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2007 Trail of Screams II Review


Trail of Screams II
@ Camp Medill McCormick
9995 N. Girl Scout Road
Stillman Valley, IL 61084

Visited: 10/12/07

Visibility/Location: This event may be hard to find, if you aren't familiar with the area.  Yahoo maps will lead you to it, but the intersection of Kishwaukee and Crestview is at a sharp angle, surrounded by trees, making it hard to see.  Once on Kishwaukee, be sure to look for the signs for Camp Medill McCormick.   
Wait Entertainment: On the evening of my visit there wasn't much of a crowd, so there really wasn't any need for wait entertainment  (I got in right away). 
Admission Price: $8.00

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

Scare Factor: Medium-High
Crowd Control: Crowd control was great.  I never ran into any other groups.


This year they changed the format of the Haunt quite a bit. Instead of having guides, this season they gave our group a flashlight and sent us out into the woods on our own. Having no tour guide definitely made walking along the wooded trail even creepier. One of the detailed scenes was a cemetery. At the entrance, there were stone pillars and a wrought iron gate. Atop each pillar was a lit torch. Inside the cemetery there was an abundance of tombstones, which were bathed in blue light, as well as a haze of fog drifting through the air. Unfortunately the fog machine was left out in plain sight, which detracted from the visual impact of the scene. In the prison there was a bar maze consisting of more than fifty bars, which stretched from floor to ceiling. There were some spooky sound effects in the scene and the strobe light shining off of the bars made it very difficult to see where the exit was. The bars weren't spaced very far apart, so quickly making it to the exit as the actor converged on us was quite a challenge.  The outside of the schoolhouse was painted red, with white trim. Inside, it featured items like a blackboard, desks and an American flag. Another one of their scenes was the Slaughterhouse with skeletons, intestines hanging from the ceiling and body parts everywhere. Upon entering the last room, the butcher jumped out from a hiding place and ran after us with a chainsaw. The Funhouse was pretty interesting. On the front façade, they used an array of light bulbs to spell out the title “Funhouse”, just above the entrance. Inside there was assorted UV-reactive artwork on the walls and a sign that read “Circus Sideshow”. In one hallway, patrons had to duck down beneath an angled piece of Plexiglas. Standing on top of the Plexiglas was a clown who taunted us, as we made our way through.

All of the actors did a great job. They all knew their roles and stayed in character. Most of them had high energy performances and were more intimidating than the actors were last year. They had good make-up & costumes that were appropriate for the scenes they were in.

The Trail of Screams crew has made a lot of improvements since last season.  The acting was better and the scenes were more detailed and interesting.  I look forward to seeing what they have to offer next year.  While it may be off the beaten path, it's definitely worth the trip.     

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