9 Haunted Houses That Will Give You A Heart Attack Before Halloween
By Danette Chavez in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 1, 2015 6:45PM
Halloween is just a few weeks away (curse these shorter days), but you shouldn't wait until the 31st to get your Samhain on. We've put together a list of haunted houses filled with enough ghosts, ghouls and other horrors to give you bad dreams—or just get your pulse racing for an evening. Yes, many of these locales are outside of the city proper, but if that hasn't prevented you from going outlet shopping or apple picking, it shouldn't keep you from getting a good fright. Read on—if you dare.
Hair Razor Haunted Scenes
We know what you're thinking—a church setting for an unholy night seems kind of incongruous, but have you seen the opening scene from Fear The Walking Dead? Enough said. And in any case, Hair Razor Haunted Scenes transforms the space into a nightmarish scape, and the designers ensure that even returning visitors will have a different experience year after year. This year, there will be 24 different scenes spread across 6,000 square feet, so just make sure you're up to the task.
6725 W. Devon Ave., Basement of St. Thecla Church, 773-792-3077
Open every weekend from Oct. 9 through Oct. 30, see site for hours
The Catacombs at St. Pascal's
Here's another church that's getting in on the devilish fun: St. Pascal's hosts The Catacombs, "a place that has harbored the undead and jailed the damned" (and that you don't have to leave the city for). Every year in October, the barrier that contains the terrors within the church grounds mysteriously (and conveniently) disappears, and visitors will be chased by monsters and madmen. There's no need for elaborate set-design; knowing that you're not safe even on hallowed ground is frightening enough.
6143 W. Irving Park Rd., 773-725-7641
Open Friday - Sunday from Oct. 9-Oct. 30, and Thurs., Oct. 29
13th Floor Haunted House
The number 13's bad rap for being terribly unlucky means few buildings have a 13th floor. But the owners of the 13th Floor Haunted House know there are far more frightening things than a little superstition, and they've conveniently placed them all in one hellish spot. This year, you can pick your poison: howl (in fear) at the Feral Moon while evading the cursed inhabitants, or try to survive Dr. Hades in the Dead End District. The 13th Floor Haunted House even has Ash Williams' seal of approval.
1940 George St., Melrose Park, 708-571-3326
Open through Nov. 14, check calendar for blackout dates
Statesville Haunted Prison & City of the Dead
Statesville Haunted Prison is one of longest-running haunted house attractions in Illinois, delivering the ghoulish goods every October. Owner Paul Siegel opted out of the usual collage of terrifying tableau that's found in other haunted houses, instead focusing on one simple premise: Can you survive a night in prison lockdown after the inmates revolt? And can you make it out of the City of the Dead alive? These don't have to be rhetorical questions; you can buy tickets online to find out what you're made of (hopefully before the prisoners do).
17250 S Weber Rd, Crest Hill, IL., 815-827-6365
Open Thursday through Sunday, through Nov. 1
Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare
Leave it to Rob Zombie to combine three horrifying experiences into one: The horror-movie director has picked his own brain for inspiration to illustrate his Great American Nightmare. You can do your best to fend off the Firefly family in The Devil's Rejects attraction, or meet Captain Spaulding at the worst (read: scariest) clown school ever, or try to make your way through Murder World and its gang of evil clowns. Costumes and masks are prohibited for guests, which is for the best because you'll want to know who's on your side.
Odeum Expo Center, 1033 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park, IL., 630-941-9292
Open through Nov. 1
Midnight Terror Haunted House
Oak Lawn takes the business of scaring its residents seriously—the town has teamed up with the owners of Midnight Terror Haunted House to organize two tiers of chills. Step inside the Factory of Malum, which is run by demented employees who have been cursed by the owner's greed. You won't find any refuge at Blackwood Hospital, with its blood-covered walls and patients have been mangled by an unseen beast. General admission tickets will get you into both attractions, if you have the heart for it.
9531 S. 52nd Ave, Oak Lawn, IL., 708-639-3279
Open through Nov.1
Dungeon of Doom Haunted House
Legend has it that the ghouls and deranged clowns lurk in the Dungeon of Doom—there's a Killer Crew that consists of knife-wielding fiends like Little Devious Diddles and Shanks the Clown, and the dangers include being buried alive (it's just what it sounds like). You'll struggle to keep your wits about you as you make your way through spinning rooms and mazes. The Dungeon of Doom is a local favorite and has the awards to prove it.
600 29th St., Zion, IL., 262-331-0092
See calendar for dates
Disturbia: Screams in the Park
"Disturbia: Screams in the Park" features 20,000 square feet of mayhem and houses an Insane Clown Asylum and Cavern of Darkness. It's an immersive experience—you'll have to make your own decisions and fight your way through the rooms filled with bloodthirsty clowns (there really doesn't seem to be any other kind, does there?) and murderous mazes of the underworld. A wrong turn could easily mean a dead end for you.
MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont, IL.
Open Oct. 3 through Nov.1
Abandoned Haunted House Complex
The Abandoned Haunted House Complex, otherwise known as the "Midwest's Fear Capital," has an array of attractions to thrill and delight visitors. If you're looking for a more intense experience, head to the Ambush Haunted House within for nonstop pop-up frights. The Hysteria Haunted House is designed to mess with your mind in subtler ways via sound and lighting effects that will make you question reality. There's also the Shoot-a-Freak paintball experience, for when you're ready to unleash some of that pent-up fear—we mean, rage.
2825 SE Frontage Rd., Mount Pleasant, WI., 262-886-1182
Open select dates through Oct. 31