|Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Very Good|
Visibility/Location: This is a self-guided tour of houses in the St. Charles area competing to be the best. A PDF guide is provided online, and a GPS is useful if you're not familiar with the area. We had no problems finding everyone.
Wait Entertainment: Of the handful of locations with actual walkthrough haunted houses, the wait entertainment was good, with costumed actors keeping the people in line engaged with the environment.
Length of Event: Dusk to dark
Actor Performance: Very good overall. They provided a scare but were very nice to the younger kids who were clearly scared just being there. They also did a great job of visiting those watching from their cars.
Patron Flow Inside Attraction: Lots of people moving from house to house, since the 15th was judging night. We had no trouble seeing everything at each location, and people could stay as long as they wanted.
Appropriate Ages: With about 26 houses competing, the level of gore and scares varies for each location. If something looks too intense for younger kids, you can just move on to the next location on the list. There is definitely something for everyone along the way.
Props / Special FX: Many different themes this year. One home did a haunted pirate ship theme, another played on the newly released movie 'Munger Road' (also located in the St. Charles area). Plenty of strobes, fog, and in some cases music.
Costumes / Make-up: Very good, especially for a home-based, non-commercial event.
Summary: It'a a great community event for everyone. You can cast your vote for the best house online. Bear in mind, there is no money or prizes for the winning houses, so it's done truly out of their love of Halloween. We saw nothing by smiling faces (when they weren't being frightened). It was a great way to spend the evening. There are also numerous bars and restaurants in the area, for post-haunt respite. We ended up voting for the Shiner family haunted trail, and the Zeitler family yard display. Great job!