Houston’s longest-running horror attraction, ScreamWorld, will open for a special night of scares on Friday, March 13, and then close for the foreseeable future.
“It seems only fitting that after 31 years of terrorizing well over 1 million patrons, we’ll open our doors one last time on Friday the 13th,” said ScreamWorld owner Jim Fetterly in a press release. “I am hanging up my haunt hat for good and retiring. The land ScreamWorld is housed on is for sale, so March 13 is the last opportunity to entertain our fans.”
Fetterly elaborated in a phone conversation that at the age of 63 he was ready to move on from the horror haunt industry.
“The Houston market has been wonderful to us,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed being in that location so much for 20 years. That said, it’s time for me to go.”
Fetterly is the owner of the land between Ella and T.C. Jester that houses the 4.5-acre ScreamWorld Haunted Scream Park, The Swamp, The Edge of Darkness, Jake’s Slaughterhouse, and the outdoor Clown Asylum Maze and Zombie Graveyard. He says that he has already had contact from people interested in buying the land, including one party that may want to continue using it as ScreamWorld or another haunted attraction. That said, the future of ScreamWorld is up in the air and there is no guarantee that the park will be open again this September.
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Former employees expressed sadness that the Houston institution may never open again. Joann “Jojo” Mixon worked at ScreamWorld from 2007 to 2014 and met her current significant other there. She recalls fondly a night where a patron lost a phone and she attempted to return it while still in her monster make-up. The phone’s owner thought she was stalking them and desperately tried to get away until she was able to convince them she was merely trying to be a Good Samaritan. She says she’ll miss the venerable house of horrors.
“It sucks to fully close instead of just trying to relocate like Phobia did,” said Mixon. “ScreamWorld has been in Houston for years and will be the second haunted house in the area to close in as many years. This will definitely leave a hole to fill as far as Halloween entertainment in the north side of town.”
The north side still has at least one haunted attraction, 13th Floor on FM 1960 east of 249.
ScreamWorld’s final night will be from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, March 13. Tickets are $20. For information, visit screamworld.com or call 713-914-1313.