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All Visitor Reviews
2016 Visitor Reviews of
Asylum Acres St Bartonville Insane Asylum (Bartonville, 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.
2 out of 34 people thought this review was helpful.
Reviewed by: jess84   (Event Visited: 10/08/16 @ 11:00 pm)
Review Posted: 11/06/16
Overall Score:
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Scare Factor: Medium | Atmosphere: Good
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Visibility/Location: I have been coming to the attraction for years, but honestly got confused where to go once I got there. The street had one of the electronic street signs prompting people to turn left for the haunted house. Note, I don't remember the exact wording on the sign. The trouble I faced was that there was another haunted attraction a block or so away. This attraction was once located in the same area as the other attraction. Parking in the past was once a find your own spot which never made it hard to access, I am not sure if they ever had handicap spots in previous years, but this year the parking lot had volunteers who requested a donation to park. We actually had to leave the lot once because one of my friends didn't have cash on him as he thought that they could swipe his card. (Note another haunted venue in the area provides an atm on the premises) I honestly failed to look at website to see if it was cash only, however, there is a bar a block away in which had an atm so my friend was able to withdraw cash. This bar is now closed and so I am not sure that this venue will have that feature nearby for the out of towners. I think that it is important to have an atm nearby in case people attend the haunt and see something that they may want to purchase such as food items for sale of souvenirs as this haunt sells. I am terrible at carrying cash these days where even Dollar General will accept Paypal for example.

Wait Entertainment: This feature impressed me the most about the attraction. I think that the norm is that while you wait in line, actors are suppose to geek up and scare those waiting in line. I did not experience this, however, music was blaring and I felt pumped up the same way an athlete feels or people attending a sporting event might feel. I thoroughly enjoyed that I wasn't standing in a very long line, workers asked how many were in each party and then lines were formed for that specific number. I was also able to go in my group with just my group. I sometimes hate going with other groups because it can ruin the experience if they are vulgar or immature. I was also able to sit on a bench while waiting for my groups turn.

Length of Event: I think that it was ok. I think that there are other attraction in the area that are longer, some that may be too really depends on how fast you walk or run through this. I don't think that it was too short though.

Actor Performance: I feel like they gave it their all. However, as a tip, I would say remember that fumbling through the dark can be just as if not more scary.

Patron Flow Inside Attraction: I didn't bump into any other groups.

Appropriate Ages: unsure. Ten and older?

Props / Special FX: I really like this haunt in that many items are hand made and are not your cookie cutter props that you will see at every seasonal Halloween store. Their salt dough props are amazing, as well as foam. They are truly artisans. 
I think that the chapel room was the scariest and best put together room as it had fog and people in black robes. My fear was heightened in that room.  

Costumes / Make-up: Fair- Please see review.

Summary: This haunt changes from year to year. This keeps it fresh and me coming back every year. (I do miss the haunted hay rack ride that has been a part of the attraction in the past, as everyone is hoping to sneak a peak at the headstones at night while the veil of our world and the other is the most thin.) 
I think that it can confuse people who may not have visited the haunt before. I think it should be called Doom or just the name of the theme picked. Spook Hollow for example is the name of the haunt and is put on by the Men's Club. I think people may have expected an insane asylum experience due to the name. They have done this theme in the past, but not this year.  
I liked the haunt for what it was, however, I didn't feel a strong tie to the chosen theme. Now, the theme was doom. I liked the choice. the word doom could have really been a good theme for a haunt. Doom is about terrible fate or death. I feel as though they focused doom and make it a demon. When I think doom, I think of the feeling you feel when you find out you have cancer, the feeling one would feel if they were kidnapped, the feeling of your steering fluid not working and loosing function of your car, or your car stalling or dying in a place that is rural or unsettling. I would really liked to have seen them push it. I think perhaps the kidnapping theme could have worked. Perhaps the actor acting as though we were going to be kidnapped. walk into a dark room, perhaps others could be there that are actors, and have them be tied up or tortured with a light turn on or the look of a video cam.. (Saw meets snuff films in which as sick as that sounds, almost every haunt features a woman or man being tortured and disemboweled. They all fail to make it active and not passive, we never feel that we are truly next. Make me beg to leave, make me try on something, make me a part of the show.)  
Doom the demon was on top of what used to be an elevator prop that they used. I had enjoyed that feature in the past. I would definitely feel doom if my elevator stopped or fell. The simplicity of keeping people in what they perceive as an elevator that they are stuck in would create the feeling of doom. The anticipation of being stuck and confined would have scared me.  
With modern horror movies and creepy pastas being popular, you have to take haunts to a dark place. I liked the first year when there were coffins lined up we were told to find one fitted for us. That is the kind of thing that I am getting at. Perhaps a room could have been set up as being in a house and outside the purge is occurring or a zombie apocalypse. Each room could be set up like a different room in the house and you must eventually leave that house or hide would be terrifying. I feel that is another theme that convey the feeling of doom.  
The one thing that caught me off guard was the use of clowns this year. Clowns and carnival have been used in many haunted houses, however, with this year bringing clown threats and attacks, you can never know for sure. I am undecided about how I feel about it's use this year. The idea of a clown that slipped into the haunt definitely scared me as I had hoped that he was suppose to be there. I saw if you are going to do, do it all the way. Bring It or Pogo to life. Offer me a balloon, candy, or a ride by a clown, give me that scary but safe experience of what clowns have done and do to abduct people.  
If I ignore that there was a theme, then I don't feel any disappointment. It was an old hospital in which is truly haunted, that hosts a haunted attraction. I have already praised that they make their own props in which are better than any store bought props.  
I think that the room with the dolls could have been truly creepy. The experience was went too fast for me to process. When I visited the House on the Rock this summer, there are rooms featuring dolls. I nearly sprinted through that room and felt uneasy. There were certainly enough dolls to make one uneasy. I think better lighting and soft music box music playing was needed. I don't think an actor was needed here. In the newest installment of FNAF, a doll talks to you throughout the game and helps you survive. Perhaps a dolls voice threatening me or helping me with that music would have scared the living day lights out of me. Perhaps a doll that would make movements would have also. I just wasn't in that space long enough to take in the creep factor. Perhaps in the future we could see doll parts mixed up with mechanical parts or animal/taxidermy as we have seen on Toy Story with Sid's handy work.  
I have mentioned the chapel. The affects were great. i would have tweaked it just a bit so that we had to walk through black hooded forms the way that in Silent Hill, the woman had to walk through those nurse things without waking them. The room still scared me though.  
I think the best feature of the haunt is the old patient rooms. It adds layers to the haunt. We are all naturally curious and walking by the rooms I'm often thinking, did I just see that? The hallway with the rooms is always one of the strongest points of the attraction.  
The kitchen is always amazing eye candy and my favorite visually. I'd like to see it get punched up. I need my other senses awaken. With all those guts and gore, I need to smell the putrid smell. After only three days after carving a pumpkin, it smelled. Perhaps an actor could be in our face with something creepy that smells. I made the mistake of purchasing liver once to use as fishing bate, the smell had made me sick. Patrons shouldn't want to vomit, but that room would be that much scarier if we could smell that gore.  
Along with senses, it's the small things that can scare us. The sound of a creaking door, nails on a chalkboard, lightening, or the sound of a siren like a tornado siren which would induce the fear of a tornado, bombing, or a purge. Spider webs can even get the best of us.  
I give it to them in that I feel like the actors here are passionate and give it their all. After all, scaring people is a powerful thing. No one got out of character and I liked that. 
So, with the organization, made art/prop skills, and spirit of the workers, I give it props. You wont find a vortex tunnel here. You wont see holograms or Hollywood props here. You will go through an actual haunted place where very disturbed people once lived and that energy is still there which makes this haunt unique.

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