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Creepy cruising: Mile of Terror features a drive-through array of spooky attractions

Dragon’s House of Horror presents ‘Mile of Terror,’ a drive-through haunted house that takes place Sept. 4 through Oct. 1 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. (Courtesy of Kori Kobayashi)

Travel a trail of terror for a good scare from the confines of your vehicle.

Dragon’s House of Horror presents the Mile of Terror dares you to drive the petrifying paths in its drive-through haunted house. The spooky feature will be open Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at dusk from Friday, Sept. 4 through Oct. 31 at the Santa Ana Star Center parking area. There are plans to add more days, depending on its popularity.

The drive-through concept was created as a way for people to enjoy a haunted house in compliance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. Tickets can be purchased in advance at holdmyticket.com, or at the door, cash only.

“It was a long time in the making, and it kind of came together,” said Nichole Harwood, marketing associate with Dragon’s House of Horror and ABQ-Live. “Everyone is stuck inside. A lot of events have been canceled this year, but this is a good way to get out of the house when still being very safe. I mean, you don’t get much safer without leaving your car, but you still get to enjoy it. Almost kind of like interacting with a horror movie in itself since you’re going through all these areas in your car.

“It is a mile long, and it is, normally, it’s going to take the average person, the shortest amount of time is 15 minutes and then longer because you’re driving kind of slow,” Harwood said. “Nobody’s vehicles will be touched. We really want to emphasize that. Just like Dragon’s House of Horror, one of the big things is that they don’t touch people in the haunted house, so they want people to know that in the Mile of Terror your vehicles won’t be touched but there’s still tons of sights and scares throughout the maze.”

The haunted feature has different areas that attendees with wind through.

“For instance, the clown house is one of the first of the ones that you kind of see, and that one has Bobo the Clown,” Harwood said. “It can get a little loud. There’s definitely just scares in there, and then we also have a “Purge” section. So there’s a variety, and it kind of hits a lot of horror genres and themes that are very popular both modern and in the past.”

Dragon’s House of Horror owner Ron Gideon and his team try to build something different every year. One of the few constants is the haunted house’s mascot, Bobo the Clown, but even he has transformed over the years, according to Harwood.

Mile of Terror is a family-friendly feature, but some of the sights may be too scary for younger children. Harwood said there are plans in the works to create a trick-or-treat night for all ages and that will adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines.

Organizers of Mile of Terror are also working on getting food trucks to the haunted feature.

“Again, (it will be) COVID-safe, so it would be delivery only,” Harwood said. “… As everything continues to expand, we’re just kind of expanding along with it. So we do encourage people to check out the social media page, just because any new alerts that we have we are posting there and we doing daily posts to social media. We do have an instagram, @dragonhouseofhorror, and then, of course, we have an event page (at) dragonshouseofhorror.com and abq-live.com.”

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