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All Visitor Reviews
2016 Visitor Reviews of
HellsGate Haunted House (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.
39 out of 48 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: kwillis00   (Event Visited: 10/15/16 @ 7:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/18/16
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: this place you have to park at the lockport metra station. got there early for there was plenty of parking that early.

Wait Entertainment: the wait we had to wait on the bus, frm the metra station it took us to the site where you got your tickets. after that you went into the vip or the general side. there was no wait entertainment except music over the speaker system.

Length of Event: the first part took us about 5 to 6 mins to get threw the woods. the 2nd part i would say about 15 to 20 depending on if u ran into anthor group.

Actor Performance: the actors were good. on the trail they were right in ya face asking ?s about diffrent things. and tellign you not to go in there and to look out for zombies. the house ppl they were good in the 1st 2 rooms and after wards they seems like they just guided you to the nxt rooms.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: ran int one group in the house. but they actors held us back and we wait back also for them to reset. the walk threw the woods was good we stayed back from the group a head of us so we can look at the detail of the trail it was good.

Appropriate Ages: i would say 10 and up

Props / Special FX: lets start with the trail. the trail was good with props a couple place could have need a little more light. and from looking around up way up high there was a statue up on top of a rock way up high nice touch looks like a real person. inside the house very very detailed.felt like you was in a very old old house.

Costumes / Make-up: the make up you could see some on the trail there was one lady one the trail her outfit felt like you was in new orleans she was right b4 the line for the house where they took ya tickets she put a nice touch wit the house made it feel old. inside there make up was good a couple could have been a little better it felt like there was alot of butlers w the same make up.

Summary: this haunt was very very detailed the first 2 rooms reminded me of anthor haunt also a sister haunt. they said there was suppose to be hidden passageways but the actors just kept just guide u threw. i was looking for the hidden way but a actor stopped me from looking. i like how they tell a story with this haunt. very well done. but what are they gonna do for in the future to this haunt on changing up rooms ect n story line??? the bus ride over to the haunt i think they could have had like a speaker system on it and did something there to amp up the ride over to the haunt. the actors were good. the last part wehre u have to find the key. its hard when they liet in like 30 ppl in there ppl r pushing n shoving to look for the key in a short amount of time. but over all this haunt is a good haunt w the story they tell in the 1st room detail is over the top. but just felt like a set not a haunt there really was no scare but alot of detail to see. good job hells gate cnt wait to see what you can do in a couple yrs

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42 out of 59 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: Halloween   (Event Visited: 10/06/16 @ 7:45 pm)
Review Posted: 10/11/16
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: There is much room for improvement here. HellsGate does not have adequate onsite parking, so customers were instructed to go to a nearby Metra station, where they had to wait to get picked up by a “shuttle” (a yellow school bus) to be taken to the haunted house. We were not familiar with the Lockport area, so without GPS it would have been more difficult to find. Also once we got to the station we were confused because there weren’t any signs telling you where to go, to find the “shuttle”.

Wait Entertainment: The whole thing was a logistical nightmare. There was plenty of wait, but there really wasn’t much wait entertainment to speak of. My group arrived at the Metra station before 8:00pm, where we had to stand and wait for well over a half hour for a shuttle to come. When it did arrive, it filled up quickly, so we had to wait for the next one. When we did finally get on a shuttle, it was standing room only… literally. After all of the seats filled, they allowed customers to line up down the center aisle. Seriously, how safe is that, especially considering that part of the ride to the haunted house was down a bumpy wooded lane at 40 MPH? It made me feel that they were more interested in pulling in $$$ than the safety of their guests.  
 
After we reached the final destination (no pun intended), there was more waiting at the ticket booth, where we had to exchange the paper pre-paid receipts for ticket stubs. From there, customers filed into a tent that had hard rock music blaring. Sorry, but heavy metal music doesn’t set the mood for a haunted house. Unfortunately there was not an actor to be seen in this area despite the fact that this was a main queue line. Also, the VIP line was jam-packed and the general admission line was empty. What is wrong with this picture?  
 
After they let us through, we walked through a haunted woods (more about that later) where we arrived at yet another queue line in front of the haunted house. There were a couple of actors here who were walking around, but they kept their distance and didn’t seem to interact much with the customers.  
 
Exiting the haunted house, we had to wait once again for a shuttle to take us back to the Metra station.  
 
So, despite the fact that we had all purchased VIP tickets, we had to wait at the Metra station behind general admission ticket holders, wait at the ticket booth, wait in the “VIP line”, wait in line in front of the haunted house and wait again for the return shuttle.  
 
So even with VIP passes, we arrived before 8:00pm and didn’t get back to our cars until after Midnight? That is ridiculous! What the heck did we pay extra for? What does the VIP ticket even get you? Nothing, in this case. What a joke.

Length of Event: Taking out all of the waiting, staging and fluff, I clocked the haunted woods at 4 minutes and the haunted house at 10.

Actor Performance: The queue line actors in front of the haunted house were pretty passive. I wish they had interacted more with the customers. Inside the house, there was a very theatrical acting style.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: As discussed before, patron flow before the haunted house was a horror show. Inside the house, the flow was pretty good.

Summary: This attraction was actually split into two sections: the haunted woods and the haunted house itself. 
 
The concept of the haunted woods leading up to the haunted house was brilliant. On this twisting route, there were a few dim lights and props positioned at various points. There were actors hiding in the shadows, but they were few and far between. Execution of this part of the attraction could have been better. There is so much more that could have been done with that space, but portions of it felt “empty”. At the end of the path, there are towering cemetery gates near the haunted house.  
 
The haunted house itself is a visual marvel, even from the outside. The opening scene is in a two story tall study and is nothing short of phenomenal! In fact, every room was well laid out and highly detailed. It felt like we were actually in an old mansion. They even had real hardwood floors. The entire experience was very “Disney-esque”. It was very theatrical. Most of the actors were interactive, but many just stood there directing traffic. While there were some scare spots built into the structure, most of the actors were in plain view, so actual scares were at a minimum. I would have to say that the house itself was a fun experience, albeit brief, but not scary by any means. The end was a little lackluster, though. They gave us all a mini glow stick and set us loose in a dark room filled with large crates. If one of us found “the key”, our admission would be reimbursed. Nobody in our group found it. After exiting that room, we just walked outside down a path to the gift shop. I was expecting more to happen, but the tour ended on a low note, which was a little disappointing.  
 
Note to HellsGate management… Ditch the shuttle idea. It stinks. As the season gets busier, it’s just going to upset more and more customers, especially those that paid for VIP tickets. Some major logistical overhaul is in order, too. You’ve got some real potential, but some major changes will have to be made if you want return customers (myself included).

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43 out of 67 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: debchosen1   (Event Visited: 10/08/16 @ 8:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/09/16
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: This is set back 2 miles from the parking area where you have to get a shuttle bus to the haunt. So the house is not visible from the road

Wait Entertainment: Line actors were good and engaged us multiple times. When you get to the house area there were at least 6 actors to keep you entertained.

Length of Event: maybe 20-25 mins. You go through an outdoor trail first before you get to the main house.

Actor Performance: Fairly good. Some actors were just positioned to point the way to go. The intro room with the twins was awesome. Other actors did try to interact with us

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: A ton of people are funneled into the intro room and then into another waiting room. Lots of waiting in queues.

Appropriate Ages: 12 & up

Props / Special FX: Lots of animated figures , some oddly placed & did not add to the room except to take up space. The overhead effects were awesome though!

Costumes / Make-up: Costumes and makeup were on point. All kept with the house theme.

Summary: the wait just to go from the parking lot to get on the shuttle bus was over an hour at one point. the line at the entrance was even longer! If you have back, knee. leg issues be warned. There are spots with uneven ground, and rocks in the outdoor trail and stairs in the house. After you exit the house there are food vendors & a gift shop but the mud trail back to the shuttle bus is deeply graded down & back up & contains loose gravel. I almost slide down the slope. Perhaps next year they can build a bridge over that area. The haunt sets are stunning. Lots of detail but you just can't see everything while walking through. Someone in the group we walked through with did find the key and was refunded her ticket price! If you want to see this beautifully designed haunt, go really early to avoid the long wait.

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15 out of 31 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: cupajoe415   (Event Visited: 10/22/16 @ 9:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/27/16
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Very High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Well... This needs help. GPS will lead you to the Metra station which is where the buses pick you up to take you back to the haunt. Actually I love the bus through the woods thing. I think it creates an atmosphere all by itself. The first time we attended earlier in the month this went off without a hitch. We got right on the bus from the metra station and took off with just about 15 of us on the bus. The second time I went, Oct. 22, the metra lot was packed full and we were being directed quite a few miles back from where we came to a completely packed highschool parking lot. We waited about 35 minutes for a single bus to show up. We almost bailed, but I am glad we didnt. I felt bad for Hellsgate because all of this parking and bus routing has got to be taking its toll on the owners.

Wait Entertainment: The good news is that when we made it to the haunt the line was incredibly short. There really wasn't any line entertainment per say, but like I said it was a short line and we made it through pretty quickly with our fast pass. By the way you can get a fast pass for $20 at the ticket booth which is $5 less than general admission even just by giving them another ticket from any other haunt you visited this year. This is a great deal!

Length of Event: There is another que line in there but with that included it was about 30 minutes or so.

Actor Performance: Awesome! Just awesome! So many unique characters were running around and scaring people. I know I saw Anthony Glenn a real pro out working the outdoors on my visit! Others were riding the opening and closing gates to the mansion. It was phenomenal. Inside the house was great as well. The feel of this place was awesome. I got some great scares from the actors right before the kitchen popping their heads out between the fallen shelves. Even the actors playing repetitive rolls on the ceiling or in the picture frames sold the show! There were only a few points of weakness. And I am writing this about my favorite haunt this year mind you. 1. The clown in the doll room was really lazy both times I went, didn't do much but just stand there. Maybe I just missed it though. 2. One particular zombie working outside seemed to only perform for the ladies really as if he was trying to pick up somebody more than be scary. That's it though.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We had no problems at all with flow in this house!!! It was great!

Appropriate Ages: 12+

Props / Special FX: This place was a masterpiece. Rarely going to haunts am I sold on the place alone, but if ever I was this is it. The real nature of this place looking and feeling like a mansion was out of this world. The lighting and atmosphere in and around this place, and even the build up outside was great! This weekend will be my third time visiting this haunt this season, and I cannot wait to bring another group of friends. The atmosphere from the bus ride through the woods, the walk to the mansion and the beauty of the mansion itself with all of the props you all have is a thing to see.

Costumes / Make-up: Costumes and makeup were creative and beautiful. I could tell tons of time were spent dreaming these up.

Summary: I love it guys! This place gets my vote for sure this year. I know there has been alot of trouble I am sure in terms of buses parking lots and the like, but what you have created, I cannot find anywhere else. Not even a cheap imitation. I hope Hell's Gate lives on, because this place is awesome. I will be getting in line a third time soon. Long live Hell's Gate!!!

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13 out of 30 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: Sehkmet   (Event Visited: 10/07/16 @ 7:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/11/16
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: OK, in a very invisible part of town. I mean there are no signs indicating Metra station or even haunt!! Had to ask a gas station how to find the Metra station. So just saying very easy to miss

Wait Entertainment: Where you buy the tickets there was very little wait entertainment. Once you got inside the grounds though there was plenty.

Length of Event: Well, based on how long we had to wait in line (even with a VIP ticket!!) it took about an hours to get thru the whole thing.

Actor Performance: Oh man, the actors were spot on, and doing a fantastic job!! I mean, they didn't scare me, but they still looked magnificent and were very energetic. Put on a very good show.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Once your inside the haunt then it flowed very nicely. We didn't catch up to any other groups until we hit the slides. Other then that we often lost people. Lol

Appropriate Ages: I'd say with no profanity (that I heard), and no nudity it would be good from 13 on up.

Props / Special FX: Now here is where they really out shined everybody out there!! This was a d**n (censored) house built from the ground up!! Took them more then 2 years to build and it shows!! The rooms were fantastic!! The props ...well, I wanted to touch everything!! It was an adventure. I just had to see everything!! and most everything was covered head to toe in splendor!! They outdid themselves with the props and special FX. Especially the flying over your head!!

Costumes / Make-up: This too They did a fantastic job, from the crow woman to even the butcher. Loved the butcher and his pig!! All the costumes seemed to be of highest quality. I was truelly impressed

Summary: While I have to say it wasn't the scariest haunted house, I was creeped out in a few places like the cockroaches or the doll room. I will say it was an adventure, going thru the woods like in a horror movie to the house which seemed like something Disney himself would have put together!! There was a lot of attention to detail in this haunt and I truelly appreciated it. I don't just go to haunts for scares (because I don't scare easily) but also for how it looks. How well they put it all together and boy howdy was this haunt put together well!!! I can't praise it enough!!

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22 out of 64 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: thecurse   (Event Visited: 10/14/16 @ 7:15 pm)
Review Posted: 10/19/16
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: Park at the metra stop, you can miss the row of school busses

Wait Entertainment: the ticket tacker was fun

Length of Event: from the path way to the house, id say 30 minutes easily.

Actor Performance: Top notch, i cant find one thing wrong with any of them

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: We went very early but never caught up with any. They seem to have a lot of actors in the Hallways to slow or speed things up.

Appropriate Ages: 13 and up id say.

Props / Special FX: Awesome, if one more thing flew over my head I would have been shocked.

Costumes / Make-up: Again, cant find anything bad to say about them

Summary: Well the path way leading up to the House was almost worth the money. just a nice walk down a very creep path way with actors who youd never see coming at you. Very dark and mood setting. 
 
Walking up to the house is gorgeous. You can tell a lot of work went into building this thing. Id love to see it in the day time to to really appreciate it. 
 
All im going to mention is the Twins. The opening room is very much like the warden room at Statesville but oh no, its nothing like it! I thought i knew exactly what was going to happen and nope...i didnt expect that at all. I cant ruin it for anyone. But I need to go again just to have it all sink in. I loved it. 
 
But, i couldnt tell there were secret passage ways to go other way, like we have been told. And, where is the giant slide? Giant as in wide, where 9 people can go down at once or Giant as in long way down? Because the latter is what i was expecting. 
 
Even though I heard about the super long lines, I didnt wait in any. I got there exactly at 7 and walked right in.  
 
So with a few tweaks for some people this will become one of the best I assume.

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