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Read Other 2009 Haunt Reviews's
2009 Dream Reapers Haunted House Review

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Dream Reapers Haunted House
1945 Cornell
Melrose Park, IL 60160

Visited: 10/10/09


Visibility/Location: Dream Reapers was easy to find, using the directions listed on their website.  An online mapping utility would also get you there easily.  There was a backlit arrow sign along the main highway (Rt. 64), showing you where to turn.  Flashing lights on the building, a flashing booth outside and two tall inflatable "ghosts", made the event easy to see.  The line of customers outside the haunted house also helped make the event visible from the street.  
Wait Entertainment: They did a great job in this category.  Loud rock music was being played for the patrons waiting outside.  There was also a concession stand, so people could grab a snack while they waited in line.  Several actors were interacting with the patrons in the queue line.  The inside waiting room area had some great creature artwork painted on the walls.  Backlit posters featured some of Dream Reapers' trademark characters.  Coffin rides, which simulated what it would feel like to take a ride to the cemetery, were available for only $3.             
Admission Price: $16.00 
Parking: $3

12 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: High 
Crowd Control: They did a great job in this category.  Patrons were spaced out appropriately, so I never ran into any other groups.      
Extras: At the exit of the haunted house, there was a gift shop where customers could purchase t-shirts, masks and all sorts of horror-related items.      
Dream Reapers Haunted House Pictures

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Dream Reapers Haunted House Videos


The tour of Dream Reapers began with a video on a wide-screen television, that explained the rules of the house.  From there, patrons embarked on their journey, through many scenes with a variety of themes.  Most of the areas inside the haunted house were very highly detailed.  Creating a believable atmosphere by using detailed scenes, props, accent lighting, sound effects and artificial scents, is something that Dream Reapers has always done very well.  

Many changes had been made to the haunt since last year.  Some scenes were new, while others were revamped.  One of the areas that was overhauled was the mirror maze of large corrugated drainage pipes.  This year it was much longer, with more confusing twists & turns.  There were some really odd characters in there, as well.  The industrial area was also redone.  Fifty-five gallon drums were stacked everywhere and power panels, conduit and hoses were fastened to the walls.  Loud heavy metal music was being played and strobe lights were used, for added effect. Various characters in cages, as well as other areas in the scene, had high-energy performances.   In one of the industrial rooms, there were some crazy clown characters.  Normally you wouldn't associate clowns with an industrial setting, but somehow it seemed to work quite well.  A couple of the cemetery areas were also redone, with some amazing detail.  

This season, there were also a number of brand new scenes, one of which was the alley.  The alley had realistic brick walls, spray-painted with graffiti,  that were two stories tall.  Also in the alley were some metal trash cans, a couple of psychotic bums and a creepy transvestite prostitute.   The sewer pipe was also new.  It had feces and other waste smeared on the walls and a sewer-dwelling creature that stalked patrons, as they walked through.  I also liked the animatronic werewolf, with its great sound effects, that attacked you when you walked into the scene.  Out of all the new scenes, the butcher shop was my personal favorite.  There were several  pig carcasses hanging from the ceiling, down the entire length of the hallway.  To get through, patrons had to push them off to the side.  Meanwhile, a crazy butcher and other characters attacked.  Dim yellow lighting throughout the scene added to the atmosphere.   In the meat locker, there were a couple of great scares, which were completely unexpected.  Other notable scenes in the attraction included the catacombs, the mineshaft, the cave and the swamp.

On the night that I attended, there were plenty of actors.  The costumes and air-brushed make-up was outstanding.  Throughout the haunted house there were many unique and interesting characters.  The scares, for the most part, were timed well and right on target.  Everyone stayed in character and most of the actors had high-energy performances.  

The Dream Reapers crew really put on a great show this year.  The addition of new scenes, as well as revamping other ones, really made for an enjoyable experience.   I highly recommend adding this event to your list of haunted house visits this season.                         

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