Fans of the Dungeon of Doom's Grayslake
haunted house should be happy to know that this year they have
captured more of the claustrophobic, closed-in feel of their old
location. With the ceilings painted black and more areas
covered, this year's Dungeon of Doom felt much darker and
tighter than last year. Another distinct improvement was the theming of
transition hallways between paths, which were bare last
year. Being more enclosed and tighter, patrons should be aware that there are a
couple of areas where you need to duck down and/or crawl, to get
In this review, I'm not
going to differentiate which scenes were in which areas (path 1,
path 2, 2nd floor, etc). I'll leave that for the reader to
experience on his/her own.
The tour of the Dungeon of Doom was kicked
off by an intro scene in a large room, which was bordered by
numerous doorways. These doorways turned out to be the
different paths patrons could take through the house. The
intro room was accented by green light and fog, and a creepy
voice provided the introduction, but unfortunately the voice was
garbled and it was a little hard to understand what was being
said. There was, however, a surprising finish that made my
whole group jump.
Throughout the attraction, there were many
scenes of varying themes. This year, transitions seemed
smoother and the overall customer flow had improved since last
year. The industrial scene had stacks of 55 gallon drums,
electrical boxes, conduit and flashing emergency lights.
While walking through the scene, there was a great scare from an
actor in a hidden location. I also liked the cockroach
hallway. This path, illuminated by strobe lights, featured
cockroaches all over the walls and great sound effects.
There was also an area where patrons had to crawl through large
tubes, to get to the next scene. One of my personal
favorites was the Christmas living room, which featured a
decorated Christmas tree, a fireplace with a roaring fire,
rattling pictures on the walls and an animatronic
surprise. Before exiting the scene, patrons were attacked
by a renegade Santa, who seemed to materialize out of
nowhere. In another area, there was an
interactive scene that reminded me of a scene in
the movie "Saw". A victim was strapped to a
chair and a shotgun, mounted in some sort of mechanical device,
was pointed at his head. When one of the patrons pushed a
button on the electrical panel, the lights cut out, the shotgun
fired and everyone in the group was splattered with
One of the most popular attractions in the
DOD is called "buried dead or alive". This scene
simulated the feeling of being buried in an avalanche.
This was a lot of fun and it definitely fostered a
Another one of the main sections in the DOD
was "Mercy General Hospital". The many rooms in
this area had grungy, blood-smeared white walls.
Throughout the hospital, there was assorted medical equipment,
dim flickering lighting, backlit x-rays and dismembered bodies
on hospitals beds. Some areas were separated by grungy
hospital curtain dividers. Several creepy doctors and
other hospital personnel taunted patrons, as they walked
through. I really enjoyed the padded cell and the haunted
nursery. While Mercy General was nicely detailed and
entertaining, it seemed to have less
impact / intensity, compared to last years' performance.
Other notable scenes
included the nasty kitchen, spider hallway and the swinging
At the end of the attraction, there was a
strobe light cage maze and a maze of stacked pallets.
Unfortunately, it was an anticlimactic ending, compared to the intensity level
experienced throughout the rest of the haunted house.
After exiting the mazes, patrons simply walked down the stairs,
to the exit.
The actors at the
Dungeon of Doom did a good job, for the most part. The
costumes an make-up were great throughout the attraction.
The majority of the actors were very enthusiastic, performing
well executed scares; however, there were a few occasions when
their timing was off.
Kudos to the Dungeon of
Doom crew. They did a great job, making many improvements
over last year's show. It was tighter, darker and
more enjoyable, overall. While it is priced on the
high side, they do provide a great amount of entertainment value, so
it is well worth attending. Be sure to check this one out,
if you get the chance.
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