Josh Skaggs, executive editor:
For me, scary things are the best part of Halloween. Being my favorite holiday, Halloween makes the fall bearable for me.
Arx Mortis is always the thing I look forward to when it comes to Halloween, because first of all, the owner lets the media in for free. Secondly, the attraction always scares the crap out of me.
I spent the entire night yelling out expletives (I am sure my mother would not be proud). For some reason my staff threw me into the front of the line because I am their “fearless leader”. This is a load of crap, because I was scared the entire time.
I would highly suggest anyone who wants to get a little scare in before Halloween drive out to Killen to go.
Alex Lindley, news/managing editor:
Arx Mortis has been a delightfully frightening experience both times I’ve been.
This year, I was particularly impressed with the actors. I found out that they work on a completely volunteer basis, and — I’ve got to say — I’m surprised at how dedicated they are, for people who aren’t being paid.
From a murderer running through standing water in the pitch black to a clown crawling in the rafters and jumping down to scare participants, these ghoulish volunteers were fantastic.
The Flor-Ala staff went on their first night, and the haunted attraction wasn’t even in full swing, but the actors still got several scares in. Arx Mortis definitely set the mood for Halloween.
Ann Harkey, life editor:
I pride myself on being fearless, but Arx Mortis caused me to scream from surprise so much, I needed a lozenge after.
Even when we went through the “lights-on” — and I use that term lightly — tour, I was freaking out around each corner of the impressively decorated rooms.
Going through Covington Clinic, I saw some amazing animatronics, terrifying actors, and a bunch of Flor-Ala editors with no backbone. As we made our way through the Covington Clinic and Miner’s Hill, we formed into a conga line of fear, holding hands as we braved the scariness.
I can’t wait to go back after all the actors have had more training — at least I think I can’t.
Blythe Steelman, online/multimedia editor:
Arx Mortis really got me out of my comfort zone.
I screamed on more than one occasion, and I often found myself clutching to Life Editor Ann Harkey’s hand. I was surprised by both the fear and realness at Arx Mortis, but grateful the cast “toned down” the scariness for media night.
For me, Arx Mortis was a new experience, and one I enjoyed, despite being scared out of my mind once or twice (or around every corner). But a little fear is healthy every now and then, right?
I’ve never been to a haunted house before, and Arx Mortis certainly didn’t disappoint. I would say it’s a must for any college student looking for a good scare this fall.
Jared McCoy, copy/opinion editor:
There’s something to be said about a haunted attraction that can make a certain college newspaper’s executive editor squeal like a little girl when the lights are turned on, the mechanical workings of the animatronic creatures are in plain sight and the monsters are just having dress rehearsal.
The deformed cannibals and demented clowns of Arx Mortis are believably terrifying to a point of suspending even a thrill junkie’s sense of disbelief over a cliff.
The attraction’s design plays with common fears — narrow pathways for the claustrophobic, absurdly long hallways for the agoraphobic and enough twists and turns to disorient and bewilder even brazen skeptics (who need to lighten up, anyway).
Check out the video by Online/Multimedia Editor Blythe Steelman and Chief Photographer Kayla Sloan's photo gallery on the homepage of our website for more from Arx Mortis.