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2014 Raven's Grin Inn Review

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Raven's Grin Inn
411 N. Carroll St.
Mount Carroll, IL 61053

Visited: 10/06/14


Reviewed By: The Maitlands
Visibility/Location: Mt. Carroll is a small tucked away little town in Northwest, IL, but Raven's Grin Inn does everything it can to make itself known. Look for the creeped-out hearse bearing the name near downtown and follow the signs in. Located just off Market Street, it's very easy to get to--though GPS errors have been known to occur in the oddest of circumstances trying to locate the house...
Wait Entertainment: No actors or standard "line entertainment" here--but just looking at all the stuff outside the house is a show all its own. A UFO sits atop the house, which is adorned by a giant skull, an inverted "Poe-lease" car, intricate metal sculptures, and, of course, goofy pun-filled creations (look for the wrong side of the tracks when you go...)
Admission Price: $15 per person
Parking: Free

3 Hours *
* = Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary. Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving forward through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines, staging areas, intro scenes, rules rooms and when traffic jams cause patrons to come to a halt, has been subtracted. 

LPR: 41.356
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: Low
Crowd Control: A little rough the night we went. We sat through the opening scene twice (which took about 45 minutes) because several staggered groups that arrived during that period of time were allowed in. We didn't mind though, the waiting room was a great show, and even if you've seen it before, watching other people's reactions are just as fun. Although we technically saw the show in the waiting room twice, Jim Warfield, the owner and tour guide that evening, only repeated a few things, further proving he has many tricks and stories up his sleeve.


If you're looking for a "traditional" haunted house, full of actors disguised as monsters that jump out at you and sets out of horror movies, this is not it. If, however, you are looking for an off the wall, much more personal journey through one man's somewhat demented mind and genuinely haunted home, then this show is for you. If you were to mix together Ripley's Believe It or Not, an art exhibit, a haunted house, a parade of homes tour, a one man stand up comedy routine, a night spent around the campfire telling ghost stories, and a history class, you might be somewhere in the ballpark of Raven's Grin Inn. Maybe.

You start your journey in the living room of the home, which doesn't sound so scary, but after you've listened to Jim Warfield, the evil genius behind the haunt, spin the tales of true life ghost stories that have taken place right in the very same dimly lit room you're sitting in, things will start to get a little creepier. From there you'll be guided through the "home" where you'll laugh, probably scream a little, and feel a lot like a kid in a very macabre playground. There are many, many rooms, props, sight-gags, and hiding places Jim uses to keep you on your toes. There aren't many traditional startle scares, but those that are there work very well. The majority of this show is Jim, his comedy, and his creations. He makes a specific point of this right at the start of the show--that his goal isn't to terrify you or to cause eternal nightmares--but to instead give you a great show. And that he does!

Word to the wise, go with a group of friends that know how to laugh at good and bad jokes alike and have a good time, even in the oddest of circumstances. The group you're with at Raven's Grin Inn can really set the tone for the entire experience.

If you're looking for a long show, try to go on a week night or during the off season. We were treated to a three hour tour on a somewhat slow night, which was a lot of fun, but can get a little tiring as there is a lot of walking, crawling, and sliding to do in the house. From what we have read, during a busier night, tours tend to last 1 to 1.5 hours---but we were very happy with our "3 Hour Tour"!

Overall, Raven's Grin Inn is a one-of-a-kind experience that you can't really label a "haunted house" in the traditional sense of the word. It's really more of a creepy full-immersion experience, a very macabre show and tour through the eyes and mind of Jim Warfield, who is as unique and fun as they come. In our opinion, this is a show not to be missed--but definitely be ready for something very... very... different...

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