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Read Other 2011 Haunt Reviews

HauntedIllinois.com's
2011 Basement of the Dead Haunted House Review


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Basement Of the Dead
42 West New York St
Aurora, IL 60506

Visited: 10/15/11

  

Reviewed By: The Webmaster     
Visibility/Location: Since this haunted house is located across the street from a major tourist attraction (Hollywood Casino), it would be fairly easy to find, if you are familiar with the area.  If not, finding it could be a bit of a challenge.  While your GPS unit will most likely take you to the general vicinity of the event, the attraction can not be seen from the road.  On the night that I visited, there was an orange haunted house sign near the sidewalk; however, it couldn't be seen from the road, because most of the sign was obscured by the bridge pillar it was strapped to.   

Also, parking options for the event were not well marked.  Because parking on the street is extremely limited, patrons should plan on paying $4.00 to park in the casino's parking garage.     

Wait Entertainment: They did a great job keeping the people waiting in line entertained.  Loud rock music was playing outside and several actors were interacting with the customers in the queue line area. The stilted characters seem to get the most dramatic reaction from the crowd. Other characters included an Army zombie with a loud "snapper" stick and an aquatic creature in a diving suit, who was floating in a nearby fountain. While the characters outside stayed in character most of the time, I did observe the Army character taking a smoke break, in full view of the queue line. 
Admission Price: $18 
Parking: $4 fee to park in the nearby casino's parking garage.
Length:

9 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 forward through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines, staging areas, intro scenes, rules rooms and when traffic jams cause patrons to come to a halt, has been subtracted.  

LPR: 1.250
LPR stands for Length/Price Ratio. It represents perceived value of an event, by comparing length vs price of admission. Higher numbers represent more value per dollar. Actual quality and/or entertainment value of an event are not factors in this calculation. Click Here to see how this event compares to others visited this year by the staff of HauntedIllinois.com.
Scare Factor: Medium
Crowd Control: They did a great job in this category.  Near the entrance, there were signs posted everywhere, telling you where to go for tickets and where to wait in line. Inside the attraction, I didn't run into any other groups.       

Summary:

Kicking off the tour, the rules of the haunted house were conveyed to patrons by a decapitated animated head.  While it was very entertaining, the rules were a bit hard to understand, due to the fact that the volume was set fairly low and the soundtrack sounded a bit garbled.  After the rules intro, the tour continued down a flight of stairs, into an array of graphic scenes and several dark areas.  The Basement of the Dead has always been well-known for their gore and disgusting scenes, and this year is no exception.

Some of the scenes in the haunted house were a grimy bathroom, a snake hallway and an electrocution.  The bathroom had feces-smeared tile walls, a dirty sink and a bathtub that had been lined with old newspapers.  Above the sink was a nice visual effect of a ghoul appearing in the mirror.  This snake hallway featured cages full of snakes on either side of the path, that hissed as we walked by.  Three animatronic electric chairs were set up along the wall in the electrocution scene.  While an actor was there to provide a scare, unfortunately he gave himself away by moving, before a surprise attack could be made.  In the devil scene, a red pentagram projection rotated on the wall, as Satan sat in a chair, chanting in gibberish.

Other scenes featured body parts and other disgusting things, including a zombie girl on top of a dead body, eating its intestines.  In one area, there was an animated character vomiting into a 55 gallon drum.  It was a great affect with a nice soundtrack, but no attempt was made to hide the amplified speaker in the scene.  The speaker with a glowing LED indicator light was in plain view, next to the 55 gallon drum.  Throughout the attraction, strobe lights were used in a lot of areas to create a disorienting atmosphere.  The second half of the attraction had a lot of very dark hallways.  

There seem to be an adequate number of actors inside the attraction on the night that I attended; however, the overall feel was a bit less intense than I had experienced in previous years. I think this lower intensity level was the result of some missed scare opportunities and empty areas, like the bathroom and electrocution scenes.  A couple of extra actors in key positions, along with more well-timed scares, would have made a world of difference.  Overall though, most of the actors did a great job, especially those in darker areas of the house. They had some great hiding places.

Over the years, one of the great things about Basement of the Dead was that it was a great value, compared to other haunted attractions.  Unfortunately that has changed this year.  For whatever reason, they raised their admission price this season from $15 to $18, without adding any additional entertainment value to their show.  Although their attraction is still worth the $18 admission price, the "bang for your buck" is certainly not what it used to be.  With all that being said, Basement of the Dead is still a fun and entertaining haunted attraction to go through.  I had a good time.  Be sure do add them to your list of haunt visits this year.

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://www.42fear.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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