All Visitor Reviews
All 2005 Visitor Reviews Submitted by budman27
|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.|
|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Fair|
Visibility/Location: The Screamfest is located in the Machesney mall and has very large signs and large creature props in the back at the entrance to Screamfest.
Wait Entertainment: You don't have to wait in line at this event and can instead spend your waiting time doing other things. They have games, food, pictures, movies playing, and other things. The downside is that most of these things cost additional money and can add up to be a pricey outing if you're not careful.
Length of Event: Our group walked through the house so quickly that it took us almost no time at all to get through everything. I think all in all it took 15-20 minutes to cover a pretty large distance.
Actor Performance: The actors seemed to save their best attempts to scare the patrons in the front of the group, so the back of the group never even had a chance. When sending us in such big groups, they should have done more for all of the patrons regardless of where you were in the group.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: this was by far the worst flow through any house I've ever been through! my group had about 15 people in it, and i was stuck at the back--how can anyone get scared in a group of 15??!!
Appropriate Ages: 8 and up
Props / Special FX: their props had potential but weren't up to the quality I'd expect from a more professional and expensive haunt. They did use themes for most of their rooms, which if executed better could have resulted in a higher quality attraction.
Costumes / Make-up: The costumes used in the 3-D rooms were good. Otherwise I'd say their costumes and makeup were about the same as any other run of the mill haunted house.
Summary: What should have been a great attraction, was essentially a disaster. Their props were not impressive, their actors did not appear very professional, the patron flow was atrocious, and their costumes were average. after making a very long drive out to see this one, i'm feeling fairly cheated.
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average|
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.
|Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: My girlfriend and I visited this one a second time this week. Visibility was about the same as the other time, with the hearse parked out front.
Wait Entertainment: Even better--so awesome! they had 2 movies playing and actors everywhere... and the actors were movie quality...just awesome!
Length of Event: 25 minutes
Actor Performance: they were perfect! very scary and awesome timing every time! again, i don't want to spoil things for others, but watch for the psycho girl who absolutely POUNDS on the plexiglass--she did such a good job that i'm starting to wonder if she's really psycho in real life (just kidding!)
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: perfect! it was just me and my girlfriend and we couldn't even hear any other groups in the house. they couldn't have done a better job with any of this.
Appropriate Ages: 13+
Props / Special FX: amazing every time! still perfect the second time through!
Costumes / Make-up: perfect again! very scary and some makeup jobs were really professional looking
Summary: This house is the best for miles and miles around--trust me on this one! we've gone to all of the top rated haunted houses within 1 1/2 hours all directions of where we live and Nightmares BOTD is STILL the best! they kick @$$!
|Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: A little hard to spot in a small town--make sure to watch for signs from the main roads. The actual haunted house looks almost like it's located in a strip mall kind of setup.
Wait Entertainment: When waiting outside, we had someone come up to people scaring them with a chainsaw. It was a fast moving line and I don't know if there was any other wait entertainment.
Length of Event: 20-30 minutes
Actor Performance: Awesome! They did a great job! Good timing and even some laughs in the beginning before being sent through the house. And not to spoil anything for anyone, but don't expect the tunnels to be empty when passing between rooms....
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Good until our group caught up to another group. The kid in the group ahead of us was pretty scared and needed a lot of encouragement to keep going. That slowed us down a bit, but we were able to hang back to let them go farther ahead of us.
Appropriate Ages: 14 +
Props / Special FX: From what I heard, the fire department built the props and tunnels and they did an awesome job! There were a lot of cool visual effects to look at and they definitely added to the props and rooms this year from last year.
Costumes / Make-up: Good costumes and makeup
Summary: I can see why DoT was rated so high on the list of top haunted houses. They are definitely one of the top on my list of favorites. It's worth the drive out there if you can go see this one. Their admission fee is so low too, you can afford to pay the extra gas money to get out there.
|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: It is located within the town's fairgrounds so if you're watching for the signs you should be able to find it. They did have a couple haunted house signs posted by the street with arrows, but they weren't glaringly obvious.
Wait Entertainment: They were playing some horror movies, had the waiting room all decorated in horror props and lighting, and had a couple actors standing by the entrance. I liked the feel of the waiting area, but I didn't see anyone interacting too much with the waiting crowd.
Length of Event: I think everything took about 25 minutes, but the haunted house felt a little too short for some reason.
Actor Performance: Not as good as they used to be. My girlfriend and I were in the front of the group and the actors sometimes jumped out too late to scare anyone in our group. I could tell they were trying, though, but it just didn't work that well for me.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: I think there were too many people in our group, but that didn't really bother me too much since we were in the front of the group. It was only moderately busy when we went so I would expect this problem to only get worse on the weekend.
Appropriate Ages: 12 and up
Props / Special FX: I didn't like the effects as much this year. I don't remember them having all those blasts of air in the past or the random loud noises, which I don't find scary at all (just annoying). I felt that took away from scaryness of it all. I did rate this haunted house on the scarier end of the rating scale because of the buried alive at the end which was really cool. There were some very cool props like the electrocution one and some others I don't want to give away. But I still didn't think there were as many great props this year as there were last year.
Costumes / Make-up: Not as good as last year.
Summary: My girlfriend and I didn't think this house was as good as last year or the year before and we probably wouldn't have driven so far to go if we had known. We still liked it okay, but not great. It seemed shorter this year, didn't have as many scares, was noisier and didn't seem as dark, ... I think they had a lot more opportunities to scare us through different setups and changes in the acting, which they didn't take advantage of. This all resulted in an unimpressive haunted house this year.
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: a little hard to spot since it's in a mini golf park. we first drove by it not seeing the sign
Wait Entertainment: we didn't have to wait to get in
Length of Event: for both houses it took us 20-30 minutes total
Actor Performance: most of the actors were younger teenagers and were more loud than scary. in x chaos their acting consisted of jumping on top of the fences to yell at us and shake the fence. a couple of them also kept us from going through certain door trying to get us to go in circles in their maze. in realm of terror they seemed a bit pushier in trying to get us to hurry through the house, even though no other patrons were around at the time. i don't think they meant for us to feel rushed in a bad way--i think they were just trying to be scary, but it didn't have much of that effect. i think with the moving pictures on the wall, they were able to catch us off guard a few times, but otherwise were average in their scares when compared to other houses.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: no other patrons were there at the time
Appropriate Ages: ? 12 + ?
Props / Special FX: some props were really cool in realm of terror but there was hardly any props in the x chaos maze. i kept expecting one of the props to move or do something and none of them did. i think they should have done more with the x chaos maze.
Costumes / Make-up: they were okay, but nothing special
Summary: all in all, realm of terror was fairly good, but x chaos was very poor in terms of quality for the price. i think they could improve on realm of terror by having some older actors and maybe making the house longer so you feel like you're getting more for your money. i don't think i'll be going out of my way to go back to this one next year, but if i was in the area i might go back again.
|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Poor|
Visibility/Location: We saw it from Weber Rd. right away, and followed the directions from mapquest easily.
Wait Entertainment: We didn't have too long to wait since it was a Wed night, but there was an actor that stayed in character the whole time. It was okay, but nothing great.
Length of Event: About 30 minutes for both houses combined.
Actor Performance: Very unimpressive. Most of the actors just did sort of a jump and growl or scream when I walked through the houses. Their timing wasn't very good either, since it just seemed like you had a ton of people jumping around in your face. It was more like being stuck in a crowd of rowdy intoxicated people than being in a "haunted house."
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Fair at best. We were herded into a couple large rooms in Statesville and City of the Dead and they'd then send us through in groups of 5. We'd occasionally have a group run into us, but there were times when they'd attempt to break up the groups. One couple that was in front of us got separated from each other along the way.
Props / Special FX: Uncomfortable! I got hurt walking through a lot of the halls because they were angled walls to the point where even my 5foot3 girlfriend could barely fit through. I also got one of those strong puffs of air in my eye pretty bad when walking through one of the hallways. Most of the other rooms and halls were fairly boring with little variation throughout the rooms.
Costumes / Make-up: I didn't see too many makeup jobs that didn't look like the actor did it themselves.
Summary: I think Statesville and City of the Dead are horribly overpriced with few redeeming qualities. In case any of their actors or owners read this review, my suggestion would be to change the lighting (so that it is not blinding or too bright), lower the volume of both the sound effects and the actors's screaming, use fewer actors in each room,... I could go on, but I think those are just a few places to start from.
|Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: not too hard to find, but you do have to walk around to the other side since it is in the basement level of the building. they have signs posted and a hearse out front parked on the street. we were able to find metered street parking
Wait Entertainment: pretty cool costumes and the actors were really into it. one of the actors could've been straight out of a horror movie with very realistic makeup and acting.
Length of Event: hard to say but i think it took us between 20-30 minutes
Actor Performance: very, very good. i jumped a couple times--they did a good job of distracting me while another guy would come from another direction unexpectedly
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: great! we didn't run into anyone else
Appropriate Ages: 12 and over
Props / Special FX: again, great! this place is a favorite for the 3 years that i have visited and it is because they seem to have everything going for them: props, acting, makeup, affordable entry fee (we even had a discount since it was during the week from a web coupon)
Costumes / Make-up: and again, great!!! they had some very creepy and different types of creatures.
Summary: I hope this one comes back next year because they are so unique when many haunted houses are the same old same old. unfortunately, from going to this one in the past, they don't seem to have the large crowds that some of the better advertised haunted houses have and i think a lot of people are missing out on going to this one. especially if this is their last year, I'd say if you're only able to go to a couple haunted houses this year, make sure you go to this one! worth every penny! (how many times do you get to see an full sized organist as part of the props?)
|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: Easy to find following their directions from the website. I honestly can't remember if they had any signs posted, but you can see all of the lights and cars parked along the adjacent streets pretty easily.
Wait Entertainment: there was no wait--you walk along the streets and up and down the sidewalks to see their Halloween props and decorations
Length of Event: it took us about a half hour to walk the whole thing
Actor Performance: there weren't any actors out tonight
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: everyone walks around at their own pace and a lot of people took their time to admire the props
Summary: We had a lot of fun seeing all of the props and decorations and were really impressed with how complicated some of the displays were. More than half of the houses along the two blocks of this street had some amazing displays, ranging from the creature in Jeepers Creepers (my favorite), to a volcano scene, to a psychidellic neon moving ghoul. Most props were animated and a lot were motion activated so that did seem to catch the younger kids that were walking by off guard. We saw people going to the Freaky Frights of all ages, so I think this attraction would be okay for any age. They also had security guards standing by which I think made a lot of people more comfortable going to this event. Given that this event is free to see, I'd recommend it to all!
|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: This haunted house is tucked back in a strip mall at the intersection of Rt 53 and North Ave. If you pay attention to the signs you should be able to find it.
Wait Entertainment: We didn't have to wait to get in. Since it was a slower night, I'm guessing they didn't have to worry about having any wait entertainment.
Length of Event: This attraction seemed longer than most other haunted houses and took us about 20 min. to walk through.
Actor Performance: Good overall, but for some reason one actor was standing in plain sight and didn't do anything to try to scare us. He seemed to be looking for someone else to come by.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We could hear others in the haunted house, but never saw any other people walking through like we were.
Props / Special FX: Their props were awesome with some really cool rooms that must've taken some time to build. I liked how the floors ramped up and down in places which added to the disorientation feeling. One floor even seemed spongy, which was really cool.
Costumes / Make-up: Most of the makeup and costumes were average, but I'm guessing the actors supplied their own costumes since this was a jaycees house.
Summary: This was a great haunted house with very creative rooms and props. I couldn't believe more people weren't lined up to go to this one tonight given how great it was. This attraction gives a lot for its $10 admission. With the long and completely dark hallways and the many different types of rooms, the atmosphere is a scary one in my opinion. I'd love to see what this house is like on one of their busier days, closer to Halloween.
|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: All homes were easy to find overall from the directions that we printed from the park district's website.
Wait Entertainment: no wait--we drove around to look at the houses ourselves
Length of Event: long if you do the whole thing--it took us between 3 1/2 to 4 hours
Actor Performance: no actors
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: no patrons. this was a free self guided (by car) tour
Appropriate Ages: probably better for families than those hoping to get scared
Summary: All in all, this was a decent Halloween activity since it was free and you got to see how creative all of these people were in decorating their homes. Most of the homes weren't very impressive, but we did like a few of them a lot so I think the tour was worth that at least. I wish more cities did this kind of thing, because I do light driving around to see people's Halloween decorations. Kudos to St. Charles for doing this and thanks to it's residents for being a part of this for others' enjoyment (they didn't get any money or prizes for doing this). I'd recommend doing this one of you have time.
|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: Easy to find
Wait Entertainment: Only saw one actor in the waiting crowd. The hearse parked outside was pretty cool though.
Length of Event: 15 minutes
Actor Performance: Good performance by most of the actors. I was with my girlfriend and neither of us usually get caught off guard in these haunted houses, but they did get me to jump a couple times.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Good flow through the house.
Appropriate Ages: older ages
Props / Special FX: Great effects except for certain spots that weren't dark at all.
Costumes / Make-up: As usual, awesome makeup and costumes
Summary: This attraction is much better this year and my favorite addition this year has to do with their elevator (you'll see what I mean if you go). We went at a slower time so we didn't have the long lines to wait in and they also were able to get people into the house pretty fast. Despite that, we didn't run into any of the groups that went in before us and it seems to be a decent length haunted house for the money. I was able to get street parking so I didn't have to pay that extra parking fee. I would recommend this attraction this year as one of the better ones.