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All Visitor Reviews
2008 Visitor Reviews of
Murder Mansion (Forest Park, Illinois)

Disclaimer: Reviews on this page were supplied by an outside source. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff of Haunted Illinois does not endorse, support, represent, or guarantee the accuracy, truthfulness, or reliability of these reviews.
Reviewed by: vegasdude   (Event Visited: 10/26/08 @ 7:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/27/08
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: There is a digital traffic sign pointing you in the right direction from the 290 DesPlaines exit which is where I came from. There is no actual signage on the house itself but it's pretty hard to miss. It's a huge mansion sitting right in the middle of the park.

Wait Entertainment: Several costumed characters worked the line including one truly creepy guy in a sort of turn of the century vintage waistcoat getup who was violating everyones personal space in the most hilariously entertaining way. He was worth the price of admission alone!

Length of Event: When they say "Depends on how fast you run!" they really mean it. Not only are the groups beautifully spaced apart but the design of the house is so well done that you never see another group no matter how many guests are in it. You can wander through at your own pace or take your sweet time, it doesn't seem to matter. I actually went through twice and the first time was about 10 minutes, the second time I went in to catch more of the detail and it was closer to 15. Never saw another "soul" either time...

Actor Performance: I totally disagree with the first two reviews on actors. Yes there are younger actors but there were just as many adult actors as well and there was absolutely no distinction between the two as to quality of performance. Both the adults AND the younger actors were totally into their roles and getting the scare each and every time. Some of the younger actors were actually scarier than a few of the adults! Clearly these kids worked at it very hard and I give them kudos!

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Beautifully laid out. They took what I think are the shower/locker areas for the pool are built the attraction inside. Except for a few visible showers at the exits of the first and second half you would NEVER know what the building actually was. Lots of twists, turns and all the feature areas and pop out scares were placed in such a way that the traffic flow was never stopped or backed up.

Appropriate Ages: They suggest 12 and over but I saw plenty of kids from toddlers on up going through there. A few kids ahead of me never made it past the entry lobby and one older kid actually wet his pants at the very end. I would say that parents should really use their better judgement in letting any kid under 10 attend.

Props / Special FX: The toxic room area where the cannibals skin their victims is beautifully done with one barrel tipped over and the "acid" flowing out into another barrel. The meat butchering room is also another highlight with lots to see in there as well. My second time through I was able to see a LOT more of the smaller details like the cellophane wrapped meats with their little price stickers on them. They've invested quite a bit of money in body parts many of which are so amazing if you can take the time to really appreciate them. One great special effect they have is one of those things where they turn one kid into something else (I think they used actual twins!) using a mirror or a piece of glass... truly creepy. There are no high priced animatronic effects that you find in other houses but I don't find things like that scary at all anyways so I didn't miss them here. The actors do such a great job they don't need em anyways.

Costumes / Make-up: Again, second time through I was able to notice more of the makeup which is really well done especially with the toxic area guy and a lot of the "victims" who are appropriately bruised and bloodied up. Costumes were not anything anything out of the ordianary since were talking about cannibals and victims and not classic monsters but the laundry room lady and the butcher in the meat room as well as the nurse in the "employee clinic" looked great.

Summary: They advertised somewhere that this was terror "worth the 25 year wait" and I tend to agree. There is a difference here in this haunt that I haven't seen in any other attraction I've attended and I think it has to do with the fact that these producers are theater people and it clearly shows. This really is a "show" and not just a garden variety haunted house. I totally agree with the other reviewer who said this attraction can only get better with time. I can't wait to see what these guys will come up with next since they have set the bar pretty high for themselves with this debut. Murder Mansion does not dissapoint and is NOT to be missed!

Reviewed by: crazy529   (Event Visited: 10/25/08 @ 8:30 pm)
Review Posted: 10/26/08
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: High | Atmosphere: Very Good
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Visibility/Location: I am from around the area, so finding it was easy. Directions that I saw in print and on T.V. were also good. I would have liked a big sign advertising it at the location, but this is the first year in I forget how many that Forest Park has had a haunted house, so I will forgive no big singage.

Wait Entertainment: Wait enterainment was minnimal, there was a grest character called the Soul Collector and Dracula was also out front. I am not sure that he was necessary considering the haunted house was not about classic characters. Maybe if one of the cannibals ate him?  
I personnaly do not need alot going on out front I want all the fun inside. The people at the door were very friendly but gave nothing away and left you to your own imagination. I liked that.

Length of Event: I have to be honest I am not sure how long it should have taken or how long they wanted it to take. The reason being, my group got stuck behind a group of older high school students that wouldn't move. It was a case of I'm not going first you go first. That in my opinion is a good sign.

Actor Performance: I have read the other reviews for the atraction and agree that there are alot of kids doing the acting. On the night that I went there were also as many adults as kids doing the acting. I was impressed. The kids were giving there all! Not once did I see anybody break character and they all seemed very into there roles. The screams (not from the patrons, but from the actors)were not only ear piercing but scary! I liked the toxic area with the cage master and victims. They were very convincing. The pop outs were very effective. The torture room with the loud abrasive music was great! I like that kind of music in general and it really lent itself to the torture theme. All in all I feel that it was a very effective haunt. The chainsaw guy at the end was OUTSTANDING!!!! He was terrifying and creepy! As I said having read the 2 other reviews on Murder Mansion I agree/disagree with some points. I did stick around to get some info. and came to find out that they hope to make this a yearly event. I can only imagine how it will get better the longer they do this. Considering this is for 2 non for profit groups I was impressed.  

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: As I said I stuck around after going through, and the flow seemed good. We got bottlenecked but that was due to fear not intervals for entering the attraction. I guess if it is going to take a while to go through fear is a good reason to it adds to ones own fear level.

Appropriate Ages: 12+ although I saw 12 year olds crying and younger ones loving it. Know what you can tolerate.

Props / Special FX: Props seemed very good for a small first time haunt they invested some dough. The music and incidental background noise were very appropriate.

Costumes / Make-up: Costumes were good, and fit the characters. The make-up was very good Toxic cage master and victims were a kick butt shade of green with the appropriate amount if blood. Very good cannibal/zombie make-up. Good placement of wounds and pre-requsite bruising on the tortur/cannibal victims.

Summary: Very good haunt! I loved haunted houses as a kid, and have re-discovered them with my kids. I have one that loves the over the top scare the pants off and pee out of you, and one that isn't so brave and they both had a great time. Like I said, I think this will only get better and better!!!!!

Reviewed by: horrorgirl   (Event Visited: 10/18/08 @ 8:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/22/08
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good
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Visibility/Location: The only thing that signified where the haunt was the big house in the park district. There was no one to direct parking, so it was basically find your own space. If there was some sort of sign outside of the building, it would have been easier to find the place

Wait Entertainment: There was no wait entertainment in front of the building, so that kinda made the wait boring. Although I did talk to the man in front of the door so that was kinda interesting. 
If there were maybe some characters in front, it would probably add to the haunt experience

Length of Event: It was about 5 minutes 
I waited much longer than actually going through the place 

Actor Performance: I thought that for the most part the acting wasnt all that bad. It looked like most of the actors were kids and they did pretty well. The two characters that I found most creepy was the nurse and receptionist. I could still hear the recptionist screaming at me not to ring her bell. The chainsaw maniac was a classic touch to the ending

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: I do have to say that I didnt see any other groups in front of me so that is a plus

Appropriate Ages: 13 and above

Props / Special FX: the props were ok and for special fx was ok 
the extent of the fx was the lights and fog 
if there were maybe some sort of animatronics in the place it couldve added that extra touch. Although for a haunt on a tight budget, they didnt do to bad

Costumes / Make-up: The makeup was really good. i could see that the makeup artists put a good effort and werent going for the same look for every actor, and trying to go for some variety. Costumes were decent. The ones that stood out for me was the receptionist and the guy on stilts. They both looked like they put some effort on their costumes

Summary: overall, I thought the place wasnt too bad. 
The only thing I fear for this haunt is that the variety of actors. If there were more adults as appose to kids, this place couldve actually been better. I also didnt care too much for the non costumed adults showing the way if someone got lost. It was a good idea, but if they had some sort of costume or makeup on, it would've added to the atmosphere as appose to taking me out of the haunt for a brief moment. 
The acting could use a little more work, with some more variety on the different scares and timing. With a little more work on the place, a little more effort on the costumes, and some more adult actors, Murder Mansion could be ranked at the top haunts of Chicago

Reviewed by: moocheex55   (Event Visited: 10/11/08 @ 9:00 pm)
Review Posted: 10/12/08
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Low | Atmosphere: Good
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Visibility/Location: No signage to really identify it, but it is in a very visible building with a large fountain out front. We also had no direction on where to park.

Wait Entertainment: None. This was a "preview" night, so the turn out was really low when we were there. We waited approximately 10 minutes to get in. Had a nice chat with the man in charge of the door!

Length of Event: About 5 minutes. We actually waited in line longer than it took to go through.

Actor Performance: Nicely done! I beleive that the haunt is put on by the local theatre's children's group. Because of this, the actors are all really young (12-18yrs) I'd guess. They really did stay committed to their roles. I was most impressed by the Nurse and the Receiptionist in the Doctor's Office. I swear, I can still hear her telling me "the doctor will see you now..." Creepy!

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: If you want to keep moving, go to this haunt. It was over before we knew it. We were spaced out very well and never saw another group. However, the most distracting thing was the presence of non-costumed, flashlight holding adults standing in corners telling you which way to go. At one point, we tried to exit a scene through the wrong way because it wasn't clear which way to go. An actor had come back out from his hiding spot and say "not that way!" It's really easy not to stay on the intended path here.

Appropriate Ages: They recommened for ages 12 and up. I'd agree that that's appropriate.

Props / Special FX: No SPFX to speak of. But the butcher shop and bedroom sets are pretty great. Overall, the haunt is pretty low in decor, but they have spent there money wisely and I hope they can upgrade and "trick out" some scenes more next year.

Costumes / Make-up: The make-up was really good. It's apparent that they really did try to create some interesting characters and not just the ususal "haunt monsters."

Summary: I feel that the discounted ticket price I paid because it was a "preview" night was really the amount that the tickets should be kept at. However, then they wouldn't make anything.  
I feel that this haunt is a good effort for a community theatre group on a tight budget. The use of the building and lockerrooms is good, but the story of it being a mansion taken over by zombies is lost. 
My biggest fear for them is having to have so many non-actors inside just to direct traffic around the haunt. It is distracting and takes you out of the moments for scares.  
For a first go at this, they are to be commended. I did have a few moments where I was mis-directed and they got me really really good.





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