Safe as (haunted) houses

Austin’s House of Torment scares up spot among top haunted attractions in the U.S.

Austin’s House of Torment scares up spot among top haunted attractions

House of Torment The Boogeyman
The Boogeyman, a new attraction this year, is coming for you at House of Torment in Austin.  House of Torment/Instagram

What’s scarier than a haunted house? An unsafe haunted house.

Fortunately, the Haunted Attraction Association (yep, it’s a thing.) has come up with a safety-minded list of the 45 top-rated haunted attractions in the U.S., and an Austin spot — House of Torment — is among them.

The association certifies haunted attractions based on 10 criteria, including protection of customers and education of industry professionals — because there’s nothing more frightening than an unschooled haunted house carney, except maybe an actually hazardous spook show.

An attraction must be a member of the association to be considered for the list.

“The safety of our guests is the No. 1 priority,” says John Eslich, owner of Factory of Terror in Canton, Ohio, and former president of the association. “The certification is a symbol of excellence that honors those attractions that are making strides above and beyond to focus on the safety and education of their employees while developing a world-class haunting experience for guests.”

Aside from being certified by the Haunted Attraction Association, House of Torment has been featured on the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, and on the Huffington Post. The haunted house, located at 2632 Ridgepoint Dr. in the Walnut Creek area, opened September 11 and will close November 13. 

House of Torment is known for its detailed Hollywood-style sets, iconic scary characters, and “towering animatronics monsters.” 

The 2021 version of the haunted house offers three new features with all-new sets, costumes, and special effects: Operation: Laughing Place, The Boogeyman, and The Forsaken.

Two other places in Texas appear on the Haunted Attraction Association’s list of certified haunted houses: Creepy Hollow Haunted House, near Houston, and 13th Floor Haunted House in San Antonio.