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2008 Hotel Massacre Review

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Hotel Massacre
243 W Roosevelt Rd
West Chicago, IL 60185

Visited: 10/18/08


Visibility/Location: Since this event was located on Roosevelt Road, it was pretty easy to find.  It would also be easy to find if you knew where the Boogie Nights Disco was; the haunted house was in the same building.  Not too far from the road there was a large, illuminated "haunted house" sign to show patrons where to turn.   Closer to the roadside, there was a black sandwich sign, but it really wasn't very visible.  If it had bolder printing and the floodlight had been adjusting to illuminate the sign better, the sign would have been more noticeable. 
Wait Entertainment: There really wasn't much for wait entertainment; however, there was plenty of covered waiting.  Inside the tents near the entrance there were a few tombstones set up, as well as some inflatable Halloween decorations.   
Admission Price: $20.00

8 1/2 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-Low
Crowd Control: Crowd control inside the attraction was great.  I never ran into any other groups.      


This attraction consisted of several scenes, which were separated by dark hallways.  Many of the rooms inside Hotel Massacre followed the general hotel theme, while a few of the others did not.   The tour started in the hotel lobby, where the bell captain gave everyone an introduction to the house.  One of the most detailed scenes was the graveyard, which featured tombstones illuminated by colored lighting, concrete pillars and wrought-iron gates.  I also liked the bloody bathroom.  Every inch of the toilet, bathtub and walls was streaked with blood.  What made this even more interesting was the fact that they planted a "victim" in our group.  When we all entered the scene, a maniac burst out of a hidden panel and dragged her away, somewhere behind-the-scenes.  In the open casket scene, there was a nice distraction scare that came out of nowhere.  I thought it was pretty creative to have patrons crawl through a tunnel in the playroom, to get to the next scene.   Some of the other scenes were the Lizzie Borden bedroom, the hotel bar and a black & white checkerboard hallway that was illuminated with a strobe light. 

Throughout the attraction there was a mix of acting styles.  Some of the more prominent characters had theatrical, speaking roles.  For the most part, they did a good job of staying in character.  Other characters performed pop-out or distraction scares.  Overall, the actors' performances were a mixed bag.  Some scare attempts were on target, but many others were poorly timed and/or executed.  In one scene, the actor scared the first person in my group as they entered the room, but by the time I got there he just stood there and didn't even attempt to approach me or anyone else.  In one area there was a dark hallway with multiple glow-in-the-dark masks hung on the walls.  This is a classic haunted house gag, where an actor would hide underneath one of the masks and scare patrons as they walked by.  Unfortunately the actor in the scene was wearing a different style of glow-in-the-dark mask than those that were hung on the walls, which made it easy for patrons to see where he was hiding, thus telegraphing the scare attempt.  Near the exit, there were actors with a chainsaw and power saws, but they nearly missed everybody in my entire group.                 

The Hotel Massacre crew did a pretty good job for a first-year event.  I enjoyed many of the scenes; however, this attraction was definitely overpriced, for amount of entertainment value provided and the time spent inside. 

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