Happy September, Haunt Fans!
Here we are, another fall season upon us! It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through the month already where the weather should be turning cooler…or so we thought, but Mother Nature has a different plan on that! As we all know, the month of September brings many things: school is back into full swing, football is back on the TV, and hockey season is just around the corner. Even the Cubs are getting ready for another round in the post-season!
As we dust away the cobwebs and open the creaky doors, the creatures of the dark awaken from their long off-season slumber. All of this can only mean one thing; the mayhem is close at hand and the sounds of screams will soon fill the air in that ever so wonderful month we like to call October.
Over the years, our Review Team has traveled numerous miles, through different states, as well as had the amazing opportunity to see so many wonderful attractions and meet so many people along the way. One of the biggest questions we get asked throughout the season is what is the scariest house we’ve been to? The true way to answer that, is what defines being scary to you? Every person has a fear deep within them. Whether it’s of the dark, spiders, snakes, or clowns, the list goes on and on. Fear inhabits us all differently. Getting the opportunity to walk through all the different attractions throughout the season is what makes our job one of the best. We get to experience all these different fears first hand and see how others react to them. Fear is within all of us, you just have to find it.
So as we get ready to embark on another exciting journey this October, here’s just a little preview of what to expect for the 2017 Season:
After traveling over 2,100 miles last season, let’s give another round of applause to all of our award winners for 2016, as chosen by the Haunted House Chicago Review Team.
- Best Haunted Attraction of 2016: Basement of the Dead & Shattered 3D in Aurora, IL
- Best New Haunted Attraction of 2016: Hells Gate Haunted House in Lockport, IL
- Jim Warfield Acting Award Recipient: Jeff Walker as “Fluffy” from Statesville Haunted Prison & City of the Dead in Crest Hill, IL
Movers & Shakers
Each year, some haunts move around to find the best “home” that they feel will best fit their attraction.
For 2017, Fables Studios presents “Fables Fright Nights – Warehouse X”, will be taking up residence this year at Paintball Explosion in East Dundee, IL. We’ve been told that this won’t be your ordinary haunted attraction!
After taking a few years off and searching for a new location, Dr. S.Cary’s Haunted House has found a new home in Delavan, WI. We look forward to seeing what they have come up with while they’ve been gone!
A Final Farewell
We are sad to report that the following haunted attractions closed for good after the 2016 season: Estate of Terror in Walworth, WI; The SicKHouse in Mokena, IL; and Lake Hills Haunted House in St. John, IN. We wish the owners, managers and staff all the best in their future endeavors and know that you all will be greatly missed.
This year, the following attractions will be taking a break for the 2017 season, and are hoping to come back bigger and scarier in 2018!
Devil’s Krypt in Cicero, IL
Happ’s Haunted Homestead in Trevor, WI
McHenry Jaycees in McHenry, IL
Psychosis Haunted House in Antioch, IL
Friday the 13th
This October, we are blessed with the holiest of haunted holidays, Friday the 13th! Most haunted attractions will be open to summon your inner-Voorhees. Make sure to visit their websites for operating hours!
Congratulations to the following attractions celebrating anniversaries of fear in 2017:
The Twisted Crypt in Rockford, IL – 5 Years
Fear Itself in Mishawaka, IN – 10 Years
Screamatorium in Rockford, IL – 10 Years
Realm of Terror in Round Lake Beach, IL – 15 Years
The following attractions will be hosting special events during the month of October, as well as special end of the season events. (Please make sure to check their website for hours and more information)
13th Floor Chicago – Blackout event – 11/3 & 11/4
Abandoned Haunted House Complex – Blackout event – 11/3 & 11/4
Amhurst Asylum – Friday the 13th Slasher Flashback; Kid friendly performances – 10/22 & 10/29
House of Torment Chicago – Blackout event – 11/3 & 11/4
Midnight Terror – Clown Takeover – 11/3 & 11/4
Realm of Terror – Blood Bath event – 11/4
The Massacre – Blackout event – 11/4
Trail of Screams & Screamatorium – Dark Stalkers event – 11/3 & 11/4
Carry HHC in Your Pocket
For those of you that want to take Haunted House Chicago everywhere with you this haunt season, make sure you download our mobile APP! The HauntedHouseChicago.com app will allow you to quickly find haunted and Halloween attractions near you, get directions to them, rate & review them and more! Currently, it’s available in the iOS Apple Store (Search: Haunt Chicago). Hurry and download the APP today!
Stages, Screens, and Screams
Have any energy left? Need something to do on those nights off? Ok, once you stop laughing, here’s some fun ways to try to enhance your Halloween season:
MOVIES It wouldn’t be the scaring season without a dash of horror flickering on the big screen. Here’s what we have to look forward to this season. The most talked about movie hitting the big screen is “IT”, which premiered in theatres on September 8th. “mother!” entered theatres on September 15th. Hitting theatres mid-September is “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” & “The Houses October Built 2” which both open on September 22nd. Closing out the month, “Flatliners” brings its near-death experiences to life on September 29th. For those that are able to take a night off in October, here’s what you have to look forward to. “Happy Death Day” makes its debut on our beloved horror holiday of Friday the 13th. “Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween” makes its way on October 20th. The eighth installment in the SAW series is that of “Jigsaw”, which invites you to play another twisted game on October 27th.
MUSIC Expect the music scene to be busy these next few months! Starting things off for the season, that well-known event known as Riot Fest, held at Douglas Park from 9/15-9/17. Next, look for Fall Out Boy to play the House of Blues on 9/16. For those looking to take a quick trip across state lines, ZZ Top is playing at the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, MI on 9/22. Put a little country in your playlist on 9/23 and head over to see Brad Paisley at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre. Featuring a two-night show at House of Blues is In This Moment and Of Mice and Men on 9/25 & 9/26. Bringing a bunch of jam-packed shows to The Rave include that of Korn on 9/27, Lords of Acid on 9/30, Mushroomhead on 10/5, Marilyn Manson on 10/11, KMFDM on 10/28, and ending with Breaking Benjamin on 11/4. Making their way into The Forge in Joliet is Mushroomhead on 10/3, Hollywood Undead on 10/11, and Dope and HedPe on 10/11. Blue Oyster Cult is playing at the Genesee Theatre on 10/7. All hail to the Pumpkin King, Marilyn Manson on 10/10 playing at The Riv. Hopping into the Aragon Ballroom is Zedd on 10/12. T-Pain brings the house down at Bottom Lounge on 10/15. Lastly, the United Center is also hosting 3 big shows, Imagine Dragons on 10/18, The Weeknd on 11/2, and rounding things off is Guns N’ Roses on 11/6.
TV Starting off the premiere lineup is that of “American Horror Story: Cult”, which moved to a new night and debuted on Tuesday, September 5th. This marks the 7th installment on FX, with the creators switching things up a bit where this season will not feature supernatural elements. Next up is “Gotham” on Thursday, September 28th on FOX. New to the ABC lineup this fall is “Marvel’s Inhumans”, as well as coming back for its second season is “The Exorcist” on FOX, which both premiere on Friday, September 29th. A new supernatural sitcom coming to FOX is “Ghosted”, which debuts on Sunday, October 1st. The Devil returns for the third season on FOX in “Lucifer” at a new time on Monday, October 2nd. “Once Upon a Time” returns for its seventh season to ABC on a new night, Friday, October 6th. The second season of “Riverdale” premieres on The CW on Wednesday, October 11th. “Supernatural” returns to The CW for its thirteenth season on Thursday, October 12th. Of course, we all look forward to the “13 Nights of Halloween” each season, which will premiere on Freeform on Thursday, October 19th. The most talked about show this October is going to be the eighth season of “The Walking Dead”, which will also be its milestone, 100th episode. Look for that on Sunday, October 22nd. Also sharing that date is the long-standing October tradition of the Simpson’s “Treehouse of Horror” (XXVIII). This year, AMC’s Fear Fest will only be a week-long, which starts on Monday, October 23rd, but the lineup of movies this year is going to be pretty epic! Last but not least, changing things up for their fifth and final season, “The Originals” premieres in early 2018 on The CW.
DVD For those that might need a relaxing night at home, when you aren’t busy working. Here are some great movies making their way to DVD. The new re-boot of “The Mummy” hit stores on September 12th. “Wonder Woman” flies onto shelves on September 19th. The last installment of the series, “Transformers: The Last Knight” rolls out into stores on September 26th, along with TV Series “Sleepy Hollow” season 4. Escaping from the depths below is “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” and “A Ghost Story” which will both be released October 3rd. Everybody’s favorite web-slinging superhero swings back onto shelves with “Spiderman: Homecoming” on October 17th. Last, but certainly not least, “War for the Planet of the Apes” hits shelves on October 24th.
PARTY While everyone has to attend at least one Halloween shindig, Madison’s infamous, “Freakfest” will be hosted on Saturday, October 28th.
HAWKS The Chicago Blackhawks host their season opener against the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburg Penguins, on Thursday, October 5th.
(Although we intend for all dates and locations to be accurate, please check/research before setting off on your journey.)
Opening Weekend is Here
For some attractions, Friday (9/15) marked the official start of the 2017 season! Next weekend (9/22) many attractions will start their season as well. For those that already have the itch to head to a haunted house, the following attractions will be open:
Niles Haunted House Scream Park in Niles, MI (opens 9/15)
13th Floor Chicago in Melrose Park, IL (opens 9/22)
Evil Intentions in Elgin, IL (opens 9/22)
Fear Itself in Mishawaka, IN (opens 9/22)
House of Torment Chicago in Morton Grove, IL (opens 9/22)
The Twisted Crypt in Rockford, IL (opens 9/22)
Abandoned Haunted House Complex in Mt Pleasant, WI (opens 9/23)
Regardless of where you scream at, keep checking Haunted House Chicago all season long for everything to make your holiday season the best yet!
Reviews begin on Saturday, September 23rd! To follow the Review Team on the road this season, follow us on social media!
We look forward to seeing you out on the road throughout the month! From all of our staff, have a frightful and safe Halloween Season!
– The Haunted House Chicago Review Team
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