Lance Pope grew up with a fascination for old mansions, haunted houses, exotic creatures and scary things. According to his mother, he even once had a bat in the refrigerator! His parents, Sue and Ralph Pope, always had materials on hand for the young Lance to make his scary haunted house creations. He was a friend to all animals and raised and cared for horses, lions, tigers, wolves, ferrets and other creatures throughout his life. Having wonderful parents who allowed Lance to cultivate his creative freedoms, Lance opened his first haunted house while in high school.
With his deep interest in all things haunted house, Lance spent as much time as he could at the Cannon Manor on the midway at the State Fair of Texas. He talked to the owners and worked there as often as possible. In 1989 while he was operating his own haunted house, the owners of the Cannon Manor offered to sell him their attraction. There was just one little catch! The manor had to be moved within 30 days! This was a huge step in a dream come true for Lance and he wasted no time conjuring up a way to make that happen.
Lance promptly moved Cannon Manor to land he leased in Forney, Texas, made many improvements and Verdun Manor came to be. Verdun Manor was in operation for about seven years in that location. Within those years, Lance continually perfected his haunting skills and Verdun Manor eventually outgrew its Forney location and was moved to the family’s land in Terrell, Texas.
Lance’s mother, Sue Pope, said in a wonderful interview by Larry with Haunt World, “In 1996 Thrillvania opened in Terrell, Texas, on forty six acres of land with a multitude of exciting expansions planned. He was truly living his dream!”
Lance Pope passed away unexpectedly in December 2002. His parents have continued to carry on the Thrillvania torch for their only son who loved it and all things haunted house so much.
Lance Pope was a legend in the haunted house industry. His passion for old mansions, haunted houses, exotic creatures and scary things rubbed off on his many devoted friends who still throw their own passions into Thrillvania Thrill Park each year. Please come out to Thrillvania and join us this Halloween Season to revel in the amazing visions of a great leader in the haunted house industry.