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All Visitor Reviews
2005 Visitor Reviews of
Trail of Screams (Rockford, Illinois)

Disclaimer: Reviews on this page were supplied by an outside source. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of HauntedIllinois.com. Haunted Illinois does not endorse, support, represent, or guarantee the accuracy, truthfulness, or reliability of these reviews.
Reviewed by: dreamer1107   (Event Visited: 10/29/05 @ 8:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/30/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average
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Visibility/Location: Knowing that this attraction is located in a YMCA camp, you should have no problems finding it. They also had a very large flashing haunted house sign visible along the street.

Wait Entertainment: I only saw a couple characters (Jason and Michael Meyers) making attempts to scare the crowd. Otherwise, there wasn't anything to do while waiting in a very long, non-moving line. There was a food booth and merchandise booth, but you couldn't browse without leaving your place in line.

Length of Event: It seemed to be about 30-40 minutes which is longer than most haunted attractions.

Actor Performance: There was a guide for our group who took us through the woods and houses, who was very skilled and knew her narration very well. Overall, the actors were on the younger side (I was told they are all volunteers) and so were comparable to most Jaycees' actors. Other than the guide, there was one other actor who seemed to stand out and his part involved a realistically scary van sequence. (I won't give it away--probably the best part of this attraction)

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: This was a double edged sword, as they took us in a guided group of about 10. At times, our group size made it hard to hear the guide and really "flow" through the individual houses, but a smaller group size would have made the outside waiting line even longer...

Appropriate Ages: 10 and up

Props / Special FX: They were lucky to have a naturally spooky backdrop with the trail in the woods. Their other props fluctuated between some really impressive scenes to some very unremarkable scenes. Their opening scene was one of the most eye catching, but lost some of its effect once the main character in the room walked down the stairs and stood eye to eye with everyone else, barking out his lines (when standing at the top of the stairway, he appeared far more eerie and larger than life).

Costumes / Make-up: Costumes and makeup were overall very good. Some of the actors had airbrushed makeup on, some had blacklight compatable makeup, and some traditional makeup.

Summary: As I had mentioned in a review of Trail of Screams on another site, I had very mixed feelings on this one-- mainly due to a bad experience with the way they were running the ticket area before even seeing their attraction. Briefly, after waiting without moving at all in an incredibly long line to get in, one of their staff told us that we could go back to the ticket booth and upgrade our tickets to speedpass--and bypass the line. After *leaving our place in line* and then waiting in the long ticket line (again) we were told that they didn't have any more speed passes. They were rude to us and wouldn't even make apologies for their own staff member telling us apparently false information. Needless to say we were furious and let them know, and we were then grudgingly given speed passes. To mention one other big problem with their waiting system, I witnessed firsthand MANY people cutting in line, creating an even longer wait for the more honest patrons. I feel that their staff should have been watching and regulating this better! The way things were being run made them seem like more of a money hungry attraction, at the painful expense of their patrons. I enjoyed the actual trail, but given the poor management and staff outside the event, I don't know if I will be returning to this attraction. 

Reviewed by: budman27   (Event Visited: 10/29/05 @ 8:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/30/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average
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Visibility/Location: there was a lit up sign at the street entrance. after driving up the winding back road through the trees, there are a couple more signs pointing you the right way

Wait Entertainment: hardly anything was going on while we waited. they had maybe 2 guys dressed up as horror movie characters scaring mostly teenage girls and younger kids

Length of Event: about 40 min.

Actor Performance: other than our reaper guide and a couple other actors, most of the actors were of jaycees quality (neither a compliment or an insult)

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: I think we had 9 people in our group and we had a reaper guide/actor who guided us through the dark woods and led us to each house or building. Our group was okay for what it was, but it got a little tight when we all went through the haunted houses interspersed through the forest.

Appropriate Ages: 11+

Props / Special FX: again, more of a jaycees level of quality. they had a few really good props, but didn't take full advantage of everything. like, we had to walk through a dug out, gravelike ditch. That would have been a good opportunity for them to try to scare someone in our group, but I didn't see any actors around other than our guide

Costumes / Make-up: good makeup and costumes; definitely above average

Summary: I liked the walk through the woods, but I felt that I could get the same creepy effect walking through any forest preserve at night. The actual props and actors at this Trail were more of a jaycees quality. After driving over and hour and a half out there, we had a run in with their workers about the awful way they handled their sales of the speed passes. they initially put up a fight with a situation where they themselves caused problems for us (and others); and only after a very tense conversation with a couple of their workers did they finally fix the problem for us. I wasn't impressed by how they were dealing with the tickets and lines and didn't feel that the Trail was good enough to make me want to deal with any of those poorly run ticket/line situations again.hopefully other patrons aren't having the same types of problems that we had.

Reviewed by: lct59   (Event Visited: 10/29/05 @ 7:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/30/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Hard to find, Look for YMCA Camp signs

Wait Entertainment: Very Nice, Actors walk thru line never coming out of character. If you want to spend a little more. Buy the VIP speed pass, Takes you straight to the front of the line.

Length of Event: 45 minutes

Actor Performance: All actors performed thier roles well. They interacted with the group and each other very well.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We had a few small wait times outside but nothing major. Gave you a chance to get ready for whatever came next. They use signals with other staff to make sure you never come up on the group in front of you. Very well done.

Props / Special FX: Excellant. Wish i had a little more time to look in each area to see the props in more detail, but understand we went on a very busy night. Next year We will go earlier in the year.

Summary: Thoughly enjoyed this haunt. The guide never came out of character even when I had to stop to tie my shoe, lol. I love the van ride. At one point each person in the group was the "target" of the actors giving each of us in the group a good scare.  
 
I am not going to give too much away...this haunt is based on a story line with many different seperate buildings. You walk thru the "trails" outside in the dark. The guide has you set up to beleive something will jump out at any moment. Sometimes it does... Each seperate "house" is very theme based. The actors stay in character but do interact well with the group. Excellent!! Best "scary" haunt I have been too.

Reviewed by: xtina2323   (Event Visited: 10/24/05 @ 9:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/27/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: as long as you mapquest it, and follow directions, you will easily find it, and once you are on the street, the signs are very lit up and visible, you can't miss it.

Wait Entertainment: the texas chainsaw massacre was playing on a huge screen tv while you are waiting in line, luckily when we got there, there wasnt much of a line!! ;)

Length of Event: 45-50 minutes!!!

Actor Performance: the best i have seen yet, and i have been to a lot of haunted houses in the last decade!! these guys are pros!!

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: there was only two of us, and we never ran into any other groups. it seemed as if we had the whole place to ourselves, which really raised the bar on the scare factor!!

Appropriate Ages: atleast 13 and up!!!

Props / Special FX: this haunted house had a lot of time and footwork put into it, no question. the best & most realistic props i have seen in years! each room had it's own theme, and i am talking very scary!!!

Costumes / Make-up: phenomenol make-up and costumes!! they put a lot of money, time, & effort into this haunted house and we enjoyed every minute of the visuals!!

Summary: this was hands down, the scariest and craziest haunted house we have been to in years!! probably the best one i have ever been to in my life!! there were so many different things to see here, not to mention the amount of times i went running out of each room!! these guys chase you, they call you by first name, you walk thru a scary dark forest out doors down one path to a house, then thru the house to another path to another house, and so on!! and to top that off, the van ride was crazy!!! this is beyond worth the ten dollars, i would have paid 25 easily for this house, and it was more than worth the drive!! this one is not for the light hearted, be prepared to scream, like the name says!! the smaller your group, the more scared you will be, and you can take THAT to the bank!!! ;) if you only hit one more haunted house this year, MAKE SURE it is this one!! we were speechless by the time we got to the car, and the reaper on stiltz over 9 ft tall chased me out to the car, and even opened my car door after i got in!!! i cannot express enuf how insane this haunted house really is!!!! two thumbs WAY UP~!!!! :)

Reviewed by: mirasoot36   (Event Visited: 10/24/05 @ 9:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/25/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: There is a very long winding road that one has to go down to get to the actual haunt, but off the main road there is a lit sign with the name and hours, so that was easy to see.

Wait Entertainment: We didn't wait at all, it was not crowded, however there were some food stands, and a huge tv playing Halloween 3...

Length of Event: I didn't time it, but I would have to say 40-45 minutes.

Actor Performance: Amazing. Our tour gide was very into character, and some of the other characters made the whole experience very fun. In the MORGUE, there was this hilarious guy who made the whole even. we were all an older crowd, so they made some really funny adult jokes....

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: It was perfect. We ran into a group once outside the clown house, but that just made things better, they were quite freightened.

Appropriate Ages: Well, I think the actors adjust to the groups age, as I said we were all older 25+, so they made it more appealing, but I would say as as young as 12.

Props / Special FX: The props were somewhat limited, however being outside in a forest really gave one the eerie feeling. It was very dark outside, and misty...quite scarry. The actual props were really good though.

Costumes / Make-up: Awesome. It is hard to see the characters outside b/c its so dark, but from what I saw just amazing!!!

Summary: Overall, this was one of the best haunted attractions I have been to in a really long time. For the price of $10.00 you get to walk around for at least 30 minutes, and get really scared. I wish there were more actors in the open forest areas, however I would recommend this attraction to everyone. We drove from the western suburbs and were not let down one bit. I will come back again next year if it is still there. My favorite part had sometime to do with a van, and my second had to do with an acid room! JUST AMAZING!

Reviewed by: dbzpokemama   (Event Visited: 10/20/05 @ 7:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/24/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: I found the location easily, even though it was out of town a bit. There was a lighted sign at the road to show where to turn. The directions given at their site made it easy to find.

Wait Entertainment: I thought they had good entertainment while we waited in line. Just watching the people in line was fun enough, but they also had a huge screen TV with a chain saw movie and a guy in a mask with a bloody machete sort of stalking the people in line. It was really fun because every now and then he'd slam it into the cement or onto a pole and scare the begeebies out of the crowd. They even had a great gift shop too!

Length of Event: I think it lasted about 45 minutes or so from when we first got in.

Actor Performance: I was highly impressed with the actors!! I thought they all did a tremendous job! Our "Reaper" guide was awesome and the opening actor in the first sceen was amazing! Really got into his part! I also thought it was very cool that the actors often used the names of some of the people in the group. Cool personal touch!

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Everything went very smooth once inside, and I'd say the timing was perfect. They took people through in groups of about 12 or so.

Appropriate Ages: There were some parts that might be pretty scarey for the under 10 crowd, but for the most part, if they've come to a haunted event, I'd assume they'd be prepared to be scared.

Props / Special FX: There were unexpected chain saws, and all kinds of cool things hanging from ceilings in various places, even a REALLY wild ride over to another area of the event.

Costumes / Make-up: Outstanding!! The costumes and the make-up were incredible! I thought they did a really great job with all of it!

Summary: I have to say that this was a fantastic haunted experience for me! I enjoyed every minute of it, and every section of it was great! The Trail of Screams truly was a trail, taking you all around, both inside and outside, to several different buildings and sections. There were unexpected things all along the way that always took your breath away. From the first time our "Reaper" guide spoke to us all, I was amazed at his professionalism in character! And the very first actor we saw when we entered REALLY set the tone for a great spooky event! I loved it, certainly felt it was worth the money, and will definately go again! Thumbs up!

Reviewed by: k0rdell   (Event Visited: 10/22/05 @ 7:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/24/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: We drove past it the first time. There's a large lit up sign but it's a bit behind a hill and on a road I was going (if I recall correctly) 55 I just couldn't stop in time.

Wait Entertainment: They had a masked character (whom I won't identify) walking around scaring the crap out of people, which was cool. But by purchasing a speed pass for an extra $5 we were able to bypass the line of, rough guess, 100 people.. and go directly to the front of the line. I highly suggest doing the same.

Length of Event: I didn't check my watch, but they claim it's 35-45 minutes and that seems about right.

Actor Performance: The actors were fabulous. There's really nothing more to say than that.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We moved along pretty briskly. I'm a big guy who has trouble walking too quickly and that did become a problem once or twice, and all the outdoors walking tore up my legs pretty bad but they separated groups well enough that you didn't run into anyone else along the way.

Appropriate Ages: We were with a group of girls around 15 years of age and they enjoyed themselves. I wouldn't go too much younger, though. 13+

Props / Special FX: The use of black lights in some of the attractions was a trip. Especially because one of the friends I was with was wearing a huge white hoodie. It made it all the funnier when he was running around in circles away from people. 
 
There's a couple very good uses of power tools throughout the event, but I won't elaborate any more than that.

Costumes / Make-up: All of the actors had great makeup and costumes. They certainly didn't skimp on this at all.

Summary: I drove an hour + from Madison, WI to Rockford, IL to go to this attraction, paid $15 to enter and about half way through I hurt so bad I could hardly walk: and I absolutely loved it. 
 
You won't be disappointed. 
 
(P.S. My favorite part had something to do with a van.. enjoy!)

Reviewed by: bjdog_02   (Event Visited: 10/21/05 @ 7:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/24/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good
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Visibility/Location: Easy to find. White sign with flashing arrow.

Wait Entertainment: Had Texas Chainsaw Massacre Playing when you got close to the gates. They also had Mike Myers going around trying to scare teenage girls.

Length of Event: Shorter than previous years. About 25-30 minutes.

Actor Performance: Very good. On time. I took the wrong way in the clown part though. I wanted to see their performance.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Never ran into another group or seen another group.

Appropriate Ages: I had a 7 year old in my group. He was fine. I'd say though 8+

Props / Special FX: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre room was the coolest. It scared the crap out of all the girls that were in my group.

Costumes / Make-up: Awesome. Even better than last year.

Summary: The overall scare factor I think has gone down since last year. It could be because I went on a Friday night and it was packed. We got there about 7:15 and weren't that far back in line and it took us about 2 and a half hours to get in. Our walk through seemed really short too. But I would recommend going on a weekday. I'm sure it would have been more of a scary attraction and not have to wait and loose patience standing in line 2 and half hours.

Reviewed by: ojwannabe969   (Event Visited: 10/15/05 @ 8:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/23/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Poor
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Visibility/Location: it's not visabily at all. all there is is a sign that says YMCA camp winnebago but most people know that it was there anyway

Wait Entertainment: wait enterttainment? the only entertainment i had was hanging out and talking to my friends, they did have a guy dressed up like michel but the only people that ran from him were teenage girls

Length of Event: ummm.... it probly took about 30-40 min. to walk through the whole thing

Actor Performance: actor preformance wasn't all that bad considering the whole plot of the trail

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: the flow was horrible at one point some one (an actor) locked a door to get out from the outside. so the guy inside one of the houses came outta charactor like 4 times then finally hes like "how many people does it that to open a door?" so he went to kick it and the guy broke the door open because teh door was locked

Appropriate Ages: 11+

Summary: over all the trail was very boring the only good part was at the beginning you get in a van and you fly around corners.

Reviewed by: petrucci1087   (Event Visited: 10/15/05 @ 11:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/18/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: There's a sign at the beginning of the road, it's not too hard to see.

Wait Entertainment: Great

Length of Event: Probably 30 min

Actor Performance: Awesome! They are really good at what they do and really stay in character.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Moves great, walking through the woods is really creepy because there's no one around!

Appropriate Ages: 13+

Props / Special FX: Scary clowns, lots of chainsaws, creepy stuff, and a crazy clown that is definitely a crazy driver....................

Costumes / Make-up: Awesome, especially the skeleton's on stilts!

Summary: The ticket managers were really nice, but other than that everyone was very scary and evil.....walking through the woods from house to house made it soo cool, and everything was laid out perfectly. The props were awesome, I was soo freaked out! This is DEFINITELY a haunted house YOU WANT TO VISIT!!!! When its dark and you are alone on the trails in the woods, things can get pretty freaky.....you never know who you will meet....or what will come your way.....go visit the Trail of Screams! The name does not betray you!

Reviewed by: bigt69   (Event Visited: 10/09/05 @ 6:45 pm)
Review Posted: 10/16/05
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Well kinda easy to find the sign out front really helps as long as you know where north main is and you know how to drive north you will find it

Wait Entertainment: Well there was a guy dressed as Mike Myers (really good actor) and another lik 10 foot monster that kept walking in and out of the woods kinda creapy if you ask me. 
 
Also they had food for people waiting and a TV with some scary movie playing

Length of Event: well my group had alot of people that were scared so they ran alot so it took about 30 min but it could prolly take up to 45 mins if you take it slow i guess

Actor Performance: GREAT!! my guide knew her lines VERY WELL! and all the actors scared me. The guy after the hospital scared me the most! coming out of nowhere with a chain saw wow!! the crazy guy @ the morge was also very energetic and good. but i would have to say the prison was EXTREMLY SCARY all the actors did a great job

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Well paced out. Guides made the attraction very well paced out.

Appropriate Ages: umm well i would say 14+ only because it was VERY SCARY!

Props / Special FX: Great props first time i saw 3D effects without the glasses. not to mention the woods add additional Special FX.

Costumes / Make-up: GREAT use of prostectics and make up. only a few actors used masks but it gives it an old fashion look with now-a-days effects very nice you guys

Summary: ok now, This has got to be one of the BEST haunted houses in Illinois! it is worth the trip from chicago to come see it!! I came last year and it was prolly rated about a 7 or 7.5 but this year i would say a 9 or a 9.5 one of the patrons with my group wet thier pants i couldnt help but laughing. VERY SCARY and one of the BEST haunts ive ever seen. VERY VERY VERY good job you guys im thinking of coming back out there just to go trough again!! this time ill bring more people with me!! I Really look forward to seeing what your guys would be capable of next year setting the Haunt house bar even HIGHER then what it is now! you guys are at the top and will be there for a long time!!!

 

 

 

 

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