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HauntedIllinois.com's
2004 Dream Reapers Haunted House Review

Dream Reapers Haunted House
1945 Cornell
Melrose Park, IL 60160  

Reviewed: 10/16/04

Visibility/Location: Dream Reapers is located right off of Route 64, so it is pretty easy to find. They had a huge vinyl banner across the front of their building and flashing lights out front, to make it easier for customers to see where they were located (see picture above). 
Wait Entertainment: There were actors roaming the waiting line, as well as music playing for the patrons waiting outside. In the inside queue line, they had a “photo op” set up where customers could have their picture taken in an open casket scene.
Admission Price: $15.00.

There was free street parking.  Secure lot parking was also available for $3.00 (courtesy of the Melrose Park Police Dept.)

Length:

11 Minutes *
*
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.

Scare Factor: Medium-High  
Atmosphere: The atmosphere was developed from the waiting room on. The creepy artwork on the walls really got your pulse racing and the walls were crumbling, which enhanced the atmosphere even further. Once inside the attraction, the various scenes were well detailed and very realistic, each with its own custom sound effects and music soundtrack. 
Crowd Control: Crowd control was pretty good. There was one time near the forest where a group caught up with me, which was a little distracting. But overall, flow was pretty smooth throughout the attraction. 

Summary:

Considering that this is their first year in a new location, Dream Reapers put on an excellent show. They have redesigned their entire attraction. This is definitely not the Dream Reapers that everyone is used to. Adopting a different approach, some of the larger scenes have been eliminated in favor of a more streamlined path. Their new design eliminated square corners and added a lot of twists and turns, making the event faster and more action-packed. Their new design did have drawbacks, though.  The transition between areas was not as pronounced as in previous years and scenes seemed to run together. 

One great new feature they had this year was called "the grinder".  It was a blood-stained spinning vortex, illuminated by a strobe light, with bloody tattered cloth hanging down that you had to duck under.  It was quite a mesmerizing effect.   Another one of their new additions this year was the backwoods mansion.  With country music playing in the background, you were subjected to such sights as a disgustingly dirty kitchen and a bloody bathtub with a girl being attacked right before your very eyes. This run-down-looking scene had plaster falling off the walls with light shining through the exposed boards, which was somewhat reminiscent of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". 

The highly detailed graveyard was enhanced this year with an even tighter, winding path.  Other enjoyable areas included the boiler room, torture chamber, the bloody morgue, the insane asylum and the toxic waste scene that featured leaking barrels of toxic waste, which had eaten a hole through the wall. 

This season, Dream Reapers relied less on animatronic props and more on actors for their scares, which seemed to work in their favor. The actors all did a great job, from start to finish. They knew their roles and followed through without missing a beat. They never broke character and most of their attacks were right on target.

Dream Reapers really put on a fine show this season.  Unfortunately, they raised their admission price, making their attraction one of the highest priced events that I had attended all season.  But taking everything into consideration, Dream Reapers did put on a very entertaining show. 

Click here to find out more about this event.

 

 

 

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