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Read Other 2010 Haunt Reviews's
2010 Chronicles of the Cursed Review

Chronicles of the Cursed 
  -The Haunted Sinkhole
Downtown Chicago
560 W. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60654

Visited: 10/09/10


Visibility/Location: If you are from the area and know where the Tribune building is, then this event would be easy to find.  Near the entrance of the parking lot, there was a vinyl "Chronicles of the Cursed" banner, but since it was black, it seemed to blend in with its surroundings.  Parking was confusing, as there were no parking attendants or signs, to lead you in the right direction (I missed the turn and ended up in the wrong area of the parking lot).   Internal signage was also lacking, as it wasn't obvious where to get tickets and where to get in line for the attraction.  Any signs that were there had a black background.  It's understandable that black fits in more with a haunted house theme, but it doesn't stand out enough.  Usage of signs with white backgrounds, along with an overall better layout / routing from the ticket booth to the queue line area would have eliminated a lot of the confusion.         
Wait Entertainment: I really didn't see much in terms of traditional wait entertainment in the queue line area, but there really wasn't much of a need for it, since there weren't many people a line on the night that I attended.  At the exit, there was a large customer lounge with food, drinks and ample seating.  In the lounge, there was also music playing and a "scare cam", which was a live video feed from inside the haunted house, showing patrons getting scared as they walked through.             
Admission Price: $20 
Parking: $10

10 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. 

LPR: 0.833
LPR stands for Length/Price Ratio. It represents perceived value of an event, by comparing length vs price of admission. Higher numbers represent more value per dollar. Actual quality and/or entertainment value of an event are not factors in this calculation. Click Here to see how this event compares to others visited this year by the staff of
Scare Factor: Medium-Low
Crowd Control: There was definitely room for improvement in this category.  Even though it wasn't a busy night, I ran into the group ahead of me about two thirds of the way through the attraction.  From that point on, it was a conga line all the way to the exit. 


In September, a viral video was released, reporting a mysterious sinkhole that appeared in the Chicago Tribune Freedom Center's parking lot.  The Chronicles of the Cursed haunted house faithfully followed that theme, from start to finish.  At the entrance of the attraction, an actor in coveralls and a yellow hardhat told the story of the sink hole being discovered.  Unfortunately he was a little hard to follow, due to a lot of background noise.  From there, patrons moved into an area that had backlit poster boards, displaying photographs of the sinkhole. This further reinforced the back story of the attraction.  

Throughout the haunted house, there were various themed areas, separated by lengths of dark hallways.  The tour through the "sink hole" began in a utility cage, with electrical cords, hoses and power tools hanging on the walls.  Various other areas featured "stone" walls with embedded skeletons and skulls, while others had large corrugated drainage pipes running overhead.  Other parts of the house had upside-down hanging bodies, rows of caskets and giant spiders.  In several scenes, there were some larger-than-life animatronic creatures.  In one area, there was a huge animated boar head and another area featured a giant crustacean that attacked customers.  Many of the scenes were accented with colored lighting, as well as some rancid artificial scents, to make the atmosphere more realistic.     

In this haunted house, there was a mixture of acting styles.  Some actors performed surprise pop-out scares, while others interacted with customers with a theatrical flair.  The acting was believable and they all stayed in character.  The attraction was fairly well staffed; however an extra actor or two could have raised the scare factor of this event.  

The only real detractor from the experience was the wide hallways, which gave the event more of a wide-open feel.  This just wasn't consistent with the theme of the haunted house.  Tighter, more confined spaces would have fit in better with the back story, giving the event more of a claustrophobic feel that most people would equate with underground tunnels.      

Overall, Chronicles of the Cursed was a lot of fun to go through.  While the event was themed well and very entertaining, it was definitely priced on the high side, especially if you take into consideration the $10 fee for parking.  They seem to have made a lot of improvements over last year's show.  Price aside, its a good time, so check it out if you get the chance.    

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