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2005 Lena Haunted Barn Review
Ravens Grin

Lena Haunted Barn
609 S. Schuyler St.
Lena, IL 61048

Visited: 10/28/05

Visibility/Location: This event could be a little hard to find, if you aren't familiar with the area.  I used Yahoo maps with the address above (which was provided when the Haunted Barn submitted their event to my directory) and it showed me a location several blocks south of where I really needed to go.  I was lost at first and had to ask for directions.  Once you were within a couple of blocks of the event, there were signs pointing you in the right direction. 
Wait Entertainment: The experience began at the local park, where patrons were loaded up into busses and taken to the Haunted Barn.  There was no wait entertainment at the park, while you were waiting for the bus to pick you up.  Once you arrived at the barn, there really wasn't any wait entertainment until you got inside their covered waiting area.  There they had spooky framed portraits hanging on the walls, an open casket funeral scene and a witch sitting by the entrance who would lunge forward and scare patrons in line.  
Admission Price: $7.00

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

Scare Factor: Low-Medium.    
Crowd Control: Crowd control could have been improved a little bit.  In the first barn, I ran into the group ahead of me twice and the group behind caught up to me once.  There was also a quite a back-up at the slide between barns, where people had to stand and wait (10-12 minutes). Crowd control was better inside the second barn.  The wait for the slide seemed to space out the customers quite well. The only time that I ran into anyone (in the second barn) was in the pitch black maze.  That is understandable, considering the number of dead ends and the fact that it was very dark. 


This event should have been called Lena Haunted Barns & Haunted Trail.  There were actually two barns to make it thought, not just one and they had a Haunted Trail for you to traverse after you exited the second barn.  The first barn was mostly dark hallways, with a few simple scenes scattered throughout. One of the scenes featured an old furnace with a red light shining from inside.   In a couple of areas, there were some good sound effects.  There was uneven flooring in various areas, which made you watch your speed as you made your way through. As you walked around the perimeter of the attraction, the cold stone foundation also added to the spooky atmosphere.   This was a multilevel attraction, so you had to walk up flights of stairs. Gradually you ascended, level by level, until you reached the very top of the barn.  This was where you discovered the 150 foot long slide that stretched from the top of the first barn, down to the first level of the second.  Wrapped in a burlap sack, you swiftly glided from one building to the other, inside a large enclosed tube.

Inside the second barn there were a few interesting areas.  As you entered, the staff handed you 3D glasses.  From that point forward, there was a lot of blacklight-reflective artwork.   Several phrases were painted on the wall, saying things like "You all will die!", "No turning back." and "If you can read this, you're probably not dead yet."  One of my favorite areas in this part of the attraction was the forest scene.  Enclosed by protective chicken wire, there was a fairly elaborate forest scene with real trees, shrubs and a talking animated deer. As I walked past I said "Look, it's a talking deer", to which the deer replied "Look, it's a talking human".  That was quite amusing.   When walking through the barn, there were a few actors who jumped out of hiding spots to scare you.  The rest of the house was a huge pitch black maze.  Throughout most of it, you couldn't see anything at all!  There were some actors in this section of the barn, as well.  After trying a number of different routes, I finally made it out.

The end of the maze led you to the exit, but even after you had left the barn, your tour was not over.  After that, there was a Haunted Trail that you had to traverse.  This is something they had added in the last couple of years.  Illuminated with colored lighting in various places, the trail took you over bridges and past various props.  One that stuck out in my mind was the huge bear prop that had it's own custom growling sound effects.  There were also various actors hiding in the darkness and tall grass, waiting to spring out at you.  One even stalked our group with a chainsaw.  That was a nice addition to an already lengthy attraction.

The Lena Haunted Barn provides one of the greatest "bang for your buck" values that I have seen this season.  For only seven dollars, patrons can enjoy over 30 minutes of entertainment.  Those patrons who enjoy back-to-basics type Haunted Houses would really like this event.  This one was definitely worth the drive.       

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