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Transworld 2004: "Haunted Attractions"

 Raven's Grin Inn (Mount Carroll, IL)

The Raven's Grin HouseOnce again, Haunters had the opportunity to attend this one of a kind event during the Transworld Convention.  Just looking at this eerie structure, it is easy to see that the Raven's Grin isn't like any other haunted attraction.  Once inside, you won't be chased with a chain saw and you won't find gory scenes or famous Hollywood movie monsters.  What you will find is a totally unique experience. 

So, what is the Raven's Grin?  No description can really do it justice, but simply stated, many people have described it as a spooky fun house.  Patrons can look forward to a unique monologue, with combined elements of fright and comedy.  The Raven's Grin is also different from other attractions due to the fact that the building is actually haunted.  As part of the tour, you are told true stories of supernatural activity that many people have experienced inside the house, starting in the 1920's and extending through present day.  On a typical tour you weave your way through twisting tunnels, shoot down slides and crawl through tight passageways.  You will also be mesmerized by the original artwork, spawned from the delightfully twisted and creative mind of the owner, Jim Warfield.  

Of course, one of the most memorable things inside the house is the slide in the "Bad Dreams Bedroom".  This wild and crazy slide shoots you down 24 feet below the surface of the earth, into the most haunted room of the Raven's Grin, the wine cellar.  

Tours last anywhere from one to two hours, which is quite a value, considering the admission price is only $10. And you don't even have to wait until Halloween to see this unique attraction, as they are open 301 days a year.  

Buttress One of the Raven's Grin Tunnels Dr. Death

To find out more about the Raven's Grin Inn, visit the official website at: .


Rockford ScreamFest (Machesney Park, IL)

ScreamFest Attraction FacadeRockford ScreamFest also put their show on display for Transworld.  They really put on a great show.   This event  boasted an attendance of more than 700 people. 

What really made ScreamFest stand out from other haunts was the fact that they had five haunted attractions under one roof, each with it's own unique theme.  No matter what type of attraction you like, ScreamFest had something for everyone.  

In addition to the normal compliment of ScreamFest "ghouls", actors from a local Chicagoland haunt, the Eleventh Hour Haunted House, enthusiastically stepped forward, to help scare guests going through the multiple ScreamFest attractions.  

Rockford ScreamFest Haunted House Rockford ScreamFest Haunted House Rockford ScreamFest Haunted House

While the highlight of the night for me was the haunted house tour, there were other activities going on that night.  As part of the admission price, they provided a very filling, tasty dinner.  In a separate area, there were several booths set up, where vendors were displaying their wares.  It was quite an inexpensive alternative to buying a booth at Transworld.  Haunted Attraction Magazine, DZX Creative Audio Solutions, The Art Box Inc., as well as others reserved booth space, to show off the products they had to offer.

Leonard Pickel - Haunted Attraction Magazine The Art Box Inc - 708 422-2465 DZX Creative Audio Solutions

Also featured at the ScreamFest gathering was the IAHA (International Association of Haunted Attractions)  meeting/social.  Crazy Bob Turner hosted his annual auction, along with the IAHA casket basket raffle.  Attendees had the opportunity to win prizes donated by various haunt-related vendors, as well as a large cash prize donated by  

To find out more about the Rockford ScreamFest Haunted House, go to the official website: .


Realm of Terror (Round Lake Beach, IL)  

Haunted House FacadeEven though the Realm of Terror is a new attraction, they opened up their doors during Transworld, for the whole industry to see.  As a special promotion for the Transworld Convention, admission to this event was free!  The Realm of Terror is new to the Chicagoland area, with last October being  their first season open to the public.  This attraction was a collaboration of the creative influence of both Dark Attraction Productions and Kristof's Entertainment Center. Throughout the attraction, there were various scenes like monsters behind bars and a mad scientist's laboratory.  There was even a psychic scene, were a palm reader told me that she saw  death in my future. Going through the Realm of Terror was a lot of fun. Since this haunt is in a permanent location, they will be able to build onto what they have from season to season. They had even made some enhancements since last October. It will be nice to see what they have in store for us in the future.

Kristof's Entertainment Center

To find out more about the Realm of Terror haunted house, go to the official website: .



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