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All Visitor Reviews
2009 Visitor Reviews of
18th Annual St. Matthew Haunted House (Hawthorn Woods, 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.
11 out of 17 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: MOONSHADOW   (Event Visited: 10/24/09 @ 10:00 pm)
Review Posted: 11/14/09
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Good
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Visibility/Location: The website directions were a bit vague so I would like to suggest an alternate way.  
Take IL Route 12/Rand Road, traveling either north or south, to Quentin Road. 
Turn north onto Quentin Road and keep that course until you hit Old McHenry Rd. 
Make a left onto Old McHenry Road and continue traveling west until you see the lighted sign in front of St.Matthew's, where there is free parking. 
Since there are quite a few entrances, follow the flow of the crowd to the large double doors on the left front of the building.

Wait Entertainment: The only line entertainment was the "Guitar Hero" game set up along one wall and several high school kids running around in "Scream" costumes who were primarily interested in scaring their fellow classmates. 

Length of Event: Our time inside was 20-25 minutes, which was shorter than the line to get in since there were three separate places to wait before the actual entrance to the haunt.

Actor Performance: Some of the young actors interacted well with us while staying in character but there were also those who simply screamed in our faces which was more annoying than frightening. The few adult actors were more effective in scaring us since they had truly adopted their haunted personas and understood the element of surprise.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: The idea of letting a group find its own way out of each room sounded interesting but in reality this made the wait outside longer. The people inside were not able to move through the haunt in a timely manner.  
We didn't run into any groups until the last room but I believe that this was due to us often being instructed which way to exit each room. The actors knew that the posted closing time was drawing nearer and that there were still a lot of kids waiting to see the haunt.

Appropriate Ages: This haunt would be suitable for anyone who was not easily frightened by some blood and gore or fantastical scenes. There were also some areas of complete darkness and tight spaces.  
If you or your kids are too easily scared by such things then I would recommend the matinee showing.

Props / Special FX: The effects and staging used in the spider room were the most imaginative but the rest of the haunt was usual in it's presentation even with the concept of finding your own way out of each room.

Costumes / Make-up: The costumes in the majority of the haunt were your usual fare but the people behind the spider room must be congratulated. Unique ideas like that are appreciated by those of us who have seen it all.

Summary: I didn't choose the lowest overall score and scare factor because there were truly a few redeemable parts to the haunt. 
As I said before, the spider room was well planned and the actors in it were engaging.  
Another good thing were the pitch black hallways, which always help to spark the imagination. Unfortunately, there was rarely anyone in the turns of these darkened ways which seemed to be a waste of a potentially good scare. 
In conclusion, I would say that this would be a great starter haunt. Perfect for anyone who likes to get a bit of a scare or for those who haven't been to any of the "big" haunted houses.

12 out of 19 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: icequeen   (Event Visited: 10/23/09 @ 8:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/27/09
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Located on Old McHenry Rd. in the Lake Zurich area, it's easy to see from the road with flashing red lights at the entrance, and a large sign in the parking lot.

Wait Entertainment: There were characters throughout the parking lot and some inside the waiting area scaring the patrons appropriately. There was also guitar hero to play and a snack bar to enjoy while you waited for your group numbers to be called. Waited about 35 minutes to be called.

Length of Event: Total time to find our way out of the house was 30 minutes. Some of the rooms are harder to find your way out of than others. Especially that last room with all the doors! Kept getting turned around...

Actor Performance: Each actor had a specific role to play and they did it very well. Some were there just to keep you moving in the right direction, and some were there to scare the pants off of you! They would wait just long enough to make you think you were safe, and then whammo! They would jump out and shriek, or get you with a chainsaw or let out a blood curdling cackle! Very well done.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Once inside the house, there were many dark hallways in between the rooms to keep you from getting bunched up. However, we did run into another group while waiting in one of those hallways, and another group ran into us too. That was kind of disappointing as there were about 15 of us in one hallway waiting to enter the next room.

Appropriate Ages: This haunted house advertises not for children under 12. I would have to agree as there was quite a bit of blood and gore throughout. They do offer a kiddie house during the day though.

Props / Special FX: There are plenty of special effects in this house, from the vortex tunnel to the checkered room with strobes to the smoke filled bubbles. (Those were really cool) The butcher table was neat too. Where are the legs? And watch out for those walls... they will squeeze the breath right out of you!

Costumes / Make-up: They did a great job with the makeup too. Each room had a theme with a unique style of character and makeup. They weren't all just bloody and wearing the same thing. It looks like they took the time to put each character into the proper attire for their particular room. Again, great job.

Summary: Some haunted houses are all about big expensive props with little interaction between actors and patrons. Not so with this one! They are in your face at every turn. You have to actually find your way out of most of the rooms, which I think is part of the terror! The loud startling noises and lighting effects along with the great makeup and acting make this house one not to be missed. Enjoy some hot cider when you get out... IF you get out!!

11 out of 18 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: cbanks   (Event Visited: 10/16/09 @ 9:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/19/09
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Very Easy to find as it had flashing red lights to draw your eye on the side of the road. Plus there really isnt anything else out that way.

Wait Entertainment: We were able to wait in a queue with Guitar hero but also refreshements until they called our numbers.

Length of Event: 35 minutes. Impressively long haunted house.

Actor Performance: Such a good job. They scared us at the right time, reach out at the great times and stayed in character when we begged for the way out.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We ran into a few people but it was only twice and didnt ruin the experience.

Props / Special FX: Awesome. In one room we actually took a minute to try to figure out how they set up one of the Props. Really clever.

Costumes / Make-up: The spiders were amazing.

Summary: This Haunted House was very cool. We were a group of 3 men in thier 30's and 2 girls in thier 20's and 30's. Even the guys got scared. They all were unexpectly scared by a monster in unexpected ways. The Spider room was amazing! It was huge and creative with the spider webs - the actors had the best costumes in this area. The bedroom scene was so scarey with actors coming out of unexpected places. The best was always trying to find the way out of each room. I HIGHLY recommend this haunted house and it was really worth the money. Smoke bubbles? Who thinks of these things. So fun!

6 out of 11 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: scared   (Event Visited: 10/16/09 @ 7:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/18/09
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: South side of Old McHenry Road between Midlothian and Quenten.

Wait Entertainment: Cameras showing rooms inside the house show people inside in various areas. Nothing given away though! Also a snack bar with good selection and Guitar Hero for the kids.

Length of Event: approx. 30 minutes

Actor Performance: Well done! Much different than last years!

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Line moved smoothly and steadily.

Appropriate Ages: I saw some 11 year olds go through but recommended for 12 and up.

Props / Special FX: They did a great job in this area!

Costumes / Make-up: Actors were well made up!

Summary: One of the best haunted houses I've been to so far! I have to say St. Matthew's has done a great job this year and it's not the same thing over and over again each year.

11 out of 21 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: car54e   (Event Visited: 10/16/09 @ 9:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/20/09
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Good. School Parking Lot between Midlothian Road and Quentin Road. Lake Zurich area.

Wait Entertainment: Okay. Video cameras of inside of house. Some played Guitar Hero or Rock Band (not sure).

Length of Event: Long enough. About 35 to 40 minutes.

Actor Performance: Very Good. Some younger actors, not as scary after initial shock.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Good. Ran into one other group. Had to wait to enter one room (Actor holding us back said they had to clean up someone's through up).

Appropriate Ages: Adult (13 and over). They have a Kiddie House too (same house), but did not go through.

Props / Special FX: Surprisingly good. Good illusions. Good room themes, props, and special effects. Different from last year.

Costumes / Make-up: Good. Some look Pro.

Summary: Note to self: Go to the bathroom BEFORE going through the door! Insist that your date do likewise. Multiple paths … make a decision and pick a door. But, don’t split up or let them split you up (or cut you up). A church-sponsored house was entertaining and also plenty of gore and scare. Saw people bailing to an emergency exit early on, and not finishing the house. If you’re under 13 or scare EZ, probably try the Kiddie House. I would not recommend that parents drag their kids through the adult house or they’ll be crying, especially getting through the checker room. Saw some of that. Eikes! Finish the adult house and you’ll probably run into some of these characters: The Chain Gang, Chucky Checker, The Closet Queen, Cry Baby, Dr. DNA, Mrs. Ittsy-Bittsy and her family, The Joker, Mrs. Mardi Gras, The Salesman [Death of a], Mr. Security, Snow White?, Mr. Squeeze, Mr. Stabo, Mr. Stinky, as well as a mixture of other traditional scares using special effects and power tools (including chain saws). Security said there would be no touching or splitting up, but that’s a possibility. You also get to role-play “Survivor Man/Woman” and Let’s Make a Deal”. Got to go again for half price. Ask at the ticket counter. Saw a PayPal will-call area, but we purchased tickets when we got there – 30 minute wait. Pizza slices and hot cider for food (afterwards). Waiting area had video cameras of inside of house, and some played Guitar Hero?. House was Entertaining. RECOMMEND.

3 out of 6 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: metaldave   (Event Visited: 10/31/09 @ 8:00 pm)
Review Posted: 11/02/09
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: It was pretty easy to find

Wait Entertainment: They had a few young actors trying to scare people in line.When we got to the house the actors were on break.We waited like 20 to 30 minutes

Length of Event: 30-40 minutes

Actor Performance: excellent

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: good but ran into another group twice

Appropriate Ages: 12 and up. Saw one adult couple chicken out and leave through the emergency exit

Props / Special FX: cool

Costumes / Make-up: great!!

Summary: It was my first time going here and sure not my last.Went with my fiance and her 13 yr old brother. We all loved it!! We got trapped in 3 different areas of the house.The spider room was really cool!!This house was so much fun!!! See ya next year guys!!

 

 

 

 

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