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2007 Statesville Haunted Prison Review
Ravens Grin

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Statesville Haunted Prison
& City of the Dead

17250 S. Weber Road
Crest Hill, IL 60441

Visited: 10/18/07


Visibility/Location: This event was very easy to find, especially with the online directions given on their website.  There was a huge illuminated pumpkin, as well a few large illuminated "Statesville Haunted Prison" signs posted along the road, helping to lead you to the event.
Wait Entertainment: They really did a great job this season, as far as wait entertainment is concerned.  There were several actors tormenting the people waiting in line.  In their first waiting area, there were two televisions playing Statesville video clips.  They also had loud rock music playing.   
Admission Price: $30.00

Statesville Haunted Prison: 11 Minutes *  
City of the Dead: 5 Minutes *  
* = Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary.  Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving through each attraction.  Time spent waiting in queue lines or staging areas has been subtracted.  

Scare Factor: Statesville Haunted Prison: High   
City of the Dead: Medium-Low   
Crowd Control: Statesville Haunted Prison: They did ok in this category, but there was definitely room for improvement.  Even with the use of various check-points used to control the flow of patrons, there were still a few times when my group ran into other groups and vice-versa.    
City of the Dead: Crowd control was pretty good in this attraction.  They used check-points like in the haunted prison and it worked out pretty well; I only ran into the group in front of me once.   


Statesville Haunted Prison:

Even before you enter the attraction, they made you feel like a prisoner by herding you from staging area to staging area.  Before entering the haunted house, patrons were moved from a covered tent to a chain-link fence cage, then to a dark area with bars on the windows.  Some harsh and insulting language is used by the staff, so keep in mind that this attraction is not meant for young children.  Their intro scene is the same one they have been using for a number of years now.  If you have never seen it before, it's outstanding; however, after seeing it for a few years straight, it loses some of its impact.  

Throughout the attraction they assaulted your senses with multiple strobe lights, loud sound effects and fog.  A number of the scenes followed the general prison theme.  In one area you had to duck down to get through a tilted hallway, while being taunted by actors behind barred windows.  One of their new effects is called "claustrophobia", which is a pair of inflated air bags where you have to squeeze your way through.  It definitely gave me a claustrophobic feeling!  The main scenes that really stood out at Statesville were the Insane Asylum and the clown area.

I really enjoyed the Insane Asylum part of the attraction, with its white walls, strobe lights and fog-filled hallways.  Wandering throughout  the area were actors wearing white clothing and straight jackets.  Throughout the scene, there were Plexiglas floors with strobe lights flashing from underneath, as well as transparent enclosures that allowed the actors to follow you along, as you worked your way through the scene.  

They really did an outstanding job of remodeling the red/white checkerboard clown area, making it bigger and better than last year.  Numerous strobe lights were used throughout the scene to disorient you.  There were more clowns than you could shake a stick at and they were grabbing at you from up above, reaching over walls and attacking from every direction.   They even had a red/white checkerboard version of the "claustrophobia" effect I mentioned earlier in this review.  One of the parts of the clown area that really stood out was the red/mirror checkerboard room.  One of the walls had a red/mirror checkerboard pattern; however, when I looped around the other side of the wall, I could see that it wasn't really a regular wall; they made clever use of a two way mirror.  You could actually see the previous scene by looking in-between the red painted squares on the two way mirror.  That was very creative.  

For the most part, all of the actors had high-energy performances and stayed in character.  They had costumes that fit the scenes they were in and they did a good job with make-up, too.  Overall, actor performance was on target.  Even though I attended on a week day, they were still very well staffed.  There was an ample amount of actors in most of the scenes.  Unfortunately, due to all of the fog and strobe lights, it is possible to miss some of their great performances, if you aren't paying close attention.        

City of the Dead:

The detailed mausoleum facade helped set the mood, before you even enter the attraction.  There was a great intro scene, which ended in a huge 12 foot tall animatronic monster walking toward the crowd.  After that, the tour continued through various areas with zombie-like creatures, body parts, bones, tombstones and other props that fit in with the main theme of the attraction.  I liked the tree mirror maze, with its realistic, textured trees.  The cave scene was also well-done.  The walls were textured like stone and there were some great sound effects, as well as creepy mood lighting.  The raised graveyard also looked great, featuring cross-shaped grave markers that glowed under black light.  There were a lot of actors in this attraction and in some areas there were probably too many.   In a couple of the scenes, they were nearly bumping into each other, as they jumped out of their hiding places.  Most of the actors in this attraction were fairly short, making them less intimidating than many of their Statesville Prison counterparts; however, they were all very eager to jump out and try to get a scare.              

The Statesville crew put on a great show this year.  Of the two attractions, I liked the Statesville Haunted Prison the best, because of its higher intensity, good acting and the fact that is the larger of the two attractions.  Unfortunately this year they raised the admission price to $30 per person, which really affected the "bang for your buck" factor for this event.  While they put on a good show,  $30 is just too much to pay, for this or any other haunted attraction.     

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