SAN ANTONIO - One haunted house has inflicted fear in those who dare to enter "Nightmare on Grayson." It's become a Halloween right of passage, and it's so popular that it ran away with the voting this week.
“I greatly appreciate it. It's really nice getting this a second year in a row,” said Gordon Wise, the director of operations for the Nightmare on Grayson. “It just kind of validates -- and San Antonio has really embraced the haunted house for us this year and last year.”
Nightmare on Grayson is the oldest haunted house in San Antonio - and this year will be its last. Wise says the place has changed a lot in 24 years and this Halloween is the last fright night the place will be open for business.
For decades, crowds have lined up outside with some people not quite prepared for the deadly stares or spooky characters lunging from dark spaces in the haunted house.
"It's taken a lot out of me. I had my bumps, had my bruises," said Bruce McColley.
The actor has worked at Grayson for 15 years, most recently wearing a dreadful zombie skin tight mask weighing 20 pounds.
There is a lot to be afraid of inside, but years ago Wise said it wasn’t really safe outside either.
"It was one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city of San Antonio,” he said.
Still Wise and others took a chance and decided to open the haunted house.
"We never had to turn anyone away," remembered Wise.
But this year he had to turn crowds away, waiting outside near midnight hoping to enter.
There are just 20 to 25 days of business for the haunted house each year according to Wise. He said financially it’s too difficult to keep the doors open now.
"It's a tough pill to swallow, but we knew we had to do it."
Competition and the cost of running the show are just two of the reason why the Nightmare on Grayson is closing.
Alexander Anguiano said he would not work at any other haunted house in town because this was like a spooky family affair.
"If I had the choice, I would do this 10 more years," he insisted.
When finances got really tough, Wise moved into the building and when the show ends the building will be converted into apartments, retail space and offices. He's following the trend in the Pearl Brewery just across the street.
Some neighbors were ready for the noise to die down at the haunted house.
But tonight Wise expects crowds. Wise said some visitors can pay a discounted price if they bring a food donation. Just check the Nightmare on Grayson Facebook page
for more information.
The haunted house is open for Halloween and visitors can come out Friday and Saturday evening until midnight.
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