|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Good|
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.