We Have an Issue: Happy Haunts

In this week’s issue, we peek behind the curtain of Austin’s scare houses


Photo by Jana Birchum / Cover design by Zeke Barbaro

It was I think early summer when Culture Editor Richard Whittaker first pitched me this week's cover story on scare houses. It's fair to say that Halloween is Richard's Christmas – something he giddily plans for months in advance and celebrates with real gusto.

"I'm the kind of guy whose first stop at Disneyland is the Haunted Mansion," Richard told me. "I see a pumpkin, I want to carve it. There's something alluring about Halloween, and it's not simply the cardiac shocks of a good scare. It's the holiday that has always allowed us to look into the dark and dare it to look back, or to get under a mask and cathartically be the darkness, if just for a little while."

I am famously a scaredy-cat, so I appreciate this chance to experience four haunted houses from a safe distance. If you're looking for firsthand scares, the Chronicle is giving away tickets to some of the haunted attractions profiled in the piece. Want to show off your own home-crafted haunts? Our reader contest is back again this year. Find details about both, along with the feature, here


Online This Week


Tierra Whack - Photo by John Anderson

Cherish the Moments: Follow our ACL Weekend 2 coverage and revisit Weekend 1 photos and reviews at austinchronicle.com/acl.

Day Trips & Beyond: Travel columnist Gerald E. McLeod rounds up October's best events around the state worth the tank of gas.


Good for All Seasons: Wayne Alan Brenner raves about former Austinite Jeanne Thornton's Summer Fun, a novel heralded as "a brilliant and magical work of trans literature."

Anticipating a Picket Line: Culture Editor Richard Whittaker talks to TV and film industry folks about what the IATSE strike could mean for Austin.

Bookmark This: Texas Book Festival reveals its schedule for eight days of virtual programming (running Oct. 23-31), plus a weekend of limited IRL engagements.

Fantastic Fest Leftovers: Check out interviews with the filmmakers behind two FF world premieres, the horror anthology V/H/S/94 and documentary Who Killed the KLF?

Weekend Wine: If you like Argentine Malbecs or U.S. Merlots, wine columnist Wes Marshall has a recommendation from the Cahors region of France that pairs beautifully with grilled beef.


We Have an Issue: Happy Haunts

The Austin Chronicle Show on KOOP 91.7FM

This week, Brant Bingamon talks about the slow progression of civil and criminal cases brought by protesters injured by police in last year's BLM protests, and Eric Goodman assesses Austin FC's first season.


Tune in Fridays, 6pm, to KOOP Community Radio. Past episodes at austinchronicle.com/av.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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