Chill factor: Prepare for scares at suburban haunted houses
Adrenaline fiends who crave a bloodcurdling scare will be in their element this Halloween season at haunted houses across the suburbs. The houses' immersive intensity and twisted visuals mean these are not for the sensitive or young children. Here are a dozen to consider, if you dare.
13th Floor Haunted House Chicago
5050 River Road, Schiller Park, 13thfloorchicago.com/. Open various hours every day from now until Oct. 31; closed on Oct. 4, 5 and 11. Also open Nov. 5, 6 and 13. Recommended for ages 12 and older. Tickets start at $19.99.
Returning in a new location for a terrifying eighth season, 13th Floor Chicago will present two fresh haunted attractions -- Bad Blood and The Spirit of Halloween -- inhabiting 40,000 square feet in Schiller Park. The new site, near the Rosemont entertainment district, also will feature a carnivallike midway of games, photo ops, food and beverages.
Creepy characters await in 13th Floor Chicago's haunted attraction Bad Blood.
- Courtesy of 13th Floor Chicago
Basement of the Dead
42 W. New York St., Aurora, (630) 896-2466, basementofthedead.com/. Various hours Wednesdays through Sundays through October, plus a blackout version from 7-10 p.m. Nov. 6. General admission costs $35, and a VIP ticket that lets you skip the general line costs $50.
Rated one of the top haunted houses in the nation, this year's rendition of Basement of the Dead also showcases the Shattered Haunted House. It occupies the basement of a 100-year-old building in downtown Aurora, and promises to harness people's primal fears the second they take a step to descend into the space.
You might not look at dolls the same way again after visiting Basement of the Dead in Aurora or Disturbia Haunted House in Downers Grove.
- Courtesy of Basement of the Dead
Disturbia Haunted House
1213 Butterfield Road, Suite D, Downers Grove, (630) 896-2466, hauntedhousedisturbia.com/. Various hours Wednesdays through Sundays through October, plus a blackout version with no lights from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6. General admission costs $35, with VIP and skipping the general line for $50. Not recommended for kids 12 and younger.
It promises a terrifying haunted attraction with a wide variety of scares. A concession stand with food and drinks is available.
Dungeon of Doom
600 29th St., Zion, (847) 262-3666, dungeonofdoom.com/. Open Fridays through Sundays (closed Oct. 3) through October, plus Oct. 21 and 28. Special blackout hours from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6. Tickets start at $30, and fast pass, VIP and added attraction upgrades are available.
During the hourlong haunted house within a 45,000-square-foot building, visitors will experience such sights as the never-ending corridors of Mercy General Hospital, the actors dubbed a "killer crew," and the gore of Quimby's Slaughter House.
900 Grace St., Elgin, (630) 634-2858, eihaunt.com/. Open from 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and 7-10 p.m. Sundays through October, plus Oct. 21 and 28. Tickets cost $35; VIP is $50.
Be terrorized at this multilevel, 55,000-square-foot paranormal hot spot inside an actual former casket factory. Evil Intentions invites visitors to make memories that will be the stuff of nightmares for years to come.
HellsGate Haunted House
Visitors park at 301 W. Second St., Lockport, and take a five-minute shuttle bus ride, (605) 301-4283, hellsgate.com/. Various hours Thursdays through Sundays through October, plus Oct. 27. Not recommended for children younger than 12. General admission costs $35, with upgrades offered.
Hidden deep in the woods, HellsGate is a multilevel mansion filled with secret passages, giant slides, ghastly secrets, undead abominations, really nervous groundskeepers and a darkness the gate can no longer contain. Guests traverse a zombie-infested woods and Lost Souls Cemetery to reach the indoor haunted house.
Insanity Haunted House
3940 Illinois Route 251, inside the Peru Mall, Peru, (630) 805-2638, insanityhh.com/. Fridays through Sundays (closed Oct. 3) through October, plus Nov. 6. Tickets cost $15, VIP lets you skip the line for $25.
More than 10,000 square feet of pure terror awaits. The invitation is to face your fear as you make your way through rooms full of torture, torment and terrifying screams.
Massacre Haunted House
299 Montgomery Road, Montgomery, (708) 320-FEAR (3327), fearthemassacre.com/. Open select hours and days through Nov. 6. General admission is $29.99, and the fast pass is $39.99. May be too extreme for kids younger than 13.
More than 20,000 square feet of nightmares are promised, including a haunted labyrinth of 60 rooms filled with scary actors, mazes, animatronics, strobe lights, fog, moving floors and other reasons to freak out.
Are you brave enough to enter The Forsaken haunted attraction at The Old Joliet Haunted Prison?
- Courtesy of The Old Joliet Haunted Prison
The Old Joliet Haunted Prison
401 Woodruff Road, Joliet, hauntedprison.com/. Open various hours over multiple dates in October and Nov. 5 and 6. Tickets start at $19.99.
This fright season marks the debut of The Old Joliet Haunted Prison, the region's first and only haunted house inside a real abandoned prison, which closed in 2002. The grounds and interior of the prison annex are transformed into a haunted house with two attractions, The Forsaken and Ghost Chamber. Created by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, it features makeup and effects from Hollywood special effects artists.
Realm of Terror Haunted House
421 W. Rollins Road, Round Lake Beach, (847) 973-6053, realmofterror.com/. Open Fridays through Sundays through October, plus Oct. 28; closed Oct. 3. General admission starts at $19.99; skip the line is $29.99; and VIP, which includes front-of-the-line access and one drink at the Haunt Bar, costs $39.99.
Organizers of the highly rated Round Lake Beach attraction emphasize the intensity of the experience, with the website officially cautioning: "This haunted house contains questionable and offensive content and may not be appropriate for many audiences. We do not recommend it to anyone. Especially those with heart conditions, medical issues, young children, or those who are easily offended." The Haunt Bar serves "boo-zy" concoctions.
Six Flags Fright Fest
1 Great America Parkway, Gurnee, sixflags.com/greatamerica. Open select dates through October. One-day tickets start at $39.99. Fright Fest may be too intense for ages 13 and younger after 6 p.m.
Six Flags Great America gets spooky after the sun sets with haunted houses, roaming zombies, scary shows and rides where you don't know who -- or what -- might be in the seat next to you.
Statesville Haunted Prison
17250 S. Weber Road, Lockport, (877) SCARED2, statesvillehauntedprison.com/. Open 7-10 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through October. General admission is $30; VIP, which includes skipping the line, is $45 online or $50 at the door.
The prisoners have rioted, the guards have fled, darkness has seized control of this fictional maximum security prison, and the warden has opened the gates to visitors. You will be forced to find your way through 23 maximum security cells and come eye to eye with over 100 criminals dubbed too evil to die, where the motto is: "Statesville Haunted Prison. No one escapes."