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Read Other 2009 Haunt Reviews's
2009 Realm of Terror Review

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Realm of Terror Haunted House
Kristof's Entertainment Center
421 W. Rollins Rd.
Round Lake Beach, IL 60073

Visited: 10/03/09


Visibility/Location: This event would be very easy to find, especially if you know it is located at Kristof's Entertainment Center.  There was a large Illuminated Kristof's sign by the side of the road.  Underneath the Kristof's sign was a backlit sign that said "Realm of Terror Open October 2".  There was some room for improvement in this category, though, as they were not using all available signage efficiently.  There was a huge "Haunted House Here" vinyl banner affixed to the side of a semi trailer, but unfortunately it wasn't properly illuminated and it was also parked too far back from the road, so it wasn't visible to people driving by.  After pulling into the entrance, there were a couple of parking attendants there, to show you where to park.
Wait Entertainment: Since there wasn't much of a line, I got in right away and there wasn't much of a need for wait entertainment. Even so, there were a couple of actors in the queue line area to interact with the patrons. Outside of the attraction, there was a nice haunted house facade to help create the proper atmosphere for the tour. In their covered waiting area, there were a few props on display, to further enhance the mood.         
Admission Price: $13.00
Parking: FREE

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: High
Crowd Control: This was another area where there was room for improvement. The tour started off smoothly; however, about halfway through the attraction, there was a back-up of customers that continued through to the end. Employees at check-points to help regulate the flow of traffic would have been helpful.       


To start off this review, I wanted to mention that this haunt is not for small children. According to their website, the Realm of Terror " an extreme attraction intended for an older audience." Based alone on the video that they show customers before they start their tour, I would have to agree. That must have been the most graphic intro video I've ever seen at a haunted attraction.

After viewing the video and being told the rules, patrons entered the haunted house, where there was plenty of blood, gore and disturbing themes. Throughout the attraction, most of the scenes seemed to follow an 'insane asylum' theme. Several areas in the haunted house had dingy white walls, accented with blood splatters and bloody hand prints. The autopsy room featured a disemboweled corpse on a table, with various bloody saws hanging from the ceiling. In the disgusting bathroom, the toilet, sink and mirror were all covered with feces. As patrons walked by, water shot up out of the toilet at them. One of the most disturbing scenes in the haunted house was the abortion room. In this scene, a woman on a bloody table screamed, as her fetus was removed, still attached by the umbilical cord. Needless to say, this is not an event to visit if you are easily offended by such things. Over the past couple of years, the Realm of Terror has really raised the bar and made their event much more graphic. Other scenes in the house included the clown room, shock therapy and the room of hanging bodies. Throughout the attraction, several animatronics were used, to simulate twitching bodies and electrocutions.

After exiting the main part of the house, patrons moved on to the final scene, which was a bit more tame, in comparison to previous areas. It was a maze that had white walls, was filled with thick fog and had flashing strobe lights. The slow flashing of the strobes was very disorienting and the reflection off of the white walls and all of the fog made it nearly impossible to see more than a couple of feet in front of you. The multiple dead ends also added to the confusion, making it much more difficult to navigate. This maze was a challenge, to say the least.

The Realm of Terror had a sufficient number of actors on the night that I attended. Most of them wore dirty, blue medical scrubs that were smeared with blood. The majority of the actors were very creepy, their performances were believable and their characters certainly fit in with the main theme of the attraction. During the tour, they all stayed in character. The only detractor from their performances was the fact that a few of the actors were considerably shorter than me, which made them less intimidating. Overall, though, they all did a great job.

Kudos to the Realm of Terror crew. They put on a very entertaining show. Based on what I saw posted on their website, they aspire to be "Illinois' Most Extreme Haunted House" and I would have to say that this year, they delivered. Be sure to put this haunt on your list of haunted houses to visit this season.

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