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HauntedIllinois.com's
2007 Dungeon of Doom &
Mercy General Hospital Review
Ravens Grin


(Click to Enlarge)

Dungeon of Doom &
Mercy General Hospital

At the Lake County Fairgrounds
N US Highway 45
Grayslake, IL 60030

Visited: 10/19/07

 

Visibility/Location: This event could be difficult to find, if you don't know the area.  It was tucked back in the Lake County Fairgrounds, so you really can't see the building from the road.  There were signs posted to lead you to the event, but since they weren't directly illuminated, you could miss the turn if you aren't paying close attention
Wait Entertainment: They did a great job of providing wait entertainment.  There was a tall character on stills entertaining the people outside and in there indoor waiting area, a couple of actors were interacting with the people waiting in line.  Near the entrance there was a big-screen television playing horror movie clips.  In their indoor waiting area, there was plenty of eye-candy to get you in a spooky mood.  Along with the various haunted house props set up, there was a detailed mausoleum facade along the entire length of the far wall of the waiting room. 
Admission Price: $14.00
Length:

15 Minutes *  
*
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary. Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving through the attraction.  Time spent waiting in queue lines or staging areas has been subtracted.

Scare Factor: High
Crowd Control: They did pretty good in this category.  There was only one time when my group caught up with the group in front of us.  

Summary:

This season the layout of the Dungeon of Doom was different than it was last year.  Instead of beginning the tour with a dramatic opening scene, as had been done in years past, patrons entered directly into the main part of the attraction.  Throughout the haunted house there were several scenes with assorted themes.  Some of the scenes were simple and effective, while others were more elaborate.  One scene featured an inmate in a black and white striped uniform who escaped from his prison cell and converged on the crowd.  There was also a cave scene, accented with a strobe light, that had textured walls, with skulls and other human bones imbedded in it.  The old country house facade looked very nice, from what I could see.  Unfortunately it was very dimly-lit and it was really hard to make out any of the detail.  Some extra accent lighting would have helped here.   

One of my favorite features in the attraction is called "claustrophobia", which is a pair of inflated air bags that patrons had to squeeze their way through.  It definitely lived up to its name, let me tell you.  In the middle of the house, there was a detailed "Exorcist" scene, resembling the bedroom in the famous horror movie.  As the patrons watched, two priests circled around chanting, while the possessed girl thrashed around wildly in the bed.  When you least suspected it, a surprise came out of nowhere that made the whole group jump.  One of the scenes I enjoy every year is "Buried Alive", which simulates what it would be like to be buried in an avalanche.  It's a feeling that's really hard to describe.  You have to experience it for yourself. 

I really enjoyed one of the new additions to the Dungeon of Doom called "Mercy General Hospital".  This was a collection of several hospital scenes including the reception room, operating room, as well as patient's rooms and other related areas.  Mercy General Hospital was highly detailed, containing hospital beds, wheelchairs, medical equipment and other hospital-related props.  After passing through the reception area, patrons followed a twisting path through several rooms featuring scenes of operations gone wrong and other graphic displays.  Blood-splattered, grungy hospital curtains lined the walls and separated the different rooms within the hospital.  In one area there were illuminated x-rays of various appendages and another area featured a bloody torso in a wheelchair.   They used eerie colored lighting to help set the mood and the calls made over the intercom added to the realism of the scenes.   Throughout the hospital there were doctors and several other demented characters milling about.  With their movements and mannerisms, they reminded me a little of the nurses in the movie "Silent Hill". 

For the most part, the actors in the Dungeon of Doom were very aggressive.  Most of their attacks were right on target and they were relentless; however, there were a couple of times when scares were poorly timed.  Overall, though, everyone did a great job and stayed in character.  The actors in Mercy General Hospital, however, had a different acting style than actors in the rest of the haunted house.  They weren't as menacing and "in your face" as the other actors; they were more creepy and disturbing.  They too stayed in character and had believable performances.   

This was another good show put on by the Dungeon of Doom crew.  They kept some of the scenes that have worked for them in the past, as well as adding some great new ones.  Mercy General Hospital was my favorite addition this year.  The Dungeon of Doom has consistently put together a great haunted attraction over the years.  I highly recommend you add this event to your list of Haunt visits.   

 

Click here to find out more about this event.

 

 

 

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