Haunted House Reviews

As you can tell from my previous posts… I really LOVE fall and Halloween. Because of my passion for haunted houses I feel inclined to post a review of the ones that I visit during the season. So, here it goes.

Last weekend I hit up two haunted houses: Basement of the Dead (Aurora, IL) and Reapers Realm (Hammond, IN).  Here are my thoughts and opinions on both of them:

This haunted house is by far my favorite.  I have been going to this one for the past 3 years and I have to say that it gets better each year.  It was great to hit this one up first… although at the same time it wasn’t- now that I started the season off with the best haunted house, all others have a lot to live up to. Parking is available for $2 at the Aurora casino parking garage for an easy way to get to the haunted house. From the start, this haunted house is ready to scare you.  With numerous “haunts” outside to scare you as you walk up to purchase your tickets and wait in line, to the video that played while you waited in line there is plenty of entertainment to keep you amused while you wait.  Since we were there the first night it opened, we didn’t have a line at all, but we have also been there when the wait time was over an hour– and it was worth every minute of the wait.  Once you enter the haunted it is PITCH black.  I think that this is one of the most important aspects of the haunted house…with it being pitch black, you aren’t able to see the people inside and are really frightened when they jump out to scare you.  Not only is it dark, the rooms are really well done with great props, the right amount of animatronics and gore.  The characters inside the haunted house were very well done up in make up and costumes and well hidden around the haunted house.  While walking from room-to-room, there were many “entertaining” features: hanging body parts from the ceiling, motion activated air blowers, and blown up walls that you squeeze through to get out.  It takes about 15-20 minutes to make it through. Overall, I give this haunted house a 10+ rating… and not for the faint of heart.

I hit up this haunted house after Basement of the Dead.  Again, this is one that I have gone to for the past 3 years.  This year we attended it the first weekend that it opened and we came right before it closed…not sure if this was the best idea for this one.  The haunted house closed at midnight and anyone that gets into the parking lot by midnight will be allowed to get in.  There is a parking lot there to park in for $10.  Admission is $20/$25 for both the haunted mansion and haunted woods.  Most of the haunted house isn’t very dark but there are MANY rooms to go through as well as some cool features while going through the house: bridges, ramps, narrow hallways and short doors.  The haunted house is populated with younger kids and teenagers as the “haunts”, and although they have the best intention for scaring you, I’m not sure that they are really trained to do so.  The scenes that you walk through are more elaborate than needed- containing dramatic scenes that you almost feel inclined to wait to see the whole thing play out rather than just being able to walk through and be frightened.  There are a bunch of animatronics and strobe lights throughout the haunted house.  All-in-all this year I wasn’t really impressed with it this year.  There didn’t seem to be as many people working there this year as previous years- although that could be because we got there so late.  It took about 20-25 minutes to get through the house.  I give it an overall rating of a 4- not really for small children but definitely not one for someone who is looking for a good scare.

I also went through the haunted woods.. this by far was a waste of my time.  It was definitely something for children and took about 5 minutes to walk through.

Last night I went to The Chronicles of the Cursed.  I only knew of this haunted house from the Groupon offer that came up last weekend for 1/2 off a ticket.  I figured since it was featured and in Chicago I would check it out.  However, I was VERY disappointed. Admission is $20/person. There is parking available for $10. There were NO outside haunt entertainment or anything to really keep you occupied while waiting in line.  The whole haunted house was created in a tent and people were sent through the haunted “house” in groups of 15.  There were no dark rooms in the haunted “house” and the entire thing smelled of a combination of an open sewer, musty smell and animal bedding.  I’m not sure if this was intentional to add to the appeal of the attraction, but it only really added to the disappointment of our experience.  I am usually really scared walking through any haunted house–clutching on to the shirt of my boyfriend, who ultimately has to enter first as I refuse to do so.  In this haunted house I walked straight through never once needing to grab on for safety.  There were a mix of ages as the “haunts” dressed in dark colors with mediocre make-up.  Overall, I rate this haunted “house” a 2–definitely something that is meant for children.  Something I wouldn’t spend money on to attend.

If you have attended a haunted house in the Chicagoland area and think it is worth the while, please let me know.

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One Response to Haunted House Reviews

  1. Kathy says:

    Too bad you don’t live on the west coast. We’re headed to Fright Nights at the Vancouver P&E next week–7 fabulous haunted houses and an amusement park decked out for Halloween–Roller coasters, fire jugglers, walking spooks, mazes etc. Every year is better than the last.

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