Devil's Krypt is one of the unsung haunts in the Chicagoland area. Housed in the former town hall building for the Village of Cicero, the haunt consists of multiple floors of scenes that incorporate the actual offices, storage rooms, and even jail cells contained within the old town hall. The use of actual rooms as sets definitely enhances the visual appeal of the haunt, and adds to the creepiness.
And it is in creepiness that the haunt excels. Although the haunt has many actors, the building it is in is so large that the actors are able to easily space themselves out and leave large parts where the scenery, fog, lighting and sounds are used to keep visitors wondering if someone is going to pop out at them. Additionally, there are numerous areas shrouded in darkness along the sides of where visitors pass, so although the actual area where visitors are walking is lit, all around them is dark, and it's difficult to tell if someone is hiding in the shadows waiting to jump out. In fact, in several areas there are no actors, but the haunt definitely makes it feel like there is someone there.
For example, the very first scene involves walking down a long corridor in the basement of the building, which has closed doors on both sides. Small overhead lights illuminate as visitors move under them, and then flicker out as visitors move past. Occasionally, the lights will flicker back on behind visitors, so they are never sure if someone is back there or not. Also, the doors rattle after visitors pass, again giving them the urge to look back while at the same time giving them the desire to just get out of there. Additionally, whispers, creaks, and other voices are heard all around as visitors move down the corridor, adding to the creepiness and making the scene extremely effective.
There are numerous sections like this in Devil's Krpyt, and there are also scenes where the darkness contains live actors who manage to sneak up on visitors. Some actors follow visitors, slowly stalking them and giving them that "someone's right behind you" feeling, and others play up the odd factor, talking to visitors and generally acting a bit off rather than screaming in peoples' faces or simply jumping out to startle. However, there are numerous startle scares, too, both from live actors and from well-placed props.
Set design is also top notch, and includes several stand out scenes, along them a rainforest scene where visitors pass along a bridge where rain falls on either side of them and a giant spider waits in its web, and a large crypt scene where visitors look down in the crypt from along a walkway that then descends into the crypt itself, where visitors are surrounded by silent demonic hooded figures who herd them towards the lair of a giant winged demon.
Many scenes are enhanced by strobe lights as well, which are used just enough to slightly disorientate people while not being too overdone. This serves to confuse people as they peer into the darkness.
Also, this is one haunt that seems longer than it is. It is 17 minutes long, which is on the shorter end of haunts of this level, but it seems as though it goes on longer than that. There are no long stretches with nothing to see, and the multiple levels of the building are used well, giving visitors new places to explore just when they think they are finished.
Overall, this is one of the very few haunts that I personally have visited that actually creeped me out to the point where I was wondering whether or not to look over my shoulder or not. Effectively unnerving, and a fun event for the entire family.
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