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HauntedIllinois.com's
2008 Fear at Navy Pier Haunted House Review


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The Fear at Navy Pier Haunted House
600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Visited: 10/09/08

 

Visibility/Location: Since this event was located at Navy Pier, it was very easy to find.  By posting large signs all over Navy Pier, they made it very obvious that a haunted house was there.   There were also costumed characters roaming around, handing out flyers for the event.  Of course, you couldn't miss the bright lights and fog drifting from the Haunted House area.
Wait Entertainment: They did an outstanding job in this category.  Even though there wasn't a line when I arrived, there was still a large compliment of characters on hand to scare and entertain patrons waiting to get into the attraction.  Outside the haunted house, there was loud heavy metal music playing and plenty of covered waiting.   
Admission Price: $15.00 ($20 is the normal admission price, but they were offering a $5 discount on wed. & thurs. nights)
Parking: $19.00 (flat fee for parking in the Navy Pier parking garage)
Length:

Fear Haunted House: 4 & 1/2 Minutes *
Inflatable Attraction: 3
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: Fear Haunted House: Medium
Inflatable Attraction: Medium-Low
Crowd Control: N/A.  Since there wasn't a line the night I attended, I can't rate their crowd control.          

Summary:

Before attending this event, I visited their website and read the background story of the attraction.  According to the story, a captain had captured some of the most feared creatures, during his travels around the globe. Chained in shipping containers, these creatures would attempt to escape and get their revenge.  During my visit at The Fear, it was nice to see many parallels between the online story and the haunted house itself.   They started to develop the theme before you even entered the attraction.  Next to the entrance there was a sign that read "Danger - Creature Containment Unit", warning patrons of the creatures that lurked inside.  

The majority of this attraction was built inside trailers, but you couldn't tell from the inside view.  In fact, being in an enclosed area with fairly low ceilings gave the event quite a claustrophobic feel.  To further enhance the atmosphere, there was camo-netting and burlap string hung from the ceiling, so patrons had to duck down in several areas.   

In one of the first scenes, you had to weave your way through a space filled with shipping crates on either side of a twisting path.  Inside the crates were "creatures" who used drop-panels to startle patrons as they walked by.  I really liked the medical area illuminated by strobe lights, where patients were being worked on and experiments were being conducted.  My personal favorite in the scene was the actress whose eyes were popped out of their sockets, both dangling by their optic nerves.   Another one of my favorite areas was the coffin hallway.  In this scene there were several toe-pincher coffins, each with a skull affixed to the front, illuminated by red lighting.  Mirrors were used on both sides of the path to give the illusion of a much larger area.   Taking advantage of a clever hiding place, the female vampire in the scene was able to sneak up on our group, unnoticed. 

Attending on a Thursday night I was pleasantly surprised to find that The Fear was well-staffed with actors, both inside and outside the attraction.  The actors with more theatrical roles were really into their characters and performed very convincingly.  Of all the scenes in haunted house, I think the actors in the medical area were the most enjoyable to watch.  Unfortunately, the actors operating the drop-panels had timing problems.  All of the drop-panels were being triggered for the first person in my group and none of the rest of us got to enjoy the scare.  I was the last person in our small group of four and by the time I got to each drop-panel area, they were already reset and I missed the entire scare.       

After exiting the main part of the haunted house, patrons were led to a large inflatable attraction in the shape of a huge lizard with sharp teeth.  Entering through the mouth of the beast, patrons followed a twisting path through the monster's "innards".  Throughout all of the passages inside, there were fast-flashing strobe lights and loud heavy metal music playing.   The actors were very eager to scare, but since a lot of the areas inside the attraction were large wide-open spaces, you could see them coming, before they could execute their attacks.    This really diminished the effectiveness of the scares.

Although "The Fear" is advertised as an adult attraction (by one of the characters handing out flyers, as well as on their website), I didn't find it to be overly intense.  Throughout the attraction, there were a good number of scares, but I found this event to be more visually appealing than anything else.  Judging by the intensity level that I experienced, I think The Fear would be appropriate for a teenage crowd.    

Kudos to the Fear Crew.  A lot of work went into this event and it shows.  The scenes were well-constructed and they all looked great.  Going through the Fear Haunted House was a lot of fun, but I wish the event had been a lot longer.  I think it is definitely overpriced for the short amount of time spent inside, especially when you add in the additional parking fee.  Cost aside, though, this is a fine event and it is definitely worth checking out.    

 

Click here to find out more about this event.

 

 

 

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