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Read Other 2009 Haunt Reviews's 2009
Nightmares: Basement of the Dead Review

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Nightmares Basement Of The Dead
Downtown Aurora
42 West New York St
Aurora, IL 60506

Visited: 10/16/09


Visibility/Location: I saw a large Nightmares: Basement of the Dead billboard near the intersection of Broadway and Illinois Avenue.  Other than that, there didn't appear to be any other signs along the road that were closer to the attraction.  If you are from the area, this event would be easy to find, since it is located across the street from a major tourist attraction (the casino).  Overall visibility was an issue, though, as the haunted house's entrance wasn't visible from the road.  They did, however, have a hearse and a pickup truck sitting on the street, both branded with "Nightmares: Basement of the Dead", as well as a flying "ghost", to help you find your way.  Parking on the street was extremely limited, so plan on paying $2.00 to park in the casino's parking garage. 
Wait Entertainment: They did a great job in this category.  They had several actors outside, interacting with the crowd.  Covered waiting was provided under a couple of canopies that were set up by the entrance.  Near the queue line, horror movies were being shown on two wide-screen televisions and loud rock music was playing in the background.              
Admission Price: $13.00
Parking: $2.00 (Flat Fee for nearby parking garage)

8 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: Once I got near the entrance, there were signs posted everywhere, telling you where to go for tickets and where to wait in line.  If you somehow missed the ticket booth, there were several signs to remind you, saying things like "Did you get your tickets yet?".  The queue line area was very organized.   

Inside the attraction, the patron flow was great.  I never ran into any other groups.        

Nightmares: Basement of the Dead Pictures

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The tour began with an animatronic severed head reading you the rules of the haunted house. From there, patrons made their way through various scenes, which were separated by lengths of very dark hallways. Many of the scenes inside the haunted house featured body parts and dismembered corpses, making this haunt score very high on the gore-o-meter. Throughout the attraction, they used numerous air cannons and air horns to startle, and multiple strobe lights along with generous amounts of fog, to disorient their guests. Subtle LED lighting was used to add to the atmosphere in several areas. They also had a couple of tricks up their sleeve to keep you off-balance; in one area, the floor rocked back and forth, and in another, the metal grate beneath your feet vibrated. In several areas, there were small scenes set up behind chicken wire. One of them had cages full of snakes on both sides of the walkway and a few others featured bloody body parts.

One of the hallways had an interesting visual effect. There was a band of red laser light shining through the fog above your head, along with two strobe lights that were flashing at different rates. It was disorienting, to say the least and it was the perfect set up for a distraction scare, that took everyone off-guard. My personal favorite was the electrocution scene that featured multiple electric chairs. They used strobe lights, sound effects and multiple animatronic bodies, to simulate people being executed in electric chairs. I donít want to ruin the scare, but letís just say that there was a surprise at the end that I didnít see coming.

On the night that I went through, they had plenty of actors. Some of them were visible, attacking you from within scenes, but many others used the darkness of the hallways to their advantage, to surprise you. A lot of the actors in Nightmares: Basement of the Dead had high-energy performances and the majority of their attacks, most of which were pop-out scares, were right on target. Also, everyone stayed in character and followed through with their roles.

Kudos to the Nightmares: Basement of the Dead crew. This year, they really put on a great show. It was a fast-paced, high energy attraction and it was a lot of fun to go through. They seemed to have turned the intensity up a notch, which is always a plus, with this type of attraction. Be sure to check this one out, if you get the chance. 

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