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2006 Dungeon of Doom Review
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Dungeon of Doom
Lake County Fairgrounds
50 US Highway 45
Grayslake, IL 60030

Visited: 10/20/06


Visibility/Location: This event could be difficult to find, if you don't know the area.  It was tucked back in the Lake County Fairgrounds, so you really can't see the building from the road.  There were signs posted to lead you to the event, but since they weren't directly illuminated, they were a little hard to see.   
Wait Entertainment: They did great in this category.  The eye candy in the indoor waiting area was entertainment, in and of itself.  There was a nice detailed graveyard along the one far wall and there were big screen televisions playing horror movie clips and live night vision shots of patrons going through dark hallways inside the haunted house.  There was also an open casket scene,  various props and a spooky Halloween music soundtrack playing in the background.  
Admission Price: $14.00

Dungeon of Doom: 16 Minutes *  
Internal Nightmare: 3.5 Minutes *  
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.  Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving through each  attraction.  Time spent waiting in queue lines or staging areas has been subtracted.  

Scare Factor: Dungeon of Doom: High   
Internal Nightmare: Medium   
Crowd Control: They did a great job in this category for both attractions.  I didn't run into any other groups in either house.     


Dungeon of Doom:

This year the Dungeon of Doom had a great new opening scene that was modeled after the movie "The Exorcist".  The scene was set up  to resemble the bedroom in the movie.  As the two priests repeatedly chanted "The power of Christ compels you", the possessed girl rose off the bed and thrashed around violently.  At that point, the pictures on the wall and the window shutters started to rattle, accompanied by some great thunder and lightning effects.  Shortly after that sequence of events, there was something that made everyone jump (I don't want to ruin the surprise, so I won't say exactly what it was).  The scene was well detailed and all of the props fit in with the theme of the scene, except for one.  There was no attempt to conceal the large loudspeaker sitting in the far corner of the room.     

During your trek through the Dungeon of Doom haunted house you encounter several scenes of varying themes, separated by a few very dark hallways.   There was one area with a low ceiling at a 45 degree angle, where you had to duck down to get through.  What I didn't realize at the time is that the entire angled ceiling was made of plexiglass and there was an actor on the other side who turned on a light and pounded on the plexiglass to scare you.  That was an effect I've never seen done at another haunted house.  They get an "A" for originality!  There was also a nicely detailed cave-like area with textured stone walls.  As you walked through, an animated prop slammed against a plexiglass window.  The clown room had clown characters painted on the walls and featured a kid's "sports car bed", rocking horse and a demented clown that comes after you with a power saw.  I also liked the detailed swamp area with it's alligator, snakes and other creatures.  There was a good actor hiding spot in that area, too.  Throughout the haunted house, there was a nice mix of both animated props and live actors.   The actors in this attraction did a great job.  They all stayed in character and most were very intimidating.  Their timing was good and scares were on target.  Of course I can't forget to mention the finale of the house, "Buried Dead or Alive".  As the name implies, this scene simulates being buried alive in an avalanche. I really enjoy this feature every year.  It really gives you a claustrophobic feeling!  

Upon exiting the Dungeon of Doom house, you were led directly to the entrance of their other attraction, Internal Nightmare.  This routing change was a distinct improvement over the layout they had last year, where it was not completely obvious where the entrance to Internal Nightmare was.  This change really streamlined the flow from one attraction to the next and eliminated any possibility of confusion as to where you had to go next.    

Internal Nightmare:

Internal Nightmare was a huge inflatable attraction where patrons entered into the body of a creature and had to wind their way through its "innards".  Along the way, patrons passed through the chest cavity, ribs, heart and other internal areas of the creature's body.  There were several curtain-covered passageways that allowed the actors to stalk you along the way.  The way it was laid out, the actors could follow the group of patrons and each have numerous opportunities to scare the group.  Walking through an enclosed inflatable creature was pretty claustrophobic, as a number of the passageways were pretty narrow.  To add to the atmosphere, fog, colored lighting and sound effects (like a heartbeat, for instance) were used at various points throughout the attraction.   

The actors really seemed to turn up the energy level in this attraction compared to last year, perhaps even too much.  Some of the over exuberant actors repeatedly attempted to jump over 3-4 foot tall inflatable walls at you. A number of times they ended up running into the entire group.   It didn't really bother me personally, but a few people in my group didn't seem to care for the incidental contact.  Those specific scare attempts weren't particularly effective either, as the actor was often in plain sight well before they even jumped at the group.  Some of the actors' other scare tactics, however, like when they popped out of hidden openings and from behind curtains, were very effective at keeping our group off-balance.   

This was yet another great performance by the Dungeon of Doom.  Throughout the years, they have consistently put on a great show and this year was no exception.  I enjoyed the Dungeon of Doom Haunted House the best and Internal Nightmare was a pretty decent side attraction. As usual they came up with some creative ideas, detailed scenes and good scares.  I highly recommend this event!   


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