Night Terrors of Effingham was a collection of scenes with a wide variety of themes. Throughout the house colored accent lighting, custom sound effects and artificial scents were used to draw the customer in and make each scene more authentic.
Near the beginning of the attraction there was a dark maze area with a twisting path, but the rest of the haunt consisted of scenes with a high to moderate level of detail. One of the first areas was called “Bubba’s Junk Hut” and it definitely lived up to its name. Multiple shelves were stacked with old televisions, chandeliers, books, boxes and other assorted “junk”. Bubba taunted my group, as we walked through.
From there, we moved through a grimy kitchen with dirty, blood-smeared walls. The countertop and sink were just gross. Several pots & pans were hanging from a rack on the ceiling, swinging back and forth, clanking together. Before exiting the scene, there was an actor scare that I really didn’t see coming.
The bloody sheet hallway also had some great scare spots. Hidden from view, a pair of creepy actresses wearing matching blood-smeared costumes followed my group through the entire scene and into the next. It was very unnerving.
As a transition from one area to the next, there was a dimly lit hallway with a green laser light effect that made it look like we were walking through a tunnel. That was very cool.
Next, surrounded by rows of corn, we navigated through a farmer’s cornfield. As we passed by, a creepy scarecrow character in a burlap mask “stalked” our group through the scene.
After that, we had to crawl through the back of a panel van with a “Free Candy” sign taped to the back door. As we approached the van, the actor said “C’mon in and get some free candy!”, with a creepy smile on his face.
One of my favorite areas had to be the street scene. It was like something out of The Walking Dead. As we walked past a tall, realistic theater marquee façade, three or four zombies converged on the group. That was well done.
Another memorable part of the haunted house was the clown scene. The first room covered a large area and had a central platform where an evil clown taunted my group. Glowing 3D clown artwork on the walls and colored streamers hanging from the ceiling added to the circus-like atmosphere. I really don’t want to give too much away, but there was a big scare in this scene that took everyone by surprise. The clown area continued with a red & white stripe maze. It was one of those where you had to feel around to see where the next opening was. Some very animated clowns popped out of corners to scare us and then proceeded to lead us down the wrong path.
Other notable scenes included the disgusting bathroom, the morgue, the nursery, Lost Souls Swamp and the pallet maze. The wide variety of scenes in the haunted house made the journey more interesting, because at any given point, I didn’t know what would be next.
While some of the actors were more passive and creepy, most of them had high-energy attacks. Everyone also stayed in character, making their performances more believable. Throughout the house, a lot of the prominent actors were adults, which made them more ominous and added to the overall intensity level. Kudos to the actors. They all did a great job!
Night Terrors of Effingham was a high energy event filled will both fun and fright. It is advertised as “Central Illinois’ Most Terrifying Haunted Attraction” and I will say that it definitely delivers some great scares. In addition to being highly entertaining, with an admission price of only $12, it is also a fantastic value. Be sure to add this one to your list of haunted house visits this season.
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