Welcome to HH Holmes terror mansion. Now, if you don’t know the history behind this lively fellow, Holmes is considered one of the first serial killers here in the United States. Reigning his terror on innocent victims during the first world’s fair here in the city of Chicago. Many of his rooms were built with the intent of torture and to disorientate his victims until he finally killed them off and here is where you start your tour.
Holmes himself is there to greet you at the door. Giving you a super quick break down of the rules for his mansion. If you run…you die. Very simple! Broke us up into a party of 5, and granted us permission to enter.
Winding through his old mansion, the old parlors are filled with old musty furniture, mirrors…and hidden scares from the creatures and spirits that reside inside waiting. Stumbling on through to the kitchen, you’ll find a gypsy woman summing up some of these spirits until she’s disrupted by your entrance. She does warn you that you shouldn’t have come before a very large spirit crashes through the outside window towards you. In your panic, you cannot seem to find the doorway to leave…nicely hidden behind a bookcase, she finally flings it open and you bend down to get through the shortened opening.
The bedroom was fun – with the children’s very large toy! And I very much enjoyed the closet area. You don’t really know someone until you wind through their closet and find the skeletons that hide inside!
One of my favorite scenes however was the bathroom. Very awesome murder scene played out here – remnant of psycho – blood splattered all over the walls, floor and a ½ torso lays right before the tub. Behind the shower curtain a naked woman silhouette is washing up while you see the clothed silhouetted body of a killer, armed with a knife, sneaking up on her before he does her in and blood flying everywhere. Was a very excellent and unique scene. So was the movie room afterwards. Very simple, the old tv screens were blank with static, some with the words Die, Kill scribbled across the front of them. Unique on it’s own, very nicely tied the bathroom scene together.
Few corridors down, the breaking point is next. Where you are ordered to wait for your turn to go down! Yes there is an elevator – and it’s a lot of fun. The old musty elevator is nicely lit up…nice light at the top, musty rugs, large push buttons and a mysterious bell hop to keep you company as you are tossed around in the darkness.
Downstairs in Holmes mansion, you are really seeing the terrors that lie inside. Winding through corridors of disassembled bodies and the demented surgeons in action there was a lot of great scenery and props in these areas. Very much enjoyed the live victims who were in the process of being tortured. Great, simple, hide most of the actor…incorporate him into the prop for a very nice effect. Begging for help, these poor guys had no chance.
A very nice trick within the basement walls was a collapsing ceiling – very much used to haunts using a vortex, this was a nice spin on that.
One of the best acting I’ve seen was in the basement here. Thought we had stumbled across a couple – scared girl, with her boyfriend reassuring her that yes, this is the way. Thought they had hung back from the group in front of us – until one of the creatures came and snatched them through a wall. Had a bit of a creepy factor to it…and very much caught me off guard. Was pretty awesome!
If you’ve made it through after this point, you are tossed out into the graveyard. As you break your way out of the darkness, light disorientates your sight. Nice use of smells and fog while you work your way out of the house and as far away as you can get from these evil sights you have just witnessed! Others have not been so fortunate however, as you stumble across a few tortured bodies strewn about, and finally onto a car crash…where the victim – all burned and mangled – is still alive on the hood of one of the cars begging for your help.
Didn’t know exactly what to expect from this haunt initially. HH Holmes has always captured my interest and so this haunt because of that reason. Almost didn’t have a chance to review it – was sold out the first time that I went. Didn’t realize they had a cap on tickets sold for that night, unlike a standard haunt that allows victims in until the end – could very well use a disclaimer on their site. Especially for the weekends, when buying online gets you a double feature of cheesy 80 Horror films at Muvico – which I think is a great bonus!!
Was very glad I had the chance to go back. The haunt itself did not disappoint. Stayed true to the theme until the end. The actors were amazingly well done in their costumes and fit in perfectly. Many of the rooms were highly detailed, and the use of electric sparks – and noise – fogs, smells and even the lights coming out of the house were all very well placed and very much added to the effect. There’s a great play on props in this haunt – but they are all awesome. Got to see Mr. Electrocution again – it’s been a while. The bathroom movie reel is a killer idea and so was the car crash and victim – loved the victims costume – skinned from head to toe…was very realistic.
Had a great time at this haunt and the new friends I made on the way through. The live on facebook recorder at the end was an added bonus cherry on the top too. They do a great job of mixing the ideas of both traditional and over the top props through out the haunt which make it a mixture of both eye candy and good old fashioned scares. Very much a recommend stop on the season’s list this year!
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