It's the second annual haunted house week at Chicago Quirk! I've visited five different haunted houses this season, and every post this week will be dedicated to reviewing a different 2012 Chicagoland haunt....the best and the worst.
My first haunted house review: Dream Reapers in Melrose Park.
I'm a fan of Dream Reapers. There's such a big gap between the local DIY haunted houses and the huge, multi-million dollar blockbusters, and it's hard to find something in between. Dream Reapers is a great experience if you want to have fun and not have to wait two hours.
It's pretty easy to get there. If find yourself in some very shady looking warehouse district, you'll know you're almost there.
I'm pretty positive that whoever designed the haunted house took a hit of acid before designing each room. While there isn't one cohesive theme, each scene is its own version of messed up. Be prepared for extremely graphic props and decapitated naked torsos, brought to you by Nightmares, Inc.
While the actors had great costumes and make-up, Dream Reapers runs into the problem that a lot of haunted houses have: there are so many people jumping out at you that you're completely desensitized by the end of it.
I do have to give major kudos to the actors messing with people waiting to get in. Not only are their costumes unbelievable, but they aren't just the usual generic scary creatures.
I was very impressed with the maze. Anyone can turn off the lights and make you find your way out, but Dream Reapers used mirrors and strobe lights to truly disorient you.
Dream Reapers claims that it has incorporated scary scents into each room to give you a multi-sensory experience. I was so excited to check it out. That is, until I took my first step inside. It smells like someone lit a pile of plastic on fire and shoved it into a fog machine. It smelled so bad that I had my nose covered for most of the way through. Supposedly Sinister Scents provided different smells to go with each scene - dirt smells, foul breath, cotton candy, etc. I guess it must have all swirled together to mount a complete olfactory assault on anyone who entered. Horrible.
Would I go back?
Unfortunately, I can't. After more than 10 years, this is your last chance to visit Dream Reapers. The space is being torn down to make way for a new Menards, and the owners aren't going to find a new location.
Discounts and Coupons
Click here for $5 discount on VIP passes during the weekend and $10 off on a weekday.
Dream Reapers is open every night starting Thursday until Halloween. Sunday through Thursday it's open until 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday it's open until 11 p.m. General admission is $20 per person. Skip the line with VIP admission for $35.
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