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2006 Trail of Screams II Review


Trail of Screams II
@ Camp Medill McCormick
9995 N. Girl Scout Road
Stillman Valley, IL 61084

Visited: 10/19/06

Visibility/Location: This event might be hard to find, if you aren't familiar with the area.  Even with a map, I had a hard time finding it.  
Wait Entertainment: On the evening of my visit there wasn't much of a crowd, so there really wasn't any need for wait entertainment  (I got in right away). 
Admission Price: $7.00

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

Scare Factor: Medium-Low
Crowd Control: Since the flow through the attraction was regulated by a tour guide, they scored highly in this category.  I didn't run into any other groups.


This is the first year for the Trail of Screams II. As its name implies, this is RIP Productions' second haunted trail (the other one is located in Rockford).  This event consisted of scenes set up in camp buildings, which were separated by lengths of dark nature trails.  Camp McCormick had some very dark wooded areas and since the camp itself was off the beaten path, it really set a spooky mood for this attraction. To enhance the eerie atmosphere, there were some great sound effects playing (crickets, owl hooting, etc) throughout the trail.   

It was a guided tour, but it really didn't seem like it.  They handed your group a flashlight and had you lead the way, with the guide bringing up the rear.  You were instructed to follow the path and occasionally the guide would shout "suggestions" if you deviated off the path or were unsure of where to go next.  I liked the fact that it gave you the illusion of control, even though you were on a set course.  With the guide in back of the group, you felt more vulnerable to actor attacks, also. 

Most of the scenes were simple, yet effective.  They had a nice graveyard, with wrought iron gates at the entrance, tombstones everywhere, wrought iron fencing on either side of you and strobe lights flashing.  Other scenes included an old shack with boarded-up windows and an old wood shed with piles of wood, an axe and a chainsaw-wielding maniac.  I really enjoyed the mad doctor scene.  The first portion of it featured a mad doctor attacking a patient in a padded room, as she cowered in the corner.  The second part of the scene had body parts scattered about, on top of a table.   I found their pole maze to be pretty interesting too.  In this area there was hard rock music blaring, strobe lights flashing and what appeared to be conduit running from the floor to the ceiling, that you had to weave your way through.  As you got about halfway through the scene, an actor popped out of a corner at you.  It was a pretty interesting concept, but I did notice that no attempt was made to conceal the stereo.  It was sitting on the ground out in plain sight, distracting from more important elements of the scene.       

The actors all did a great job, for the most part.  All of them stayed in character and played their parts convincingly.  I will say, however, that some of the actors were very short, thus making them less intimidating for the parts they were playing.   

Overall, it was a nice set-up for a first year event.  For the length of the attraction, it was a good value for the $7.00 admission price. It was a little lower on the intensity meter than their Rockford counterpart, which would make it appropriate for most audiences.  They really did a nice job!   I look forward to seeing what they come up with next season.  


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