All Visitor Reviews
2012 Visitor Reviews of
Eleventh Hour Haunted Houses (Elk Grove, 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.|
|38 out of 47 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: adomagala   (Event Visited: Before Oct. 1st @ 7:30 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/01/12
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Fair|
Visibility/Location: Easy to find. On Devon Rd. at Berthold's Garden Center. Having never been there before had no problem finding it. Had a flashing sign too.
Wait Entertainment: I only noticed one clown guy. He peeked over a fence when we were waiting for the second haunted house. I didn't see anyone else.
Length of Event: About an hour - Between the 4 events and waiting in line between the corn maze and haunted houses.
Actor Performance: I felt the performance was a bit lacking. It could be because it was opening weekend and we went pretty early. Might not have found their groove yet. The timing was a little off. They just weren't very scary.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: No complaints. Didn't run into any other groups.
Appropriate Ages: 5 and older.
Props / Special FX: Some of the props were pretty cool. One of the animatronic skeletons was pretty cool. The truck/bus thing that pops out at you is pretty cool (although the timing was way off). A giant Sasquatch type thing "fell" toward you was pretty cool looking.
Costumes / Make-up: Costumes and make up I felt were a bit lacking. But were decent.
Summary: This was my first time at this haunted house. I was a little disappointed. I had heard good things about it and read good things about it. Maybe the hype was too much? Maybe it was too early in the season? The actors were off on their timing. I felt like they just talked to us, rather than try to scare us. I bought the tickets on Living Social and I felt the deal still was not worth the scare factor. The set up was a little confusing. No one told us where to go after the corn maze. After the corn maze, we just sort of walked over and then someone stopped us asking for our tickets. We purchased the VIP skip the line tickets. Their didn't seem to be 2 different lines. So I don't know what we paid the extra money for? They had too many mazes. Corn maze, chain link maze, pitch black maze, the weird red maze thing. Without these I feel the haunted houses would have been really short. Some of the props were pretty cool. I jumped twice throughout the whole event. I felt like a lot of it built up, but then nothing happened where something could have really scared me. I feel like it just fell a little short.
|23 out of 31 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: creep   (Event Visited: 10/24/12 @ 9:30 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/25/12
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: Visibility was pretty good. Some lit up signs and an inflatable evil-tree dancer.
The location was decent for what they have to work with; a garden center. The facade of the main haunt was pretty cool, which helped add to the atmosphere.
Wait Entertainment: Again, decent. They had enough ghouls wandering around interacting with us. One was acting as someone possessed by a cat which was funny... I pet him.
There was a projector playing random creepy video clips which was cool.
For the night we went, they could have used less actors inside and more inside, though...
Length of Event: 32 minutes for the 3 main haunts. Corn maze depends... you can be in there for 2 minutes or as long as you want. It was a bunch of circles with basically one main path leading out.
Actor Performance: Mixed bag. Some were great; aggressive, loud, in your face, good timing. Others were the exact opposite; lazy, quiet, and didn't get anywhere near you.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: There was hardly anyone there, so it was perfect. On busy nights, if they kept the spacing they did tonight, it should be perfect as well. They separated us a good 2-3 minutes apart.
Appropriate Ages: 10+
Scares were pretty mild overall; except the Catacombs haunt, that was pretty creepy.
Props / Special FX: See below.
Costumes / Make-up: See below.
Summary: Let me start by saying the Eleventh Hour does NOT deserve all the bad press it's been getting this year. It may not be the most terrifying haunt in all the land, but it doesn't need to be. We had a blast. It was super fun. And this was a group of 7 haunters... we had a great time and will definitely be going back!!
This was my first time to Eleventh Hour in three years and it was nice to see that a lot had changed over the years.
The first thing I noticed was the corn maze was much larger which was nice.
The also seemed to adapt a new over-all theme of "hillbillies" instead of a random muck of ghouls which was also nice to see. It didn't totally make sense in the first haunt, but it still worked and gave all the haunts some continuity (which is my biggest pet peeve; lack of continuity)
We attended on their "Haunt Industry night". It's really nice to see a haunt do this. Opening on Wednesdays, and one night in particular only charge fellow haunters $10 to get in. It made my experience even better; I had an absolutely fabulous time.
The corn maze I would have been perfectly content without. It was a nice precursor, and on a busy night, it would make your waiting time seem less (which I'm guessing is the purpose of it). But it wasn't particularly scary due to all the leaking light of the street lamps in the parking lot. Had it have been darker, it would have been better. But, actors did a nice job at least trying to scare you. They never broke character, and made multiple attempts at scares.
The main haunt, The Eleventh Hour, is especially cool because it is a trailer haunt. I don't know if you've ever experience one, but they give you a claustrophobic feel right away because the rooms are never more than 5ish feet across. I have to give the designers props too to make that work... 5ft width is not a lot to work with! And they made it work... at times, you couldn't even tell you were in a trailer. They way the had the trailers configured was genius, too. There were 7 trailers (as the owner, Jim, told me before hand) and they were arranged in a circle around a GIANT graveyard scene. At one point, you actually go on a bridge between two trailers, about halfway, and you can actually see down into the graveyard at the group ahead of you. Very cool idea.
The scenes were relatively detailed. Enough so to wear it was convincing of the scene and setting... a house. But you could tell some props were old and worn and need to be replaced.... like the staircase in the first room. A few years ago, you couldn't tell that they (SPOILER!!!) opened.. but this year, you could totally tell. Might be time for a replacement set 'o stairs! Other than a few minor things liked that, the haunt looked great.
Scares in this one were few and far between. There was simply a lack of energy throughout. Timing was also quite poor. Nearly all actors waited until the second to last person to go for their attack, leaving the ones up in front (like me) without a scare. And some, even with the late attack (which can work if done properly) wouldn't scare "correctly". I say this with caution because there is no correct way to scare, but it wasn't a good scare.. there was one actor in particular I disapproved of. In the graveyard, there was a woman in a dress sitting on a bench. She was playing statue, which in this setting was the right choice, but, again, she waited for the second to last person in our group, and instead of jumping up and screaming and being intense like I had hoped, she simply stood up slowly, and calmly said "have you seen my husband?" And that was it. Turned, and sat back down. One guy in our group laughed.. I wouldn't do that, but it was still a let down on the scare.
Luckily, the next haunt, The Catacombs made up for everything bad so far.
Wow. I was thoroughly impressed with this one. From the very start, they had everything going for them. Perfect lighting, scents, AMAZING set designs and detail, and A STORY. The story was okay I guess: miners came, wiped out a family living in the catacombs, as a deal to let them stay, the family has to give tours of the catacombs. It works. What was coolest that helped the story was their CUSTOM hellevator ride. I say CUSTOM because it was HANDS DOWN the best hellevator I have ever been in. Most of them rock you gently giving the illusion youre going down with a solid "thump" at the "bottom." Not this one. This thing VIOLENTLY shook you around to the point that you could hardly keep your footing. It was great. And it probably lasted a good 45 seconds to a full minute. It was SO much fun, I wanted to go again!
The rest of the catacombs was amazing. There were random highlighted scenery elements surrounded by darkness to where you actually felt underground. The dirt floor helped too. Scares came left and right in total or near darkness. Some were very good, a few got the whole group! And there was nothing special about the acting... no unnecessary dialogue, just scares. And it worked.
At one point, there was a large (a good 9ft tall) Troll of some kind. Very impressive. It moved in ways I didn't expect it too (I honestly thought it was a prop!). There was another amazing scene that looked like the front yard of the families "home". It was in a marshy kind of land and you walked on wooden boards a good 8" off the ground. There was a moving bridge at one point I didn't expect and almost fell it got me so good. The house looked great too. Probably the most convincing set I've seen all season.
The last thing about Catacombs that sticks out in my head was a hallway. A hallway? Really? Yeah. It was very original and I'm still trying to figure out how they did it. All I could tell for sure was that you walked on what felt like a sinking marshy-land and had to push through a 3' tall claustrophobia. Yup, not a full size one, but one that was at waist level. It was a very cool effect.
Now, the last haunt was just like the corn maze. I could have done without it. It was supposed to be some kind of freak show carnival, but the theme just wasn't there for me. It wasn't full enough. Each scene was separated by VERY long winding corridors just to add to length. The start of the haunt had us all laughing at our own stupidity. Let's just say, you have to find your way through the dark TWICE... and once you're "let out" you'll be laughing at yourself. But you might get annoyed if the maze wasn't fun to you. We loved it, but it was long and I can see how some groups might not like it. But the exit of the maze was a riot.
Now that I think of it, this whole haunt was FULL of mazes. There were 4 in all. The second one was their old chain-link-chainsaw-man maze. It was fun, but would've been a lot more intimidating had it have been larger and maybe two chainsaw guys. The third was just an metal fence maze in strobe lights with two jesters milling about. The correct path through the maze was an easy find, once you went around in circles a few times... And the final maze was the end of the haunt. It was interesting. It was essentially a dark maze with a bunch of ripped up curtains on all sides. I can see how this could get confusing, but we literally walked straight to a wall, turned right, and we got out. I think if they add some extra walls randomly throughout the curtains, it would get very confusing and a bit more fun. I would also maybe combine a few of these.... 4 mazes is a lot.
Acting in here was a miss to me. They were all not very intense and kind of just lurched at you once then stared til you walked by. Meh... I suppose it's fine. But for a freakshow I would have expected way more aggressivness.
There was also one scene in the middle of the last haunt I didn't get. It was random height stage decks with some kind of device in the middle. I don't know if something was supposed to happen here, but it seemed like a space filler. Come to think of it, the entire final haunt could have been the same thing in half the space it was in. Oh well, it was still fun.
All in all I would say that Eleventh Hour is a very fun haunt with some scares along the way. If you have friends who haven't been to a "big boy" haunt before, I would call this one a good first step. If you take it for what it is, you'll have a blast and perhaps jump along the way. And that's always a good thing.
Great job EH crew, can't wait for next year!
|21 out of 29 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: babyripken   (Event Visited: 10/11/12 @ 8:30 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/15/12
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: Same place it has always been, on Devon, right off of Rt. 83.
Wait Entertainment: There was really only one person walking around, and she wasn't really that scary.
Length of Event: 45 minutes to an hour.
Actor Performance: The few actors that were in the haunt really well done, especially in the corn maze.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Slow night, so we didn't run in to anybody.
Summary: First off, you start going through a corn maze, and, although there were only a couple of ghouls in the maze, they were very committed and they followed us throughout the maze. Then you go through a haunted "house," followed by the dark catacombs in a secondary house, and then you go through a haunted maze. Unfortunately, there seemed to be very few ghouls popping out at people throughout the three houses. I ended saying to my friend at the end, that it seemed like a bunch of actors called in sick that night. I plan on coming back later, but, considering that this has been one of the best haunts in the last several years, I was very disappointed by this haunt this year.
|18 out of 25 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: rem2555   (Event Visited: 10/12/12 @ 7:00 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/26/12
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: It was not marked very well with signs pointing towards it. We drove right past it and had to turn around. I suppose using GPS would have made it easier, but a big sign saying Eleventh Hour would be nice.
Wait Entertainment: There was minimal entertainment while we waited. A woman dressed up as something took our tickets before we went into the corn maze and a girl tried to entertain guests before we entered the first haunted house. Other than that, there were no actors waiting around in line trying to spook guests. The Mix happened to be there the night we went and they were giving out prizes if you spun their wheel and landed on the right square. It was a bit odd hearing pop music at a haunted house as it definitely didn't fit the vibe.
Length of Event: Probably 45 - 60 minutes, including waiting in line. When we got there, it wasn't very busy, so I can only imagine what it could be if there were more people there.
Actor Performance: The actor performances varied from really good to really awful. The hillbillies in the corn maze were a nice touch and they really seemed to get into their roles. The main guy that gives a bit of back story as you enter the first haunted house was entertaining as well. Some of the actors in the circus area were neat too. Bubbles the clown was entertaining, mostly because he just followed us around this maze we tried to make our way through. Some of the actors were really not into their roles or just stood there and stared at you without doing much. Some of these fit the role, but most just didn't seem to know what to do.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We caught up with groups in the 2nd and 3rd portion of the haunted house. I think in the 3rd portion there must have been two or three groups stuck in one part of the maze as it was in the pitch black and it was very hard to find your way around.
Appropriate Ages: I would say kids 10 and up would be fine. There were a few moments that could be scary, but overall it was not a threatening haunt.
Summary: So four of us went to this haunt mostly because of the Living Social deal for the discounted VIP admission, which allows you to cut to the front of the line for the haunts. It was not worth paying extra money for. We did not get to cut in front of anyone at any point in the haunt. There didn't seem to be a difference if you purchased VIP or normal tickets. In fact, when we arrived, there were two lines for people who pre-purchased tickets or were buying on-site. We proceeded to the pre-purchased ticket line and were told to go to the back of the line. There seemed to be a lot of confusion as to what was happening, which was pretty frustrating. We eventually were allowed to skip ahead of everyone to claim our actual tickets.
This isn't the fault of the haunt itself, but the group we went through with included three middle-aged women who clearly were drinking before coming as they were quite obnoxious throughout the haunted houses. They turned on their phones so they could see where they were going in a couple of the dark mazes, which completely defeated the entire purpose. One of them actually took out her lighter and lit it at one point, almost lighting my friend's coat on fire. Unfortunately, we lost track of them after we exited.
I don't know if this was indicative of the remaining weekends for the haunt, but while we were waiting to get into the 2nd haunted house, the power went out for a few minutes. I don't know if the generators ran out of gas or what, but I can imagine that was an embarrassing moment for the staff. Even the main review by this site mentioned the power loss a few times.
A few of the scenes were broken or not working properly, which was a bit disappointing. Perhaps this was a result of the power loss, I don't know. In the second haunted house, you are put on an elevator to take you down into "mines". The woman who led us through broke character and got really pissed off and yelled at the group of women who were drunk and obnoxious. This woman was threatening that this elevator cost $10,000 and that we would be responsible for paying it if we jumped around or did anything to damage it. I can understand getting upset if an expensive part of the haunt gets damaged, but I feel like there may have been a better way of handling it, perhaps by escorting the people out or getting a manager. We all looked around at each in shock when she left as some people thought it was part of her act.
That said, there were some really cool practical designs and sets. The creature in the 2nd haunt was very cool looking and probably the highlight of the haunt (for me, anyway). There was a very elaborate graveyard at the end of the first haunted house, which looked beautiful, but it wasn't staffed by anyone, which was a bit disappointing.
The third portion with the circus was also pretty decent. The portion where you have to make your way through a dark maze before coming out was a bit confusing as we went in a circle a couple of times before finally exiting.
Overall, this was just an okay haunt. I think it is a bit misleading to say this is four haunted houses in one. I would say it's closer to 2 - 2.5 haunted houses. If you're looking for a haunt to take younger kids or tweens to, this would probably be perfect for them. It would have enough scares to give them a good time for the money. If you're really wanting a good scare with more gore or such, you would probably want to check out another haunt.
|27 out of 38 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: aduchek   (Event Visited: Before Oct. 1st @ 8:00 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/02/12
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Good|
Visibility/Location: I was traveling with a friend who knew how to get there, so I did not pay so much attention, but there was a nice blinkey arrow sign out front. I think they could use some more direction or signs inside the haunt area to direct people to where the various mazes are, and where the VIP area is, as it seems there was not really any. Nothing complex needed, just clear.
Wait Entertainment: Could have been more interaction with people waiting for the houses, there were actors wandering around the common area, but there could have been some in the wait line for the houses.
Length of Event: An hour or so..
Actor Performance: I think the actors did very good. I liked how it wasn't just all blood and guts. The beginning was a performance by actors with interaction of the patrons. I thought the lady in the kitchen was the best, but the woman in the study gave me the hardest time (I have a tough time keeping my mouth shut!) The other parts of the haunt were more typical with mazes and dangling things, optical illusions, and people creeping up on you and popping out of things. I really like the girl that was crawling on the ground in the strobe chain mazes, she was making some sounds that were may be recorded(?) but very creepy. I was at the end of the group, and the actors including the ‘electricity’ guy were following me around and either just staring or taunting me, I thought that was creepy and good. I got spooked quite a few times, it isn't always about them jumping out and saying, "BOO!" they set the atmosphere, and do a good job of it.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: No problems.
Appropriate Ages: 10 and up, unless they are really sure-footed kids... two of the pre-teen kids in our group (not my kids, just got paired up with them) got freaked out and had to leave early.. BUT the great thing was that the actors immediately stopped and took the kids out of the situation, very professional and kind.
Props / Special FX: Wow, I think the inside was well thought out and looked really nice. Not too much clutter of props, just enough to give a good creepy feeling. The tunnel of lights was fantastic!! I was spinning still for the next three rooms. I liked all the mazes, some in complete darkness, and I though the red vinyl maze was good because you couldn't tell what was a maze and what was a wall (which is the idea).
Costumes / Make-up: From what I saw of the costumes and make up they looked great, but unfortunately in some of the darker rooms it was hard to see much other than the actors faces. That may have been the intention, but I don't really know.
Summary: In summary, I really enjoyed the Eleventh Hour Haunted Houses. I thought it was worth the drive and cost (which was not that much really). I got startled and screamed a few times, but I enjoyed the interactions and atmosphere that was set. I don't expect to be startled around every corner, which I think is kind of unrealistic. I had a hard time determining the division between the third and fourth houses, but that's not really a big deal. I did not see any of the actors break character while they were in the maze or houses, except for when the children had to leave. The entire event was much longer than I expected, and there seemed a good flow of people coming and going. I even closed out the night with a nice cup of warm apple cider for only $1! I have already recommended friends to attend!
|30 out of 44 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: BIGGUN   (Event Visited: Before Oct. 1st @ 7:00 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/01/12
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Average|
Visibility/Location: Not too bad. RIght on Devon Ave with a flashing sign
Wait Entertainment: There were a couple of actors mulling around the line
Length of Event: If you do all 4 events its appox 35-40 min
Actor Performance: Not good. There were few actors in the haunts to begin with, and the few that were there were mediocre at best.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Not good. For starters, they put you in huge groups, and we quickly caught up to the other huge group in front of us.
Appropriate Ages: 6 and up
Props / Special FX: Fair. Lots of plastic looking props, with a handful of decent props mixed in. Not very convincing overall.
Costumes / Make-up: Average. Masks and bad makeup for the most part
Summary: Over the years Ive made it a rule not to go to a haunt before October. Too many times it seemed like the haunts were either understaffed, or the actors werent in the spirit of haunting yet. When I read 11th Hour was having more actors this year per their website, and you add the ticket deal 2 for 1 that HI.com was running, I decided to go for it.
To their credit I got their Saturday 9/29 and 6:50 pm, and their was already 25-30 people in line. I have never seen that before so early in the season.
My group chose all 4 haunts that started with the corn maze. It wasnt much of a maze at all, and was very easy to navigate in about 5 min. Nothing scary about it at all. The only actor we ran into was a guy scaring people at the very end of the maze. Otherwise, it was a big bore!
The rest of the event was divided up into 3 haunts. The first haunt was the "house" where a goth looking woman who was barely audible led you through a staircase. That prop was very cool, but there was no real scare in that room. Our group was put into two other groups which ballooned it up to 10 people! Ridiculous!
The next room was a twitchy lady looking for her husband, telling you to shh and be quiet. Shed ask the group questions, then tell you to shut up when you answered. Nothing scary, but really annoying!
From there it was a bathroom scene with no scares in it or actors, dark hallway with no scares or actors in at after dark hallway. We got a lame attempt at a Hellevator in one of the haunts, but wasnt particularly good. The goth funeral scene was one of the few good scenes, with an actual scare in it. The graveyard was a great idea, but had only one female actor in it looking for her husband. No scare at all! The cagemaze with fog and flashing lights was easy to get through and navigate, and only had 1 actor in it. The spinning vortex was disorienting, but ive been in those a million times. My complaint with this haunt arent the ideas, but the lack of actors in the haunt. I actually started to get bored halfway through, because the place had nobody in it! Lots of patrons, but no actors. NOT RECOMMENDED!
|23 out of 34 people thought this review was helpful.|
|Reviewed by: Asylum5   (Event Visited: 10/13/12 @ 9:30 pm) |
Review Posted: 10/15/12
| Overall Score:|
|Scare Factor: Very Low | Atmosphere: Poor|
Visibility/Location: Not too hard to find, but their were no signs letting you know it where it was located.
Wait Entertainment: Wait entertainment wasn't good. First they consider the corn maze to be one of the haunted houses you walk thru and it's not very scary with maybe 5 random acotrs who for the most part are just wearing a weird costume but have nothing done with their faces except some black eye makeup under their eyes. Then when you're waiting in line to go in the haunted house a few actors will strike random conversation that isn't funny or scary.
Length of Event: The event lasted around 45 minutes
Actor Performance: The only person I was impressed with was when you enter the first haunted house there's an actor who tells you a story about the history of the house you're about to walk through and he does a good job of being informative and creepy at the same time. Other than that the actors weren't dressed up well, there weren't that many of them in the haunted houses either, and very few of them were actually scary for the most part because they looked like regular people with very little makeup on.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Patron flow was decent except for in the third and fourth haunted attraction you enter. The third and fourth attraction has you walking thru the dark bumping into walls and dead ends causing the next groups to enter catch up to you creating a jam at points.
Appropriate Ages: I feel like this wasn't very scary so maybe anyone 10 and up
Props / Special FX: The first house you enter is decorated very creepy and its well done. But after that it's very boring and is nothing special. You walk into a circus tent but yet they have 2 clowns in the entire house. It was very disappointing.
Costumes / Make-up: There were maybe 3 actors who had costumes that I considered interesting and scary. The rest of the people had walk chalky faces with some black under their eyes. Not very creative or scary.
Summary: I personally do not recommend this haunted house because it wasn't scary, actors were not dressed in costumes that would even make you a little nervous walking past them, and the haunted houses lacked originality with it mostly turning into you walking around in the dark bumping into walls and dead ends. I was really excited going into this with the thought of 4 haunted houses but it's really not put together very well. You just didn't get that feeling like it was even close to halloween after you pruchased your ticket.I've been going to haunted houses for years and I have to say this was one of the I've been to because it seemed like there was very little effort involved in making this an experience and the atmosphere was just all wrong not very scary and you really don't get that halloween feeling here.