Your Complete Haunted House Guide

Your Complete Haunted House Guide

I can't even express to you how excited I am for Halloween! Being the Chicago Quirk that I am, I'm not one to hit the bars in a slutty costume. (Okay, I may have done that once or twice, but I'm over it.) Since trick-or-treating is out and my tiny apartment doesn't allow for a Halloween party, I'm all about haunted houses.

Over the past few years I've circled the Chicagoland haunted house scene, and I consider myself somewhat of an authority on the best scares in the area. I've been to many of them before, but starting Friday I'm going to visit all of the major haunted houses in the area and give you weekly reviews.

Here's the list of haunted houses I'll be visiting:

Haunted Mansion & Asylum 13
Location: Ditka Sports Dome, 730 N Bolingbrook Dr, Bolingbrook
Admission: $20 general admission, $17 on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Sundays
Hours: Friday & Saturday: 6:00 - 11:00 p.m., Sunday & Thursday: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Opening Date: Sept 30
What's it about: This experience is actually two haunted houses; a typical haunted mansion and a typical 'mental institution gone awry' scenario. I'm not jumping to any negative conclusion yet though because even with a good premise a haunted house can still be very lame. There are two things I'm curious to see: The VORTEX and the Cage Maze. Not sure what they are, but we'll find out!

Basement of the Dead
Location: 42 W New York St, Aurora
Admission: $15 general admission
Hours: Friday & Saturday: 7:00 – 11:00 p.m., Sunday & Thursday: 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Opening Date: October 2
What's it about: Two laundry workers are maimed in a terrible accident but never seen again. Over the years people have been disappearing, and unexplained and horrific phenomenons have occurred. Could be cool. Could be very not cool. We will see.

Statesville Haunted Prison
Location: 17250 S Weber Rd, Crest Hill
Admission:$30 general admission, $25 on Thursdays with internet coupon
Hours: Friday & Saturday: 7:00 – 11:00 p.m., Sunday & Thursday: 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.
Opening Date: September 30
What's it about: Zombies, a demonic warden, general chaos. Full disclosure: I've been to this haunted house before and HATED it. The sets were okay, but there were just too many people jumping out at me. After awhile I was more annoyed than scared. But I want to ensure an accurate review, so I'm giving it another shot.

Fear City
8240 N Austin Ave, Morton Grove
Admission: $25 general admission
Hours: Friday & Saturday: 7:00 – 12:00 a.m., Sunday & Thursday: 7:00 – 11:00 p.m., October 30 & 31: 7:00 – 12:00 a.m.
Opening Date: October 1
What's it about: I have to say that I"m the most excited for this one. This brand new haunted house is actually a ride. You start off on the "outskirts of Chicago" and get on an "EL" train car. You're then taken to scary stops around "the city." I'm a bit confused with how the rest of it works, but it sounds really freaking cool.

Screams in the Park
Location: 9703 Bryn Mawr Avenue, Rosemont
Admission: $20 general admission
Hours: Thursday, Friday & Saturday: 7:00 - 11:00 p.m., Sunday: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m., Octobre 31: 6:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Opening Date: September 30
What's it about: Another brand new haunted house! And this one is actually pretty unique. The haunted house is modeled after Dr. Henry Howard Holmes' murder castle. He was the psycho that lured women away from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and killed them. Every room of his castle-like house was designed for murder, the perfect premise for a haunted house. According to a Daily Herald article, it will feature chutes, secret passage ways, torture chambers and a live cast.

You'll note that none of them are in Chicago; that's because there AREN'T any major haunted houses in Chicago this year. Both The Fear at Navy Pier and Chronicles of the Cursed, two very awesome haunted houses, have confirmed that they won't open this year. SAD!

I'm hitting most of these this weekend. I know there are plenty more in Chicagoland, so if you think I missed something let me know!


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  • Are any of these actually in Chicago? Or in surrounding areas outside of Chicago? Or better yet, could me and a group of friends enjoy these without having to drive a car?

  • Do you know of any really big Haunted Houses in the city? I've wanted to check some out but haven't really heard of anything?

  • Unfortunately there aren't any big haunted houses in Chicago this year, so you'll have to drive out to the 'burbs to see any. (I don't think any good haunted houses are accessible by public transporation, but I could be wrong.) But I'll be doing a feature later in the month on spooky Halloween activities in the city.

  • One haunt I do not see listed that is definitely worthy of note is The Asylum Xperiment at the Odeum in Villa Park. Here is their 2011 press release:

    Ratchet-up the Madness in Villa Park

    Villa Park, IL – Terror returns to The Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park this year as The Asylum Xperiment, Chicagoland’s premier Hollywood style haunted attraction, unleashes a half-dozen, brand new, adrenaline charged sets on their exploding, scare-hungry fan base. Running the gamut from a terrifying runaway elevator called the Asylum Xpress, to the great outdoors with a feel reminiscent of the Friday 13th series, in a classic crazed-hillbilly campsite, to the ultimate cage maze complete with flying actors suspended from cables above. Even the jaded, hard-core thrill seeker who’s seen it all will have plenty to buzz about in this latest production.

    This year promises to be the perfect blend of fast-paced, in-your-face scares along with the classic, meticulously crafted set details that people have come to expect from The Asylum since its original show back in Berwyn in the late 1990’s. A huge array of additional scares and actor development have been added for fans with a heightened tolerance and expectation of the modern day haunted house, ratcheting up the scare factor and fright scale several degrees.

    Despite its massive size, every square inch of The Asylum Xperiment is meticulously thought-out down to the finest detail. Each scene is genuinely a work of art, something to be savored, and despite your pounding heart, not to be rushed. Many of the sets have been dramatically increased in size and the traffic flow through others has been altered to allow patrons more time to come closer to the action and absorb more of the detail that has gone into each scene.

    Once again, The Asylum Xperiment ticket also includes an added bonus–Blackout, a freakishly designed black maze of terror, full of clever twists and surprises as a precursor to entry into The Asylum. A nice way to get warmed-up and prepared for the main attraction, Halloween thrill seekers get two unique haunt experiences for the price of one!

    For further information about The Asylum Xperiment, including ticketing, show hours, directions and more, visit their website:

    # # #

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    I went a group of friends last year to The Asylum Xperiment.
    BIGGEST WASTE OF MONEY! There was really nothing to it.
    A lot of walking through nothingness and some lame stops along the way. Just went to Dream reapers yesterday which was ok. about a 7 out of 10. So far in my 15 years of haunted house visiting, Reapers Realm is the best and you definitely leave feeling you got your monies worth.

  • Really?! I'm glad I didn't go! I'll have to check out Reapers Realm. There are just so many I know I'm going to miss a few. Thanks for the info!

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