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Read Other 2013 Haunt Reviews

HauntedIllinois.com's
2013 CarnEvil Haunted House Review


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CarnEvil
Sears Center
5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy
Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

Visited: 10/04/13

 

Reviewed By: Webmaster    
Visibility/Location: CarnEvil was hosted at a very prominent location… the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. They did a great job making the event visible. To get your attention, a “CarnEvil” ad was displayed on the Sears Centre’s huge LCD billboard, which was visible from busy Rt. 90. If that wasn’t enough to grab your attention, the lights from the carnival rides in the parking lot should. After arriving at the Sears Centre, I also saw a large vinyl sign posted above the entrance of the box office, letting you know where you needed to go, to buy CarnEvil tickets. 
Wait Entertainment: While I was there, I saw various characters milling about and interacting with the people waiting in line for each of the three haunted houses. Other than that, there really wasn’t much in terms of wait entertainment, with the exception of the overall fun carnival atmosphere.    
Admission Price: General Admission: $35
(Includes admission to the 3 haunted houses "Tomb of Laveau","Carny Town", "Ma Buckner's Doll Factory", as well as the "Blades of Gory" attraction. Blades of Gory only Oct 24-27. General admission does not include amusement park rides or skate rental.)

VIP: $60
(Includes general admission, as well as shorter wait times to the haunted houses, carnival rides and skate rental)
Parking: Free
Length:

Tomb of Laveau: 5 Minutes * 
Carny Town: 4 Minutes * 
Ma Buckner's Doll Factory: 4 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: 0.887
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: In general, crowd control was good. In my trek through all three haunted houses, I only ran into other groups once or twice. They seemed to be spacing out the customers very well. 

Summary:

CarnEvil was a collection of three haunted houses located in the parking lot of the Sears Centre, in Hoffman Estates. Two of them were tent attractions (“Tomb of Laveau” and “Carny Town”) and the third was set up in trailers (“Ma Buckner’s Doll Factory”). Each event had its own queue line, so patrons could visit the attractions in any order they wanted to. Since the haunted houses were out in the parking lot, there was no covered waiting, so you should keep that in mind if visit on a night when there could be inclement weather. 

I can’t comment on their advertised “Blades of Gory” attraction, which will allow patrons to skate on an ice rink with zombies. Unfortunately, it wasn’t operating on the date I attended. It was only scheduled to operate from October 24th through the 27th, which is after the date we visited. 

Tomb of Laveau 

As you might have guessed, Tomb of Laveau had an undead theme. For the most part, that theme continued throughout the entire haunted house, from start to finish. Tomb of Laveau was a lot more detailed than other tent attractions I have been to. Many of the scenes had caskets, skeletons and other related props. 

One room featured a voodoo ritual. Sitting on top of a table along the far wall was a skeleton draped with a black shroud, with feathers & burning candles spread out over the tabletop. 

In another area, patrons walked into a tomb and through a winding path of multi-level catacombs. Sitting inside alcoves were rotting bodies and skeletons. Near the end of the scene, there was a nice surprise scare. I don’t want to spoil it for everyone, but it really took me off guard. 

Some of the actors in this haunted house used pop-out scares, while others in plain view moaned and groaned loudly, as they attacked you. The dark environment inside the tent gave the actors plenty of good hiding places to attack you from. 

While most of the scenes and special effects followed the main theme, there was one exception. Just before the exit, customers had to walk through a spinning vortex tunnel. I’m not sure why they added that at the end. Perhaps customers were being transported from the land of the undead back to reality? Regardless, vortex tunnels are usually a crowd favorite, so the other customers seemed to enjoy it. 

Tomb of Laveau was very well done. My only complaint would be that it was too dark in some places and the actors’ make-up, as well as some of the room detail could be missed, if you weren’t paying close attention. 

Carny Town

We entered Carny Town through a large, round sewer pipe and were instantly transported into a world of scary carnival freaks. While walking through the dingy sewer pipes, the sound of dripping water could be heard in the background. In an adjacent area, there were some flashing and snapping electrical panels. 

In another area, we encountered a backwoods shack, complete with a detailed front porch and a disgusting kitchen. Another nearby scene featured a disgusting bathroom with a feces smeared toilet. 

After the kitchen, we walked through a winding path with exposed walls that had light shining through the wooden slats. Sections of this haunted house reminded me of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance. 

The actors in this area were enthusiastic, and very vocal. While walking through, I heard some of them exclaim “Yeehaw!”, “Hey there, sweet thang!” and “Hey, big boy! Where are you goin’?” They were very interactive and did their best to invade your space. 

One of my favorite scenes was the freezer. Illuminated by bright blue lights, sides of beef and human body bags hanging from the ceiling had to be pushed aside, in order to get through. Full length mirrors added to the illusion of the size of the room, which also made it less obvious which way you needed to go, to exit the scene. At the end, there was a great surprise scare. 

Ma Buckner’s Doll Factory

This haunted house started off strong. As we walked in, we were greeted by an axe-wielding maniac in an embalming room with blood-splattered white tile walls. In the middle of the room, there were two angled embalming tables with bodies on them. He chased us out of the room, into the next area. 

From there, we were led inside a large freight elevator. Flashing lights and a herky-jerky shaking motion simulated a rough elevator ride to another floor. One the next scenes was a morgue-like area. The walls on both sides of the path were lined with bodies lying on slide-out drawers.

Another part of the house was an industrial area with rusted pipes lining the walls. Plastic drainage tubes were hanging from the ceiling that you had to push out of the way. In one of the next rooms, there were piles of mannequin body parts everywhere. As we walked through, various faceless figures popped out from clever hiding places, to scare us. The scene nearest the exit featured a character that looked like a huge robot. When we walked into the room, he stood up and chased us outside. 

After exiting the trailer, customers had to walk through a small area of chain link fencing, which seemed rather uneventful and pointless. There were no actors out there and it was a simple zig-zag path that was easy to navigate. They should have made the robot area the last scene, so the attraction ended on a high note, instead of the chain-link fence path, which made the ending a bit boring. 



Overall, I was very pleased with my visit to CarnEvil. The attractions were very well themed and they were a lot of fun to go through. The acting was great, too. There were plenty of actors throughout all of the attractions and no one broke character. My only complaint would have to be the high admission price. For $35, I would have expected a lot more than a combined walk-through time of 13 minutes for all three haunted houses. The entertainment value of what they had was good, but there just wasn’t enough to justify the $35 ticket price. Still, cost aside, it is a great show so be sure to check them out if you are in the area. 

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://carnevilchicago.com/

 

(Update: On 10/16/13, we received an email from CarnEvil informing us that they have lowered their general admission price to $27.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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