|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: This place was out in the country, quite aways from the city. There were some (very) small signs on the way there. The event itself was not well-lit, but it was easy enough to figure out that it was the Haunted Barn, once you found the right road. The directions on their website (and map provided) were the most helpful.
Wait Entertainment: There was a TV set up that was not playing anything. There were not that many people there, but the wait was about 30 minutes. It was a pretty boring wait time.
Length of Event: 15 minutes.
Actor Performance: They were very good in this department. Some of the actors were REALLY into their roles. From an insane inmate climbing the walls of his cell, to all the crazy clowns, most of the actors really excelled their parts. One little guy/monster even started crawling on the ground towards me, which was unusual and scary.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: This was pretty poorly done. The patron flow was supposed to be carefully controlled by having a tour guide lead each small group through the haunted house. Unfortunately, the group ahead of us was very slow (or our guide was leading us through very fast) and we kept bumping into them. One good thing was that only small groups were allowed in at a time. There were only four people allowed in for our group. This helped make the "barn" seem scarier.
Appropriate Ages: I would say this is appropriate for people ages 12 and up. Smaller children probably would get too scared by some of the dressed-up actors and some of the violent scenes of the barn.
Props / Special FX: Decent, considering this is a low-budget haunted house. There were blacklights, strobes, scary soundtrack, and et cetera. The coolest part were some of the decorations/props. Very unique set up.
Costumes / Make-up: Very good. Most of the actors had decent costume/make-up design. Some were really meanacing (crazy clowns).
Summary: This was a decent event for eight dollars. The worst part was finding the barn and the boring wait to get in. Inside, I was really blown away by the detail and actor's performances. From the outside, this doesn't look too promising, but there is much more inside. There was even an offer the night I went that you could go back in for only $2.00. Many of the huanted houses I have gone to never offer a deal like that. So, for patrons who really liked this event, they had a good deal to go through again. If the wait wasn't so terrible, I probably would have went through again.
|Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: Downtown in Alton. Directions given after ordering tickets were most helpful. The building had a sign identifying the place. Kind of dim and blended in with the rest of the buildings on the street, however.
Wait Entertainment: I arrived a little late (tickets were for 10pm) therefore, I did not have to wait and got to get started listening to the introduction speech right away. I did notice that there was a souvineer table and pictures of ghosts set up for people who did arrive early.
Length of Event: This haunted tour was four (4) hours long. It lasted until 2am.
Actor Performance: There were no "actors" for this event. This is not a typical halloween haunted house. It is a trolly tour in a real life haunted town that goes to places that are ACTUALLY claimed to be haunted. While there were no actors, the staff, psychic tour guide, and trolly driver were friendly, helpful, and polite. The tour guide was quite knowledgeable about the town's history.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: There were two trollies and 20 patrons per trolly. The tour guides kept us moving, but there was enough time to take pictures. There was not too much rush, it is just that there was a lot to see over the three hours we were actually riding around in the trolly! While the other trolly went to the same locations as my trolly, we did not run into them until the end of the tour when we met back at the departure location.
Appropriate Ages: Since this tour goes to real life haunted places and is so late at night, I do not reccomend it for children. Some of the places we stopped at were completely dark and we only used flashlights. Also, some of the stories behind the haunted places were graphic (murder, rape, etc.) and for adults only. No children younger than 14 are allowed on the tour, to begin with. But, I personally would not reccomend this tour to anyone younger than 16.
Props / Special FX: There were no special effects since this is not a "haunted house." This tour however, let people who wanted to, use an EMF detector to find "spirits" by measuring energy. Also, dowsing rods were available to those who wanted to use them. Flashlights were also available. Patrons were allowed to bring their own equipment and cameras to take pictures. However, video cameras were NOT allowed on this tour, which I found disappointing.
Costumes / Make-up: This was not a typical haunted house, so there were no costumes or make-up needed.
Summary: I went on the "Witching Hour" Ghost tour, which was a late night tour of the town of Alton, IL. The first hour of the tour was an introduction to ghost hunting and ghosts by a psychic woman. Then, the patrons split up into two trollies to go on the tour. While we stopped in front of about 13 places or so to hear a little of the history behind each location, we were allowed to actually go INSIDE three of these places. We went inside a haunted art building, and got to take picutres in almost complete darkness. This building used to be a funeral home and a morgue formerlly was in the basement! The second stop was the McPike mansion. We were not actually allowed to go inside due to renovations being done, but we were allowed to walk around and take pictures around the burial plots outside. Souvineers were also sold at this location. The final stop, and the best, was the abandoned Milton School. This former school had a lot of negative history behind it. This was the most spookiest place on the tour and one could just feel the negative energy of spirits. In one room, we had a "Dark Room Session" where all the flashlights were turned off and people stood in complete silence. We heard footsteps above us (when no one else was in the building) and two people heard heavy breathing in the room ahead that no one was in! At the end, pictures were allowed to be taken in the dark. This was the last stop so the trolly drove back to the departual area. This tour had so much more detail than can be wrote here. I travel to many different haunted houses in MO, IL, and KY, so this was a nice change from the typical "haunted house" one associates with halloween. One negative thing about the tour is the price is 42 dollars per person. This only included the trolly ride tour. It is worth it to be able to tour actually haunted locations, however I think this price is a litle steep. We could have at least gotten a snack break included ;)