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2018 Karnival Of Karnage Review

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Karnival Of Karnage
Boone County Fairgrounds
8791 Il-76
Belvidere, IL 61008

Visited: 09/29/18


Reviewed By: Murnau
Visibility/Location: Karnival of Karnage is located in Belvidere on the back roads of the Boone County Fair Grounds. Look for the hearse and take a right. It is a little difficult to figure out where to go from the initial turn, but go through the gates of the fair grounds and you'll see a booth with colored lights.
Wait Entertainment: It was a slow night at Karnival of Karnage and only a few actors were ready to receive incoming guests. They weren't really in character either, they were talking about smoke breaks and the music that was playing in the house. I'm sure on busier nights they'll do a better job at entertaining a crowd. I stood waiting to go in without a peep from any of the actors. An actor in a 'Jeepers Creepers' mask was staring at me but I had a hard time taking it seriously because of the quality of the mask.
Admission Price: $15
Parking: Free

20 Minutes *
* = 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: 4.666
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-Medium
Crowd Control: When I had entered, I was in a group of one. My friend who had accompanied me wasn't feeling up to this one after we had visited another haunted attraction. A group of two were in front of me and I figured I would join them. I was wrong in that notion. Though we had all entered at the same time, I was held back by the actors. There were several small check points in the haunt to keep you from bunching up with other groups. At a few points I thought I had caught up with the group of two in front of me because the actors were unprepared.


A neon door stares at you as you wait to enter Karnival of Karnage. Mother Margaret, a scantily clad nun, asked for tickets and escorted us past the neon door and into a church. Mind you I was in a group of three that would be segregated. The church scene was a bit confusing for a 'karnival' but it was accompanied by intriguing lighting effects. Mother Margaret bellows the rules of the haunt in a southern bell accent as another actor passes out 3D glasses. The two other gentlemen were relieved, sent on their way. I was left with the two actors. I'm not sure what nuns have to do with a carnival and the scene didn't insinuate there was a cult or anything like that.

Mother Margaret slumped onto the pew next to me and asked me my name. I had told her Frank, being the first name of the alias I have been using. She and the other actress giggled. She proceeded to ask me what I was afraid of. I had told her 'normal things' which included: falling from tall heights, touching a piece of food while washing dishes, burning popcorn in a microwave, frogs, and Mall Santas. All real, viable fears of mine. The last one seemed to get Mother Margaret going. She got up and exclaimed to Santa that I was here to see him. I laughed and said, 'yeah, I figured I'd get at least one.' Mother Margaret then sent me on my way.

The first half of the house is a 3-D adventure down corridors with florescent paint. A few actors popped up for scares. Though the 3-D was fun and distorting, there wasn't much of structure of story. When you arrive at the end of the dirt path and 3-D section of the house, you come to a Vortex, which is a delightful machine. It is a rotating cylinder with different colored lights. If you have time, step into the middle and hold onto the hand rails. You instantly get the feeling as if you were a teenager who had snuck liquor from your old ladies cabinet, spinning and spinning out of control. This concluded the 3-D part of the walk through.

From there I saw few scenes that aren't anything to write home about. I had the feeling that the haunt was just as confused about it's identity as I was. I was threatened by a few clowns in one room, telling me how they wanted to dissect me and use my intestines as jump rope. They also commented on how pretty I was, which made my day. As I left, they had told me I wasn't so pretty any more. I responded with a glum 'awe' and continued down the dirt path.

I had come to the room I was dreading. The Christmas scene. Turns out, there was no Mall Santa as Mother Margaret had promised. Just Mrs. Claus (I assume) who was sitting in a thrown style chair, an actor dressed as an elf, and then another older gal at a table filled with presents. Mrs. Claus proceeded to tell me that Rudolph killed Santa and that he was on his way back. I was told to leave before he got back. I didn't understand what the hubbub was, mainly because I didn't see the danger that she was speaking of. There wasn't even a Santa corpse or anything to indicate that I was in peril. I shrugged and said 'ok' then continued through the door but before I could get through the lady at the table began throwing presents at me and said 'get out, Christmas sucks.' I agreed and continued on my way.

I came down a few corridors of air guns that are pointed directly at your face and a few actors who tried their best but it had seemed like I had caught them off guard, until I had gotten to the next room which was empty. It had an Ouija Board set up in the corner with a desk. Other than that, the scene was normal and actor less. I was just about out of the room when the actor who I assume was supposed to be sitting at the Ouija Board had entered. He looked at me as if he were surprised and then menacingly stared at me. I tired to make some small talk so that it was less awkward that I had walked through his scene without him being there. I ended up making it so much more awkward than it needed. You could cut it into a really delicious awkward cake.

There was a maze of hallways that led me to a younger actor asked for my glasses and told me to be careful about the girl in the next room, that she was crazy and that I should probably just run. I stuck around just to see what the fuss was about. The girl in what I presume was a clown costume but couldn't really tell what or who she was suppose to be, would say a few incoherent things and then run off. The younger actor would come in, shaking his head, "I told you she was crazy." I nodded and continued through the hall. "Watch out." I heard from the younger actor, which gave me a heads up to look to my right where the girl had been standing, waiting to pounce. I was alerted to the danger before it could even set in so it wasn't at all surprising.

I came to a scene where I think a bush had murdered some campers. There were two actors, one in a gully suit, the other was... I couldn't even tell you. The gully suit consistently got in my way as I tried to get through the scene. It would tell me to go one way, get in my way, then tell me to go the other way. This went on for a minute or so. I then went through a scene that looked like a home, there was a coffee table and some chairs and an old television. Two actors were telling me how I would due for their dinner and that I could fit in the tub. The tub was... Just a tub. There wasn't any detail or blood or distressing used in it. By this point in my walk through I was getting confused.

From there I was escorted by an actor to a doctor's office. The doctor was stationary in a wheel chair. He asked the other actor why I was visiting. 'Neutering' the actor said. I wasn't sure how the doctor was going to neuter me when I had functioning legs and he didn't. I also wondered what they would say to females who came through. I looked around for a second to see my path, the doctor had pointed me in the right direction and that was about it.

A maze led me to more clowns who were playfully saying things like they wanted to finger paint with my blood. It wasn't in a real menacing tone but more... Childish. Like school yard bullies who wanted to take your lunch money but then had a change of heart and wanted to be friends with you. By this point my confusion had turned to a bit of disappointment.

Karnival of Karnage was unprepared because it was a slow night. Their actors seemed timid and not intimidating. I didn't feel the horror that they were trying to instill. It seemed to have an identity crisis. It wasn't sure if it wanted to be the fully 3-D walk through experience that distorted you or if it was supposed to be more garish and frightful. There were fun parts but to me, Karnival of Karnage was more campy than scary. I had high hopes for this haunt because I was in a group of one. The actors should have had a hay-day with me but they didn't pounce at the opportunity.

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