CRAIG WATT IS BRINGING TERROR to Texas City, and he’s counting on the area to fully embrace it.
The third-generation Texas City business developer is in the process of opening up Terror Isle Adventures, which is slated for a November debut. Located on Texas City’s 6th Street, Watt will be adding a new dimension of fun and entertainment that will bring visitors throughout the Houston area.
“This will be a combination escape room and haunted house,” said Watt, who added that the haunted house portion of Terror Isle will be delayed until October of next year. “Combining it this way is something no one has done, so we’re excited about giving visitors the best of both worlds.”
Watt, who has over 20 years of experience running a haunted house in Friendswood called Fiendswood Manor, purchased the building in February, but the national pandemic slowed down his plans for an earlier start date. Undaunted, Watt is pushing forward, as a host of construction has kept 6th Street busy throughout the day while also leaving onlookers curious about what the building will bring.
Having been raised in a family rich in business tradition in Texas City (his grandparents owned Big Chief Grocery while his father owned what is now Texas First Insurance), Watt has pulled out all the stops toward a successful launch.
“We’re creating a different type of reality when it comes to our escape rooms,” he said. “This will be some high tech creativity that will be on the level of Disney.”
Terror Isle Adventures will offer three different escape rooms, each with a pirate theme:
*Mystic Voyage: Prepare the ghost ship Ravager for the attack on Terror Isle! To survive you must solve the puzzles, steal the treasure, and fire the cannons before time runs out or you will end up in the belly of a shark.
*Nefarious Offering: All is not what it seems at the Sea Witch Tavern. Find the clues and solve the mystery of Terror Isle’s Voodoo Priestess before the moon fully rises– or become one of her undead acolytes forever!
*Dungeon of the Drowned: Captured by the Pirate King of Terror Isle, you must escape the dungeon before it floods. If you survive, grab as much treasure as you can and return to The Ravager before time runs out!!!
“This will not be a Johnny Depp-like version of pirates,” said Watt in reference of Disney’s “Pirates of the Carribean” series. “This will be more intense.”
To achieve that level of excitement at Terror Isle Adventures, Watt brought in Justin Harlin, who has extensive experience in developing escape rooms throughout the Dallas area. “He’s been trained by some of the best in the business, so I know we’re going to have one of the best escape rooms in the country,” said Watt.
The presence of Terror Isle Adventures will not only bring a different level of entertainment to Texas City, but will also help fill a void throughout the Houston area. As of September 1, there were less than 10 escape rooms/haunted houses in the Greater Houston area, which pales in comparison to the city that Houston constantly compares itself to, Dallas, which has well over 20.
“This area is greatly underserved,” said Watt. “By opening it, we will help keep people from having to drive more than an hour to reach a good escape room. We plan on having people in Houston, Pearland, etc. to make a night of it and come down here.”
Watt chose the location of 6th Street after pitching the idea to several other local cities. “In the end, this was the best place,” he said. “Texas City offered great support to our concept.”
In a COVID-19 age, Terror Isle Adventures will be more than prepared for the challenge. The three escape rooms will be sanitized on a consistent basis as escape room teams go in and out.
The choice of 6th Street also coincides with Watt’s desire to have maximum parking space and the fact he is also reopening what was once the Texas City Icehouse, which will be in walking distance of Terror Isle Adventures.
“Once we get going, we will have 6th Street jumping,” said Watt.