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2008 Ditka's Haunted Mansion Review

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Ditka's Haunted Mansion
730 N. Bolingbrook Dr.
Bolingbrook, IL 60440

Visited: 10/10/08


Visibility/Location: This event is really easy to find.  It is located right along Route 53 and the large illuminated dome really stands out. There was a huge vinyl banner hung across the front of the dome, along with multiple signs telling you where to turn.  The only way to make the event more visible would be to directly illuminate the banner on the outside of the dome.    
Wait Entertainment: I arrived early when there wasn't much of a line, so there wasn't a need for much wait entertainment.  Outside of the haunted house, there was a spooky graveyard with a twisting path.  The Haunted Mansion's facade, with its old weathered boards and cobwebs, helped set the mood for the rest of the attraction.  
Admission Price: $15.00

14 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 the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines or staging areas has been subtracted.

Scare Factor: Medium
Crowd Control: They did a great job in this category.  I didn't run into any other groups.    


Haunted Mansion:

Throughout the Haunted Mansion, there was a wide variety of scenes that fit in with the mansion theme, some of which were separated by dark hallways.  In a couple of areas, you had to walk up and down stairs, which made the tour more interesting.  Another thing I really enjoyed was their use of hidden exits.  In one area you had to push open a black panel that blended in with the rest of the walls in order to continue through the attraction and in another area, you had to exit through a bookcase that slid open.

In general, the scenes were more detailed than they were last year.  The kitchen was dimly lit and had a sink, cabinets and an oven.  The burners on top of the oven were glowing and a man's legs were sticking out of the oven door, with a simulated flame underneath them.  One of the actresses in the scene asked me if I wanted to have a bite to eat, since "Bruce" was almost done in the oven.  I also liked the nasty bathroom.  There was a head coming out of the toilet and blood smeared on the tile walls.  What really made the scene great was the girl in the bloody white dress who had a great scream.   In the bedroom there was a canopy bed with a big surprise and a very creepy actress.  The dungeon was another area that I liked.  It had textured "stone" walls and a skeleton hanging upside-down from chains.  On one side of the room there was a "living wall".  As I walked by, the actor on the other side made strange screeching sounds and reached out at me with his/her hands, stretching out the spandex.  To leave the scene, patrons had to crawl through a hole in the wall. 

Most of the actors in this attraction were very interactive with the patrons, but there were a couple of them that didn't really approach you.  The ones with speaking parts did a great job and were very creepy.  Throughout the attraction, there were a few animatronic props to complement the actor's performances.     

Asylum 13:

Asylum 13, as the name implies, was set up as a mental facility.  Throughout the various rooms inside there was techno music playing and in various scenes there were cages filled with a variety of "patients", most of which were bloody and dressed in white. In one area there was a slanted wall, where you had to duck down to get through, while one of the patients taunted you.  I liked the execution scene, from what I could see of it.  Some additional accent lighting would have helped here, so patrons could see what was happening in that area.  Many of the caged rooms used mirrors, which made it difficult at times to see which way you needed to go.  The use of multiple strobe lights also helped to keep you off-balance.  For the most part, the actors in this attraction were more passive than those in the Haunted Mansion.    

Overall, I really enjoyed this haunted house.  Kudos to the Haunted Mansion crew.  They did a great job and made a lot of improvements over last year's event.  Good job.  Keep up the great work! 


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