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2005 Eleventh Hour Haunted House Review
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Eleventh Hour Haunted House
1212 West 75th St
Downers Grove, IL 60516

Visited: 10/01/05

Visibility/Location: This event is pretty hard to find.  I knew the address and used a Mapquest map and I still couldn't find it easily. The big problem is that it is not very visible from the street.  Had they used bright lights or more signage, it might have been easier to find. The Eleventh Hour is located behind the White Castle in the Cub Foods parking lot.   If you use the descriptive information posted on their website (which I didn't), you should be able to find it pretty easily.  
Wait Entertainment: There were a few actors outside the attraction who were interacting with the crowd waiting in line.  There was also a huge castle facade in front of the Eleventh Hour house, to get your attention and to set the initial mood of the attraction.
Admission Price: Regular Box Office Price: $20.00 / Online Price: $17.00

Price when I attended: $10.00

I arrived early on their first weekend and there were only two of the four attractions up and running.  Because of this, there was a discounted admission price.  I'd also like to note that patron's tickets were not punched, so they could return at a later date to go through all four attractions for no additional charge.   


Eleventh Hour: 13 Minutes *
Chain Reaction: ??? - It depends how good you are at navigating mazes. *  
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.

Scare Factor: Medium-Low.    
Crowd Control: They really excelled in this category.  Inside the Eleventh Hour Haunted House, I never ran into any other groups.  Various hidden exits and timed scenes effectively managed the patron flow.  In Chain Reaction I ran into some other people, but that was due to the design of the attraction, with its many dead end pathways.    


Eleventh Hour Haunted House:

From the outside view, you really couldn't tell that this event was held in trailers. The tall facade hid them from view.  Because all the scenes were enclosed in trailers, that actually made the event creepier, as many of the rooms and hallways were smaller and tighter.  Not only that, but the lower ceilings helped to establish a claustrophobic feel.  The mood of the event was first established with the facade, then continued inside the foyer, then throughout the rest of the house.  In the foyer, you were told the history of "the oldest house in Downers Grove". This particular room featured torn, dingy wallpaper, eerie lighting and a clock-ticking sound in the background.  Before you were allowed to continue, you were given a warning: "All residents vanished without a trace".  Many of the rooms throughout the house were highly detailed.  The haunted study was one of the most detailed rooms with skull sconces, bookcases, an old reclining chair and a fireplace.   Inside the attic scene, which was illuminated with an eerie green glow, you came across dusty old trunks, golf clubs and other things that you would normally find in an attic.  Many of the scenes, like the closet hallway, had some great hiding places, where actors could jump out unexpectedly.  Throughout the house there were also a couple of animatronic surprises to keep you on your toes.  As you exited to the outside, you had to zig zag through a detailed graveyard, complete with numerous gravestones, trees, spooky lighting and a nice painted backdrop.    

I really enjoyed the hidden exits that were spread throughout the house.  Without obvious exits, patrons were at the mercy of the actors, which gave you sort of a helpless feeling.  

Like in previous years, this attraction exuded the Eleventh Hour's theatrical flair.  Most of the actors had speaking parts, they knew their roles well and stayed in character the entire time.  The only exception was in the disheveled bedroom scene, where the actor just stood there and didn't really say much.  The theatrical characters acted as a great distraction, which allowed other actors in hiding places to catch you off guard.  Their performances were good, for the most part; however, sound effects sometimes drowned out their monologues.  I wish that some of them had projected their voices a little more, so everyone in the group could hear what they were saying.   Most of the actors were in appropriate costumes and make-up.  There were a few who were only wearing dark clothing, but they were the ones who were popping out of hiding places to scare people, so costumes weren't really necessary for their roles.    

Chain Reaction:

Chain Reaction was an outdoor event.  It was a maze that had been crafted from lengths of chain-link fencing.  Because of the way it was constructed, there was no way to see how to get through the maze.  Very creative!  All you could see was fencing in every direction.  To further disorient you, loud rock music was playing and strobe lights reflected off the fencing.  Along with the multiple dead ends, you had actors adding to the confusion by sending you down the wrong path.  If you lucked out, you could find your way to the exit quickly, but of course that all depended on the path you took and the turns you made.  There were some people who had entered the maze before me who were still stuck inside, after I had already made it to the exit.  



Overall a decent showing by the Eleventh Hour, with what they had set up.  Unfortunately my visit was on their opening weekend and all the attractions weren't completely operational, which was a little disappointing.  I think it was really nice of the management to not punch tickets that night, allowing all attendees to get in for free on a later date, when everything was up and running.   I'd definitely like to check it out later in the season.  

Click here to find out more about this event.





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