anyway. So when you come to the Cutting
Edge Haunted House this year, be on the lookout for our newest pet. He can’t wait for you to come and visit –
he’s just dying for a bite.

Keeping it Real at the Cutting Edge

“Danger Dave” doesn’t like to talk about how he got his nickname. As head of the maintenance department for the Cutting Edge Haunted House, he’s had a few close calls, sort of like Tim Taylor on Home Improvements fictional “Tool Time.”

Of course, he’s been with the Cutting Edge since 1996 and still has all of his fingers, so he must be doing something right. During that time he’s seen a lot of changes, as the attraction continues to grow and expand. “This year we’re attempting to make more changes than we’ve ever done in one year,” he says of the frenzy of production going on at the massive old converted meat-packing factory.

Dave favorite new section of the attraction? Ruckus Land, a chaotic boneyard of old sets and props haunted by chainsaw wielding acrobats. “It’s going to be really, really cool.”

Not everybody in Dave’s family shares of his love of haunted houses. “My mom still refuses to come,” he says, “that’s not her cup of tea.” Dave’s wife and her family, however, are another story altogether. “Her family comes up pretty regularly,” he says proudly. And his wife, does she share his enthusiasm for the venue? “We all love it. That’s why we’ve worked there so long.”

Of his nearly 16 years with the Cutting Edge, Dave says, “We’ve all been together so long and worked together so much that we’ve all become family,” and he describes the core of regulars who have been with the Cutting Edge through the years as, “guys that I’ll do anything for.”

And his job, “It’s like hanging out with my friends every day. How many people can say they get to go to work and hang out with their friends?”

As to the overwhelming popularity of The Cutting Edge? “We take away many things that are really dear to you, sight and sound are my favorites.” You only see what we want you to see, and hear what we want you to hear, and being able to do that throughout the whole show, keeping that kind of consistency is one thing that really throws people off.”

It’s got to be an overwhelming experience, on a treacherous trail that is extremely long. “People ask ‘how long does it take?’” says Dave. “I don’t know, how fast can you run?”

The Scares are Bigger in Texas

People are fond of saying that everything’s bigger in Texas, and here at the Cutting Edge Haunted House,we have to admit that’s true.

Just waiting in line is one gigantic block party, with DJs, raucous music, zombies and ghouls running amok everywhere, creeping you out in the parking lot, lurking around the porta-potties. We’ve got more scares going on outside the attraction than other places have in their whole haunted house.

As for the zombies, you can’t hardly swing a dead cat without hitting a zombie at the Cutting Edge. We’ve got zombies with chain saws, zombies playing in a marching band, zombies in a drum line – heck, our zombies are downright musical prodigies!

And as for the attraction itself, well it’s a colossal 200,000+ square foot meat-packing plant, with bodies hanging from a conveyor belt traveling overhead. We’ve got disturbing tableaus and dioramas, dinosaurs and dragons, crazed clowns and maniacal monsters, more animatronics than a Disneyland ride and a cast of hundreds so that you’ll never know for sure whether something or somebody is real or not.

In fact, it’s all about the illusion. Your rational mind knows that you’re safe, but part of you isn’t quite sure.

The Cutting Edge is so big that people often ask how long it takes to get all the way through once they cross into that netherworld of illusion. The answer? Well it depends, how fast can you run? Last year it took most folks the better part of an hour, but this year it’s longer – a whole lot longer. And don’t forget, you also have to negotiate an actual maze and a giant wall of foam.

So yes, things are bigger in Texas, especially here at the Cutting Edge, but don’t take our word for it, come on out and see! One thing though, you’d better make sure you take the opportunity to use the porta-potties before you come in, because we’re going to scare the crap out of you!

Just your Friendly Neighborhood “Chainsaw”

Brent is a different kind of superhero. By day a humble firefighter-paramedic, by night he transforms into the chainsaw-wielding, eerily skeletal figure known only as “Chainsaw” to the regulars at the Cutting Edge Haunted House.

It’s a calling. Some people collect stamps, others build model airplanes. Brent’s passion is the Cutting Edge, where he volunteers to scare the daylights out of people as part of the “front line entertainment,” which he has been doing since 1994.

If the truth be told, he just gets a kick out of startling people, even going so far as to climb into their cars with them as they park. Just his presence near the line of porta-potties will keep the patrons at a distance, squeezing their knees together and waiting for him to leave the area.

“I’ve seen people wait for an hour, and wait for me to leave,” he says. “And as soon as I walk away, a hundred people will rush over to the toilets.”

Brent also puts his paramedic skills to good use on the “Band Aid Brigade,” providing first aid services wherever needed should someone manage to scrape a knee or twist an ankle, but his favorite part about the job is just seeing people’s reactions as he quietly appears beside them.

“What amazes me is, I’m out there with the parking lot lights on and everything, and people still manage to not see me. They actually know I’m there, and they forget I’m there and get scared anyway.” It’s the creep factor, a Cutting Edge trademark.

“That’s the whole thing about our stick, especially outside, creeping is something that we can do.” It’s all part of a superhero’s mission to “give them a good time, and that’s what it’s all about.”

During the off season Brent helps with the sets, and has been very busy with all of the new construction this year. Asked about the major changes taking place he says, “Oh wow…to me it’s mind boggling, what we’re doing and the renovations that we’re setting up and getting ready for our guests. I think our guests and our patrons will be really pleased with what we do.”

And his favorite new area? “The area I’m working on is our Dragon’s Lair – I’m really pleased with the way it’s turning out.” The big new attraction there is Drago, Cutting Edge’s newest pet dino-dragon. “That’s one of our new pet projects, literally.”

As for Brent’s family, they fully support his extracurricular activities, and patronize the Cutting Edge on a regular basis. “They think it’s great. They like being there all the time.” His friends, however are another story. Although his volunteer work entitles him to free passes, he rarely takes advantage of them. “Half my friends are afraid to go in.” It’s lonely being a superhero.

Romance Gone Awry – Valentine’s Day at the Cutting Edge

Ah Valentine’s Day, the romance, the candlelight, the roses, the – zombies? That’s right, zombies! Jealous, lovelorn, bloodthirsty ghouls who are positively green with envy will be making the rounds at Cutting Edge Haunted House this Valentine’s Day, looking for a date, anybody’s date – even yours! Cutting Edge puts the adrenaline back into Valentine’s Day with our “Twisted Love” monster date night extravaganza, chock full of chills, thrills and twisted romantic themes you’ll never see on a Hallmark card.

The World’s Largest Haunted House will be illuminated by candlelight for this one special event, so that you and your date can enjoy the ambiance as you run screaming through the hallways, stalked by monsters wielding roses, chocolates and chainsaws. You’ll think you’ve wound up at a zombie prom, complete with 60’s and 70’s Motown love music; only the zombies are more interested in your brains than your dancing ability – eating them, that is. Don’t worry, they’re zombies; you can outrun them. Now, as for the rest of the monsters – well, just be sure and wear good running shoes!

And whatever you do, hold tight to your date and don’t let go. Cutting Edge cannot be held responsible for dates that are lost, stolen, misplaced or um, you know, eaten. For a fright to remember this Valentine’s Day, plan to spend a romantic evening of “Twisted Love” at Cutting Edge Haunted House. Because nothing says “I love you” like a bloodcurdling scream.

How to Make Friends and Scare the Daylights out of People

Frances scares people for a living. To be precise, she makes other people scary in her job as Head Makeup Artist and Set Designer at the Cutting Edge Haunted House.

“This is like playtime every day, and this is what we do for a living,” she says of the work that she and nine other full time employees perform year round at the world famous house of horrors. Although the basic “season” for the Cutting Edge runs from around the second weekend of September through the first weekend in November, the work at the gigantic fear factory goes on year round. A ghoul’s work is never done.

Frances worked as a theatre set designer when she first met Cutting Edge owner Todd back in 1998. As a single mother of two young children she found it difficult to travel to New York for work, so when James offered her a job right here in Fort Worth, she jumped at it, and she has never looked back.

“It’s just amazing how big this thing has gotten,” she says, referring to the enormous popularity of the Cutting Edge and the staunch loyalty of its patrons who return year after year. “People don’t throw away their parking passes,” she says, “and it’s a different color every year. And sometimes you’ll see someone with like, ten different colored parking passes hanging off their rear view mirror.”

In fact, she relates a story of how Todd was driving to work recently when a motorist behind him began flashing his lights impatiently for James to pull over and allow him to pass. Todd was irate at first, but as the other car whizzed by, he spotted five or six Cutting Edge parking passes dangling from the vehicle’s rear view mirror. “I just let him go on by,” he told Frances later with a smile.

Frances’s not the only one of her family to be bitten by the haunted house bug. Her daughter Jessie, now 21, started getting into the act when she was ten. “There were some nights when I couldn’t find a babysitter” says Frances, “and so I brought her in and let her stay in the cast room.” Jessie wanted to get into the action, though, and so one night Frances made her up to look like an evil little girl and put her in one of the tableau displays with an adult cast member to keep an eye on her.

Later that night, the adult cast member told Frances, “Your daughter is creeping me out.” It seems Jessie was taking plastic baby dolls from the tableau and hanging them all by the neck from the bed canopy. “That’s my girl,” said Frances. Jessie went on to become a regular cast member at the Cutting Edge.

So what is a typical working day for the Headmistress of Horrors in a haunted meatpacking plant? “I usually get there around noon,” says Frances, “to get all the costumes and things ready, organize the makeup and make sure we have what we need. Then the makeup artists and the costume girls come in. In October we have anywhere from six to eight makeup artists plus apprentices and two to three girls in the costume department.”

At around 3:30 to 4:00 the stage managers arrive, and by five o’clock Frances and her team are “hot and heavy” prepping 75 to 100 cast members for a night of shock and awe. “We have some amazing makeup people,” she says, “they work like a finely tuned clock.” By 7 o’clock if not sooner, the Cutting Edge is ready to open.

“Sometimes around Halloween people show up early because they don’t want to wait in line,” says Frances, adding that eager patrons often arrive as early as 5:00 on those nights, and if the cast is ready, James will sometimes open as early as 6:00 pm.

Although the lines can be quite long and the wait on a Friday night in October can be as much as three or four hours, fans don’t seem to mind. “It’s like a party outside,” says Frances. The carnival-like atmosphere includes a DJ playing outrageous sound tracks, a monster hearse motoring about providing photo opportunities, a full brass band of zombies and members of Cutting Edge’s eerie undead precision drum line keeping the crowds entertained and giving them a taste of what’s in store for them inside.

In addition to Cutting Edge’s own staff, the action in the parking lot is often enhanced by the presence of radio station personalities doing promotional giveaways and “MTV Zombie Tacos” offering complimentary munchies.

For Frances and her team, the nights can be long, especially during the peak of the season, and they often do not close up shop until around 3:30 or 4 in the morning – if not later. It’s usually about one hour after “the kids” get into the cast room, she says, that she and security are able to finally lock up and go home. “I’ve been leaving as the sun comes up.”

She tells about one Friday night when Halloween fell on the weekend and they actually had to stop selling tickets. “Todd realized we just couldn’t get everybody through the show before morning. He finally told them to shut it down.” That night James called them all up onto the rooftop.

“We were standing up on the roof and looking out over the parking lot,” says Frances, “and there was a solid sea of people as far as you could see. We were looking around going, ‘is this real?’ It was just such an amazing feeling.”

“An Experience You Can Only Hope To Forget”

Cutting Edge Haunted House is a dark attraction filled with terrifying live actors, amazing special effects and incredible monsters. Celebrating its new Guinness World Record, this intense, cutting edge, multi-story, multi-themed haunted attraction is widely considered to be one of the best Haunted Houses in the nation, full of chilling detail and unbelievable scares!

Located in a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant in a section of Fort Worth historically dubbed as “Hell’s Half Acre,” the Cutting Edge Haunted House is built upon a foundation of fear. The meat packing equipment from the Old West is still in use, but now it is a two-story human processing area. Realistic looking human mannequins are hoisted up to the second level and brought through the entire meat packing process until the conveyor system brings the butchered corpses back to the first level. The old meat-packing plant in downtown Fort Worth is a great home for the fantastic special effects that our loyal customers have come to expect.”  It takes visitors an average 55 minutes to explore Cutting Edge Haunted House. The walk-through is replete with frighteningly-realistic props.

Cutting Edge Haunted House has established a reputation for being one of the best haunted houses in the nation. The new Guinness World Record has helped to solidify Cutting Edge Haunted House’s standing as one of the country’s best and largest haunted houses. Come see what new horrors lurk in the twisting corridors of Fort Worth’s ultimate haunted house.

Cutting Edge Haunted House Reviews

“Cutting Edge is the best haunted house I’ve been to in my combined 16 years as a reviewer and customer. “ -Texas
“Recognized for their attention to detail, high-quality special effects, and overall scare factor” -Wall Street Journal 2008
“This is the best haunted house I’ve ever seen” -Jeff Mosier, Arlington News
“Members of my review team loved this place and said it was the scariest haunted house they had ever been to” -Haunt
“The longest adrenaline rush money can buy!” -Denton Record Chronicle
“Thou Shalt Shudder” -Dallas Morning News
“…A whole new level of intense entertainment…On the ‘Spinal Tap’ rock scale!” -North Texas

Cutting Edge Haunted House is Holding Auditions

FORT WORTH, Texas, Aug. 24, 2011 — Ever wanted to work at a Haunted House? Now you can, thanks to the Cutting Edge Haunted Houseʼs BooUniversity.“Itʼs a class that we put together for our monsters to help them learn the proper way to scare, so they will be able to make it through the audition processes,” said Todd James, of the CuttingEdge Haunted House.The haunted house, listed as the worldʼs largest haunted house and ranked among the scariest haunted houses in America, is searching for people who can add horror and excitement to its well-established reputation for being one of the Best Haunted Houses in America.Those successful in the audition will become a part of a team that prides itself on providing the ultimate haunted house experience.“We use different scare tactics in our haunted house,” James said. “Actors do not speak the whole time they are on set. We follow the pattern of the old school Halloween movies as in Friday the 13th, Halloween, the creepy girl in the Ring.”Bryan Grant, 22, of Fort Worth, said being a monster would be like a dream come true for him.“Iʼve always wanted to be one of those guys who scare the daylights out of someone,” said Grant. “I am a huge fan of the old classic Jason movies, so to have a chance to become one of those monsters at the World’s largest haunted house would be awesome. I will definitely inquire to see if thereʼs a chance for me to become a monster.”James said those interested can stop by the Cutting Edge Haunted House, 1701 E. Lancaster Avenue, from 7-9pm Tuesday, August 30 or 7-9pm Wednesday, August 31.For more information about becoming a monster or the Cutting Edge Haunted House itself, visit: