|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: For those who have never been there, the Naper Settlement is a genuine 19th Century Village that has been preserved as an outdoor museum, complete with actors in period decor. Easy to find, easy to park.
Wait Entertainment: The villager-actors would actually look frightened and nervous inside and outside the attractions, like they knew of impending doom but wouldn't say anything. Very effective. Outside the 'Lizzie Borden House', before we viewed the murder scene, worried villagers asked if we had seen Lizzie and them began calling her name, looking for her. Subtle but chilling.
Length of Event: The event was self-guided, and ran from 6:30pm to 10:00. We easily spent three hours, and wished it went on longer.
Actor Performance: The actors were excellent. A mortician measured patrons for their coffins, a printer handed you your obituary. They were also very knowledgable about 19th Century American culture and history, so some attractions were educational as well as scary.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: The Naper Settlement is a large park, so the patron flow was very smooth. If there was a long line at one attraction, you could visit several others in the meantime.
Appropriate Ages: All ages. The atmosphere was wonderfully spooky, but not overly intimidating for children.
Props / Special FX: The special effects were not sophisticated, and didn't need to be. That would have drowned out the spooky atmosphere. As for props, the village itself is a perfect backdrop for this event. Lamplit mansions and cottages, gypsy camps, an old church. It's truly like traveling back in time.
Costumes / Make-up: Period costumes really added to the 19th Century experience. The Headless Horseman, who appeared several times during the night, was a great touch.
Summary: Great family fun. Very spooky, with fewer shock stunts. Personally, I am far more impressed by a scary environment than actors simply jumping out from shadows. The event also included storytelling, fortune telling, a magic show, food vendors, and access to the indoor Naperville museum. Great value for money. All in all, a virtual community Halloween theme park. Can't wait until next year! Actually, the Naper Settlement is an interesting place to visit all year round. Check it out.
|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: Easy to find. Parking was tricky, but its a residential neighborhood, so nobody's fault.
Wait Entertainment: No real wait. Its two blocks of houses with Halloween decor.
Length of Event: Half-hour to an hour to see everything.
Actor Performance: Few actors, but good for a scare to passerby.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Patron flow was smooth, especially for a Saturday night before Halloween.
Appropriate Ages: All ages.
Props / Special FX: Lots of props. The volcano was particularly unique. And the spider-web movie screen was a clever addition.
Summary: A great community effort. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves at a leisurely pace. It was nice not to be herded or grouped like most attractions. Will definitely go back next year.
|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: Good. Near the Orland Park municipal building. Easy to find, plenty of parking.
Wait Entertainment: None
Length of Event: 10-15 minutes.
Actor Performance: Good. Numerous hidden monsters and a good screaming girl having her leg sawed off by a sadistic doctor.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Didn't run into any other groups, good spacing.
Appropriate Ages: Maybe 13 and up. There were some younger children in our group who started crying at the first scare and wanted to leave.
Props / Special FX: Pretty good. Stobes, tunnels, indirect lighting. Bear in mind, its a communtiy event, so not high-tech.
Costumes / Make-up: Good.
Summary: This is the type of event where the anticipation of walking into the darkened woods really sets the mood. It would have been nice if the trail has been slightly better illuminated. Two people in our group tripped and fell where the ground wasn't level. Not sure if that could be prevented or not. Bottom line - A good local event run by the Lions Club. Will go again next year.
|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: Easy to find. A residential area, but street parking wasn't a problem.
Wait Entertainment: No real waiting time.
Length of Event: 30 minutes
Actor Performance: Excellent interaction with visitors. Conducted like the pros!
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Could get crowded at peak times, but there was lots to see, so not really a problem.
Appropriate Ages: All ages
Props / Special FX: Tons of props, still and animated, music, dancing, lighting effects, a skeleton telling ghost stories, and two skeletons telling jokes at the fishing pond! Outstanding!
Costumes / Make-up: Costumes were good quality and inventive. The girl in the coffin is great every year!
Summary: The family running this event are really nice people and they provide a community event that is without equal on the southside. This is our third year going and it is always a treat. Thanks so much for your hard work. We hope Mayhem on Mansfield endures for many years to come!