A hobby leads to a pirate-themed haunted attraction
In time for the Halloween season, businessman Craig Watt has opened Terror Isle, a pirate-themed haunted attraction, 518 6th St. N. in Texas City.
The theme, fitting for the upper Texas coast, where residents are fascinated by all things pirates and haunted, revolves around the tortured spirits of two rival ship captains who 200 years ago went to war for control over a vast empire but met their ends in a massive storm.
The haunted attraction, which will feature spectral pirates, zombies, hell hounds and creatures from the deep, is the first of its kind in these parts. Terror Isle uses lighting, technology and sound on the level of Universal Studios and Disney theme parks, Watt said.
Watt is a 20-year insurance agent with a degree in marketing. He learned the haunt industry through the internet, courses and home hauntings.
Coast Monthly caught up with Watt to learn more about his scary venture.
Q: What made you decide to open a haunted attraction?
A: I have been building haunted houses for nearly 20 years at my home with my kids. It started with small displays in the front yard and graduated to a full-blown haunt in the garage. Then, I decided to make the jump to professional level.
Q: What inspired the pirate theme?
A: This area is rich with pirate history. It just made sense to take inspiration from the local lore. What is scarier than pirates?
Q: What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?
A: For me, “The Shining.”
Q: And the scariest book you’ve ever read?
A: “The Shining.”
Q: How long will the haunted attraction be open?
A: Until Nov. 6.
Q: What’s the most haunted place in Galveston County?
A: Hotel Galvez (Now the Grand Galvez).
Q: Tell us a little about the technology and creative minds behind Terror Isle.
A: We have the most advanced technology out of any other haunted house in the Houston area. Our lights, sound, projectors, smoke machines and props are all computer-controlled. We literally can change the whole show with the touch of a button. This allows us to convert the place into escape room games after the Halloween season.