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Read Other 2015 Haunt Reviews

HauntedIllinois.com's
2015 Statesville Haunted Prison® Review


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Statesville Haunted Prison®
17250 S Weber Rd
Lockport, IL 60441

Visited: 10/09/15

 

Reviewed By: The Scream Queen
Visibility/Location: Statesville Haunted Prison is very easy to find via GPS. Visitors will notice bright lights directing them to the parking lot, as well as a large pumpkin out front. What may be confusing is that Statesville operates out of Siegel’s Cottonwood Farm, so there’s more signage for the farm than the prison. Still, there’s a sign out front directing visitors to parking. After entering, there are multiple parking attendants to direct guests to spots.
Wait Entertainment: Wait entertainment varied based on what ticket package that was purchased. Before getting in line, there was a live act demonstrating fire breathing and various tricks. A wide variety of music (from metal to rap) was played to keep guests entertained.
One major difference was the in-line entertainment. I had upgraded to a VIP pass, which meant a separate, dark, closed-in waiting area with a shorter line. However, only two actors (one one stilts with fantastic face makeup, one dressed to look like a demon) sporadically worked the line, leaving big gaps where there wasn’t much to look at. The actors seemed to be doing a great job working the General Admissions area, which had a much longer line. There were also several TVs that played the Statesville trailer on a loop.
Admission Price: General Admission tickets grant guests access to Statesville Haunted Prison and City of the Dead for $30; VIP passes are $65 (though cheaper deals can be found on various deal sites) and include Statesville, City of the Dead, and a round of Zombie Paintball.
Parking: Free
Length:

Statesville Haunted Prison: 16 Minutes *
City of the Dead: 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: 1.840
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: Statesville has a Medium scare factor.
Crowd Control: Statesville has crowd control down to a science; there are multiple checkpoints along the way where groups are paused to maintain the flow. Even the rule room in the beginning of the haunt serves as a checkpoint to help split up groups. Still, there were a few points where I caught up to additional groups. Overall, the pacing was well-managed, and I was able to walk through at my own pace.

Summary:

Statesville has long been considered an institution of Illinois haunted houses. Year after year, it’s placed in the top 10 as one of the best haunts in the area, so it was important to see if it still held up to that reputation this year.

When I arrived at the haunt, I was surprised to see how many workers were available to help. Year after year, the workers at Statesville are incredibly friendly and helpful; they quickly directed me to parking and showed me where to line up to exchange my voucher. There was also plenty of security around to maintain order, which was great to see.

The first stop on my tour of Statesville was a quick round of Zombie Paintball, which is included in the VIP pass. Here, guests board an Army Troop Carrier Truck and go through a short course shooting static and moving targets. This course is a fun way to get into the mindset of the season, as some of the targets are actors dressed as zombies. There was a small issue with the lead actor’s microphone not working, but other than that, Zombie Paintball was a solid start to the tour.

Afterwards, we were directed to the enclosed VIP waiting area, which is rather dark and unexciting. There was a group of performers doing fire breathing and assorted tricks outside the waiting room, but it was difficult to see them from the VIP area. There were also only a few actors who were working this line (one, on stilts, was particularly great at making a menacing face while towering over the crowd). Still, it seemed like much of the in-line entertainment was geared towards the General Admission line, which was admittedly much longer.

After about a half hour wait, my group was escorted into Statesville. The opening scene breaks groups into lines, and the prison overlord welcomes all of the guests to the prison and previews a bit of what is inside. However, I found it difficult to understand exactly what is being said during this scene, as there is a lot of background noise for effect. Still, this scene makes good use of props, darkness, and even a startling effect before allowing groups into the next room.

I thought that the next room would be the beginning of the haunt, but it actually turned out to be the rule room. This room was led by a prisoner with one of the most pleasant voices I have ever heard (seriously, he should be doing commercials). Again, the lines were broken into groups, and the prisoner went over the rules and hyped up the crowd. He also asked us our favorite scary movies and described scenes within the haunt that would relate to those movies. Great work doing crowd control, but I wonder if the intro room and the rules room could somehow be combined to speed up the process.

When we finally entered the prison, I was immediately impressed by the actor interaction. Statesville boasts that guests will visit 23 rooms with over 100 insane criminals, and it certainly delivered. Actors were constantly popping out of no where and interacting with the guests, evidenced by the amount of screaming within the haunt. In one scene, an actor even showed me a plate full of live roaches, which was an awesome, creepy touch. Hilariously, one of my friends was wearing a dinosaur hat, which many of the actors mentioned. So, if you want to get maximum actor interaction, make sure to wear a dino hat!

Perhaps the best part of Statesville is how incredibly detailed the scenes are. There are the typical prison cells, along with a kennel, a school bus, a hospital (make sure to check out the jars of urine samples along the wall), and a clown area complete with strobe lights and tight quarters. My favorite scene of the night, however, is an incredibly claustrophobic caged area where we had to walk through tiny passageways, surrounded by criminals. As we squeezed through the passageways, prisoners cackled and hassled us. This was a really great scene, as it gave the sense that we were never leaving the prison.

The haunt ended with a long hallway, which unsurprisingly had an actor with a chainsaw to chase guests out. I’d love to see this scene reimagined, as the chainsaw chase out is done so frequently.

After finishing Statesville, we were guided to the next haunt, City of the Dead. City of the Dead has the feel of an underground cave, and included demonic miners and vaguely hillbilly characters. This haunt was a quick but well-decorated walk through a cave, with plenty of spiders and snakes throughout. A live snake was a particularly nice touch about halfway through! While occasionally the secondary haunt can feel like an add-on to an attraction, City of the Dead does a nice job of working as a stand-along attraction. It does, however, rely more on animatronics than actors for the scares, but overall, it’s a good complement to Statesville.

Overall, Statesville Haunted Prison is a great haunt to visit. The attention to detail and sheer amount of actors makes it a standout among other haunts, and it’s definitely a leader in the area.

To find out more about this event, visit:

http://www.StatesvilleHauntedPrison.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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