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2003 Statesville Haunted Prison Review

Statesville Haunted Prison
17250 S. Weber Road
Crest Hill, IL 60441
Date of Review: 10/17/03
Visibility/Location: They couldn't be in a more visible location.  With the huge illuminated pumpkin and large "Statesville Haunted Prison" sign along the side of the road, you can't miss this attraction. 
Outside Appearance: Both attractions had excellent facades.  They really overhauled the exterior of The Statesville Haunted Prison this year.  With the addition of rotating police lights shining through the Statesville lettering at the top of the facade and the sliding cell doors on the front, they really went all out this year.  The City of the Dead facade had gray cinder block walls with gargoyles on top of columns. There was also a graveyard display set up next to the City of the Dead, for added effect.
Wait Entertainment: Hard rock music was being played for the customer's enjoyment outside Statesville Haunted Prison.  There were also a number of actors roaming the waiting line area.  Outside they had an additional "holding cell" to make you feel caged in. There really wasn't much for wait entertainment at the City of the Dead attraction.
Admission Price:
Statesville Haunted Prison
and City of the Dead:
$25.00 Combo Ticket
(+) Tickets for re-entry into Statesville Haunted Prison are available for only $5.00.
(-) Patrons are initially forced to buy the $25 combo ticket, even if they only wanted to go through one of the houses. You are not given the option to purchase tickets for each event separately.
Statesville Haunted Prison: 12 Minutes *
City of the Dead: 6.5 Minutes *

* = Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time may vary.

Scare Factor:
Statesville Haunted Prison: Very High
City of the Dead: High
Atmosphere: They really start things off right, establishing a convincing atmosphere with the excellent facades of both attractions.  Inside the Statesville house various jail cells, prison guards and inmates maintain the illusion of a prison, while the body parts, skeletons  and other props help create the appropriate atmosphere in the City of the Dead.  Various lighting effects, an ample amount of fog and energetic actors effectively served to enhance the mood in both attractions.
Crowd Control: Crowd control was pretty good.  In the Statesville Haunted Prison, I briefly ran into one group in front of me, but in general the customer flow was pretty smooth through both attractions.
Other Customer's
Everyone I spoke with really enjoyed both attractions.  Most customers favored the Statesville Haunted Prison over the City of the Dead and everyone seemed to love the intense nature of both attractions.  While most patrons thought it was an enjoyable experience, several customers commented that the admission price was too high.  


Statesville Haunted Prison:
By putting you in a holding cell, they establish a prison atmosphere before you even enter the attraction.  The opening scene, an introduction by the warden, is even better than it was last year.   Statesville is billed as an adult event and they certainly deliver.  From the moment you enter to the moment you walk out the door, you are treated like a prisoner.  Guards line you up and yell at you, saying things like "Get over here, maggot."  One of the "Prison Guards" even called a customer an a--hole.  Be Warned:  Due to the intense nature of this event and mild foul language used, this is not an attraction for children. 

In this intense attraction, actors attack you from all sides, jumping out, banging on barrels and using everything at their disposal to scare you .  There were a couple of times I caught actors peeking around corners to see if a customer was coming, but in general, the actors were right on target and seemed to come out of nowhere.   In your trek through Statesville, you will find a myriad of blinding strobe lights, loud crashes and other sound effects that assault your senses.  

City of the Dead:
This event also had a great opening scene.  As you enter, a hooded, faceless reaper greets you, floating 6 feet in the air.  From that point on, you enter an atmosphere somewhat similar to the Statesville Haunted Prison.  The actors are comparable in intensity and you roam through scenes filled with fog and strobe lights.  The theme is different though.  Instead of prison bars, the City of the Dead has a lot of body parts, rotting corpses and skeletons to establish their theme throughout the attraction.  

If you are looking for an intense "in your face" type of haunt, this attraction is for you.  As usual, it was another outstanding performance by Statesville; however, the $25 price tag was a little hard to swallow.   I can only surmise that the drastic increase in price (from $15 to $25) was the reason that there were no customers waiting in line at 9pm on a Friday evening (10/17/03). No haunted house, no matter how good it is, is worth a $25 ticket price.   Sorry Statesville.  You have an outstanding show, but it is a little over-priced.

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