We entered inside to purchase our tickets. The first thing I noticed was the shopping cart loaded with groceries. If you bring in a non perishable food item you will receive a $5 discount. We bought our tickets and signed the waver. This is mandatory for the extreme show after 10pm. You can opt out of this and receive the regular attraction. They will give you a glow stick so you are not attacked my staff. If you want to experience the standard show you can visit anytime from 7:00pm - 9:30pm
As we waited in line the extreme experience seemed to be real for others. A single female guest got separated from her group of four and was to experience the haunt by herself. Now, before I get into details this is a community haunt, and the actors and youths involved with the Lombard Commonwealth. They are given guidance and they create the haunt and make it their own. It helps kids get off the street and gives them a creative outlet.
It was now our turn to go in. We traveled down a dark corridor and would enter a small room creating a scene, many of which were furnished and had some decorative aspect. This continued on for quite a few minutes, Dark twisted corridor, room. Dark corridor, room. Dark corridor, jump scare, a few turns, room. We haven't seen an actor for maybe a quarter of our total experience. Then finally we had encountered an actor all dressed in black. somewhat stalking us. It wasn't until now we were able to see what the extreme experience has to offer. The actor grabbed the person n my party by the waist and slowly pulled her back as another actor ordered me to keep going. I complied and went on into the haunt. I witnessed a few more rooms in between the dark corridors which had more decoration like a butcher room scene, a boiler room, mad doctor (surgeon) and locker room. All separated by long dark twisting hallways. There was a really nice cornfield set that was pretty impressive with the added detail they had put in there. There may have been an alternate path or a shortcut because I was joined by my companion not too long after I lost her. There was a point we had to navigate a pitch black maze with a few dead ends but it wasn't overly long which was good, It was about the right amount of space. There was another maze I liked. It was a large open space with a rotating sculpture somewhat in the center. And hanging sheets of thick translucent sheets a few feet wide, which created a feeling that made you second guess the direction you were going was the correct one as you tried to find the exit. The hooded mystery person would dart in and out of the plastic and around the room slightly taunting us in the processes.
Our hooded friend popped in and out fairly often during our walking experience nudging us, playing with our hair, making comments in a raspy playful voice. It wasn't until the "coffin room" things changed. My companion was ordered by a female to go in the coffin if we were to continue past this point. She had graciously declined, the alternative then was for me to perform a pantomime sexual act to a painting of a wolf. At this point I was pretty confused and pointed out the fact this would be difficult to do. We were berated with terms that Mr. McKamey himself, would not use to guests during his own show. But words are words and I'm sure we agreed to be called these vulgar terms when we signed the release form. So moving on, I was ordered to go in the coffin which I had no issue with while my companion was taken away from me once again in another room. I heard from down the hall that an actor using child like vice wanted her to play a game with her. I was asked to leave the coffin and perform another request from the actor. This time I was to go behind a panel and stay there until I was allowed to leave. Some moments passed and her assistant was called out to guide me out. They asked me to close my eyes and count to ten, which I complied and the assistant took my hand and led me into the next room, which seemed to be an alter of sorts.
The masked assistant left me to be and I was confronted by two other actors, their main goal was for me to run down the corridors and through other rooms for the remaining portion of the haunt. Now, I'm not much of a runner, I couldn't run from a zombie horde to save my life so I did my best and walked briskly. I caught up to my companion and we were being followed by the two who kept ordering us to run, banging metal trays on the wall to encourage us to move at a faster pace. After a time they had given up and we were left by ourselves to finish the haunt. We would have made the exit like normal people which was apparently was the dead end of another long hall. But apparently I either did not see it, or thought that was another wall and made a turn into an open doorway which after about twenty feet in and another turn I realized we were in a backstage area. and a dead end ahead of us. We turned around to make our way back and either security personal or support staff beckoned us to follow them through the open doorway and ushered us to the exit door Which I mistakenly thought was a 90 degree turn.
Overall the path seemed longer, there was a good use of space of the hallways, but there are so many missed opportunities by having these long unnecessary transitions. The entire experience I would have guessed there were a total of eight actors in attendance. For the most part I would skip the Extreme Experience and just go through the traditional haunt from 7:00pm to 9:30pm. I have a feeling those empty rooms will be populated with actors prior to curfew.
The sets were an improvement from the previous year, and the actors had much more to say also. Their interaction with the guests had expanded which allowed them to use more scripted lines and improvisation when they needed it.
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