Dream Reapers has been a staple in any haunt enthusiasts’ “must visit” list for 13 years. As such, one would think that it could become stale, boring, repetitive.....
This is definitely not the case for Dream Reapers.
Our group visited on opening night, about a half hour in, and at first glance, I was slightly apprehensive. One actor outside the building stalked us immediately upon walking up, but it was so quiet, I was afraid we’d be getting a sub par show.
My fear were laid to rest, however, upon entering the building and immediately being assaulted by 2 more actors. Add in the friendly staff at the ticket booth, and only 30 seconds in we were crying with laughter and already having a great time.
As I stated before, there was ample staff to keep us entertained while we waited. A mad doctor, a joker-type, and a mental patient were all on hand to keep all of us laughing and engaged.
You enter a typical rules room, where you are shown a video about the dos and don’ts of the attraction. Once complete, you’re sent down a hallway into a
"Hellevator". Two actors tormented us while on our scary ride into the haunt.
Once let loose into the main portion of the attraction... to put it simply, wow. Dream Reapers has always been known for their level of detail, and this year is no exception. From every angle, you’re assaulted with sights, sounds, and yes, even smells. Terrible, awful smells.
Notable areas included the butcher area, where you had to shove past hanging pig carcasses while victims hanging from meat hooks begging for help, a gorgeous outdoor type scene with a giant waterfall, a forest/natives scene with incredible detail...
Did I mention the incredible detail?
Everywhere you look, no corner has gone unattended. One girl in my group, who had stated multiple times that she doesn’t even like haunted houses, kept stopping to touch the walls, marvel at the props, and oohh and ahh about the costumes, makeup, and especially the smell factor.
My only complaint throughout the whole attraction is that in some areas, there was barely any staffing, while in others, there was almost too much. Many times we were assaulted left and right, only to turn down another hallway and.... nothing. While I appreciate the
claustrophobic feeling of being surrounded by scaries, it would have been nice to see them spread out just a tiny bit better.
That being said, we only encountered 1-2 actors who weren’t OVER THE TOP with energy. The rest were... insane. Crawling across floors, climbing over props, in your face, non stop, this group wasn’t afraid to throw their all at you. For opening night, this was impressive to me, as many times actors are still getting their bearings and learning what they have to work with in their rooms. These guys KNEW, and it showed.
Overall, Dream Reapers has always set the bar high for Chicagoland haunts and this year is no different. This is one of the best places to be totally immersed in the experience, assaulted from all angles, and pushed to your limits on how much you can take in at once.
On a personal note, this is Dream Reaper’s last year, and I’d like to say THANK YOU, for always bringing a high quality, well planned, massive sensory assault to haunt patrons for the last 13 years. You will be greatly missed.
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