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2007 Nightmares: Basement of the Dead
Haunted House Review
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Nightmares: Basement of the Dead
Just West of the Hollywood Casino
42 West New York St.
Aurora, IL 60505

Visited: 10/05/07


Visibility/Location: This event may be hard to find, if you aren't familiar with the area.  While it is located across the street from a major tourist attraction (the casino), it is down a flight of stairs (below street level) and the haunted house's entrance isn't visible from the road.  They did, however, have a hearse sitting in the street and a sign pointing toward the stairs, to help you find your way.  Parking on the street is extremely limited, so plan on paying $2.00 to park in the casino's parking garage.  
Wait Entertainment: They score high in this category.  There were several line actors outside to entertain the crowd, as well as a couple of large televisions playing horror movies.      
Admission Price: $12.00
(+ $2.00 for parking in the casino's parking garage, if you can't find a parking space on the street)

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

Scare Factor: Medium-High
Crowd Control: Crowd control was very good.  I didn't run into any other groups, the entire time I was inside the attraction. 


The Nightmares: Basement of the Dead attraction was made up of several scenes that were separated by lengths of dark hallways.   A few of the scenes were highly detailed, while many of the others were less elaborate.  One of the more detailed scenes was the bloody kitchen.  Throughout the scene, there was an abundance of body parts and blood-streaked surfaces.  The constant buzz of the table saw added to the gruesome atmosphere.   Disturbing images were maintained throughout the attraction.  In one area there was a dismembered bloody torso affixed to an upside-down cross and another scene featured a "man" vomiting into a 55 gallon drum, after having witnessed a gory suicide.  One of the other memorable scenes was a nursery where a demented child reached out of its crib at you. There was also a torture scene where a victim was chained to a table and was thrashing around, trying to escape.  A new feature that they added this season was a dark maze that was filled with hanging "bodies".  It was a little disorienting, as it felt like they had you going around in circles.  

There was a nice mix of actors and animatronics throughout the attraction.  They also utilized custom sound effects and eerie lighting, to enhance the atmosphere of their scenes.  Around the perimeter of the haunted house, the real brick and concrete block walls added to the creepy ambiance of the attraction.   

Throughout the house, they had just the right amount of actors.  Almost all of them wore masks, which muffled their growls.  This slightly diminished the impact of some scares; however, the masks did serve to maintain the element of surprise.  In a number of scenes, it was difficult to tell whether certain figures were really actors or merely props.  For the most part, all of the actors were very energetic and eager to scare you.  They all stayed in character and did a good job.  

As usual, the Basement of the Dead crew put on a good show.   Be sure to add this one to your list of haunted house visits this season.    

Click here to find out more about this event.




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