It was a dark and stormy night...yes it really did rain Thursday night when Count and I decided to take a trip to Bolingbrook to visit the Haunted Mansion and Asylum 13 inside McQ's Sports Dome, formerly Ditka's. We noticed quite a few differences and there was even a brand-new logo for the haunt which was quite nice. I knew then and there to expect an all-new experience in fear.
As we went inside and entered the sports dome area, the air became bone-chilling cold and our senses were assaulted with creepy videos on the walls and tv monitors. After a brief chat with the owners, we got our wristbands for the haunt and were led to the entrance to begin our terror-rific adventure. We were told to stay on the yellow path (shades of yellow brick road?) and the usual don't touch the actors, etc. etc. The main area which represents the front yard of the Haunted Mansion looked quite different than years past. There are tarps on the floor, which for some people seemed to bother them, but the reason for this is to adhere to fire codes. Bascially it's like this - if fire codes were not obeyed there wouldn't be a haunt at all so seriously ignore this aesthetic glitch as you will forget about it anyway once you enter the main haunt. And don't worry, the actors in the area will distract you very well!
In the first room of the mansion, you will meet the good Doctor Francis, who tells you his tragic tale and sets you free to wander about his home. The mansion part was very creepily decorated with great attention to detail. There were many scary surprises along the way including a very big baby who has some issues and other assorted ghosts and zombies who seem to have a very big appetite for haunted house patrons.
But wait, there's more! As you exit the mansion into the "yard" you are greeted enthusiastically by a mental patient who leads you into the waiting room at the Asylum. As you go through the Asylum you will be greeted by a cast of crazies, and one very angry nurse, who will chase you through the hospital including a pharmacy, operating room and dental chair. You don't want to be a patient here, that's for sure!
Actor interaction with the patrons is extremely HIGH and in your face. They don't just scare, they entertain and sometimes with hilarious results. A favorite of mine is to give it back to them verbally and they certainly know how to play it off. The actors are also VERY GOOD at scaring people by popping out unexpectedly, there was one time I got so surprised I genuinely screamed!
Count Gregula and I had such a fun time, there were shocked smiles on our faces as we left the haunt. We also enjoyed a nice conversation with the proprietors Clayton and Jennifer, who have worked with the haunt for the past four years and now own it all outright. They are great people and really care about their haunted house and the people who work for them.
Haunted Mansion and Asylum 13 was even better than last year and they deserve at least **TWO FANGS UP**. I wish we could give them more but the Count only has two fangs!
Very highly recommended!
Haunted Mansion and Asylum 13 is located at McQ's Sports Dome, 730 N. Bolingbrook Dr. (Route 53), Bolingbrook, IL
Open Wednesday - Sunday until November 3, 2012
Sunday - Thursday 6:30PM - 10:30PM
Friday - Saturday 6:30PM - 11:30 PM
For more info and to buy tickets, visit http://www.hma13.com/