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2004 Dungeon of Darkness Haunted House Review
Sponsored by the Westmont Jaycees

Dungeon of Darkness Haunted House
1100 Ogden Avenue
Downers Grove, Illinois 60515 

Reviewed: 10/15/04

Visibility/Location: This attraction was very easy to see from the road.  There was a large plywood sign along the highway telling you where to turn, as well as an illuminated marquee.  There was also a huge banner on the front of the building, letting you know that a haunted house was inside (see picture above). 
Wait Entertainment: There was a short, hooded figure that was walking up and down the waiting line, trying to scare people. They also had spooky music playing. 
Admission Price: $6.00

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

Scare Factor: Low.    
Atmosphere: As stated before, there was spooky music playing in the waiting area. They did have a brick pattern painted along one of the walls of the waiting room, but there wasn’t that much in terms of theme outside the haunt. Once inside, there were a couple of well detailed areas, but for the most part, the scenes only had a moderate amount of detail. They did use some nice sound effects and music throughout the attraction, though.
Crowd Control: Crowd control was pretty good.  I did see a group just ahead of mine, but we didn't run into each other. 


I would have to say that one of the high points of this event was the creepy ride in the freight elevator to the basement. It set the initial mood and made you feel as if you had no control of your surroundings. From that point on, you walked through various scenes, separated by dimly lit hallways. My favorite scene overall was the graveyard, which was built up about two feet off of the ground. Along side of your walking path, there was a plexiglass window, where you could see an ‘underground view’ of a girl who was apparently buried alive, screaming to be let out. In another part of the scene, there was a zombie crawling out of his grave, reaching out at you. Kudos to the Westmont Jaycees; that was very creative. Another interesting scene featured a girl being burned at the stake. 

As for acting, I’d have to give mixed reviews. Many of the actor’s cues were off and I got the feeling that they really weren’t sure of their roles. The actors in the dentist scene did a couple of ‘false starts’; it appeared that they weren’t sure when to start acting. By the time the action started, half of my group had already left the room. There were, however, some other areas of the house where the actors performed very well, like in the graveyard and girl burning at the stake scenes. Unfortunately, most of the actors were younger kids, which wasn’t very intimidating. Some weren’t really even in costume; a few wore regular street clothes, without much makeup. 

Overall, the Westmont Jaycees Dungeon of Darkness is a fun, family-friendly haunt at an affordable price. Because this attraction isn’t overly intense, it is appropriate for all ages. 

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