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2005 Dream Reapers Haunted House Review
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Dream Reapers Haunted House
1945 Cornell Avenue
Melrose Park, IL 60160

Visited: 10/01/05

Visibility/Location: Dream Reapers is located inside an old brick building that used to be a warehouse, one block East of a North Avenue and Mannheim.  The illuminated, inflatable "ghosts" outside the building made this attraction easy to find from the main road.  You can't go wrong if you follow the directions posted on their website.
Wait Entertainment: There were several actors interacting with the crowd waiting in line, both inside and outside the attraction.  Spooky artwork adorned the walls of the waiting room, which helped get you in the mood for the event to come.  There was also a large projection screen, where you could view footage shot inside the haunted house.  
Admission Price: $15.00
Note: Free parking along the East side of the street is available; however, the City of Melrose Park charges $3 if you wish to park in the adjacent parking lot. 

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

Scare Factor: High.    
Crowd Control: The Dream Reapers crew did a great job in this category.  The "Rules of the House" video at the beginning of the attraction spaced out groups nicely.  I didn't run into any other groups inside the house, except when I entered the dark maze.  It seemed that you were walking around in circles, in and out of the multiple passageways.  They effectively used this maze to control traffic flow throughout the rest of the house. 


Dream Reapers really took it up a notch this season.  In previous years, they had put on a great show and this year is no exception.  To keep things fresh, they made a lot of changes this year.  Some were brand new concepts, while others were enhancements to existing scenes.  Their new feature called the "Ride to Hell" was outstanding!  It was a simulated elevator ride with great sound effects and flickering lighting.  As the elevator "started up", the platform you stood on actually moved up and down, mimicking the herky-jerky movements of a broken-down elevator.  The Clown Room was completely redone.  In addition to the new artwork on the walls, they actually expanded this room into two levels.  As you were distracted by the multiple clowns on the ground floor of the scene, a clown started firing down at you from up above with a machine gun! I never expected that to happen.  The Doctor's Lab was also enhanced, as well as one of my very favorite scenes, the "Backwoods Mansion".  They took detail to an extreme in this scene, with banjo music playing in the background, dim lighting, holes in the walls so big you could see through to another room, animal heads and pelts mounted on the walls and clutter everywhere.  The bloody bathtub scene in which a girl is hacked to pieces with a cleaver was very intense!      

In general the props, both static and animated, were outstanding. They always put a great deal of detail into their scenes.  Dream Reapers further enhanced their event by using artificial scents in various areas.  The smell of pine in the forest and cotton candy in the clown room added to the believability of the illusion they were trying to create.  The acting was also very strong this year.  It seemed like there were more actors than in previous years, especially for an opening weekend.  All of them stayed in character and had an in-your-face approach, which added to the scare factor of the event.   In addition to the Haunted House, upon exiting the last scene, there was a nice gift shop, complete with concessions, gothic clothing, horror merchandise and other Halloween-related items.  

Well, this was another great showing by the Dream Reapers crew.  It seems that they have really settled into their new home, making definite improvements over last years performance. By redesigning some areas and adding more detail in others, they really put together an entertaining show.  It's easy to see that a lot of hard work went into putting all of this together.       

Click here to find out more about this event.





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