It's haunted house week at Chicago Quirk! I've personally visited six different haunted houses, and every post this week will be dedicated to reviewing a different Chicagoland haunt....the best and the worst.
My first haunted house review: Screams in the Park in Rosemont.
Screams in the Park has received a lot of hype for its first year, so I went there with my sister two weekends ago.
The address I listed before is completely wrong, and the directions on the website are not helpful. Just stick the address for Muvico in your GPS, 9701 Bryn Mawr Ave, Rosemont, IL. The haunted house is practically on top of it.
I was the most excited for this haunted houses' theme: a take on H. H. Holmes' murder castle where dozens of women were killed during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Perfect premise! Too bad the theme didn't come across at all, and it was really just a typical haunted house. (There was some weird kid yelling at us to fear Dr. Holmes, but that didn't really do it for me.)
Once we finally got there and parked, we took a look at the front on the haunted house. This is what we saw:
Not terribly inspiring. The tent also looked pretty small so I was worried this would be a short and lame experience.
Fortunately I was proven wrong. The best thing about Screams in the Park were the sets and props. Not only was the set-up pretty stellar, the animatronics were some of the best I've seen. Before you even go in the house there's a strange man with a giant black dog on a leash guarding the entrance. When the guy started talking, the dog jumped up growling and barking. I thought it was a real dog!!! My favorite was the Exorcist room with a Linda Blair-like girl floating above the bed.
What I found really strange about this haunted house is that the actors were the worst thing there. First off, they were really young; we're talking possibly junior high. The character make-up and costumes were generally awful. There were a few good attempts, but for the most part it looked fairly cheap. They need better actors.
About half way through the haunted house we were ushered in to an elevator. I've never seen that before! A creepy elevator operator told us we were "going down," and the elevator started rocking and throwing us back and forth. When we got out of the elevator it really looked like we were in a different part of the house! I still don't know how they did that!
Would I go back?
Probably not. There are better haunted houses out there, and this one didn't stand out enough to make me want to drive to Rosemont again.
Screams in the Park has a small tent waiting area, but if it's a busy night assume you'll be waiting outside. Dress warm.
There's a food truck in the parking lot (a roach coach truck, not a fancy truck) selling snacks. Good for chips while you're waiting in line. My sister called it a vending machine on wheels.
Guilt City is offering two VIP admissions for $36, valid through October 24. And if you're a student you get $5 off on October 12 and 19.
Screams in the Park is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 - 11:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. The haunted house is open on October 31 from 6:00 - 11:00 p.m. General admission is $20 per person. Skip the line with VIP admission for $30.
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