The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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The Haunting at Reindeer Manor

On Houston School Road in Red Oak, Texas there’s a black steel gate that reads “Reindeer Manor.” There were no lights on the property, just trees and dirt, as Abby Smith, 19, walked through the gate. Before her stood a two-story wooden barn with fire exploding out of the roof. “Where’s my mommy?” said a boy from a recording in the house. There was only one window at the top of the house with a red light glowing.

Smith and friends went into the house and came out with ghost-white faces.

“It was very scary,” she said. “I should have had my Depends on.”

Reindeer Manor, where Smith and her friends spent a recent Friday night, was named one of the top haunted houses in the country by Haunted Attraction Magazine.

13th Street MorgueThe first haunted house on the tour is the 13th Street Morgue, an old barn where James Sharp Jr. hung himself in 1929. Alex Lohmann, owner of the property, created the Morgue. Inside actors lurk behind corners with hooks, shovels and devilish giggles, along with funeral home antiques that make the old barn very spooky.

Each room has a different theme with ghouls sneaking up behind people and lightly scratching nails down their backs, while other ghouls come running down the hallway full force with a weapon. During Halloween’s off-season, however, many say the old barn remains haunted. Kayla Petrich, 20, a family friend of the Lohmann family, spent the night in the barn and said she saw ropes swinging and moving but then suddenly stopping.

“I hauled out of there,” she said.

Danny Alexander, the design and engineering chairman of the park, was working on a set design one night and heard a voice say, “come here” behind the old barn. When he flashed a light in the direction of the voice, nothing was there. Alexander has been working on the property for 14 years. During that time, he said he has seen a figure two times that he refers to as the shadow man.

Reindeer ManorThe next house is the main attraction on the property. Reindeer Manor, the two story, red-brick house owned by John D. Cole and his family following the death of James Sharp Jr.

Boy Scouts and members of the Red Oak community have volunteered at the house to help build props and act as ghouls in the house during haunting season since 1982. Bryan Marx, 20, roams around dressed as a vampire and scares people waiting to go into the house.

Reindeer Manor also has a theme in every room, but each room has a short skit instead of ghouls popping up behind corners. People are introduced by Dracula who awakens from his coffin next to an old piano, decorated with candles. Another room in the house has a girl’s decapitated body on a table and a man caressing her. People have to look through wooden boards that guard the room, forcing them to come close. Suddenly, the man takes out a chainsaw and runs toward the people to chase them to the next scene. In one of the rooms, there are children dressed as clowns running around and poking at people.

Petrich had to be escorted out of this room by friends, who said she hyperventilated due to her severe fear of clowns.

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