Dallas Texas' - Reindeer Manor
By Hauntworld Magazine
Dallas Haunted Houses are some of the scariest and best in America! Hauntworld.com rates and review the best and Scariest haunted houses, haunted attractions, and Halloween events in America! Reindeer Manor is located in Red Oak Texas, Just outside of Dallas and has one of the scariest haunted houses in America! Prepare to scream! Sit back and prepare to scream through our review of Reindeer Manor. This Halloween you can't miss the scariest and best haunted attraction in the entire state of Texas, Reindeer Manor. Reindeer Manor is the longest running Texas haunted house and one of the longest running haunted houses in all of America. Finally we are able to review one of the longest running haunted houses in Dallas Texas.
To learn more about Texas' Reindeer Manor visit their websit below:
TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN TEXAS
40 years. That’s a long time for lots of things. Sid Vicious and Buddy Holly changed the face of popular culture and only lived approximately half that amount. That’s 10 times the length of U.S. involvment in WWII. It’s certainly a tremendous amount of time for a haunted house. Almost no other haunted attraction in the world can boast a 40 year history. Yet this is not where our story ends… but where it begins.
Reindeer Manor in Red Oak, Texas is getting a serious facelift for 2014 just in time to kick off its 41st season and will begin a new era in the Dallas/Fort Worth haunted house market. The new owners are Alex and Jennifer Lohmann, who already bring you the iconic 13th Street Morgue and the heart-pounding Dungeon Of Doom. These two are no strangers to the industry and have been haunting for 15 years as a couple. To better explain how this all came to be, perhaps it’s best to start at the beginning with a bit of haunting history.
Picture in your head the following story:
Around 1910 James Sharp, a prominent gas and well mining shareholder, had a few hundred acres of property and rented out the main house to an immigrant family. Disaster struck when lightning hit causing the house to catch fire. The destruction was horrific and all 4 members of the immigrant family were killed. Mr. Sharp decided to rebuild in brick, bringing to the property a manor home, water cistern, generator house, barns, and servants quarters. Before construction was fully completed James Sharp was found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
From there James' son Matthew inherited the farm. Matthew and his wife did quite well raising race horses and turning his father's vision of a southern estate into reality. Then, the stock market crashed in 1929. Having lost most of his inheritance, madness and depression set in, and Matthew poisoned his wife in the manor house and hung himself in his beloved horse barn.
After the Sharps’ tragic end, the property changed hands many times over the coming years, ever haunted by its past. The size and span of the property also dwindled. In 1974 a group of folks had a strange request of the owners. They wanted to use the manor house for Halloween and charge people to get scared. That’s the year Reindeer Manor was born.
In 1982, Boy Scout Troop 1 took over the reins of operating The Manor. Under their leadership, the haunted house began to thrive. Some outrageous custom effects, especially for that time, were employed: Tesla coils, a falling ceiling room, a hollowed out graveyard for monsters to lurk out of, and even a flaming pond! They continued on this same path until 2004.
Enter The Lohmanns
Alex and Jennifer Lohmann always had a passion for Halloween and haunted houses. In 1999, they started as yard haunters, and by 2003, their yard haunt was actually larger than the house itself. They decided it was time to go pro. Alex had already founded the Dallas Trocars (a hearse club), and they used the hearses to check out as many local haunts as they could to get to know the industry. Armed with their home haunting experience, they opened up The 13th Street Morgue in Alverado, TX in 2004. Already by the end of their first season as pro haunters, they realized a need to up their game to a bigger market and better location. That’s when a mutually beneficial deal was struck with Reindeer Manor Haunted House. Reindeer Manor needed another attraction to survive in the ever-expanding Dallas market where multi-attraction venues were on the rise. In turn, The Morgue needed a new home. It was a perfect haunted house partnership, so with the beginning of the 2005 season, Reindeer opened as a multi-element haunt park: 2 haunted attractions, a midway, games, concessions, and lots more pyrotechnics.
In 2008, the Lohmanns acquired a sister haunt to go along with The Morgue. Dungeon Of Doom Haunted House had been located in the Arlington Museum Of Art since 1989. Their owners, having decided to retire, struck up a deal with Alex and Jen. Dungeon Of Doom would then be relocated to the same property with The Morgue and Reindeer Manor. The haunt park now had 3 attractions, and the next few years saw promising growth all around.
To add a little more to their plate the Lohmanns launched a second company in 2013 called When Hinges Creak (www.WhenHingesCreak.com). It is a small haunted house prop company that focuses primarily on resin casts of neat and unusual detail pieces. This little company has grown and become a large part of the Lohmanns' lives.
There’s an old saying that nothing ever stays the same. The Dallas Fort Worth area is a hard market in which to maintain a haunt. Dallas customers will drive an hour just to check out the next bigger and better show. Also, there is never a lack of new shows in the DFW market. Reindeer Manor found itself having a hard time keeping up. Every year fewer and fewer folks were interested in doing what it takes to keep a haunt alive in Dallas. Haunting had become much more of a business than just a pastime. At the end of the 2013 season, Reindeer decided they could not face the major overhaul that was needed to stay competitive. A decision was made, and Alex and Jennifer purchased Reindeer Manor. The culmination of all this effort will result in the upcoming Reindeer Manor Halloween Park, a 33-acre fear park which will be expanding over the next several years. It's not a rebranding per se, but it is giving things a new facelift that’s long overdue. To quote an orchestra conductor, "Again…with gusto."
Alex and Jennifer won’t be doing all this alone. Over the last 15 years they’ve put together a talented crew, many of whom have stayed involved for well over a decade. Like many haunted house crews, theirs is like a family with a strong sense of kinship and dedication and love of haunting. Folks outside the industry might just see it as a bunch of weirdos (and they’d be right), but this bunch of weirdos will march right into the mouth of Hell for what they believe in. They believe whole-heartedly that this fear park has the potential to be the best. Over the years their crew has faced many challenges and have always risen to the occasion. Alex and Jennifer see no reason for this challenge to be any different.
Two of the most predominant people in the off-season build crew are Daniel Burnett and Kevin Cook. Daniel has been working with Alex and Jennifer for 10 seasons. He started a few weeks before their first season at Reindeer, doing his internship in the morning, attending his day job in the afternoon, and working at the haunt until the wee hours of the morning. Essentially, he didn’t sleep much during that period of time. Daniel also takes care of the park audio, graphics, web design, off-season promotions, design, construction, lighting, and tends to be the one to make sure things stay organized. Kevin Cook has been with the Lohmanns for 8 years and does construction, design, lighting, maintenance, and is generally called upon for heavy lifting. He was married at the haunt with Alex officiating. Both his wife Tiinia Auler and best man Chris Greene act and work off-season promotional events. Daniel and Kevin act in the show as well and are actor managers over their areas. Their annual motivation is to have the scariest, most-theatrical actors of any Dallas haunted house around.
This entire group also has another, even odder side. They have a band called the Reindeer Morgue Of Doom Midnight Hour Jubilee Chorus. They dress up in costume and play instruments: Alex on accordion, Daniel on banjo, Kevin on the ugly stick, Chris on the triangle, and Tiinia playing the bells. They sing songs ranging from 80’s hits to old Irish drinking songs.
After a 40-year history the original Haunted House at Reindeer Manor is getting a major overhaul. The show format will change as well. Instead of a theatrical “skit” being done in each room, it’s being converted to a modern, walk-through type attraction that will play on both the house's actual haunting history and a solid scary backstory to really bring the creep-factor up. This will be backed by a remodel of the haunted trail out behind the house. There will be many iconic features that will stay right where they are, the same as customers have come to expect. 2014 will showcase the best scenic design the crew has done to date, and they are ready for the challenge. There will also be a dramatic shift in character development, costuming, and makeup this year. Plans are already underway to get a new shop up and a running as well to make custom masks, prosthetics and costumes for the park.
With a talented haunt crew at the helm, this year’s haunted house park will be unstoppable. The Lohmanns are dedicated to making sure their customers get the most value for their money, and that value grows each year.