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All Visitor Reviews
2014 Visitor Reviews of
Statesville Haunted Prison® & City Of The Dead (Lockport, 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.
20 out of 29 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: plm123   (Event Visited: 10/11/14 @ 6:45 pm)
Review Posted: 10/13/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Fantastic. Super easy to find.

Wait Entertainment: Good job. Lots of incredible costumes and good actors to keep you entertained.

Length of Event: We did both haunted houses and the paintball with VIP passes and it took 2 hours total

Actor Performance: The actors did a great job. The best part was they had 1 actor per 1 or 2 animatronics so you got a lot of good scares.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: I felt a little rushed through the first haunted house. I would have liked to linger and look around a little more.

Appropriate Ages: 13+

Props / Special FX: Beautiful makeup and good props and settings.

Costumes / Make-up: Professional looking costumes and makeup.

Summary: OK...Statesville is hands down the best haunted house I have been to. The reasons are as follows: 
 
There were tons of people in and outside of the haunted house walking around in costume. 3 times as many as other haunted houses. They also had badass costumes. Exceptionally well done makeup. 
 
I was far from the oldest person there. I say the normal ages were mid-twenties to fifties. Not tons of little kids. It changed the entire feel of the event and made it more fun for me. 
 
They didn't rely on animatronics to carry the haunted house. For every one or two animated things, there was a human creeping around. Very active actor intensive. That alone is what made it the best one I have been to. 
 
A long drive but easy to find. 55S to Weber Road directly to the prison.  
 
The paintball thing was more fun than I expected. 
 
Funnel cakes at the end. 'Nuff said. 
 
The only downside is you were pushed through faster than I would have liked. I would have liked to take more time to appreciate the sets and actors.  
 
Still a solid A. Not for little kids. Seriously.

16 out of 26 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: Karl82   (Event Visited: 10/18/14 @ 7:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/19/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Statesville Haunted Prison is very visible from the road. The location is great.

Wait Entertainment: Wait entertainment is among the best of haunt attractions in the area. Between the flame spinner guy, the guy on stilts, the clown and others working the crowd. It really makes the wait seem much shorter.

Length of Event: Event length took 1.5 - 2 hours.

Actor Performance: Actor performance is great. You can definitely tell this is a "pro haunt." Actors stay in character and know their characters well. I might go back next weekend to see if the guy in his underwear in the showers was serious about wanting a mustache ride.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Statesville has Patron Flow down to a science. The lining up in rooms gets annoying, but I know it is necessary to keep flow moving through the haunt correctly.

Appropriate Ages: 16+

Props / Special FX: This haunt is very well designed with props and special FX. Every detail is meticulously planned.

Costumes / Make-up: costumes and make-up are realistic. Great job.

Summary: Statesville Haunted Prison is the best haunted attraction I have gone to yet. They set the bar high for the others. Arriving, the line can and will be long. But, with the wait entertainment, the time will go by fast and will not seem like as much of a wait. Entering the cage is annoying, being crammed into a small cage with 20-30 people is uncomfortable, but it's prison... It is hard to pick my favorite room because I enjoy them all, they are all very detailed. High on my list would be the warden room and the clown room. I have only one complaint/suggestion. Invest more into the City of the Dead section of the haunt. Soo much has gone into perfecting the prison, it seem the City of the Dead needs more... Otherwise I highly recommend Statesville Haunted Prison.

11 out of 23 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: DragonSlayer   (Event Visited: 10/09/14 @ 9:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/13/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Statesville is visible by a large marquee sign that directs you to its location. It is fairly easy to find once you know where you are as our GPS led us just short of the haunt.

Wait Entertainment: The wait entertainment was great and there were many actors giving great performances outside getting us pumped for the main attraction.

Length of Event: It took us about 35 minutes and we walked slow but if you count the 10 minutes of putting you in a cage and getting tickets then the event could be clocked at 45 minutes. Still, I choose to time it from the moment you actually walk into the haunt.

Actor Performance: Very good overall. Most of the actors in Statesville had great energy and really got into their roles but there were a few that merely popped out and said boo or just looked at you not even in a frightening manner.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Statesville just plain and simple has too many patrons. It felt like the only intention of the haunt was to get as many people through as possible. Lines were huge and you go through as a huge group which drastically takes away from the atmosphere. Some may say it makes it feel like a real prison setting but frankly it felt more annoying than enjoyable to continually line up with 30 some odd people and then conga line through the attraction.

Appropriate Ages: This is at the parents discretion but Statesville is more aimed towards adults and teens so I would say 13 and up.

Props / Special FX: Statesville sports top notch effects and props. No expenses are spared here and perhaps it good just to get out and see what they have.

Costumes / Make-up: Costumes and makeup are also top notch at Statesville and again, no expense is spared to bring movie quality costumes and make-up to this haunt.

Summary: I put off Statesville for quite a while but decided to try it out this year and must say it is enjoyable. Statesville does a wonderful job at assaulting your senses and making you feel uneasy. I absolutely loved the bathroom area, clown room, bus area. Statesville is loud, obnoxious, and angry as it should be!  
 
The lighting and sounds completely overwhelm your senses and I found this very cool. City of the Dead featured some great lighting as well as intimate scenes than allowed submersion into the haunt but the problem was that there were too many people in both attractions. Being that Statesville is as popular as it is, the lines and bunching of people inside the haunt make things a bit confusing and un-enjoyable. We went on a Thursday to avoid the crowd but still found it a bit packed. Another thing to note was that some scenes inside Statesville feature way too many actors while others feature too few. The boiler room made absolutely no sense and why it needed 5 women actors in it is beyond me. The idea of the boiler room is neat but needed to be better executed. 
 
City of the Dead was a bit less crowded inside but most of that haunt was a let down as the theme and flow didn't seem to make much sense or go along smoothly. City of the Dead used to be a bit more intimate with atmospheric scares but I found they went away from this now and ended up with a hodgepodge of scenes that didn't make too much sense. They had hillbillies mixed with zombies mixed with mole people and I really didn't follow how any of it went with a city feel which was to contain the dead from the prison. 
 
Both haunts overall are very enjoyable despite their downfalls but I must say that this haunt is better for first timers. I found the price to be too steep and the masses of people to be too much to really get into the mood. This isn't a knock on Statesville however, as they have become so popular lately that they just can't get all the people through in a better manner. So Statesville is still a top haunt and better than a lot of other ones out there that charge a lot of money.

16 out of 45 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: you_boo   (Event Visited: 10/10/14 @ 8:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/12/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Easy to find, right off the main road. Not far from the highway. They had a big sign that was easy to see.

Wait Entertainment: They had a couple of people wandering around in line who had excellent make up and costumes. When we got there, there was not a lot of people in line so one creepy looking girl grabbed our hands and led us to the end of the line. She had a great costume and her makeup was awesome! The other characters were doing a really good job interacting with the crowd. Probably some of the best wait entertainment I've seen!

Length of Event: The whole event took about 2 hrs from when we got in line till when we were walking out. The first haunt was probably about 40 min, with the second being about 10min.

Actor Performance: Every actor we ran into did an excellent job! They were hidden in all the right places and really utilized their environments. The costumes and makeup was done really well and super intricate! The wait entertainment did an excellent job of introducing humor without breaking character. Really done well!

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: They take big groups in at a time, but split us up into lines with about 8 in each. We came into contact with the other group a couple of times, but we would all line up together again at different points in the haunt, so it wasn't that big of a deal.

Appropriate Ages: I would say 12 and up, there was a girl behind us that looked about that age.

Props / Special FX: The first haunt had some really great props and excellent detailed rooms! The opening scene with the warden and the fog was done really well and set the mood immediately. The bathroom/shower scene was really done well with details like the flys and blood on the wall. I also liked the use of the bus and how they incorporated it so you had to walk through it. Also, the room with all the mirrors was pretty impressive, the strobes and winding walls really did a good job throwing you off. The second haunt had more animatronics and did a good job utilizing smoke and fog to distort your way.

Costumes / Make-up: I would have to say that the costumes and make up on these actors was probably the best I've ever seen. A lot of intricate details. The scarecrow with the dripping black blood coming out of his mouth had me pretty impressed!

Summary: Overall, I would say that this is one of the best haunts I have been to. I would definitely go back. They did an excellent job with the wait entertainment and all the actors really put on their A game the entire time. I liked the small details used for entertainment as well. They had a guy in a cage twirling fire! The grouping of the crowd throughout the haunt was an interesting twist, as I have never seen this done before. They did a good job hurrying us along though, so we did not have to wait long. I really liked how long the first haunt was, it really helped keep you in the mood and had a good mix between high intensity and low intensity scenes and scares. I would definitely recommend this haunt to others!

6 out of 17 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: cupajoe415   (Event Visited: 10/24/14 @ 7:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/20/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Always easy to find.

Wait Entertainment: Top Notch. Had some very witty interactions with one guy calling me out for cutting one of their line actors in the wait area. He remembered me later on in the haunt and made me wait in the back of the line as others passed because I was a cutter. It was pretty stinking funny. As always Fluffy and the rest are all very good.

Length of Event: 20+ minutes I think. Well worth admission.

Actor Performance: Actors here are great. They were funny. I loved the creep in the shower singing. I also enjoyed the hicks and the guy who made me sing free-bird on the microphone. Statesville is very strong in their training. Even the young kid we saw in the haunt knew his part well and did not break character. Awesome work everyone! Special shout out to the very creative nurse who told my friend (a girl) that she had prostate cancer! LOL

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Statesville does their best to break this up and keep the groups from running into each other. The effort is noticeable with the multiple waiting points. I think this is great!

Appropriate Ages: 16+

Props / Special FX: Phenomenal. Some of the best atmospheric work anywhere. It did not seem to change much from last year though, by what I noticed at least. Maybe I missed something though. I like to see changes.

Costumes / Make-up: Always great!

Summary: I usually don't give the whole rundown of each haunt I visit since I visit 10+ every season. I usually do like to share just a few of the improvements I saw over last year, if I visited it before, as well as mention anything that I think might be helpful for the future of the haunt.  
 
This was another great year guys. Your acting training is some of the best I have seen and noticeably effects the outcome. The atmosphere is another thing that is always great, though I would like to see a few more noticeable changes every year. My friends who did not want to go with at all, had an amazing time. Great work as always to everyone involved.

4 out of 12 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: AleksOsis   (Event Visited: 10/25/14 @ 8:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/28/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Unmistakeable

Wait Entertainment: Second to none. A 10 for sure.

Length of Event: 1hr 45min

Actor Performance: Outstanding! Hardcore. A solid 10

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Not bad. A lot of crowding into tight spaces and lining up in small rooms to control the flow. It does get a little irritating after the second time. What can I say? It was crazy busy. Could anyone do any better? I doubt it.

Appropriate Ages: 12+

Props / Special FX: Are you kidding me? Go to Universal Studios if you want more. Maxed out. Giant animatronics, complex scenes, countless hydraulics and a bowl of live cockroaches. Need I say more?

Costumes / Make-up: Really good. Another 10(Don't think I'm being generous because this is my third 10. I'm very picky. I go to a lot of haunted houses and this place is always in my top 5)

Summary: I was lucky to get a chance to visit the notorious Statesville Haunted Prison last night. Very often rated #1 in Chicagoland so I wanted to know if it's still living up to the hype? I also wound up going on one of the busiest nights of the year which gave me a new perspective on these attractions and respect for the employees. 
I tried buying tickets online but it turns out you must have them printed somewhere. Having a ticket with a barcode on your smartphone doesn't cut it here. I planned on buying VIP tickets to skip the line but that is where my voyage begins, my friends. We took a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the entrance. Turns out there was a line a mile and a half long(75min) just to get to the ticket booth. Yes, that means if you buy either general admission or VIP online you save $5/ticket and an hour or more wait in a parking lot with zero entertainment. 
I bought the VIP and was sent to another line that was 40min long. Respectively, the non-VIP line was two hours from this point. Of course their line entertainment was top notch. They seem to have a fetish for crowding people into tight confined spaces throughout the experience. They line you up like cattle in the context of being prisoners. Starts to wear thin on you. If you don't like crowds this would truly be a nightmare and this isn't the place for you. 
I cannot overstate how good these actors are at making this fun. I mean, I went on one of the busiest nights. These people are so well trained, that you might barely noticed they were exhausted and many incorporated their pain into their act(I'm thinking of hoarse voices manipulated to sound creepier, etc.). Wow! That's heart. When they failed at startling you, they scared you and if they failed at scaring you they made you laugh. Definitely their strongest suit. 
Animatronics? Don't think Universal Studios or Disney but definitely better than anything around these parts, by far. Evidently they spent a small fortune on robotics. This definitely makes it way more fun to me and nightmare inducing for kids but frankly, not the scariest tool in the axe murderer tool shed. 
This place is expensive and time consuming but still one of the best. So how long does it take start to finish, at peak time, on one of the busiest nights, with no online tickets? 4hrs 20min(online tickets -75min, VIP -80min). I would have preferred a VIP line to buy VIP tickets. Just common sense. 
My advice would be to always buy tickets online and print them out and never go on a Friday or Sat. many of these places offer discounts on Thursday nights. Probably no waiting for the ticket booth, zero waiting for VIPs and I would guess, less than a 40min wait in general admission if you go on a slow night. Be smart! Oh...and check out the video on their website before you go. It really gets you hyped to go.

14 out of 44 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: Foxy_Loxy   (Event Visited: 10/04/14 @ 8:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/14/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good
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Visibility/Location: This haunt was easy to find and the location was decent. There was a ton of parking, which is always a plus.

Wait Entertainment: The line entertainment was the best part. The red and white clown had a ton of energy and was super fun to watch. That character had such personality! The man on stilts was another actor that had caught my eye. His stilt walking skills are phenomenal.

Length of Event: 35 minutes because the actors herd you in rooms for minutes at a time.

Actor Performance: In the house was a different story than outside. I saw maybe four or five actors that were memorable and one was only because she said "boo" twice. The other actors that stuck out to me used their pop out spots well, but I wish I had more to talk about as far as acting went. They are well staffed, but I saw many actors either unprepared or unfamiliar with how to work their space.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: This was probably my least favorite thing about this haunt. Before you enter the second line to the haunted house, you are herded into "the dog cage" to show that you have your tickets. My group and I were stuck in this part of the experience for fifteen minutes! That seems a little excessive considering we were only going to be led into the next line. The next line led to another room where you were rounded up to watch the opening show. Unfortunately that wasn't the last time I was herded into a room for a long period of time; I found myself in two more areas like this and I still ended up running into the group ahead of me or the group behind me caught up.

Appropriate Ages: All ages, there's Llamas to feed at the farm portion.

Props / Special FX: The sets were great. You could tell how long the crew spent on making these sets perfect. They were camera ready and the idea of just the sets make me swoon.

Costumes / Make-up: The costumes were okay. The makeup was pretty fun to look at. The only thing about makeup I didn't care for was the repetitiveness in the skull/bone room in the second haunt. So many skull masks with little to no variation can get boring after awhile, otherwise I really enjoyed the makeup I saw.

Summary: This haunt was not exactly what I expected. I feel like this is a haunted house to visit once every few years. The group I went with had been before within the last three years and said nothing about the house has changed too much. I feel like the set up is nice and the outside actors along with the sets were definitely the strongest assets of this haunted house.

6 out of 21 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: KPHIN16   (Event Visited: 10/10/14 @ 7:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/12/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: The location of the haunted house was pretty good. You have to look for the signs for a second but they get you to the correct place. Parking was phenomenal! They have plenty of space for everyone and there are people to direct traffic.

Wait Entertainment: The wait entertainment was great! It is fun to have the characters interacting with you before you even get into the haunted house. Watch out for fluffy! He's quite the unique character. I also enjoyed watching a scary character perform a small show with fire as you walk into the waiting line section. Of course it's also hilarious to watch the other people get freaked out by the characters too. I'll admit I also jumped once or twice.

Length of Event: It takes about 45 minutes to get through both parts that the haunted house has to offer. Its definitely worth every second and dollar!!

Actor Performance: The actors surpassed my vision of what they would be. Each and every character has an important part to play and they play it well! They interact with the audience and act out their parts as if they belong in a movie. A+ for their effort and for the director who hires and trains them very well.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: I enjoyed their sense of style when it came to how the patrons flowed through the haunted house. Your separate groups went through, but they would corral you back into several groups in a room at certain points. That aspect was fun because you got to witness other people's reactions and hear jokes made about them from the characters.

Appropriate Ages: It's ultimately up to parents, but I believe that the haunted house is definitely for a mature audience. I think that people ages 15 and up can handle it. Some of the actions that take place and words that are said aren't meant for small ears or eyes. I think what goes on and is said is hilarious but only for the appropriate people who can be mature.

Props / Special FX: I give the props and special effects an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. It looked like a movie and the scare tactics were epic and very unique. I didn't see any of it coming, and it kept me in suspense.

Costumes / Make-up: The make up and costumes were also on point. Many of the costumes looked like something out of a movie. They also looked like the people could look like that in real life.

Summary: Overall, I had an amazing time at the Statesville Haunted prison! My friends and I would not have chosen anything else to have done with our Friday night. My favorite scene was the showers. The guy was hilarious and the scene was creepy. I also laughed later on when someone bent over in one of our lines and the character told him, "H y what are you doing? Don't you know not to bend over in prison? I loved every second and the actors kept me wondering what I was in for next. The moment they yelled at you and told you where to stand and what to do I knew I was in for a ride. I laughed some and definitely got scared some. I was given a good bang for my buck! Way to go crew! The only one thing I would say could have been better was the room with the dancing ladies. They didn't seem to be creepy or funny. They just seemed to awkwardly dance really close you.

12 out of 45 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: Cheddar   (Event Visited: 10/04/14 @ 8:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/11/14
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Kind of hidden. Once you are in the area all you have to do is look for the many signs. People are directing traffic. (parking lot is very bumpy so be careful with your car.)

Wait Entertainment: There are many actors roaming around. They have a great energy and you can tell they are seasoned actors who know what they are doing

Length of Event: 30-45 mins

Actor Performance: Outside actors were great. Good energy and always moving around. City of the dead actors were VERY low energy. The animatronics provided more than some of them. In the prison, however, there was a bit more energy. It was just a little too obvious that they had all of thier good actors outside.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: They stop you like 4 times throughout the haubt. I under stand it is for good flow but it * isnt so great * (censored) getting into the mood, and then BAM, another waiting line. You will lose your group and be walking through with other people so be prepared.

Appropriate Ages: 12+

Props / Special FX: BEAUTIFUL sets. Make up is great and everything physically is what you want to see in a haunt.

Summary: Statesville Haunted Prison... That is a very know name in this area. Sets and make up are great. This is a very visually pleasing haunt. But i feel let down with the performance of some. In City of the Dead, one actress said boo-not once but twice- for my group alone. Line actors just get you so pumped up for the haunt, and then you expect so much from the house actors, and then i felt a little let down. DOnt get me wrong, there are a few high energy actors in there, but alot just kind of look at you and bang stuff and scream once in a while.  
 
My favorite room was the Clown room. Loved the sets and it was a very disorientating room. The clown on the bungie rope needs to learn his spot a bit better. He headbutted me and almost knocked someone else in my group over. Its a great spot and a cool thing toi see, but that person needs to know what they are doing.  
 
IS statesville a must visit haunt? Only if it is your first time seeing it or you havent seen it in a while. This was my 3rd time seeing this haunt and i feel not enough changes for it to be worth another visit. But definitly worth a check out. Sets get a 10/10, Line actors 10/10, house actors 5/10. Get the inside actors some energy and this haunt will be even better.

 

 

 

 

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