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2007 Eleventh Hour Haunted House Review
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Eleventh Hour Haunted House
Bertholds Garden Center
434 East Devon Ave
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Visited: 10/13/07


Visibility/Location: This event might be hard to find, if you aren't familiar with the area.  Since you can't easily see the haunted house from the street, you could miss it, if you aren't paying careful attention.  They did, however, have illuminated haunted house signs at the entrance.
Wait Entertainment: There really wasn't much in terms of wait entertainment, with the exception of the mood that was established by the creepy-looking haunted manor facade.   
Admission Price: $17.00

Eleventh Hour: 12 Minutes * 
Third Dementia: 2 Minutes *
Chain Reaction:
7 Minutes *
Pitch Black:
5 Minutes *  
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.

Scare Factor: Eleventh Hour: Medium
Third Dementia: Low
Chain Reaction:
Pitch Black:
Crowd Control: Crowd control was good throughout most of the attractions.  When going through the Eleventh Hour and Third Dementia, I didn't run into any other groups; however, groups did bunch together a little in the Chain Reaction maze and Pitch Black.    


Eleventh Hour:

The tour began with a very theatrical introduction by the lord of the manor.  Throughout the attraction, there was a series of scenes, most of which were consistent with the main haunted manor theme.  I made my way through the study, playroom, bedroom, closet and other related areas.  Most of the scenes were highly detailed and used fog, eerie lighting and great sound effects to enhance the atmosphere of the attraction.  The actors in the Eleventh Hour did a great job, all staying in character the entire time.  Being a theatrical attraction, most of their performances were more creepy than scary, but they were very effective nonetheless.  Most had costumes that fit in with the haunted manor theme.  Unfortunately on the night I visited, they were very short-staffed. There were some areas that would have been much more effective, had there been more actors.  One example would be the attic scene.  While it had a lot of potential, patrons walked right through the scene before any of the props triggered.  Unfortunately that completely ruined the impact of the scene.  Had an actor been stationed there, he/she could have stopped each group, allowing them to notice the detail of the scene, as well as the eerie lighting, animatronic props & sound effects.  

Third Dementia:

This was the least intense of all the events.  This attraction consisted of a contiguous path, with artwork on the walls that glowed under black light.  Along the path there were glowing hand prints, paint splatters and artwork featuring some creepy-looking monsters.  There was also a nice music soundtrack to help establish the mood.  The artwork was interesting; however, the trip through was pretty uneventful.  The addition of a few actors and/or special effects would have made this event more dynamic and enjoyable.   

Chain Reaction:

Chain Reaction was a maze created out of rows of chain-link fencing.  The two strobe lights in the corners of the maze reflected off of the fence, making it quite a disorienting experience.  There were a couple of actors in the scene who taunted you, as you made your way through the maze.  Making use of two gates, the actors were able to block the exit and keep patrons in the maze longer.  They also liked to send you down quite a few dead-end paths.  

Pitch Black:

Well, it was and it wasn't... pitch black, that is.  Pitch Black was advertised as "a labyrinth of total darkness".    That was the case throughout half of the attraction; however, there were many areas where you could clearly see the path ahead of you, due to light reflecting off the top of the tent.   In the areas that were totally dark, there was an actor who would sneak up on the patrons and attempted to lead them in the wrong direction.   There were a couple of times when he took our group by surprise, effectively using some great hiding spots in the dark.  Lack of actors was an issue in this attraction, as well.  Adding more actors and more overall darkness would have greatly enhanced the atmosphere of this attraction.    

Kudos to the Eleventh Hour crew.  Their show had greatly improved since last season.  I've always enjoyed the theatrical flair of the Eleventh Hour House, which was my favorite of all four attractions.  Even though they were short-staffed, they still pulled through with a strong performance.  Be sure to check out this event if you have the chance.        


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