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All Visitor Reviews
All 2006 Visitor Reviews Submitted by dreamer1107

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.
Event Reviewed: Nightmares Basement Of The Dead (Aurora, Illinois)
Reviewed by: dreamer1107   (Event Visited: 10/30/06 @ 7:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/31/06
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Very clear signage from the bordering roads. Also the hearse and giant (fake) flame at the street make this very easy to find

Wait Entertainment: The day and time that we attended had almost no line, but they still had plenty of actors interacting with the patrons outside the attraction.

Length of Event: 20 minutes

Actor Performance: Excellent, as it has been every year! They use a variety of approaches to "scare" its patrons, and one thing I particularly love about this attraction is that they don't just try to scare the first person in the group. No one in your group is safe

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Excellent!! They excel in this area--you truly feel alone in the house

Appropriate Ages: 13 and up

Props / Special FX: Wonderful use of props and the theme of Imus and Al Kihlya (not sure if I spelled that right though). If you check out their website, you get the back story of what their house is based on, and they do a wonderful job making their scenes/makeup/actors/... fit the theme, while being very unique and surprising. One more thing to mention, this haunt is one of the darkest you will find in IL, as it is really set in a basement level. On top of that, they do many things to disorient you, and it really works!

Costumes / Make-up: See above--just excellent!

Summary: I pray this house is open for yet another year next year, as it is my number one favorite (and I am an avid haunted house attender, driving for miles and miles). If you only have time for one haunt, make it this one!

Event Reviewed: Lombard Jaycees Haunted House (Lombard, Illinois)
Reviewed by: dreamer1107   (Event Visited: 10/29/06 @ 9:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/30/06
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Average
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Visibility/Location: Located right where the old Menards was about the corner of Rt 53 and North Ave--I was able to see the signs clearly from the road

Wait Entertainment: Mixed, although this is pretty much due to one staff member in particular. There were costumed actors mixing in with the crowd, one very notable as the Jeepers Creepers monster (excellent costume!), but there was a street clothed older man who was incredibly rude to myself, my friend, and my husband as we were waiting in line. We were standing outside (before getting in line) literally turning off our cell phones and he pretty much yelled at us to turn them off before entering (!) Then, when we were waiting in the line in the indoor waiting area, we asked the Jeepers Creepers actor if we could take a picture with him, and as the actor agreed and was posing with us, that same male staff member ran up to us, put his hand over the camera and rudely told us no pictures indoors (keep in mind we were no where near going into the house at this point). No explanations, and none of the usual politeness as we were certainly not rude to him! This soured us to the whole house, which I unfortunately feel may be my negative bias toward the attraction this year. I certainly hope this staff member isn't typical of all of their staff--we're unsure of whether we want to return next year.

Length of Event: probably about 15 minutes

Actor Performance: Mixed--you could definitely tell that many of the actors were less experienced, but they did seem very committed to trying to scare the patrons so bonus points for that. Most of the scares, were the more predictable ones of them banging loudly out of a hidden door--but still was effective at times of catching you off guard.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Good--we didn't run into any other groups, which was one of their strengths

Appropriate Ages: 10 and up

Props / Special FX: For a Jaycees attraction, they do have some creative rooms/scenes set up, but we were a little puzzled as to the western theme in the waiting area, but a lack of a theme once going through the house. One sidenote, they seemed to do a nice job at keeping some of the halls/maze so dark you couldn't see where you were going, which does add to the suspense.

Costumes / Make-up: There were a couple great costumes we noticed (Jeepers Creepers, for one), but also saw some very simple costumes--but honestly we understand that this is a Jaycees haunt and weren't expecting professional level makeup

Summary: Overall, the rude staff member in the waiting area really put a damper on our experience with this house. Assuming he isn't working the night that you attend this house, it might be much better for you. The Lombard Jaycees has had some very creative rooms each year, which always impresses me (not your typical predictable scenes), but then of course you also have to appreciate it on the level that they are volunteers acting in it, etc.

Event Reviewed: Dungeon Of Doom & Internal Nightmare Haunts (Grayslake, Illinois)
Reviewed by: dreamer1107   (Event Visited: 10/27/06 @ 9:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/29/06
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Average
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Visibility/Location: Even after visiting this attraction for several years now, I still found it hard to find--they didn't have clearly visible signs indicating a haunted house from the main road (although there was a sign posted partway down the side road)

Wait Entertainment: I think this is one of their better areas. They had (professional looking) characters interacting with the audience, who seemed very committed to their performance--for example one character would violently slide on his knees toward unsuspecting patrons. In the main waiting room, they had a lot of props to set the scene and 3 monitors showing movies and patrons moving inside the house.

Length of Event: I'm guessing about 25 minutes if you include the "Internal Nightmare" portion of the event

Actor Performance: mixed--there were some great actors, but then some others just appeared to be pushing our groups along (felt a little like cattle). It was a busy night and we had a long wait, but after such a long wait in line I expected a lot more from them (especially having seen their better years in the past)

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: fair to poor. As I said above, there were portions of the house in which we were pretty much herded through the house. I'd also like to mention that I'm on the shorter side, but yet I was put in the back of a large crowd for the opening possession scene--I wasn't able to see a thing. I started out the house feeling very frustrated and disappointed. I am an avid haunted house patron, but I missed out on part of the experience. Very frustrating. One other thing to mention is the "buried alive" portion of the house--they didn't care where we were positioned when the "burial" began--I had other patrons shoving me forward from the wall as the room was overfilled with patrons for the space that it allowed. I don't want to go into too much detail, so as to not give away the experience, but I was again disappointed this year in how they handled this part of the attraction.

Appropriate Ages: 12 and up?

Props / Special FX: They had some good props/effects--I think they spend a nice amount of their budget on the props, which was I think the redeeming factor this year for me. However, another part I'd like to mention is that every year they have handed out 3D glasses to the patrons during the 3D portion of the house--except this one. I think this is partly why it felt like we were herded through. The 3D portion of the house was pretty disappointing when you can't view it the way they intended. I guess I should also mention the second house, although it was little more than a glorified "moon bounce" maze--I think this part of the house could have been ommitted.

Costumes / Make-up: Great--I thought overall the makeup jobs and costumes were done professionally.

Summary: Overall, this house was a disappointment for me, as this is my 5th year attending it and I was able to compare their performance in past years. I have driven each year about 1-1 1/2 hours each way to attend this house and in the past I felt the drive, price, and wait were worth it. This year was disappointing in that I wasn't even able to see all of the scenes (ie. opening scene due to being short and in the back row of a group of at least 20), felt rushed through portions of the house, and wasn't able to view the full "effects" of the house due to a lack of 3D glasses this year.

Event Reviewed: Dungeon Of Terror (Mazon, Illinois)
Reviewed by: dreamer1107   (Event Visited: 10/28/06 @ 10:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/29/06
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: I have been to this attraction 2 years prior to this one, so I had an idea of where to find it. They did have a sign posted, but my recommendation would be to have more, larger signs posted from the main road and/or a lighted sign so that it is easier to find this event.

Wait Entertainment: At the time that we vistited this house, I didn't see any wait entertainment--but we didn't need any! It took us less than 15 minutes to make it into the house, as it was such a short line. I think the location of this house has to be one of the biggest reasons why they don't get rated higher when ranking top haunted attractions, as most people won't make this drive or even know where Mazon is. Believe me, it's worth the drive!

Length of Event: Hard to say, but I'm guessing about 15 minutes.

Actor Performance: Overall good (with just a couple rare exceptions)--part of their great performance is simply due to the setup of the house. It is pitch black through most of the house, so you can't try to predict where the actors are going to jump out. I really appreciated this, as I am a veteran patron of many haunted houses and it's incredibly rare that I get startled. I think this is the first house to actually startle me several times. (Like many of you out there, I don't get "scared" by haunted houses as I know they are everyday people behind those costumes--the main reason why I go is to see the visual effects and hope that I can be startled at some point which doesn't typically happen. Great job!

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Good, although due to the patrons in front of us stopping and waiting halfway into the house, we got backed up in the maze. (very annoying--if you are attending a haunted house, please make sure that there aren't other patrons behind you if you decide to stop in the house completely)

Appropriate Ages: 13+ (steer clear if you are claustrophobic or afraid of the dark)

Props / Special FX: I think for what I'm assuming is a smaller budget than most houses (and being is such a small populated town/area), they did a great job with the special effects. Without relying on only animatronics or actors, they built this house to instill that uneasy feeling of tight spaces and darkness. This alone made it an excellent house. However, don't expect to be wowed by expensive special effects here. That's not their MO.

Costumes / Make-up: Good for again what appears to be a smaller budget. There were some well costumed actors and some others leaving much to the imagination.

Summary: Overall, a great attraction if you truly want to be surprised and typically aren't one to get "scared" by a haunted house. They use more of a simple approach to catching you off guard, which is what makes it more effective. One sidenote, however that this year and the last year's opening scene with the cage, were considerably less effective in setting the mood as compared to the opening scene that they used 2 years ago (with the dark open room and the actor/actors seated and walking in a type of balcony above). I think this is partly due to the brightness of the first room as compared to the lighting they used for that 2 years ago. But that's just my 2 cents :)

Event Reviewed: Dream Reapers Haunted House (Melrose Park, Illinois)
Reviewed by: dreamer1107   (Event Visited: 10/27/06 @ 7:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/29/06
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good
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Visibility/Location: One of the more visible attractions I've been to, due to the well lit sign from North Ave.

Wait Entertainment: As usual, pretty good as they make good use of well costumed actors making their way through the line. Also they have music, wall artwork/graffiti, and a large screen projector once you get to the inside waiting area.

Length of Event: 15 minutes, give or take

Actor Performance: I thought they did a better job with this this year. Overall, I felt the actors were very good and didn't just fall into the predictable pattern of screaming into your face (not scary, but annoying actually). Nice acting job overall

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Good flow, although we did catch up to patrons in front of us who were too scared to keep moving through the house!

Appropriate Ages: 12+

Props / Special FX: They have had great props and effects each year, and this year is no different. My personal favorite was their crashing elevator--I felt very unsteady after leaving the elevator at that point!

Costumes / Make-up: Great, again this year. They look the most professional of the attractions I have attended

Summary: While I felt a little steamed again this year that we had to pay for parking (to be told to park in a huge puddle after paying for it, no less), this attraction was a good one for a local haunted house. I have been disappointed by this one once or twice in the past of many years of attending, but I had a positive experience this year. While I really didn't get startled or "scared" at any point, they do a great job with props, scents, and acting to set the scenes well. I would recommend this attraction this year!

Event Reviewed: Spooky Trail (West Chicago, Illinois)
Reviewed by: dreamer1107   (Event Visited: 10/28/06 @ 7:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/29/06
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Average
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Visibility/Location: Frequent and visible signage made it fairly easy to find

Wait Entertainment: there wasn't any wait entertainment, which adds to the frustration factor as you're watching obnoxious hyper kids, foul mouthed teens, and many people cutting in front of you in line.

Length of Event: 20-25 min, excluding the hayride

Actor Performance: it fluctuated from some very good, creepy moving actors to some that seemed to be wearing bedsheets and getting in your face with some predictable comment

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We were a little congested, despite some attempts to separate us into groups when first going into the house.

Appropriate Ages: apparently, judging from the people in line, 5 and up

Props / Special FX: They had some unique props/effects being used and the simple fact that it was held in the woods made it more effective.

Costumes / Make-up: Again, this was hit or miss. Some costumes were very unique (including a costume that looked just like the bushes and trees themselves so that the actor blended right in), but some other costumes looked like a bedsheet worn as a cape and not much more. I'm assuming that the actors were volunteers basedon the costumes and acting

Summary: We started off frustrated as we waited a long time in the line, in the cold weather watching many people cut in line (poorly regulated), but the spook hike was enjoyable with some unique props/effects and being a different venue--the outdoors. I have mixed feelings about going back next year due to the ups and downs of this experience

 

 

 

 

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