The Halls of Madness is a haunted trail in a semi-wooded area in rural Paris, IL. The tour started with an introduction to the attraction and as I went on my way, I could hear the host’s maniacal laughter as he announced my arrival to his ghouls. The trail path was constructed from sections of fencing, window shutters, pallets and other assorted pieces of wood. Along the winding route, rope was also used to help keep patrons on the correct path.
The layout was cleverly designed so that actors could stealthily move behind the scenes and scare patrons multiple times, as they moved from scene to scene. Holes and gaps in the wall sections provided actors with some great scare spots, too. At various points along the trail, there were small shacks set up that customers had to navigate. There were some surprises and great scares here, as well.
While some haunted attractions rely on highly detailed scenes and pricey animatronics, the Halls of Madness effectively utilized the natural creepy ambiance of the outdoor venue, along with a group of high-energy actors performing old-school scares. Loud heavy metal music could be heard throughout the trail and actors used loud buzzers, air horns and chainsaws to startle their victims.
Although there was loud music in various areas, other sections of the trail were eerily quiet. These intermittent breaks in the action really helped to build anticipation for the next scare.
The actors played a wide range of characters including a bloody-faced demon, a clown, a skeleton and a ghoulish bride. Since most were adult actors, they were more intimidating, making the scares more effective. While a couple of the actors were passive, like the bride in the wedding dress, the majority of them were relentless, attacking without mercy. Scares often seemed to come out of nowhere, so I really had to stay on my toes.
I had a great time at The Halls of Madness. Their high-energy actors were really on point and the outdoor locale was very creepy. At only $10, it is also a great value. Be sure to check this one out, if you get the chance.
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