A Rose, By Any Other Color…

Black Rose CE SmallThe symbolism of rose colors is steeped in tradition. Over thousands of years, people have used the various colors of roses to convey a variety of emotions, from affection to sympathy to undying love. Before you spring for a bouquet this Valentine’s Day, you might want to think about what message you’re trying to send.

Red is traditionally the color of love, beauty, courage and respect, romantic love and, congratulations, and a single red rose is used to say, “I love you.”

Dark red or deep burgundy symbolizes unconscious beauty.

Pink roses signal appreciation, thanks, grace, perfect happiness, admiration, gentleness, and can also be used to say, “please believe me.”

White roses symbolize purity, innocence, silence, secrecy, reverence, humility, youthfulness, worthiness, heavenliness, and are a favorite for weddings and bridal bouquets.

Yellow roses are used to indicate friendship, joy, gladness, delight, new beginnings, welcome back, jealousy and caring.

Yellow roses with a red tip symbolize friendship and falling in love.

Orange roses signify desire and enthusiasm.

Red and white roses given together demonstrate unity.

Red and yellow roses together demonstrate happy feelings.

Lavender roses are a symbol of enchantment, and love at first sight.

Coral roses indicate desire.

Black roses are a rose of another color. They are used to signify death, sadness, bereavement and farewell, and are often used in funeral arrangements. They may also be sent to the living, as an ominous warning, or reflection of a desire on the part of the sender that the receiver might soon perish unexpectedly. Black roses are also symbolic of dark magic, evil, witchcraft, and revenge, and play a role in numerous works of fiction and fantasy.

Apart from a few extremely rare and exotic varieties, black roses, by and large, are not actually black, by nature. They start out as a very dark shade of red, purple or maroon. Cut roses are placed in a vase of water mixed with black floral dye, and as they absorb the water, they darken in color. Alternatively, they may be dipped in a dye solution or sprayed with a floral spray paint, which is a faster, yet messier method of creating truly black roses.

Black roses are also a favorite of goth girls, so if your sweetheart is into the black nail polish and spiked dog collars, a bouquet of black roses might actually be a hit, as long as they’re live black roses, not wilted or dried out with a dead rodent thrown in the box for good measure…

Or, you could just bring her to Cutting Edge Haunted House on Valentine’s Day Weekend, open Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 10 p.m. Because nothing says “I love you” like a bloodcurdling scream…

The Perils of a Full Moon at Christmas

CEWerewolfMoon Santa’s not the only creature roaming the Earth this Christmas Eve…

Early Christmas morning marked the first occurrence of a Christmas full moon in 38 years, and it will be the last until the year 2034. The full “cold moon,” the last full moon of the year peaked Friday morning just as Santa Claus was finishing his Yuletide rounds.

What are the ramifications of a full moon occurring at the same time as the jolly old elf is circling the globe, with a sleigh full of goodies, a big fat jelly belly and nine juicy morsels of venison? Clearly he’s a prime target for a wide variety of night stalkers, not the least of which is the ravenous bloodthirsty werewolf.

We all know Santa ranges all around the globe, even to some parts of the planet where angels fear to tread. Imagine the perils of delivering Christmas gifts to homes in Transylvania, under the ominous glow of a blood red moon, surrounded by dark, somber forests of twisted, leafless tree trunks silhouetted against the cold, snow-covered ground. Brrrr. That’s enough to make anyone’s egg nog freeze over.

Not to worry, we have it on good authority, courtesy of NORAD, that Santa Claus did indeed make it back to the North Pole safe and sound on Christmas day – or did he? Might he have had a close encounter along the way, with say, a werewolf? Even Santa Claus is not immune to the bite of a lycanthrope, and could be changing at this every moment into something not so jolly. Imagine a bloodthirsty werewolf with the magical powers of Santa Claus, and things could get a little, well interesting, to say the least.

So as you’re taking down your Christmas decorations, you might want to close the chimney flu, lock your doors and windows and be sure to hide the milk and cookies the next time a full moon rolls around, because Santa CLAWS might well be on the prowl!

This heartwarming seasonal tale brought to you by Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, wishing you and yours a Very Scary Holiday Season!

It’s a Very Scary Christmas

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Holiday blues got you down? Small wonder. Black Friday sales are over, and Thanksgiving is but a Pepto-Bismol coated bit of indigestion lingering in your mid-gut. What to do for fun? Put up Christmas lights? Much too dangerous, especially after you’ve been swilling eggnog spiked with Uncle Bubba’s special brand of greased lightning. Sing Christmas carols, decorate a tree, send out Christmas cards? Bah humbug. If all the sickly sweet yuletide sentiments are rotting away your soul, then we have just the thing to put the “holy crap!” back into your holiday: The Nightscare Before Christmas!

That’s right, Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas is opening once again for our annual Nightscare Before Christmas creepy crawly spooktacular extravaganza, on Saturday, December 12th from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.

There’s nowhere to run to, Santa baby, and nowhere to hide, when the elves turn into zombies and break out the chainsaws. It’s madness and mayhem with a peppermint twist. So put down the cookies, fat man, and start running, because Rudolph’s sharpening his antlers and he’s got you in his sights.

That’s right, nothing screams Christmas like a good old fashioned slaying. So don’t delay — get your tickets online for this one-night-a-year special performance. Halloween may be over, but the 12th Night is coming….

Happy Halloween from Cutting Edge

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Tis night for revel, set apart
To reillume the darkened heart,
And rout the hosts of Dole.
‘Tis night when Goblin, Elf, and Fay,
Come dancing in their best array
To prank and royster on the way,
And ease the troubled soul.

The ghosts of all things, past parade,
Emerging from the mist and shade
That hid them from our gaze,
And full of song and ringing mirth,
In one glad moment of rebirth,
Again they walk the ways of earth,
As in the ancient days …

—J.K. Bangs, Harper’s Weekly, Nov. 5, 1910.

Merry Samhein!

It’s not too late to get your tickets for Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas, open tonight and tomorrow night for your ghoulish pleasure!

Walk Like a Zombie

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From Phoenix to Fayetteville, Zombie Walks continue to entice die-hard living dead/Walking Dead fans into getting out and enjoying some fresh air — and brains, zombie style.

Zombie walks originated in North America shortly after the turn of the century, with the earliest one being hastily assembled at the Gen Con gaming convention in August of 2000. It was actually more of a flash mob with around 60 participants, that was organized to poke fun at Vampire: The Masquerade LARPers who were monopolizing the convention.

As zombie movies became more popular, so did zombie walks, as well as zombie fests and other zombie related events. Let’s face it, this country just loves their zombies!

In downtown Phoenix, the annual Zombie Walk has been luring teeming masses of zombie fans to Heritage & Science Park every fall for six years now. The event has attracted upwards of 20,000 people in recent years, some 15,000 of them in costume.

Starting at sundown, the walk covers a whopping 1.5 miles of downtown Phoenix, serenaded by live bands and lined with food and drink vendors. While 1-1/2 miles might not seem much of a distance for you marathon runners, at a zombie’s pace, well let’s just say you’ve got time for a few beers along the way.

Over in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a similar event takes place every October on the weekend before Halloween. Starting at the Headquarter Library at 7:45 p.m., the zombies parade down Maiden Lane through the streets of downtown Fayetteville to the corner of Hay Street and Ray Avenue, where they can chill and rock out to some cool zombie style live rock music.

In fact, zombie walks are going on all across the country, in Portland, Oregon, Rochester, New York, Fort Collins, Colorado, Orlando, Florida, Rome, Georgia and even in the nation’s capital. In good old New York, New York, aka party town, they’re calling it a “Zombie Crawl.”

If you can’t find a zombie walk in your neighborhood, don’t despair. We’ve got more zombies than you could shake shstick at! Come on down to Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas and crawl, walk or run through Zombie Central! Open every night through November 1st — get your tickets on line and save some zombie bucks!

Countdown to Halloween: Just 3 days!!!

10 Freaky Facts About Spiders

CESpiderWebWhile most people have at least a credible amount of fear or aversion to all forms of creepy crawlies, spiders in particular tend to get a bad rap. Household spiders perform a valuable service by keeping the insect population in check, and while a notorious few can have dangerous bites, the vast majority are perfectly harmless to humans. Spiders are, in large part, nocturnal, and mostly keep to themselves. In other words, if you don’t bother it, it won’t bother you.

Nevertheless, arachnophobia affects some 3-1/2 to 6 percent of the population, and the mere sighting of a spider has been known to make grown men squeal like a little girl. What’s the big deal? Well, could it be because all spiders are predators, and together they make up the largest group of carnivores in the world? Here are ten more freaky facts about spiders:

1. All spiders are venomous, except for one (the hackled orb weaver). They use their venom to paralyze their prey.

2. Spiders transfer venom to their prey by biting them with sharp fangs. In the case of the South American goliath birdeater, those fangs can be over 3/4 of an inch and reach up to 1-1/2 inches!

3. All spiders produce silk, which they use for different purposes. Some use it for shelter, to protect offspring and/or to assist them as they move. Some use it to capture prey, and most use it to keep their victims immobile while they wait for them to liquefy.

4. A spider’s digestive process actually takes place outside the spider’s body. Using its fangs, it injects digestive enzymes into its prey, which cause the tissues inside the exoskeleton to liquefy. It then sucks out the liquefied matter, leaving the insect’s empty shell intact. Some spiders use a slightly different method to break down their prey, but you get the idea.

5. Spiders use a combination of muscle and blood pressure to move their legs. They do this by contracting muscles in their cephalothorax (fused head and thorax), which increases blood pressure to the legs. Jumping spiders can use this sudden increase in blood pressure to spring as much as a foot, horizontally. Yikes!

6. The jumping spider family, or Salticidae, as the eggheads call it, comprises around 13% of all spider species, making it the largest family of spiders. Jumping spiders have exceptional eyesight, owing to their four pairs of eyes. Jumping spiders have no need for webs; they simply pounce on their prey.

7. Like jumping spiders, wolf spiders don’t bother with webs, preferring to hunt down their prey using superior strength and exceptional eyesight, especially at night. Wolf spiders can be found all over the world, are solitary hunters and sometimes mistaken for tarantulas, due to their large size and predilection to remain on the ground, using vegetation or leaf litter for cover. Female wolf spiders are known to be aggressive when they’re carrying around an egg sac, and after hatching, carry the hatchlings around on their backs for several days.

8. Male spiders are generally smaller than female spiders, and risk being eaten by them if the female is hungry enough. For this reason, male spiders of different species are known to perform elaborate courtship rituals to identify themselves as potential mates before approaching a female spider. Jumping spiders perform dances from a safe distance, and then await approval before getting too close. Male orb weavers and other web builders wait on the outer rim of a female’s web, where they gently pluck at the silk to transmit a signal to the female. If she likes the vibes, she’ll send back a signal that it’s safe to approach.

9. The black widow actually comes from a whole family of widow spiders (Theridiidae), so named for their penchant for eating their mates after copulating. The bite of a black widow spider secretes a neurotoxin called latrotoxin, which causes a condition known as latrodectism, both terms deriving from the name of the black widow species: Latrodexus. While rarely fatal in humans, the condition causes pain, vomiting, sweating and muscle rigidity; so you may only wish you were dead. Domestic cats, however, have been known to die from it. Brown recluse, or violin spiders, on the other hand, inject a venom that sometimes leads to necrotizing ulcers that destroy soft tissue, take months to heal and leave deep scars. Rarely, the bites can lead to systemic illness, organ failure and even death in small children or those with a weakened immune system.

10. Arguably the largest species of spider is the South American goliath birdeater, whose leg span can reach up to a foot (about the size of a dinner plate). Found in coastal rainforests of Surinam, French Guiana and Guyana, a few have been spotted occasionally in Brazil and Venezuela. With a reported lifespan of 10 years, the birdeater can weigh more than 6 ounces and has hardened tips and claws on its feet that produce a distinctive clicking sound when it walks. Now THAT’s creepy!

Although some would argue that the giant huntsman is larger since it has a slightly larger leg span, it’s body is much lighter and more delicate. It’s somewhat like comparing a giraffe to an elephant.

In addition to its long fangs, which can reach up to 1-1/2 inches, the birdeater is capable of sending out clouds of hairs from its body which wreak havoc in the eyes and mucous membranes of its enemies. While venomous and quite painful (like driving a nail through your hand), the bite of a birdeater is not deadly to humans.

Contrary to its name, the birdeater doesn’t usually eat birds, although it will attack most anything it encounters and is capable of killing small mammals. Fortunately for the birds, this gargantuan spider mostly hunts for frogs, insects and especially earthworms which come out on humid nights. If a birdeater does happen to stumble on a bird nest, however, it has no qualms about puncturing and drinking bird eggs, and could easily kill chicks and parents as well.

Do creepy crawlies give you the heebie-jeevies? You never know WHAT might leap out of the shadows at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas! Come on out and face all of your fears, be they spiders and snakes or creepy clowns with chainsaws! Open every night through November 1st!

Countdown to Halloween: 5 DAYS!

The Corn Maze: An American Tradition

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Halloween is almost upon us, and all around the nation families are visiting local farms to pick out pumpkins, go on hay rides and navigate through elaborate mazes carved in fields of corn. A relatively new fall tradition, corn mazes have become a popular way for small farmers to supplement their incomes and attract customers to their pumpkin fields.

In fact, the first corn maze was created in 1993, Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania, as a fundraising effort to aid Midwest farmers whose farms had been damaged by severe flooding.

Disney World producer and LVC Alumnus Don Frantz and LVC student Joanne Marx teamed up with Adrian Fisher of Minotaur Designs in England to design a maze, based on the UK’s popular country garden variety. Fisher had designed some 70 mazes including one in the shape of a dragon, but nothing of the size and complexity envisioned by Frantz.

The final creation was open to the public for just two weekends in the fall of 1993, and drew national attention. With an admission of just $5 per person, the college drew nearly 6,000 visitors and raised over $27,000 over the opening weekend alone. All the proceeds went to the Red Cross to aid the stricken farmers.

Since that first effort, corn mazes have become popular tourist attractions in North America, and are created in a variety of artistic shapes and designs. Some are based on a particular theme, or created to tell different stories. Most feature a path which traverses the entire pattern, finishing either in the middle or at the outside, with intermittent false paths leading away from the main trail.

Interestingly, corn mazes have also caught on back in the United Kingdom, where they are known as “maize mazes” since the Brits tend to refer to wheat as “corn.” Especially popular on small family farms in the east of England, these mazes are normally combined with hay rides, petting zoos and picnic areas.

Dixon, California is home to the world’s largest corn maze, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007. Measured at 45 acres in 2010, the attraction has since been unofficially surpassed by Adventure Acres in Bellbrook Ohio, whose 62 acre corn maze features 8.5 miles of trails. Wow — you could be in there a while!

Contrary to popular belief, corn mazes are not simply cut from an existing crop. Corn maze fields are carefully planned, with farmers selecting an appropriate hybrid species to deliver the desired height and stalk strength and spacing the plants for optimal denseness. Also, corn maze fields are generally planted two to three weeks later in the season than crops planted for harvest.

What’s better than a corn maze? A haunted corn maze! As if navigating your way through a complex series of hairpin turns and passageways isn’t scary enough, imagine doing so at night, with ghostly scarecrows, ghouls and monsters lurking around every corner!

Corn Mazes America estimated there were over 800 corn mazes around the country back in 2008. Since many corn mazes are private and not registered anywhere, it’s difficult pinpoint how many are created annually.

Although only a fraction of corn mazes are also haunted, that doesn’t mean they’re not capable of scaring the popcorn out of somebody. In 2011, police in Danvers, Massachusetts (a short distance from Salem) got a 911 call from a family of four who had been lost in a corn maze for several hours. Night had fallen, and the farmer who owned the maze had departed to run some errands and was unable to hear their cries for help.

He returned to his farm a short time later to find squad cars, police and tracking dogs searching for the errant tourists. The family was quickly located just 25 feet from the exit.

Farm owner Bob Connors hadn’t been worried when the family didn’t come right out. “People like to take their time and we don’t like to rush people out of the maze,” Connors said. “We like to give people their money’s worth.”

If you’re into mazes, monsters and scary good times, come on down to Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas, open every night through November 1st. There’s nothing CORNY about US! (Bring a change of underwear).

Countdown to Halloween: 7 days!

How Much Do You Know About Scarecrows?

IMG_3359The Halloween holiday brings with it a slew of iconic images, from Jack o’lanterns, witches and ghosts, to haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides and scarecrows. Used primarily to discourage crows and other avian pests from devouring corn and wheat before they could be harvested, scarecrows quickly became associated with fall, and make superb Halloween decorations.

It’s easy to see what makes a scarecrow a natural for spooky décor; after all, it is a SCARE crow, and farmers often endeavored to make them as hideous looking as possible.

While scarecrows have been found in ancient Greece and Rome, and even Japan, (the Japanese used rotting meat and fish to make them smell wretched and called them kakashis, meaning something that smells badly) the country that really embraced the scarecrow was Britain. After the population was so reduced by the Great Plague in 1348, farmers could no longer find enough young boys to patrol their wheat fields with bags of stones, and so they resorted to stuffing sacks with straw and carving faces in turnips or gourds. These straw men were then placed on poles in their fields.

So fond are the Brits of their scarecrows, that every year a myriad of festivals crop up, from one end of the United Kingdom to the other. In Meerbrook, Staffordshire, the festival has a storybook theme, featuring animated hay-stuffed Humpty Dumpty’s, Miss Muffets and Little Bo Peeps, among others. Many of these festivals are actually trails, where participants go from display to display, finding clues and solving riddles.

In the U.S., frustrated farmers forsook scarecrows and took to putting a bounty out on crows, and fairly decimated the crow population by the late 1700s. With the crows out of the picture, corn borers and other worms and insects moved in, and were soon doing more damage to the corn and wheat than the crows ever had. So, farmers stopped killing crows and went pack to using scarecrows to keep crop loss to a minimum.

In a small village in modern-day Japan, scarecrows outnumber people. A woman by the name of Tsukimi Ayano started making scarecrows 13 years ago, creating the first one in the likeness of her departed father, as a tribute to him. She has since created more than 350 of them, 150 of which reside in various parts around the town, in homes and businesses of people who have died or moved away. The rest of the straw people have fallen victim to time and the elements.

In fact, the population of the village of Nagoro has dwindled over the years from 150 to just 35 living residents, well outnumbered by the straw people. In the village school, which was closed in 2012 after the last two pupils graduated, scarecrows sit at the desks, and fix their button eyes on a scarecrow teacher standing at the chalkboard. Ooh, that’s too creepy!

ZombieCollegeSpeaking of schools, Thursday is COLLEGE Night at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth! Show your college student ID and get $8.00 off online tickets or $4.00 off at the door. For online tickets, use the promo code “FBThurs8” — valid for October 22nd only!

Countdown to Halloween: 11 Days!

It’s Almost Halloween: What’s in YOUR Closet?

skeleton2Got a skeleton in your closet? Since the early 1800s, if not earlier, this was a phrase that was meant to imply that you were concealing something of such a serious nature that it might damage your reputation if revealed. In a more sinister connotation, it could refer to past criminal activity, perhaps even the existence of an actual decomposing corpse on the premises.

To this end, skeletons have been turning up unexpectedly in backyards and domiciles for thousands of years. Some have innocent origins and explanations, everything from homes built on ancient burial grounds or forgotten, unmarked graveyards to “Grandma died of a heart attack and we couldn’t afford a cemetery plot.”

On the darker side of the proposition, attics, crawl spaces, walls, chimneys, basements, gardens and backyards have long been favorite hiding places for serial killers or even your seemingly friendly neighbor to stash the bodies of their victims. Often these unfortunate corpses languish for decades or more before being discovered, usually long after the culprit has moved on (or passed on) and some unwitting new homeowner embarks on a remodeling project.

And then, sometimes skeletons are legitimately obtained for some purpose or other and then forgotten about, only to cause hysteria and consternation upon their inadvertent discovery by later generations. Such is the case with a charitable organization dating back to 17th Century England called the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows.

Pledged to “visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan,” the fraternal order was composed of wealthy society members who wished to aid the lower classes, which was considered “odd” during that period in history, and hence the name.

But it seems their penchant for charity wasn’t the only thing that was odd about the Odd Fellows.

Similar to Freemasons and other secretive societies, the Odd Fellows practiced clandestine rituals involving human bones and skeletons, witnessed only by members of the inner sanctum who were sworn to silence.

The first American Odd Fellows lodge opened in Baltimore in 1819, and after a minor setback during the civil war, the organization flourished. Known as the “Golden Age of Fraternalism” in America, the period of 1860 through 1910/1920 saw the Odd Fellows building lodges in every state, beating out the Freemasons to become the largest of all fraternal organizations according to the 1896 World Almanac.

Although events of the 20th century (depression, wars) led to a serious decline in membership for the Odd Fellows and fraternal organizations in general, membership in the 21st century has begun to rebound. Nonetheless, as the organization evolves and changes, old ways — and old lodges — have fallen by the wayside.

And as those old lodges are closed and sold, skeletons are turning up willy nilly, in places like Warrenton, Virginia, where a contractor found a ritual skeleton in a black wooden box hidden between two walls of the Warrenton Odd Fellows Lodge.

In recent years, the discovery of Odd Fellows skeletons has sparked police investigations in Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Nebraska. In Oklahoma, the discovery of human remains prompted a work crew to flee in terror.

Owing to the clandestine nature of the society, no one is talking, and therefore no one knows where these skeletons came from or what they were used for.

Famous members of Odd Fellows include Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, Wyatt Earp, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ulysses S. Grant, Burl Ives and Red Skelton. The first national fraternity to accept both men and women, the society also welcomed into its ranks Eleanor Roosevelt and Dr. Georgia Dwelle, the first woman physician of African American descent.

Here at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas, we have more than a few skeletons in our closets, along with evil clowns, zombies and bloodthirsty psychopaths. It’s actually kinda crowded in there. Come on down and take a look — we DARE you! Open Thursday through Sunday nights!

Countdown to Halloween: 18 Days!!!

How Long do Zombies Live? Ask Igor!

AskIgorAt Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, we consider ourselves to be subject matter experts on all things supernatural. From ghosts and goblins to werewolves and wicked witches, we’ve had experience with all kinds of spooky beings and paranormal phenomenon. So we are proud to offer up our resident Master of the Macabre, Igor, to answer your questions on the subject.

Our question for this week was sent in by Silly Sally from Selman City, and she asks, “How long do zombies live?” Take it away, Igor!

Well Sally, that’s kind of a trick question, since zombies aren’t actually alive in the first place. They’re not quite dead, either. What they are is undead, and in that state they tend to stumble around for quite a while, frightening people and eating their brains. So what I’m guessing you really want to know is, how long can a zombie be undead before he becomes just plain old dead?

There are a lot of things that factor into this equation, Sally, including decomposition. While a zombie doesn’t decompose as quickly as someone who’s just plain dead, his flesh does eventually rot away, depending on things like temperature, humidity, and insect activity. Accordingly, a zombie in a tropical region might only last a few weeks, while one in Alaska could keep going for decades.

Then there’s the matter of sustenance. A zombie does not live on bread alone, after all. Actually, zombies don’t eat bread, they eat brains. Consuming the brains of living creatures is what gives a zombie his life force — or death force — or undeath force — whatever. If a zombie can’t find brains to devour, he loses his mojo, and will eventually turn into a door stop. No brains no brawn.

The last thing to consider is the amount of physical damage inflicted on the zombie. A zombie who’s had his head blown off may only stumble around for a few hours, while I’ve personally seen zombies hop around on one leg for weeks at a time. A zombie with missing limbs, however, is usually somewhat compromised in his ability to capture prey, and without a fresh supply of brains, once again, we’re talking doorstop city.

So, I guess the answer to your question then, Sally, is — it depends. And no, we’re not talking about incontinence here. That’s another subject entirely.

Are you off your rocker with supernatural infestations? Got bats in your belfry? Send your quizzical queries to Ask Igor! And be sure to provide a home address, so my friends and I can drop in for a bite!

And if you want to see a whole herd of zombies up close and personal, come on down to Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth — We’ll leave the lights out for you…

Countdown to Halloween: 31 days!

Giant Blood Moon Over Cutting Edge Haunted House

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The rare combination of a near-earth super moon and a lunar eclipse, also known as a blood moon was seen roiling the skies above Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth Sunday night, and is suspected to be a possible cause of some other odd sightings at the world’s longest walk through haunted house.

Although the haunt was closed for the night (open Sunday nights in October), satellite imagery revealed some strange goings on around the grounds of the old converted meat-packing plant. Zombies, vampires and rabid clowns were seen running amok, chasing each other with chain saws across the roof of the building, swinging from the parapets and baying at the moon. One blurry photo appears to reveal a zombie wearing what could only be a pair of ladies panties on his head.

While eminently disturbing, this kind of phenomenon is not unheard of during a lunar eclipse, when it is said that animals’ internal clocks get out of whack and creatures on the fringes of humanity seem to drift even further from their human roots. Accordingly, a great number of myths and superstitions have sprung up through the years around both solar and lunar eclipses.

During the Middle Ages, it was believed that children conceived during a lunar eclipse would be born with demons inside them. A somewhat more recent superstition holds that if a pregnant woman touches her belly during a lunar eclipse, the baby will be born with a birth mark on the area that was touched.

In India, some believe that if you sleep with wet hair during a lunar eclipse, you will awake stark raving mad, while others believe that you should bathe before and after the event, to wash away evil spirits — and also wash your eyes out with urine to keep them from hurting… To KEEP them from hurting?!

Some Eskimos turn their utensils upside down during an eclipse to keep the “sick” sun and moon from shining poisoned rays onto them, bringing on disease and famine. In Thailand, many citizens still bang on pots and light off fireworks during an eclipse to scare away the evil spirits that have devoured the sun or the moon.

It is said that Christopher Columbus used his foreknowledge of an upcoming lunar eclipse to trick hostile native chiefs into giving him food by threatening to darken the moon unless they did his bidding. After initially refusing, the chiefs caved when the moon went dark, seemingly on cue, at the intrepid explorer’s spoken command.

And so, if things got a little weird Sunday night, or if you work for NASA and you happened to capture some very bizarre satellite images, just chalk it up to the blood moon. Not to worry; there won’t be another one until 2033!

Cutting Edge Haunted House, however, is open every Friday and Saturday night in September, plus Sundays and selected weekdays in October. So if you REALLY want to see some super scary supernatural beings just being themselves — come on down!

Countdown to Halloween: 34 days!!!

Coming to a Night Sky Near You…

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A rare, super moon/lunar eclipse combo is set to occur late Sunday evening, September 27th. If you miss this one, you won’t see another until 2033!

Seasoned celestial observers and whuffos alike (“whuffo you looking up at the sky?) will be craning their necks late Sunday evening to get a peek at a rare giant blood moon. Starting around 8 p.m. in the United States, the earth, moon and sun will begin to align, and as the moon passes through the shadow of the earth, the darkened moon will appear to have turned a deep reddish color, hence the moniker, “blood moon.”

Don’t have a telescope? Don’t need one! This particular lunar eclipse coincides with a “super moon,” when the moon happens to be at the closest point in its orbit of the earth, causing it to appear around 30% brighter and 14% larger than the norm. Unlike a solar eclipse, no special viewing equipment is required to observe the lunar variety, although binoculars or a telescope can certainly enhance the experience.

The eclipse is expected to reach its peak during the 10 o’clock hour, for those who just want to step outside and take a brief gander. The whole thing should be over shortly after midnight.

It’s great opportunity to host a viewing party. It’s likely a bad time to be out and about, however. After all, if a plain old full moon can trigger all kinds of strange behavior, we shudder to think what frightening occurrences might be brought on by a super blood moon! Stay safe out there!

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Get psyched up for the blood moon by visiting Cutting Edge Haunted House this weekend, open Friday and Saturday nights! Do it for the kids —

Because Cutting Edge believes Halloween is about the Child in all of us, this weekend a portion of every ticket sold will benefit the Cook Children’s Hospital of Fort Worth!

Countdown to Halloween: 37 days!

Trick-or-Treating Etiquette

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Countdown to Halloween: 43 Days!

With the advent of global media, a certain amount of understandable paranoia has developed around the practice of trick-or-treating, and sadly, in this safety-minded, child-proofed world we live in, many parents choose to eliminate it altogether from their children’s life experiences. We think that’s just sad.

Those of us raised in an earlier era have such fond memories of racing around the block at sunset, trying to collect as much candy as possible before midnight. No silly little plastic pumpkins for us — we carried sturdy pillowcases, and made pit-stops at home to empty them before heading out to a new neighborhood.

We started planning our costumes at least a month in advance, and spent weeks fashioning papier-mâché masks and props. We lay awake the night before, too excited to sleep just thinking about the adventure ahead, and the treasure trove of sweets that would soon be ours for the taking (or the asking).

For those of you lucky enough to live in a community where trick-or-treating is still alive and well, we offer a few tips on proper trick-or-treating etiquette to keep things fun and safe for all concerned.

1. Masks are great, but make sure yours allows you plenty of visibility, both directly ahead and peripherally. Not only will this help you stay alert to your surroundings, but could save you the humiliation of a black eye when you keep bumping into your sister’s back with your big papier-mâché mouse nose and she finally loses it.

2. Only go to houses that are lit and clearly participating in the holiday. There was a time when we used to throw eggs at houses where people were hiding inside with the lights off because they were too cheap to give out candy, but these days there are just too many of those, and have you seen the cost of eggs lately? Ditto toilet paper. Just leave them alone if they don’t want to play.

3. Wear a real costume. It’s not “cool” to go trick-or-treating in jeans and a T-shirt. If people can make the effort (and spend the money!) to buy candy, you can make the effort to put on a costume. It’s Halloween, not free candy night.

4. If you see a bowl of candy with a sign that says, “take one,” step back and let someone else go first, and encourage them to take a handful. Better to spring the trap than be the patsy.

5. Carry your stash in a dark pillowcase, and hold out a Halloween-themed decoy bag with just a small amount of candy. People will be more generous if they think you haven’t collected all that much.

6. When you sort through your loot at the end of the night, discard anything that’s unwrapped, appears to have been tampered with or is homemade, unless it’s from someone you know and trust (even then it’s likely to be something yucky.)

7. Don’t forget Mom and Dad. They have a sweet tooth too, and if you award them a generous cut right off the bat, they might not confiscate the entire stash and ration it out to you through Christmas, all the while sneaking an occasional piece for themselves.

Need some scary costume ideas? Come on down to Cutting Edge Haunted House in Forth Worth for some inspiration! From evil clowns to bloodthirsty zombies, we’ve got a horrific cast of characters that will scare the nuts right off your chocolate bar!

Are You a Halloween Junkie?

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Halloween is fast approaching, but for some of us, it just can”t get here fast enough. Are you one of those people? Here are a few sure signs you could be a Halloween junkie.

o PETA is after you for dying all of your cats black.

o You have an actual skeleton in your closet.

o You frequently post selfies wearing vampire teeth.

o Your music collection consists of organ music and the Michael Jackson “Thriller” album.

o You think candy corn is one of the four food groups.

o Instead of a wok, you prefer to cook in a cauldron.

o You own more fright wigs than Dolly Parton.

o You take your kids trick-or-treating and you come home with more candy than they do.

o You’re positively giddy with excitement that Cutting Edge Haunted House is opening this weekend! Yeah!

Top Ten Ways to Spend the Labor Day Holiday

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Get in the holiday spirit — the Halloween holiday spirit this Labor Day!

It’s Labor Day, the last lazy holiday of the summer, a time for cookouts, picnics, last trips to the beach and for some unlucky husbands, time to clean out the garage along with various other “honey-do’s.”

Celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labor Day signals a time to change wardrobes, as the days grow shorter and markedly cooler. It’s also — just 54 days till Halloween! So skip the garage and the clothes shopping, and let’s get down to what’s really important. Here are ten important ways you could be spending your Labor Day holiday:

10. Get to work on your Halloween costume. Break out the band saw, arc welder, paint gun and Dremel tools and let’s get this baby started!

9. Put up your Halloween decorations. It’s never too early, really.

8. Unwrap your mummies and take their wraps to the fluff ‘n fold. Remember, a clean mummy is a happy mummy. And as they say, if mummy’s not happy, nobody’s happy…

7. Binge watch the last three seasons of “The Walking Dead” on NetFlix.

6. Start shopping for Halloween candy. You don’t want to be the one giving out last year’s favorites. Invite some friends over for a “tasting” party.

5. Put a fresh coat of whitewash on the backyard cemetery. We don’t want little ghosties tripping over tombstones in the dark, do we?

4. Oil the chainsaw, clean out the fog machine and take the hearse in for a good detail job.

3. Take the Hounds of Hell in for a rabies shot and a flea dip.

2. Freshen up the bloodstains on your front porch and maybe add some bloody handprints on the railing.

1. Go online and get your tickets to the season opening of Cutting Edge Haunted House this Friday and Saturday night! Use the promo code FBSave50 and get 50% off tickets for this weekend!

Infamously Haunted Schools and Colleges

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Ohio University, one of the scariest places on Earth.

Every year as the nation suffers through the sweltering dog days of summer, high school graduates everywhere are packing their bags with a great deal of excitement and just a modicum of dread, in anticipation of heading off to college. Starting college heralds a whole new chapter in a young person’s life, exposing them to a cornucopia of new experiences, hopefully most good, some bad, and possibly even some paranormal!

In celebration of this time-honored fall ritual, Cutting Edge Haunted House presents a multi-part series of blogs on haunted colleges and universities around the country, starting with Ohio University.

Located on 1,850 acres in Athens, Ohio, this major U.S. public research university was chartered on February 18, 1804 and first opened for students in 1809. As of 2014, Ohio University boasted 39,201 enrollees, equivalent to 30,878 full time students.

According to the British Society for Psychical Research, the town of Athens, Ohio is rated as the 13th most haunted place on Earth, and its famous university is no slouch in the paranormal department either. In fact, there have been so many instances of spooky encounters that the college was featured in an episode of Fox’s “Scariest Places on Earth, hosted by Linda Blair in October of 2000.

One theory for all of the paranormal activity is that five ancient cemeteries form a pentagram around the town of Athens, Ohio.

And while there are a mind-boggling number of places on campus where students and faculty have claimed to see and hear spirits moving about, by far the most famous (or infamous) one is Wilson Hall, said to be located in the exact center of the pentagram.

Room 428 in Wilson Hall has been sealed off, and is no longer assigned out to students. Why? In 1981 a female student reportedly committed suicide in that room, dying in a violent and somewhat perplexing manner. Students who were subsequently assigned to that room claimed to hear footsteps and strange noises. Some purported to witness objects moving on their own, flying off of shelves and smashing into walls.

Campus legend has it that the student who died had spent a good deal of time practicing the occult in her dorm room, attempting to contact the dead and teaching herself astral projection. The circumstances surrounding her death were vague and mysterious, and the subject of much rumor and innuendo.

Deeming the room uninhabitable, University officials finally removed it from service and sealed it off from all access.

That’s just one of many spooky stories surrounding Ohio University; just one of many haunted schools and colleges where not every student has made it out alive…

Cutting Edge Haunted House opens September 11th — tickets are on sale now! And for the next 48 hours — that’s through noon on Sunday, use the promo code FbSave40 and get 40% off tickets online!

The End of a Long Haunted Summer

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As Summer draws to a close in Fort Worth, Texas…

Cue the music — It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, summer is winding down and the kids will soon be headed back to school!

Now’s the time to start getting ready for the haunting season with some end-of-summer Halloween themed activities to whet your appetite. Here are just a few suggestions:

Start planning your costume. It’s never too early to start collecting beer cans to build that giant robot suit!

Throw a backyard zombie barbecue, complete with brain-burgers, slabs of ribs and deviled eyeballs. Instead of flag football, consider a good old fashioned game of zombie tag. Carve jack o’lanterns out of watermelons and bob for peaches and nectarines. Then after the sun goes down, have everyone light the tiki torches and run through the neighborhood screaming, “He’s headed for the castle!”

Put red dye in your decorative fountain and surround it with lighted skulls. Then order a pizza late at night and answer the door in a goalie mask (and maybe a bullet-proof vest just in case the pizza guy is packing more than just a hot pie…)

Beat the heat by lounging in a kiddie pool filled with cubes of black cherry Jell-O. Squirt some ketchup on your neck for good measure and pose for a selfie.

Stuff your mouth full of fresh blackberries and go out to greet the postal carrier with a big smile. Be sure to wear a personal body camera to capture his expression when you let a spittle of blackberry juice dribble down your chin.

Go to the beach and have someone bury you up to your armpits in the sand, then cover you up with a large beach towel. Place a cooler of cold beverages nearby with a sign saying “free sodas.” Then reach out and grab the ankles of anyone who gets near.

Fill a jar with 80 pieces of candy corn and eat a piece every day. When the jar is empty, it will be Halloween!

Don’t worry, your friends at Cutting Edge Haunted House are already hard at work, gearing up for a haunting season that will make your hair pop out, your eyes crawl and your skin stand up on end…

Record-Setting Summer at Cutting Edge Haunted House

ZombiesAhead1Zombie APOC Army Sets Amazing New World Records

Here at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas, we’re no stranger to the concept of setting world records.

It’s widely known that everything is bigger in Texas, and as the holder of the Guinness Book of World Records title of longest walk-through haunted house, we’re rightfully fond of saying, “go big or go home.”

And so it’s no surprise that during the 2015 Zombie Summer, aka Zombie APOC Army, we have once again set some new, if unofficial and somewhat unorthodox firsts here at the old meatpacking plant on Lancaster Avenue. Here are just a few:

o  Most zombies under one roof at one time, ever.

o  Most zombies killed while eating an ice cream sandwich.

o  Most zombies blown away by girls wearing pink sneakers.

o  Most recorded instances of a man screaming like a little girl in one hour.

o  Most attempts to frag one’s own team members during a laser weapon competition.

o  Most times somebody yelled, “Die, Zombie, die!” in a 30-minute time span.

o  Most firefights within one square mile outside the set of a “Rambo” movie.

o  Most hits taken by one single zombie in one weekend (“One-Eyed Bob”)

And don’t forget the most important one, most fun had on a Saturday night with your clothes on!  Be sure to visit our Facebook page to see the scores of the winning teams!  And if you missed out on all the fun, hang in there — Halloween is on its way…

 

It’s Friday the 13th – So What’s in a Number?

MaskWhy are we so afraid of Friday the 13th?  What makes it so different from Thursday the 12th, or Wednesday, the 11th?  Perhaps it simply stems from our fear of the unknown.  Up until the age of 12, our world is fairly finite.  We’re children.  We have a home and family. We think we know it all.  And then — that 13th year of life, things begin to happen.  We start growing hair in places we didn’t know it could grow.  Voices change.  Body parts metamorphose.  Hormones start to ricochet and we become that most terrifying creature of all, a teenager.

We’re simply conditioned to be afraid of the number 13.  Everything comes in 10s and 12s.  A dozen of something is good; 13, not so good.  Sometimes bad things happen and we just can’t explain why.  And that makes us afraid.  Maybe it will happen to me.  Maybe it will happen on Friday the 13th.

Instead of fearing the day, embrace it.  Go to the pound and adopt a black cat.  Black cats are euthanized all the time because few people want to adopt them.  Black dogs, although not considered particularly unlucky, share a similar fate, so how about making Friday the 13th the luckiest day of their life for some deserving fuzzy companion?

Throw a Friday the 13th party and serve Bloody Mary’s, show Friday the 13th movies and hold a séance to contact deceased relatives.  Dig out your old Ouija board and interrogate the spirit world.  Order a pizza and answer the door wearing a goalie mask when the delivery guy shows up.

Or if you just don’t feel that creative or motivated, don’t worry; we gotcha covered.  Come on down to Cutting Edge Haunted house for a Friday the 13th evening that nightmares are made of.  What better way to celebrate than laughing and screaming till you cry and wet your pants?  Why just watch scary movies when you can be right in the middle of one?  And don’t forget to bring a change of underwear…

Happy Holidays from Cutting Edge Haunted House

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We at the Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas wish you and yours a very scary Christmas. And just so you don’t get too bored with all the sickly sweet sentiments, annoying Christmas carols and general tidings of good cheer, we’ve come up with a few suggestions to help you keep Halloween in your heart during these trying times.

Slip a tarantula into Aunt Martha’s stocking. Won’t she be surprised when she reaches in for a gift and comes out with a giant hairy spider instead! After all, nothing says Christmas like a blood-curdling scream!

Slip a piece of rotten meat into the base of the Christmas tree. That’ll do away with that cloying pine scent and make the whole house smell like a crime scene.

Put a wreath made of dead branches on your door. They’re readily available from any craft store. Only don’t put anything on it, except maybe some spider webs and a plastic spider.

Bring your Haunted House CD to your neighbor’s Christmas party, and when they’re not looking, swap it out for their “Bing Crosby Christmas” album.

Wrap up a goalie mask for little Susie. Don’t forget to put “From Jason” on the label. She’ll have nightmares for weeks!

Put red food coloring in a glass of eggnog and leave it for Santa, in lieu of milk and cookies. Tell the kids it’s blood, because Santa got turned into a vampire.

Use black wrapping paper for all of your presents, and instead of a bow, embellish each one with a “bloody” handprint using red poster paint. Now THAT’S festive!

Wear fake vampire teeth and smile broadly for all your Christmas pictures, especially opening gifts Christmas morning. And be sure to keep your camera ready for when Aunt Martha reaches into her stocking. One viral YouTube video could pay for all of the hospital bills!

Above all, remember to keep Halloween in your heart, always, and have a very scary Christmas!

Christmas is Coming to Cutting Edge Haunted House

Santa’s gone, and the elves have been very, very bad…

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Aww, Halloween is but a memory, and now you have nothing to look forward to until next October? Wrong!!!

Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth is offering Halloween lovers a chance to escape the sickly sweet joy and good cheer of the holidays, with a one-night-only Fear Extravaganza on Saturday, December 13th from 8 to 10 p.m.!

Dubbed the Nightscare Before Christmas, this special holiday performance will feature a look into what happens when the North Pole goes dark, and evil creatures of the night swoop in to gobble up all the candy canes.

After all, what’s Christmas without a few sinister clowns, chainsaw-wielding zombies and things that go bump in the night? Who needs caroling when you can scream at the top of your lungs to some heavy metal and acid rock on high def stereo? What’s the aroma of pine boughs and gingerbread cookies against the tantalizing odors of decomposing flesh, sweat and fear?

If you love Halloween, scary monsters, zombies, snakes, vampires, werewolves and all things creepy, save the date and get your tickets early. Saturday, December 13th at the Cutting Edge Haunted House is sure to be a night you can only hope to forget!

Happy Halloween from Cutting Edge Haunted House!

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The big day has arrived – Halloween, and what a haunting season it has been! Scoring top honors as usual, including your second place pick in HauntedHouseRatings.com’s Victim’s Choice Awards, the third place slot in Fangoria’s Top Ten Scariest U.S.-based Haunted Attractions, and the number three spot in Fox News’ Five Most Terrifying Haunted Houses in America, Cutting Edge was also recently featured on Fort Worth’s Channel 11 morning show.

We’ve all had a wonderful time doing what we love to do — scare the living daylights out of everyone who dares to enter. We’ve had record attendance, and enjoyed every minute of every performance. Thank you all for making this such a terrific season!

But it’s not over yet! It’s Halloween, our biggest night of the year, and we hope you’ll include us in your festivities. It’s sure to be a real scream of a celebration! We’re going all out to make this the best Halloween ever — a night you can only hope to forget.

In fact, we’ll be open through November 2nd, so if you haven’t had your fill of Halloween after the big night has passed, we’ve got you covered! If you haven’t made it out to Cutting Edge this season, what are you waiting for? It’s killer entertainment!

Top Cutting Edge 10 Halloween Jokes

TOP10 copyIt’s almost here!  It’s almost here!  All Hallow’s Eve is just two days away!  As you put the finishing touches on your costume, here are some Halloween jokes that will tickle your gizzards!

10.  Why did the zombie cross the road?  To eat your brains!

9.  How many evil clowns does it take to change a light bulb? Three.  One to unscrew the bulb, and two to smother you in the ensuing darkness!

8.  What do you get when you cross a vampire with a zombie? A politician!

7.  A vampire, a werewolf and a French golf pro walk into a bar. The vampire orders a Bloody Mary, while the werewolf orders a Wolfram.  The bartender looks at the golf pro.  “What about you?” he asks, “French Connection?  Four Score?”  “Mais non, Monsieur,” answers the French golf pro.  “I am driving!”

6.  What did one haunted house owner say to another? “My mummy can beat up your mummy!”

5.  What’s the relationship between demons and ghouls? Demons are a ghoul’s best friend!

4.  What do mummies do on vacation?  Relax and unwind.

3.  Dracula, Frankenstein and a zombie are in a small plane that’s about to crash, and there is only one parachute. “Save yourselves,” says Dracula.  “I’m a bat, I can fly.”  “I’m already dead,” say the zombie, handing the parachute to Frankenstein.  “You take it.”  So Frankenstein puts on the parachute and leaves the airplane.  “Finally, he’s gone,” says Dracula, starting up the plane’s engine.  “Now we can light up without him wrecking the plane.  Pass me a cigarette!”

2.  How do you know a werewolf has been using your shower?  Your towels have that wet dog smell!

1.  Knock knock? Who’s there?  Snow.  Snow who?  Snow use screaming; your worst nightmare has arrived!

Don’t wait for your nightmares to come to you — beat them to the punch, at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas!  Open every night through Halloween weekend.  Or are you too scared?

 

Top 10 Ways to Get Ready for Halloween

Finally, it’s Halloween week, and the big night is just days away! If you’re like us, you’ll want to savor every moment as our favorite holiday approaches, to get the most out of this most fantazmagorik time of year. So here are ten fun things to do to get you in the spirit of Halloween!

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10. See how many different costumes you can create using just your cat.

9. Hone your pumpkin carving skills by carving evil faces into the guest bathroom soap.

8. Eat all the Halloween candy that you bought for trick-or-treaters — hey, you can still get more.

7. Hide in the bushes and scare the living daylights out of your postal carrier.

6. Put up crime scene tape in your front yard and draw a chalk outline of a body on your driveway.

5. Hard boil all the eggs in the fridge and put them back in the carton, so your teenager will get a big surprise when he goes to egg someone’s house on Halloween night.

4. Wear black lipstick and heavy eyeliner to work every day this week, and sip tomato juice from an IV bag with a straw.

3. Rig your doorbell to play spooky organ music and answer the door in a Morticia Adams wig.

2. Get out your chainsaw and hack up everything you can find in the back yard.

1. Get your Halloween on at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, open every night through Halloween weekend!

 

10 Fun Facts Around Gargoyles

Do you know the difference between a gargoyle and a chimera? Read on to find out!

1. Gargoyles were originally designed as water spouts, to carry rainwater from a roof and away from the side of a building, so that it wouldn’t run down the masonry and erode the mortar. A trough cut in the gargoyle’s back catches the rainwater, which then exits through the open mouth.

2. The longer the gargoyle, the further the water would be carried from the walls, which is why they’re usually carved into a very long, fantastic looking creature.

3. Although gargoyles come in many forms, most are carved into grotesque, hideous looking creatures in order to frighten off evil spirits from the buildings which they guard.

4. An ornamental gargoyle that is not constructed as a waterspout is technically called a chimera or boss.

5. Running from 1994 to 1996, “Gargoyles” was Disney’s most popular cartoon series, inspiring an intense fan following. It was so popular it even inspired an annual fan convention starting in 1997, called “The Gathering of the Gargoyles.” Sadly, it was officially discontinued in 2009.

6. Many of the character voices on the Gargoyles show were those of regular Star Trek cast members, including Marina Sirtis, Colm Meaney, Jonathan Frakes, Nichelle Nichols, Michael Dorn, Avery Brooks, Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Kate Mulgrew, David Warner and Paul Winfield. What, no Patrick Stewart?

7. The empire strikes back — not to be left out, the dreaded Star Wars villain Darth Vader is featured as a gargoyle — or chimera, actually, on the northwest tower of the Washington National Cathedral. While the towers were under construction in the 1980s, a nationwide children’s competition was held to design decorative sculptures for the building, which were then sculpted, carved and placed high on the rooftops. Submitted by third-place winner Christopher Rader, Darth Vader is perched high on the northwest tower, where you’ll need a good pair of binoculars to spot him.

Gargoyles8. While England basically put the kaybash on gargoyles around the end of the 18th century, passing a law that all modern buildings must have drainpipes, they continued to be popular in the U.S., particularly New York and Chicago throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Most notable are the stainless steel gargoyles fashioned after hood ornaments on the world famous Chrysler Building.

9. The term gargoyle originates from the French word gargouille, which means throat or gullet. Appropriately, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is famous for its gargoyles and chimeras, which are clearly visible from the ground and look out over Paris.

images (1)10. The most beloved haunted house gargoyle (although technically a chimera) is “Junior,” a 35-foot grotesque statue busting through the roof some 35 feet tall at Cutting Edge Haunted House. Come see Junior and all of his freaky friends, now through Halloween weekend right here in Forth Worth! And tell ’em Junior sent you!

Cutting Edge Takes Silver in Victim’s Choice Awards

MedalPEColorsAutumn has officially arrived in Fort Worth, Texas, and with it, the opening of world-renowned Cutting Edge Haunted House for the 2014 haunting season.  And every fall, as the leaves turn to brilliant shades of orange and red and pumpkin patches spring up almost overnight around Fort Worth, HauntedHouseRatings.com announces the winners of their Victim’s Choice Awards, a who’s who of the top 31 “must see” haunts around the nation.  And coming in at the number two spot this year is Fort Worth’s own Cutting Edge Haunted House!

Haunted attractions cannot pay to get on the Top 31 list at HauntedHouseRatings.com, nor can they bribe the Russian judge.  There are no paid judges in this competition. The judges in the Victim’s Choice awards are the general public; the avid fans who go online and vote for their favorite haunted houses every year, and the fans they have spoken.  Cutting Edge rocks!

While just making it on the list at all is an honor worth breaking out the old baseball bat and knee-capping someone, Cutting Edge Haunted House is a heavy hitter that routinely finishes near the top, and this year has the attraction squarely in second place, behind powerhouse 13th Gate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“This is Texas, what do you expect,” explains Cutting Edge’s haunt-meister, Todd James.  “We’re bigger, we’re badder and we’ve got more zombies than anyone else.  It’s a no-brainer.”  And what does James plan to do now that he’s achieved this latest honor?  “Well we’re sure as heck not going to Disneyland,” he says.  “I’d rather go to Cutting Edge Haunted House!”

And so can you!  Because Cutting Edge Haunted House is open every night through Halloween weekend!  Get your tickets online using the code “Fear 33” and save $5 off your admission for Thursday and Sunday night (that’s October 23rd and 26th for those of you who have been spending too much time drinking vodka with the Russian judge….)

You have nothing to fear but fear itself — Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha …

 

Top 10 Places You Might Find a Goblin

TOP10 copyAccording to Wikipedia, a goblin is a “legendary evil or mischievous grotesque dwarf-like creature.” They vary in size and description from country to country, but nearly every culture has some sort of goblin-like creature in their mythology. Halloween is the goblin’s favorite time of year, and as the magic night approaches, they become more active and possibly even a little careless. If you keep your eyes open, you just might see one. Here are the top 10 places you might spot a goblin:

10. Hiding under your bed, ready to gnaw your toes off with his sharp teeth.

9. Lurking in your closet, wearing your Dior blouse and your favorite Manolo Blahnik pumps.

8. Behind the refrigerator, snacking on a petrified brown 3-year-old banana.

7. In your toilet bowl, waiting to bite your bare buns when you stumble into the bathroom in the middle of the night.

6. In your laundry room, playing hide and seek with your socks.

5. In the back seat of your car, munching on stale French fries.

4. Hiding under your desk at work, breaking wind so that everyone thinks it’s you.

3. In the copy room, “fixing” the copy machines.

2. In your boss’ office — no wait, that’s your boss!

1. At Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth this Thursday night, and every night after that until November 2nd, just waiting to give you the fright of your life!

So what are you waiting for? Halloween is almost here. Get your tickets online and let the screaming begin!

 

10 Bodacious Bits about Bats (and Vampires)

Halloween is getting closer, and so we continue to dig up interesting bits of trivia around some of the most noted and notable traditions and icons associated with our favorite holiday.  Without further ado, here are some fascinating bits about bats!

1.  While most people associate bats with Halloween and blood-sucking vampires, there are actually over 1000 species of bats, most of which feed on insects, nectar and fruit.  Some bats also feed on fish, while only 3 species of vampire bats feed exclusively on blood.

2.  Bats are actually mammals, and flying mammals at that. While some mammals, such as flying squirrels, are capable of gliding as much as 300 feet, bats are the only mammals on the planet capable of continuous flight.

3.  Most species of bats find their way around in the dark using something called echolocation. Similar to radar, which uses radio waves, echolocation uses sound waves emitted by the bats, who listen for the echo to determine distance and direction of objects in their path.

4.  With a lifespan of 20 years or more in some cases, bats may live by themselves in your attic or in a cave with thousands of other bats.

5.  Vampire bats have tiny, razor sharp teeth with which they can slice open an animal’s hide — or a human’s skin — without them even noticing.

6.  The common vampire bat, known as Desmodus rotundus, and its cousins, the hairy-winged and the white-winged vampire bats, are the only known parasitic mammals. While the other two feed primarily on birds, Desmodus rotundus prefers the blood of livestock.  Found mainly in Mexico, Central and South America, this sneaky night prowler uses its razor-sharp teeth to cut open the skin of its prey while they are sleeping, then laps up their blood with its very long tongue.

7.  With a wingspan of nearly 5 feet, Pteropus bats, also known as flying foxes, are the largest species of bats in the world. Fortunately for us, they are NOT related to vampire bats and only feed on nectar and fruit.

8.  Even before Bram Stoker’s Dracula, bats were associated with witchcraft, black magic and darkness, especially in Europe. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, written circa 1603-05, the Weird Sisters incorporate the fur of a bat in their noxious brew.  In 1847, the gothic horror fiction novel Varney the Vampire contained illustrations of the main character sporting a pair of bat-like wings.  Much of vampire fiction since then is heavily influenced by the character of Varney, including Dracula, which came on the scene 50 years later in 1897.

9.  Bram Stoker took the bat-vampire connection one step further in his Dracula novel, having his character shapeshift into the form of a large bat on a number of occasions. Real vampire bats, however, are actually quite small.

CEHHBatsignal. 10.  Legendary comic book creator Bob Kane attributes part of his inspiration for his Batman series to a 1930 movie called The Bat Whispers. One of the earliest talkies, the film is a remake of an earlier version, which originated with a hit Broadway play called The Bat. Ironically, the bat-like character in these productions is not the hero but rather a sadistic serial killer.

 If you like dark places, come on out to Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth this weekend and channel your inner bat!  Students, get $10 off online purchases for Sunday night, October 19th, using the promo code “Brain 33.”  Student ID required to enter with discounted ticket.

 

Ten Stupid Halloween Costumes for Pets

Believe it or not, pet owners spend over $370 million annually on Halloween costumes for their pets, dressing them up as everything from Hollywood celebrities to fast food items.  For your amusement, we’ve broken them down into the top ten categories, in no particular order.

TMNT1.  Superheroes are always a popular theme for pet costumes, with Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Wonder Woman leading the pack — but don’t forget about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

2.  Star Wars is big as ever in the dog world, with Darth Vader, Yoda and Princess Leia costumes everywhere, but don’t forget about Star Trek, especially Mr. Spock.

3.  Famous icon costumes abound, including Where’s Waldo, Lloyd and Harry from Dumb and Dumber, Elvis, Hello Kitty, Astro, Spongebob Squarepants and Gumby.

4.  Christmas-themed costumes do double-duty for Halloween AND Christmas. Look for Santa costumes, Santa’s elves, doggie-in-a-box Christmas presents, stocking stuffers, and on a related note, leprechauns and garden gnomes.

5.  Popular brand names are lending their licenses to doggie costumes this year, including the officially licensed Tootsie Roll dog tunic, Crayola Crayon, Heinz ketchup bottle and even an official Whoopee Cushion costume.

AlpineBoy6.  Don’t count out the old standards, such as a doggie skeleton hoodie, striped pumpkin sweater, pumpkin costume, pirate, devil, wizard, striped prison suit, burglar, hippie, rock star, princess, sailor and jester. We like the Alpine Oktoberfest dog, complete with lederhosen.

7.  Celebrity pet costumes abound, including Sarah Palin, Lady Gaga (billed as Lady Dogga), Marilyn Monroe, Snookie, Pauly-D, Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Natalie Portman.

8.  Dressing your dog up as a different kind of animal is popular, including a shark, ram, alligator, frog, dinosaur, tortoise, bat, butterfly, peacock, zebra, walrus, panda bear, tiger or skunk.

 

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9.  Of course, everyone dresses their Weiner dog up as a hot dog, but what about a taco, slice of bacon, banana split, baked potato, hot fudge Sundae, cannoli, Thanksgiving turkey, donut dog, sushi dog or even a pumpkin spice latte.

 

10.  Wizard of Oz-themed costumes are still popular, and if you have a little terrier mutt, of course you’re going to go as Dorothy and put him in a basket, but you’ll also find the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, flying monkey, wicked witch AND — there’s even a Dorothy doggie costume, complete with a tiny little stuffed dog in a basket.

 

So what’s the stupidest pet costume ever?  We like this Zelda Cave Dog getup from Costume Kingdom, which combines two categories — icons (Zelda from the Zelda greeting cards) and traditional (cave man).

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And while you don’t have to look too far to find more stupid pet costumes than you can shake a chainsaw at, (Amazon, Halloween Express, Party City, Rubie’s Costume, Costume Kingdom, Costume Supercenter), the absolute silliest costume we found was a do-it-yourself number called “Chia Pet.”  Find all the instructions to make it at Inhabitat.com!

 

NOTE: No dogs were injured in the making of this post. We absolutely can’t promise they weren’t humiliated, however.

 

For a REAL howlin’ good time, come out to Cutting Edge Haunted House this Friday, Saturday or Sunday night! WHO LET THE DOGS OUT? WHOOF! WHOOF!

 

10 Fun Facts around Ghosts and Spirits

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From MacBeth to the Bible, ghosts have been popular subjects of storytellers since people first started telling stories.  The idea that the departed remain with us, in spirit at least, comforts us somewhat, and provides a convenient explanation for many of life’s weirder occurrences.  In survey after survey, it becomes apparent that some 45 percent of the population believe in ghosts, spirits and paranormal activity.  Here are some fun stories and beliefs around ghosts and spirits.

1.  Spirits become more active at night, possibly due to a reduced electronic disturbance from appliances and other devices, which compete with or drown out ghostly apparitions. For this reason, you’re more likely to detect ghostly disturbances when your house is quiet

2.  Spirits can manifest in various ways, including orbs, streaks of light, dark shadows, mists and strange blurs. Full-body apparitions are possible, but highly unlikely.

3.  Children and animals are more likely to “see” a ghost. Some children perceive ghosts as imaginary friends.

4.  If a candle flame burns blue or suddenly goes out with no apparent draft or breeze, it’s a sure sign that ghosts are present.

5.  Spirits can often be helpful, and even protective of the families they “haunt.”

6.  Albert Einstein himself may have postulated a scientific basis for the existence of ghosts. Since energy cannot be created or destroyed but only change its form, what becomes of our energy when we die?  Could it be somehow manifested as a ghost?

7.  Albert Einstein wasn’t the first. The concept of ghosts as a form of life after death goes all the way back to ancient Egypt, where people believed that death was merely a transition from one form of existence to another.

8.  The White House is haunted by a number of ghosts, including that of Abigail Adams, who has reportedly been seen hurrying toward the East Room, where she used to hang her laundry.

9.  During Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, the incoming first lady ordered the gardeners to dig up Dolley Madison’s prized Rose Garden. It’s said that Dolley’s spirit turned up and put such a fear of ghosts into the workmen that they fled without turning a single spade. The garden has continued to bloom for nearly two centuries.

10.  Psychics believe that President Abraham Lincoln has never left the White House. For more than 70 years, presidents, first ladies, guests and members of the White House staff have claimed to have either seen Lincoln or felt his presence.  Lincoln’s ghost was particularly prevalent during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as the country struggled through a devastating depression followed by a world war.  The Netherlands’ Queen Wilhelmina was a guest at the White House during that period, and was awakened one night by a knock on her bedroom door.  Upon opening the door, she saw the figure of Lincoln, top hat and all, standing in the hallway.  The queen fainted, and upon recovering consciousness, she found herself lying on the floor.  The apparition had vanished.

For a super-natural good time, come on out to Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth this weekend — open Friday, Saturday and Sunday night!

 

Top 10 Scariest Halloween Costumes

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As Halloween draws near and we stock up on sweets for trick or treaters, the more creative among us strain our brains to come up with unusual costumes with which to terrorize our friends and neighbors. As the saying goes, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes,” so the first two on our list seem oddly appropriate. From there, we’ve had to use our imagination. Here is our top ten list of the scariest people you hope not to see at your door this Halloween:

10. Boogeyman / IRS Auditor

9. Grim Reaper / Dr. Kevorkian

8. Any member of the Kardashian clan

7. Disappointed soccer fan from Brazil

6. “Flo” from the Progressive commercials

5. Justin Bieber with a U.S. passport

4. Anyone holding an ice bucket and a video camera

3. Donald Trump having a “bad hair day”

2. Department of Homeland Security screener with a latex glove

1. Anyone wearing an isolation suit when you’re not

For some good old fashioned scares that don’t involve celebrities behaving badly, come on out to Cutting Edge Haunted House this weekend!  We’re open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights!  Buy your tickets online with the promo code “scare 33” and get $5 off on Sunday night!

 

10 Weird Halloween Superstitions

521684_483925564981396_240663036_nDressing up as ghosts and goblins on Halloween night actually originates from an old Celtic superstition that spirits of the dead wandered the streets on the night they knew as Samhain.  Celts dressed up as spirits themselves in order to blend in and not be noticed.  Here are some other weird superstitions around Halloween:

1.  In Scotland, young girls often hung wet sheets in front of a fire on Halloween, hoping to see images of their future husbands. Seems like a strange way to do laundry.

2.  Another Scottish superstition is that if a girl looks into a mirror while walking downstairs at midnight on Halloween, she will see her boyfriend’s face. So why doesn’t she just go trick or treating with him and ditch the mirror?

3.  In China, Halloween is celebrated with Teng Chieh, a lantern festival in which homes and streets are festooned with lanterns shaped like dragons and other animals. The lights are supposed to help guide spirits of the deceased back to their earthly homes for the night, where family members have placed food and water next to their portraits.

4.  In Hong Kong, Halloween is known as Yue Lan, the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. Offerings of food and gifts are left near bonfires to placate angry spirits who might be seeking revenge.

5.  One Halloween superstition has it that if you walk around your home backwards three times and then counterclockwise three times before the sun sets on Halloween, you will ward off any evil spirits nearby.

6.  Some believe that anyone born on Halloween has the ability to see and talk to dead people.  I talk to dead people all day long in the office…

7.  If you light an orange candle at midnight on Halloween and let it burn till sunrise, it’s supposed to bring you much good luck. As long as you don’t burn your house down; now that wouldn’t be very lucky, would it?

8.  If you see a spider on Halloween, don’t squash it. It may be the spirit of a dead relative who has come to watch over you.

9.  If a bat flies around your house three times on Halloween night, someone in the household is going to die. Or maybe you’ve just got bats in your belfry…

10.  If you hear footsteps behind you on Halloween night, whatever you do, don’t turn around and look. It may be Death himself, and if you look Death in the face he will come for you within the next year.  Or it could be a mugger.  Maybe you should just run…

And if you hear footsteps behind you at Cutting Edge Haunted House this weekend, it might be your girlfriend, or it might be a chainsaw-wielding zombie!  Open Friday and Saturday nights, 8 to 10 p.m. — get your tickets online and come on down!

 

10 Fun Facts About Halloween Candy

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October is upon us, and soon we’ll hear the pitter patter of little goblin feet crunching up the garden path, accompanied by nervous giggles and the ubiquitous “Trick or Treat!” screamed at the top of tiny lungs, as though we were so old we needed a hearing aid. Ah Halloween, the world’s sweetest holiday. Let’s get in the mood with some fun trivia about Halloween candy, shall we?

1. Who wants gum? According to dubious polls taken somewhere in the United States, only 10% of kids prefer to receive gum for Halloween, while 50% prefer chocolate candy and 24%, non-chocolate candy.

2. Desperately seeking sugar-free: With type 2 diabetes and childhood obesity on the rise, people have been resorting to handing out sugar-free candy for Halloween. What else can they take out of our annual sweet treats? Google reports 20 percent more people are searching online this year for gluten-free candy. What’s next? Candy-free candy?

3. The truth will out: Candy actually accounts for only 6% of the added sugar in the American diet. Soft drinks and juice add up to 46%.

4. In fact, candy has long been a scapegoat for health problems. Over a hundred years ago, doctors blamed candy for the spread of polio. Then starting in the mid to late 1900s it was blamed for tooth decay. Today it is blamed for type 2 diabetes and obesity. Go back and read number 3, people!

5. Take a little trip with me: Panic ensued when the news reported that five-year-old Kevin Toston allegedly ate Halloween candy laced with heroin in 1970. Turns out the drugs belonged to the boy’s uncle, who was trying to throw off drug dogs by mixing his stash in with the tot’s haul.

6. Just don’t eat the stuff you get at home: After eight-year-old Timothy O’Bryan died of cyanide poisoning allegedly from eating Halloween candy, savvy investigators dug a little deeper and discovered that his father had taken out a $20,000 life insurance policy on each of his children. He not only poisoned the boy himself, but also attempted to poison his daughter.

7. In Canada they call it beaver tail: Vanilla, strawberry, and raspberry flavorings in candy are sometimes made with castoreum, an extract made from beaver butt excretions.

8. Still going strong: Candy corn has been around for more than 100 years. It was invented in the 1880s by George Renninger, an employee of the Wunderle Candy Company. In 1900, the Goelitz Candy Company started producing candy corn and still produces it today — only you know them as the Jelly Belly Candy Company.

9. Candy-free Halloween: During World War II, sugar rationing put a serious damper on trick-or-treating, which lasted for a number of years. Maybe that’s when people started giving out the non-candy alternatives…

10. What happened to the third Musketeer? Or for that matter, the second? Introduced in 1932, Three Musketeers started out as a package of three separate candy bars, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Later it morphed into just a fluffy chocolate center coated with chocolate — less than one bar, but they still kept the name.

Got a sugar high? What better way to work it off than screaming your head off at Cutting Edge Haunted House this weekend! Open Friday and Saturday night, 8 to 10 pm!

 

Friday Night is for the Children at Cutting Edge

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What’s more fun than running through the darkness and screaming like a little girl at Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas? Running through the darkness and screaming like a little girl for a good cause! And when it comes to worthy causes, Cook Children’s is one of the best.

Serving over one million children with life-threatening illnesses every year, Cooks Children’s has one of the country’s largest pediatric transport teams and one of only five neonatal transport teams accredited worldwide from CAMTS. These caring professionals continuously strive to make miracles an everyday occurrence and ensure bright futures for their patients and families. Learn more at www.cookschildrens.org.

In the spirit of Halloween, a holiday beloved by children of all ages, Cutting Edge CEO Todd James announced recently that proceeds from ticket sales on Friday, September 26th will go to benefit Cooks Children’s, adding, “Running a successful entertainment business can be difficult at times, but when we all slow down and look at what challenges many families face who have children with life threatening illnesses, it is truly our honor to donate in hopes to have a positive impact on their lives.”

So run, don’t walk, to your nearest computer, smartphone or tablet — oh wait, you’re already on one — and get your tickets for Friday night at Cutting Edge Haunted House. And if your significant other gives you any grief, just tell the ball-and-chain you’re doing it for the kids!

 

10 Fascinating Factoids on the Subject of Black Cats

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Often associated with bad luck, death and dying, black cats are also a key symbol of Halloween. Feared and revered in different cultures around the world, few other creatures have achieved the cult status of the black cat. Here are some fascinating factoids about black cats:

1. The black cat’s reputation as a vessel of evil dates back to the witch hunts of the Dark Ages. Elderly, solitary women were most often the ones accused of witchcraft. Since they tended to keep cats for company, these animals were said to be their witches’ “familiars,” given to them by the devil. In fact, one myth has it that Satan turned himself into a black cat in order to socialize with witches without being recognized.

2. Western mythology holds that if a black cat crosses your path it will bring you bad luck. If this should happen while driving, you should turn your hat around backwards and mark an X on your windshield. You may feel better, but won’t you look silly!

3. Black cats aren’t considered unlucky everywhere. In Japan and the U.K., black cats are actually said to bring good luck.

4. If a funeral procession meets up with a black cat, it’s believed to foretell the death of still another family member.

5. People in 16th century Italy believed that if someone was ill, that person would die if a black cat were to lie on their bed.

6. While a black cat may bring bad luck, if the animal has a stray white hair, that’s considered good luck. But don’t pluck it or your luck will run out!

7. According to Scottish lore, if a strange black cat turns up on your porch, it will bring prosperity to the owner of the house.

8. Pirates of the 18th century believed that a black cat could bring both good and bad luck. If the animal walks towards you, you will have bad luck. If it walks away from you, then you will have good luck. If a black cat strolls onto a ship and off it, the vessel is doomed to sink on its next voyage.

9. In the early days of television in America, TV stations designated VHF channel 13 often made sport of being located on such an unlucky channel number by featuring a black cat as their mascot.

10. Published in Boston, MA from 1895 to 1920, The Black Cat was an American literary magazine that specialized in short stories of an “unusual” nature.

All kidding aside, black cats have only half as much chance of being adopted from an animal shelter as others, due to their unfortunate association with bad luck. Just something to think about next time you’re in the market for a furry companion!

And if a black cat crosses your path this week, turn your hat around backwards, put an X on your windshield, then go online and buy a ticket to Cutting Edge Haunted House. 

 

10 Things You May Not Know About Witches

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1. The word “witch” originates with the Old English term wicce, meaning “wise woman,” and indeed, wiccan were considered highly respected elders at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night. We call that a Halloween party!

2. According to one superstition, if someone were to wear their clothes inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night, he or she will encounter a witch at midnight — or at least get picked up by the local law enforcement for drunk and disorderly conduct.

3. A large percentage of witches are vegetarians. Except, of course, the one that tried to put Hansel and Gretel into a stew pot…

4. Contrary to popular belief, witches do not believe in the devil. Devil dogs, maybe, but not the devil.

5. During the notorious witch trials in Salem Massachusetts in 1962, 24 perished after being accused of witchcraft. Of that 24, 19 were hanged, one was pressed to death between two rocks (I know, weird!) and four died in prison of various causes while awaiting trial. None were actually burned at the stake.

6. Modern witchcraft, or Wicca, is a nature-based faith that is recognized as an official religion in the U.S. Based on pre-Christian traditions, the religion holds that Mother Earth and Nature are sacred. So really, you have nothing to fear from witches unless you toss that cigarette butt from your car…

7. The concept of witches flying on broomsticks has its origins in Middle Age lore. Those who practiced witchcraft made use of various plants to formulate brews, salves and ointments. Upon discovering that some of these plants, such as belladonna, jimsonweed, mandrake and hyoscine, produced hallucinogenic effects, some mischievous practitioners used them for illicit purposes. Since these effects were enhanced when the substance was absorbed through the armpits or mucus membranes (and we’re not talking about your nose here), these rapscallions applied these strange brews with the end of a broomstick. The afflicted person did fly, in the ancient version of a psychedelic acid trip. If you don’t believe us, read the Science Blog.

8. Between 1480 and 1750 AC, an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 “witches” were executed in Europe and North America. In order to identify a witch, self-appointed witch-hunters would search for a “witch’s mark” on the body of the accused. Thought to be a mark of the devil, these marks could have been birth marks, warts, blemishes or even a third nipple. Suspected witches were detained, restrained and “inspected.” And we thought today’s politicians were depraved…

9. So where do we get the stereotypical image of the haggard witch with a wart on her nose and pointy black hat, stirring her cauldron? This image actually stems from a pagan goddess known as “the crone,” who was honored during Samhain. Also known as the “Earth mother, or simply “the old one,” the crone symbolized wisdom, transformation and the changing of the seasons. Once a kind, wise old sage, the crone has since been transformed through popular lore into a menacing, cackling wicked witch. Ain’t it always the way?

10. Where did the witch’s cauldron come from? Well, the pagan Celts believed that after death, all souls returned to the crone’s cauldron, a symbol for the Earth mother’s womb, to await reincarnation. As the crone stirred the cauldron, new souls would enter and old souls would leave to be reborn. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!

Want to find out the real meaning of Halloween? Come to the Cutting Edge Haunted House, open every Friday and Saturday night from 8 to 10 pm!

Top 10 Dumbest Halloween Pranks Gone Wrong

TOP10 copyHave you ever played a Halloween prank on someone that didn’t turn out quite as you hoped — and maybe in retrospect, you realized it was a pretty dumb thing to do? Here at Cutting Edge Haunted House, we know all about Halloween pranks. And in honor of Halloween, we’ve scoured the web for the ten dumbest Halloween pranks gone wrong, just to give you a few giggles at other people’s expense. (Hey, what are pranks for?). Here they are, in no particular order:

10. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity member dressed up as the grim reaper and rigged up a contraption to emit smoke and shoot out Halloween party invitations into a crowded classroom. Instead the machine blew up, giving the student severe lacerations and prompting the bomb squad to be called in. Several campus buildings had to be evacuated.

9. In Florida, a woman sued her neighbor for defamation, harassment and emotional distress after he set up Halloween decs that included a sign for an insane asylum that pointed to her yard and a plastic tombstone with an epitaph making fun of her single status. It read, “At 48 she had no mate, no date. It’s no debate, she looks 88.” Now that’s just rude.

8. A 15-year-old Pennsylvania youth decided to egg the local electric company substation one Halloween. The combination of egg splatter and rain caused an explosion that knocked out power to 8,000 people. The boy had to be treated at the local ER for ringing ears.

7. A man and his wife in Galatia, Illinois decided to prank their two children, ages 6 and 8, by staging a fake murder in front of them. (How could anyone not think this was funny?) The man donned a Mike Myers mask and pretended to strangle his wife. The two children ran screaming from the house and straight over to the neighbors, where they proceeded to call 911 and tell the police that their mother had been strangled by Mike Myers. Deputies were dispatched to the scene and mom and dad were horribly embarrassed, but no charges were filed.

6. A teacher at Taunton High School in Massachusetts asked a 15-year-old student to answer a knock on the classroom door. In the hallway was another teacher wearing a goalie mask and brandishing a running chainsaw, in a ill-conceived attempt at a Halloween prank. In a frantic attempt to flee, the startled youth tripped and fractured a kneecap. The family is suing for $100,000.

5. In England, a man by the name of Peter Wallace was returning from a soccer match on a train full of fans dressed up in various costumes. One fellow was dressed up as a sheep, and Wallace thought it amusing to keep flicking his lighter near the cotton balls covering the man’s white track suit. Inevitably, the costume burst into flames, and the situation worsened when well-meaning friends tried to put out the fire with their cocktails. Fortunately, Wallace was the heir to a large estate, which he will be using to cover the victim’s medical bills and other damages.

4. A police officer in Maryland decided to turn the tables on one of the actors in a haunted attraction he was attending by pulling out his service weapon and brandishing it at the man. The actor promptly dropped his chainsaw and ran out of the room. The police officer was charged with assault and reckless endangerment. Who’s laughing now?

3. In Kamloops, British Columbia, an 18-year-old man walked into a dollar store on a Sunday afternoon just before Halloween wearing a skeleton mask, and demanded that the clerk turn over all the money in the register. When the clerk, in a panic, attempted to comply, the man told her “just joking” and left. Half an hour later the Royal Canadian Mounted Police caught up to the man, still wearing the mask, and arrested him for armed robbery. After searching the suspect, the RCMP discovered he also had on him a few items from the store that he had not paid for. They marched him back to the dollar store and forced him to apologize to the clerk, then gave him a stern talking to and released him. They kept the mask, however. No wonder they call Canadians “decaffeinated Americans.”

2. A Colorado man pointed a toy gun at a Grand Junction police officer on Halloween of 2013, and when the officer drew his weapon, the man told him it was “just a Halloween prank.” The officer wasn’t laughing, and booked the man for attempted robbery and felony menacing. This one falls under just too stupid to live.

1. For three years running, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has challenged parents watching the show to play a dastardly Halloween prank on their children by telling them that they ate all of their kids’ Halloween candy, and then video their responses. Parents all over the country have responded eagerly, putting their children through tears, tantrums and fits of uncontrollable rage for a fleeting moment of celebrity. Funny? Child psychologists apparently don’t think so. “Pranking your own children is not harmless fun, but is cruel and potentially damaging,” according to Professor Mark Barnett, Graduate Program Coordinator at Kansas State University’s Department of Psychological Sciences. “A parent who would violate this trust for a big laugh or 15 minutes of fame is, in my opinion, acting irresponsibly and not looking out for the best interests of the child.”

You gotta admit though, the videos are hysterical.

10 Things You May Not Know About Halloween Pumpkins

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1. Did you know that the first Jack O’Lanterns were not made from pumpkins at all, but turnips? Pumpkins are actually indigenous to the Western hemisphere, and were completely unknown before the days of Columbus in Europe and especially Ireland, birthplace of Halloween and Jack O’Lanterns. Turnip pie, anyone?

2. According to Irish legend, Jack O’Lanterns are named after a stingy, mean old drunkard named Jack who liked to play tricks on everyone. One night he even tricked the devil into promising not to take his soul when he died. Unfortunately, when he finally passed on he was refused entrance to Heaven, and when the devil, as promised, also refused him entrance to Hell, he was forced to wander the earth without a resting place. To light his way, he placed an ember given to him by the devil inside a hollowed out turnip, which became the first Jack O’Lantern.

3. When French explorer Jacques Cartier reconnoitered the St. Lawrence region of North America in 1954, he discovered what he termed “gros melons” (translation, big ta-tas). The Greek word pepon, which means large melon, somehow became the English pompion, which later evolved into the name we all know and love, the pumpkin.

4. The heaviest pumpkin on record weighed in at a whopping 1,810 pounds, 8 ounces, and was presented by Chris Stevens at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater in October of 2010 in Stillwater, Minnesota. That’s a lot of pies!

5. Speaking of pies, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed an astounding 3,699 pounds, far surpassing the previous record of 2,020 pounds. Measuring 20 feet in diameter, the pie was concocted in New Bremen Ohio at the 2010 New Bremen Pumpkinfest, and contained 1,212 pounds of canned pumpkin, 233 dozen eggs, 109 gallons of evaporated milk, 525 pounds of sugar, 7 pounds of salt and 14-1/2 pounds of cinnamon. Yumm.

6. Stephen Clarke holds the record for the world’s fastest pumpkin carving time: 16.47 seconds, smashing his previous record of 24.03 seconds. According to Guinness, the rules state that the pumpkin must weigh less than 24 pounds and be carved in a traditional way, which requires at least eyes, nose, ears and a mouth. Wonder what he could do with a Thanksgiving turkey…

7. The City of Keene, New Hampshire holds the record for the most Jack O’Lanterns lit at once, 30,581 on October 19, 2013. And it wasn’t even Halloween!

8. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” first aired in 1966 and was the third Peanuts special and the second holiday-themed one, after “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Produced and animated by Bill Melendez, it pre-empted “My Three Sons” on CBS on October 27, 1966. It continued to air annually on CBS through 2000, when ABC picked up the rights. Check your local listings for this year’s air date!

9. Morton, Illinois is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world, and home to Libby Corporation’s pumpkin industry. The State of Illinois harvests nearly 12,300 acres of pumpkins annually, more than any other state in the U.S. Oy!

10. Although pumpkins originated in South America, today they’re grown all over the world, even in Alaska. There is one place on earth you won’t find any pumpkins, though; Antarctica.

You’ll find plenty of pumpkins at Cutting Edge Haunted House this Halloween — we love our Jack O’Lanterns! It’s the Haunting Season, and we’re open again Saturday night, September 13 (ooh–eeh–ooh) from 8 to 10 pm! Be there!

10 Fun Facts about Halloween

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The first day of fall is nearly upon us, and Halloween is just around the corner!  How much do you know about your favorite holiday?  Here are ten fun facts about Halloween:

1.  Did you know that Ireland is believed to be the birthplace of Halloween?  The holiday originated there over 2,000 years ago!

2.  Short for “Hallows’ Eve,” Halloween is the evening before All Hallows’ Day, also known as Hallowmas or All Saints’ Day on November 1st.

3.  The colors orange and black are most often associated with Halloween.  A symbol of strength and endurance, orange also denotes the autumn harvest, along with gold and brown.  Black is a symbol of darkness and death, and serves to remind us that in many countries, Halloween is a festival that marks the boundaries between life and death.

4.  Halloween has many names, including All Hallows’ Eve, Lamswool, Witches Night, Snap-Apple Night, Summers End and Samhaim.

5.  An intense, persistent fear of Halloween is known in the scientific community as Samhnainophobia.

6.  Scarecrows symbolize the ancient agricultural roots of Halloween.  Many Halloween games such as bobbing for apples also relate back to the harvest.

7.  World-renowned magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween night from peritonitis, following a ruptured appendix.  Authorities concluded that the ruptured appendix was caused by three blows to the stomach delivered by a misguided fan.

8.  Both Salem, Massachusetts, and Anoka, Minnesota claim to be the Halloween capitals of the world.

9.  The largest Halloween parade in the U.S., the Village Halloween parade draws over 2 million spectators annually and features some 50,000 participants.

10.  Halloween is the fourth highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.  According to the National Retail Federation, 158 million consumers will participate in Halloween activities, spending an average of $75.03 on décor, costumes and candy.  Total estimated spending is expected to reach $6.9 billion in the United States.

 What are YOU planning to do for Halloween this year?  Visit the Cutting Edge Facebook page and let us know!

 

Sinister Skies Herald Cutting Edge Grand Opening

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Forth Worth, Texas

Dubbed “the Dog Days of Summer,” this playful cloud formation made headlines across the country in recent weeks, and seemed to signal the dwindling days of barbecues and beach parties, and the approach of brilliant fall leaves, pumpkin patches and towering corn mazes.

 

Now a much more sinister apparition has skywatchers agog as a popular Fort Worth haunted house prepares to open Saturday night for a long awaited “Sneak Peek.”

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As if to herald the beginning of the 2014 haunting season, the roiling clouds over Fort Worth paused for just a moment, long enough for one lucky photographer to capture this uncanny formation.

Anyone on the fence about whether to brave the crowds — and the clouds — and be first in line at Cutting Edge Haunted House on Saturday night must surely be swayed by this cunning visual illusion.

According to Fort Worth Psychoanalyst Kenu Seemy, if you think you see Cutting Edge in this purely innocent cloud formation, then it’s likely that your subconscious is telling you:

“Take me to Cutting Edge Saturday night. I want to be scared out of my mind. Go online and buy a ticket NOW, or I’ll bite you!”

So if you see what I see, don’t wait — get your tickets now for Saturday night’s Grand Opening Sneak Peek and get ready for an all-out extravaganza of terror!

Oh, and you might want to go get something to eat now. I think your subconscious is hungry.