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2007 Downs Haunted House Review
Ravens Grin

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Downs Haunted House
Abandoned Machine Shed
108 E Franklin
Downs, IL 61736

Visited: 10/27/07


Visibility/Location: Visibility was much better this year.  There was a large illuminated Haunted House sign on the side of the haunted house building that was very visible from the main road.  The line of people waiting to get into the haunted house was also visible.  
Wait Entertainment: This year they had some great wait entertainment.  A group called "Wicked Wicks", who specialize in fire and poi performances, put on a great show with a variety of fire twirling acts.  It was just amazing to see them in action!    
Admission Price: Hayrack Ride & Haunted House: $1.00   
Vortex: $1.00

(Admission also includes all the hot dogs you can eat! 


Haunted House: 6 Minutes *  
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.

Scare Factor: Haunted House: Medium-Low
Crowd Control: Haunted House: There was great crowd control throughout the attraction.  I never ran into any other groups.   


The Downs Haunted House consisted of several scenes with assorted themes.  The tour started out with patrons having to walk through some very dark, tight hallways.  They were so narrow, in fact, that my shoulders were touching both walls of the hallway, as I walked through.  That would definitely be enough to make anyone feel claustrophobic!  Throughout many of the rooms, there were some nice distraction scares.  Just when you thought you knew where a scare was coming from, there was a surprise that came from another direction.   The funeral scene featured a rotting corpse laying in an open casket.  When the funeral director asked everyone in the group to go up and pay their respects, an actor popped out of a great hiding spot.  In another area there was an old country porch, with banjo music playing in the background.  Standing on the porch was an old woman in a dress who asked "Have you seen my little boy?".  After she asked the question, an actor came out of nowhere and made everyone in the group jump.  Throughout the haunted house, many of the scenes were well detailed and used colored accent lighting, sound effects and music to enhance the atmosphere.  The actors throughout the attraction did a great job.  Those with theatrical speaking parts followed through, staying in character.  They also had some nice costumes that were consistent with the scenes they were in.  Those performing pop-out scares did a good job, too.  With the exception of the actor in one scene, their timing was right on target.        

I have always liked the fact that this is a community event, funded completely by donations.  Many individuals from the local area have donated their time to make this event a reality, including the Mayor himself.  He volunteered to get into costume and be the ticket-taker for the haunted house.  I just can't believe the value of this attraction.  Where else can you get admission to a haunted house, a vortex tunnel and all the hot dogs you can eat for only $2.00?!?!  You won't find an event like this anywhere else!  Be sure to check this one out!!!       





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