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Read Other 2009 Haunt Reviews's
2009 Eleventh Hour Haunted House Review

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Eleventh Hour Haunted Houses
Bertholds Garden Center
434 East Devon Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Visited: 10/10/09


Visibility/Location: Although this event was easy to find using an online mapping utility, visibility could have been a lot better.  The entrance was pretty dark and could be easily missed.  Even though there was a haunted house sign at the entrance, it wasn't illuminated.  There was, however, an inflatable dancing ghost near the entrance, to help get your attention.    
Wait Entertainment: They had a concession stand and a covered tent with several picnic tables.  A couple of heaters were running inside the tent, to help keep people warm.  The Eleventh Hour attraction was built inside trailers, but with the haunted house facade, you couldn't tell from the outside view.  The spooky facade helped get patrons in the mood for their upcoming tour.  Near the entrance of the attraction, there were a couple of actors interacting with the people waiting in line.          
Admission Price: 2 Choices:
$18.00 - Includes Eleventh Hour and Creatures of the Corn (corn maze)
$23.00 - Includes Eleventh Hour, Creatures of the Corn, the Catacombs and Intensity
(VIP tickets were also available for an additional fee)
Parking: FREE

Eleventh Hour: 11 Minutes *  
Creatures of the Corn: 5 Minutes *  
The Catacombs & Intensity: 13 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: Eleventh Hour: Low-Medium 
Creatures of the Corn: Low   
The Catacombs: Low  
Intensity: Low-Medium  
Crowd Control: Crowd control was great throughout all of the attractions.  In the Eleventh Hour, the Catacombs and Intensity, I never ran into another group.  I did run into several groups while making my way through the corn maze, but that could be expected, in a maze with so many dead end paths.  Also, the queue line area was much more organized than it was last year.       
Eleventh Hour Haunted House Pictures

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Most of the scenes in the Eleventh Hour attraction were highly detailed and they followed the theme of an old haunted manor.  Because of the way the scenes were set up, it was hard to tell that you were inside a trailer attraction.  A lot of the actors/actresses in the Eleventh Hour had speaking parts and were very interactive, while some others performed pop-out scares.  A number of the scenes had hidden exits.  In the study, which was one of the most detailed scenes in the haunt, patrons had to exit through a hidden door in a bookcase.  In another area, you had to walk through a refrigerator door, to continue to the next scene.  The  laundry room had a dryer that was running with a loud thumping noise and a bright light was flashing from the inside the washing machine.  Stuffed animals were hanging from netting on the wall, in the playroom.  There were more stuffed animals hanging from the ceiling and a strobe light was used to disorient customers walking through.  One of the most interactive scenes was an industrial area that had wires attached to all of the walls and electrical equipment stacked everywhere.  The actor in the scene had everyone in my group grab onto a bundle of wires, then we all got a simulated "shock".  In one of the hallways, there was a nice visual effect.  As patrons walked through, the lights flickered and evil characters appeared on the walls.  Other scenes in the attraction included a closet,  a bedroom and a grungy kitchen.  After exiting the house, patrons moved on to a graveyard that was set up outside.  In this area, there was a winding path, real trees and several tombstones.  In the background, the grave digger could be heard, digging in the dirt with his shovel.  Camo netting was hung from above, to help darken the scene and give it a more claustrophobic feel. Green lighting was used to further enhance the spooky atmosphere.  

From there, patrons moved on to the Catacombs and Intensity.  The Catacombs featured multiple levels of rotting corpses, laying in recessed alcoves.  In several areas, flickering "candles" and colored LED lighting was used, to help establish a spooky mood.  Skulls and other bones were imbedded in the walls, which were textured in most areas of the attraction.  In the church, there were monks sitting in pews, on both sides of the room.  Nothing happened at first, but then there was a surprise that I didn't expect.  The whole attraction was themed nicely, but it was too quiet in most areas.  Some additional sound effects or music soundtracks would have helped add to the atmosphere.  

Intensity consisted of a number of twisting paths, some of which were dimly lit, while others were completely dark.  I enjoyed the ride in the spinning elevator.  Throughout the attraction, several actors effectively used dark corners as hiding places, to get their scares.   There were a couple of areas where patrons had to duck down underneath tarps, to continue to the next scene.  The last area in Intensity was a chain-link fence maze with flashing strobe lights.  Just like in the Catacombs, most of the areas inside Intensity were too quiet.  I think this detracted from the overall impact of the attractions.

With the exception of the corn maze, actor placement seemed to be a little "spotty" throughout all of the haunts.  There was an ample amount of actors in some areas, but very few in others.  Actors in the Eleventh Hour that stood out were the grave digger in the graveyard and the clown in the playroom.  They had very interactive roles.  There was one time when I caught two actresses talking to each other, but other than that, everyone stayed in character.  In the Catacombs and Intensity, most of the actors performed pop-out scares.  They did a decent job, but unfortunately several of the actors were very short, which resulted in a lower scare factor.  

Out of all four events, I enjoyed the Eleventh Hour house the most.  With its theatrical flair, it was the most entertaining.  The corn maze was fun and it was more challenging that I thought it would be.  The other attractions, however, had a lot of potential, but they didn't seem to have the impact that they could have.  Overall, though, I had a great time.  This would be a great place to go for a whole evening of family fun.  Check it out, if you get the chance.         

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