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2007 Spider Hill Review
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Spider Hill
Three Sisters Park
17189 N. Route 29
Chillicothe, IL 61523

Visited: 10/20/07


Visibility/Location: This event was easy to find.  Located at Three Sisters Park, it is right along the main highway (Rt. 29).  The large, backlit Three Sisters Park sign, along with the parking lot filled with cars, made this event stand out.
Wait Entertainment: They did a great job in this category.   Inside the pavilion, there was a concession stand, along with several booths with crafts, face painting, Tarot Cards & palm reading.  They also had a nice hearse that was decked out with an impressive paint job and sound system.

Outside, there were a number of ghouls to entertain the people waiting in line.  The highly detailed castle facade in front of the haunted house helped set the mood for the entire experience.  There was also a centrally located stage set up with music, flashing lights and dancing girls, to entertain patrons in line for the various attractions

Admission Price: $8.00 per attraction (Massacre Mansion Haunted House, Haunted Express and Trail of Terror) or
$20.00 wristband, which allows unlimited visits to all 3 attractions.

Admission price included a hot air balloon ride.


Massacre Mansion Haunted House: 10 Minutes *  
Haunted Express: 14 Minutes   
Trail of Terror: 9 Minutes *  
= Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.

Scare Factor: Massacre Mansion Haunted House: Medium   
Haunted Express: Medium-Low   
Trail of Terror: Medium   
Crowd Control: Massacre Mansion Haunted House: Crowd control was pretty good, but there was still room for improvement.  There were a couple of times when groups ran together.     
Haunted Express: N/A.   
Trail of Terror: Groups were spaced out appropriately.  I never ran into or saw any other groups during my walk through the haunted trail.     


Massacre Mansion Haunted House:

To help establish the mood before you even entered the attraction, there was a detailed castle facade that was accented with spooky colored lighting.  At the very top of the castle stood a dragon prop that actually breathed fire.  Upon entering the haunted house, patrons had to traverse several scenes of assorted themes, most of which were well detailed.  I liked the cave area with textured walls.  Imbedded in the walls were large stones that glowed under black light.  Near the end of the cave was a large animated bat with glowing eyes that swooped down on the crowd.  The picture hallway featured visions of evil characters, along with a surprise or two.  In the dentist scene, a victim was strapped into the dentists' chair, being tortured by the evil dentist.  Other scenes included an electrocution, toxic waste accident and a detailed study.  One of their effects I enjoyed was called "claustrophobia". This was a pair of inflated air bags that patrons had to squeeze their way through.  It really did give you a claustrophobic feeling!  Most haunted houses have a spinning vortex tunnel, but this attraction had two, placed back-to-back.  Since both vortexes were spinning in opposite directions, that really kept patrons off balance.

Throughout most of the scenes, the actors were on target.  Everyone stayed in character.  Some of them were more passive, while other actors actively approached patrons, jumping out to get a scare.  To compliment the cast of actors, there were some nice high-end animatronic props throughout the haunted house.    

Haunted Express:

The Haunted Express was a creepy hayrack ride through the woods.  The trip on the Haunted Express began as the hayrack entered the graveyard, passing between two large stone pillars.  From there, it continued along a twisting path in the woods, were scenes of assorted themes were set up.  Some of the more memorable areas included the electrocution, the UFO landing and the detailed Egyptian scene.  In many of the areas, actors played out their parts, while others converged on the hayrack to scare the patrons.  Along with the actors, there were also several animatronic props.  My favorite was the realistic Tyrannosaurus head with realistic movements and sound effects.   It seemed to be a crowd favorite too, as that single animation seemed to get the biggest reaction from the people on the hayrack.   

Trail of Terror:

Trail of Terror was also set in the woods; however, this was no hayrack ride.  Patrons had to walk through the dark woods, making their way through by following the path laid-out by rope stretched along both sides of the trail.  The tour began as patrons entered a Phantom of the Opera scene, with the Phantom sitting at the organ and a great music soundtrack playing in the background.  Along the trail, there were scenes set up with assorted themes.  To enter the Circus of Terror, patrons had to walk into a huge clown mouth.  Inside was some clown artwork on the walls that glowed under black light, along with a couple of clown characters who taunted patrons as they walked through.  One memorable scene featured an evil Santa Claus and another had an evil Easter Bunny.  I also enjoyed the pirate scene with the huge wooden pirate ship and pier, with stacks of old wooden barrels.  With the various scenes, actors interacting with the patrons and animatronics props, it was a very creepy walk through the woods.      

Kudos to the Spider Hill group.  They really put together a great event.  This attraction was a great value, especially for patrons who purchased wrist bands, which allowed them to go through each event an unlimited number of times in a single evening.  With all of the different activities and entertainment available, Spider Hill has something for everyone.  It's a great family-friendly event and one that I highly recommend.  

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