If you find yourself in Rockford, check out the abandoned mall complex that homes Twisted Crypt.
When you arrive in the parking lot that has been broken and overgrowing with short grass you are greeted by a delightful clown in a wheel chair welcoming you to the attraction. He is a rare sight, being the only clown that had been accounted for. Security is at the front door to check in guests and provide that the haunt is safe for everyone. Leave any knives, guns, pepper sprays and the like in the car. After getting through the checkpoint you are welcomed into the front room.
The front room is where you will line up to get your ticket. A few rows of hip level gates maze around to the front desk. The people at the front desk are friendly and will direct you further down.
There are several small scenes of skeletons and cars to take a look at while you wait and a few hidden actors to interact with.
As you arrive at the front of the line, you stand in front of two automatic doors. An actor explains that it will not only be a visual experience but also one of smell and sound. The fully automatic doors open to a cramped room. When you enter, the doors close and lock behind you and a television flickers on. Listen closely as a video is played. It tells the back story of an author who mysteriously went missing. A narrator explains that the author had been diluted into his own world of demons. With his last few words recorded stating that whatever he had done, it was real.
A short maze and you come to the first couple rooms where you start to squirm. You are almost immediately thrown into the deep end of the pool and drowned in this new world of demented tormentors.
The second room had really caught my attention. In a small room you see a man hanging in the upper corner, behind a counter of filthy objects. You can smell aromas of rotten meat and dust as you are greeted by the shop keeper. He goes on a speedy tangent about his items in the shop and how they only cost your soul. He will also show you some of his prized possessions if you are kind. Before you leave the room, be sure to get your hand stamped.
There are a few more narrow, darkened hallways where characters will run amok. A gypsy woman will silently danced around us, waving her hands in our faces. She will speak more regarding the author and send you on your way towards the doctors office. There is a key organ before you enter the room, I hadn't been brave enough to play it but you should.
A hallway with three doors were next. We tried each door, all being locked. After our attempts, there was a knock at one of the doors. We tried opening that door and the knock had moved. So we, in the spirit of things, knocked as well. It was a short stop of playing this knocking game until it had finally stopped. One of the doors had been unlocked and we were able to proceed. A vortex is a great 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.
Once through the vortex, we are greeted by a staff of decomposing nurses and informed that the doctor is in, and will see you now. The doctor is jolly and happy to see you. In my case, my friend and I were told we were too tall (6'2 and 5'9 respectively) and before we could proceed, she asked us to stay for dinner which consisted of myself, my friend and the two other people who were in the group with us.
More and more corridors to make you squirm as you enter a jailed in area with two inmates who have seen better days. They are highly entertaining and fun to interact with. This scene is where the stamp from the shop keeper comes in handy. The inmates will ask for the stamp, once shown, an alarm will sound and the two will say, 'oh shit... Another riot' and let you out. Or in.
As if you are escaping prison and into a suburban area you find yourself in a bedroom with a girl in a onesie. The room itself has small hints of candy aroma, feels claustrophobic and using force perspective it creates the subtle but brilliant detail that you are in a child's room and that the actors are small children. I never really found out why people thought that children were creepy until all my friends started to have children and tell me what the kids would do or say, most of the things were pretty out there and disturbing so I get why children are considered creepy. The girl in front of you is no different. She asked to play a game, either hide and seek or ghost in the graveyard. We had chosen ghost in the graveyard and she gleefully explained that we were going to go into a graveyard and hide from her. If she caught us then she would have to bury us alive. She then went into gruesome detail about the bodies reaction to being suffocated.
From there, we entered what could be considered a swamp or a graveyard. Maybe both. A laser field of smog lined the floor. I had accidentally stepped on one of the actors in this area which frightened both of us (if you're reading this, I apologize for stepping on you). Actors pop up giving menacing glares and getting real close to your face. They point you to the way out.
Twisted Crypt was one of the most fun haunts I have ever visited. I have seen my fair share of haunted houses, but Twisted Crypt was a riot. I believed everything the actors were telling me. The world you walked through fully immersed you into feeling the story of the author that went missing. It is one of the more well thought out haunts that I have attended. I highly recommend it for anyone in the Rockford area or anyone who is looking for an experience.
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