Halloween Theme Parks in Terrell, Texas

by Lisabeth Hughes
Thrillvania is Terrell's premier haunted attraction.

Thrillvania is Terrell's premier haunted attraction.

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

Halloween brings ghoulies, ghosties and all manner of thrilling terrors to the forefront of America’s attractions each year. Terrell, Texas draws crowds each year to Thrillvania Thrill Park, rated by America’s Best Haunts as one of the most terrifying haunted theme parks in the country. Thrillvania is so scary; it boasts top reviews by many other respected reviewers like Fangoria, "Reader’s Digest," MSN and AOL. It’s even been featured on the Travel Channel as one of “America’s Scariest Haunted Attractions.” Thrillvania regularly updates its characters and attractions, keeping it fresh and surprising even for repeat visitors.


Thrillvania came from humble beginnings. Original owner Lance Pope bought the attraction at auction in 1989 and developed the story of Baron Verdun and Lady Cassandra. The Verdun Manor was the only initial attraction, spending its first seven years in Forney, Texas. The attraction became so popular it rapidly outgrew its birthplace. The manor was moved to a 50-acre lot in Terrell, and Thrillvania debuted in 1996. When Lance passed away, his parents, Sue and Ralph Pope, took over the show's production. The Popes continue to expand the attraction with the help of a very creative and dedicated staff and crew.


Thrillvania’s history is a twisted tale of insane depravity and gory passions. According to Thrillvania’s legend, nefarious scientist Baron Verdun and his vampire wife, Lady Cassandra, began construction of the Verdun Manor near an abandoned plantation cemetery deep within the Voodoo Bayou. Baron Verdun was a werewolf fascinated by his own dual nature, and together, he and his wife secretly conducted horrible experiments on travelers abducted from the surrounding countryside, resulting in hideous mutants which he set free to wander the grounds. When the townfolk learned of the cannibalistic balls, torturous experiments and human hunts, they massed together and stormed the manor, killing the freakish couple and their mutants before setting the property ablaze, relegating them to spirit status forever.

The Manor

The Voodoo Bayou surrounds the manor, obscuring the surroundings with a thick, evil fog and forcing you to feel your way out. Six Feet Blunder is a sit-down attraction that convincingly mimics the creepy, abandoned cemetery of legend and overwhelms your sense of sight, sound, smell and touch in a 4-D atmosphere. When you finally reach the Antebellum-style Manor, you will discover the depths of Verdun’s depravity in the haunted, horrifying recesses of the haunted house. Cassandra’s Labyrinth of Terror takes you on a truly terrifying 3D trip into the heart of madness, featuring a giant brain that controls the crazy clowns who clutter the halls of twisting tunnels.

Beyond the Manor

Dr. Lycan’s Trail of Terror will torment your mind as you try to decipher reality from delusion in the Doctor’s psychotic psychic realm. Thorn Hall will pitch you unwittingly into utter darkness in a Victorian mansion high on a hill, while the Maze of Chaos plays with light and sound to disorient you even further. Granny Lupus stirs up spirits at her Séance Theater, where you will see the souls that haunt the Verdun grounds in physical form.

About the Author

Lisabeth Hughes holds an Associate of Fine Arts from Minnesota State Community and Technical College with a Bachelor of Arts in progress at Prescott College. Hughes began writing professionally as an assistant at First Rate Freelance in 1995. In 2009 she began to submit her own work and has now published numerous articles on various websites and in "Kush" magazine and two poetry anthologies.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images