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 Haunts.net
“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 Reviews.com
“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 Haunts.com

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: www.cuttingedgehauntedhouse.com