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HauntedIllinois.com's
2005 Raven's Grin Inn Haunted House Review
Ravens Grin


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Raven's Grin Inn Haunted House
411 North Carroll St.
Mount Carroll, IL 61053

Visited: 09/23/05

Visibility/Location: This attraction is easy to find, if you follow the directions posted on their website.
Wait Entertainment: Just the site of the towering, vine covered structure at night is enough to get your blood pumping.  There is also plenty of eye-candy to keep your mind occupied.  While you are waiting for a tour, you can examine the many odd outdoor displays, including a six foot tall skull, which has been crafted out of solid steel.  You can also check out the official Raven's Grin vehicles.  The customized "Spookmobile" station wagon has arms that appear to be reaching out at you, out of the hood.  It also has a spooky paint job and a Barbie doll, which has been caught up in the "teeth" of the grill.  
Admission Price: $10.00
Length:

1 Hour and 30 Minutes+ *  
*
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.

Scare Factor: Medium.    
Atmosphere: A downright eerie atmosphere is established, from the second you pull into the parking lot.  The spooky multi-level structure is quite ominous.  The main parking lot is surrounded by a wall of tall trees, which adds to the eerie atmosphere.  It's enough to give you the willies! 
Crowd Control: Since the Raven's Grin Inn is a semi-guided tour, there is excellent "crowd control" inside the house.  In my time through, none of the groups ever ran into each other. In fact, I never even saw another group during my tour.

Summary:

The Raven's Grin is located in the small town of Mt Carroll, behind the True Value Hardware store, at the end of a dead-end street.  It's the perfect location for an event like this.  If you are looking for something different, you have definitely come to the right place.  You won't find another attraction like this one!  This is NOT your typical haunted house.  Freddy... Jason... You won't find them here.  Many people have asked me "What is it like?"  Well, it's really difficult to describe.  It's something you have to experience for yourself.  I guess I would have to say that the Raven's Grin could be described as a Haunted Fun House.  Overall, it is a very entertaining show that is an interesting mix of scares and comic relief.  

This house is filled with strange and unusual displays, artwork and props that have all been created by the owner Jim Warfield.  Throughout the tour you will wind your way through tunnels, crawlspaces and even go down a couple of slides.  The one that is the most well known, is the slide in the "Bad Dreams Bedroom".  It is so intense, it has been made an optional part of the tour.  This steep slide sends you plummeting down into the depths of the wine cellar, twenty-four feet beneath the surface of the Earth.  It is definitely a wild ride!

What adds even more to the mood is the fact that this house is actually haunted.  Many patrons have reported seeing strange, unexplainable things during their tours.  Many have seen an apparition that has been named the "Lady in White".  This dark haired girl in a white dress has been seen on several occasions.   Some patrons have reported seeing her just standing there, while others have seen her hovering four feet off the ground and even flying up through a one-foot, square hole in the ceiling of the wine cellar (which has had more sightings than any other room of the Raven's Grin).   With all of this reported supernatural activity, it doesn't seem like a place that someone would consider "Home Sweet Home", but the owner Jim Warfield and his wife Jessica actually live inside the house!   

While many Haunted events strive the be the "most extreme", the Raven's Grin outdoes them all by being the most unique. It is so unique, in fact, that it has gained national acclaim.  The Raven's Grin has been featured on the television shows like "Wild Chicago" and "HGTV Extreme Homes" as well as being featured in many national publications, such as National Geographic World Magazine.  This place has truly made a name for itself over the past 17+ years. If you are looking for an event that is different from the rest, where you get a big "bang for your buck" (only $10 for over an hour-long tour), the Raven's Grin is an attraction that you definitely don't want to miss.


Note: The best time to visit the Raven's Grin is in the off-season, when you can avoid the huge October crowds and get a more lengthy, in depth tour. If you visit on non-October dates, you also have the benefit of Jim Warfield, the creative force behind the Raven's Grin, guiding the entire tour. Because The Raven's Grin is open year-round (301 days a year), you can drop in nearly any day for a tour!

 

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