Reapers Haunted House (Melrose Park, IL)
As they had done the past few years, Dream Reapers Haunted House (Melrose Park, IL) once again opened
up their doors for fully operational tours, during the weekend of the Transworld convention. Planning for their opening well in advance, the Dream Reapers staff held a number of orientation sessions throughout the month of February, in order to prepare their volunteer actors/workers for the opening in March. These sessions consisted of everything from simple walk-throughs to familiarize the actors with the general layout of the haunt, to a complete dress rehearsal the week before opening day. Below are some pictures that were taken at the Dream Reapers’ orientation sessions in February.
In previous years I had only walked through as a customer, but this year I volunteered to act at Dream Reapers during Transworld. Although I’m not what you would call a “seasoned actor”, I still like to volunteer to help out in haunted houses, when I’m not too busy promoting them with my website. Working at Dream Reapers during the Transworld weekend was very enlightening, as it gave me the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes view of the operation of the attraction. It was definitely a lot of fun to be on the scaring end for a change, instead of just walking through as a customer like I usually do.
Volunteers came from other haunted attractions like Statesville Haunted Prison (Crest Hill, IL), The
Realm of Terror (Round Lake, IL),
Rockford Screamfest (Machesney Park, IL),
Eleventh Hour (Downers Grove, IL) and Hotel Fear (Las Vegas, NE). To compliment Dream Reapers’ cast of characters, 15+ actors came to volunteer from 9 different haunted attractions.
One actor came from as far as Hamburg, Germany. Frank Thannhaeser (left), a haunter who works at one of the
very few Haunted Attractions in Germany, traveled 4,500 miles to not only attend the convention, but to act at Dream Reapers as well. Frank came well prepared for the task, as he has had years of experience performing in theatre, as well as acting in his haunt in Germany, which is open year-round. Special thanks to Frank for coming out to Dream Reapers and sharing his experiences with everyone.
Between Dream Reapers’ regular acting troupe and all the volunteers from the other haunted attractions, they had quite a diverse group of characters. Since Dream Reapers is a multi-themed attraction, patrons were able to see everything from crazy clowns and mad doctors to gruesome zombies. Below are just a few of the unique and interesting characters that I was able to capture on film.
Kudos to Dream Reapers for opening up during the
To find out more about Dream Reapers
Haunted House, visit the
official website at: