Halloweekend in Austin: Visit House of Torment for a truly frightening experience

House of Torment is a haunted house attraction in Austin open seasonally for Halloween. If youre looking to get scared this Halloween, its the place for you!

Krysta Herrera / Hilltop Views

House of Torment is a haunted house attraction in Austin open seasonally for Halloween. If you’re looking to get scared this Halloween, it’s the place for you!

The attendant waved me forward, counting with his fingers: 10 seconds, 11, 12, 13. Up until now, I hadn’t felt a single ounce of fear, but the flickering light down the dark narrow hallway taunted me. I could hear cries in the distance against foreign-sounding crashes and chilling cackles. Why would I even consider putting myself through this? A surge of panic welled up inside me, and without permission my body shifted towards the exit. Thirty  seconds. It was too late, and I stepped forward into the first house. 

If a more chilling, eerie and frightening October activity sounds appealing to you, then House of Torment should be your next stop this Halloween season. 

The attraction features three different houses: The Boogeyman, The Forsaken and Operation: Laughing Place; so there is sure to be something unnerving for everyone.  

Some tips to know before you arrive:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes. Don’t lose your flip flop in the dark as you sprint away from a killer clown.
  2. No prop or handheld items are allowed inside. Feel free to come in costume, just leave your accessories in your car.
  3. To enter House of Torment, you’ll need either a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of attendance.
  4. Lastly, bring a clear bag! Only clear bags less than  4.5 inches by 6.5 inches are allowed past security.

I had the pleasure of making my way through all three houses and can attest to the professionalism of the scare actors. They were very convincing, never breaking character and reflecting the theme well. From nuclear-exposed clowns to tortured prisoners, they seemed to sense your horror and target those who had the most to fear. One demonic-looking figure chased me down multiple hallways for what seemed like an eternity. I felt like the final girl in my favorite horror film, desperately trying to escape Freddy Krueger’s razor claws.

“It truly was scary… [interacting with the scare actors] was intense,” Erin Neira, a 21-year-old attendee, said. 

But if upon arrival, you complete one house and decide it’s not really your thing, don’t worry. You and your friends can participate in attractions such as axe throwing, escape room games and even catch your breath in the Torment Tavern. 

You can also commemorate your act of bravery by visiting the merchandise room, where  t-shirts, hats and other spooky goodies are available for purchase. 

As you wait in line, performers walk around interacting with the public. Don’t expect them to say much, but feel free to snag a pic or two.

I went on a Monday night, and while it was rather crowded, I spent 10 minutes in line at most. 

The rooms were filled with extremely realistic props and optical illusions which made some moments very disorienting, but for some that is part of the appeal.

“One of the coolest parts was the shifting room,” Neira said. “It was so dark and gloomy and you felt like you were walking sideways.”

I would recommend House of Torment to anyone who enjoys horror films and the scarier aesthetic of Halloween. Taking the first step into the haunted house was the hardest part. Once I overcame my initial fear, my adrenaline propelled me forward and my expedition became genuinely enjoyable.

It was deeply satisfying making my way through the houses, and by the end I felt very accomplished. They say we seek out the things that scare us, because in a controlled environment we can understand the feeling of fear without any possibility of danger. 

Don’t wait! Buy your ticket and seize your chance to live out your horror movie fantasy for just one night.