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The Dark Art of Chad Savage
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HellsGate Haunted House

HellsGate Haunted House

Lockport, IL
Reviewed on: Friday, October 28, 2016

Everyone has heard of the legend about the multi-level mansion hidden deep in the woods.  It’s filled with secret passages, ghastly secrets, giant slides, and a darkness that can’t be contained.  Well, look no further, because that legend has become a reality in the most talked about new haunted attraction for 2016, HellsGate Haunted House, located in Lockport, Illinois.

Taking well over 2 years for this masterpiece to come to life, literally built from the ground up.  The creative mastermind and Zombie Army Productions has put their blood, sweat and tears into this attraction and they did not disappoint.

Now for those that may not be aware, getting to HellsGate is very different from other haunted attractions.  You must park in the nearby Metra lot, as buses shuttle you to and from the property.  Talk about fully immersing you into the experience, it’s as if you are being bused to Disney!  Once being dropped off, you begin your grand adventure into the woods to find the mansion.

Truly feeling as if you are alone in the middle of nowhere, you begin weaving your way through the woods, encountering the darkness within. Making our way through the Lost Souls Cemetery, many creatures lurking attack as we make our way past them.

Upon leaving the cemetery, we approach the gates and see just beyond that is the mansion.  Taking our breaths away, we felt like kids on Christmas morning as we waited to enter the house.  As we waited, we made a friend with “Bad Kitty” who told us about the Captain and the others we would encounter inside.  But in the blink of an eye, “Bad Kitty” transformed into “Lucia”, as the possession from the house took over her.  After conversing with “Lucia” for a bit, the possession left and “Bad Kitty” returned, as if nothing had happened.  We commend this actress on a job very well done!

As it was time to enter the mansion, we were led into the great room and couldn’t believe our eyes.  It felt as if we truly entered someone’s house.  Filled with a grand staircase, stained glass windows and a fireplace, even down to the real hardwood flooring beneath our feet!  We really didn’t know where to look first.

We knew we were going to be in for an iconic opening, which is something Zombie Army Productions does very well, and they definitely didn’t disappoint here.  Add in a mix of creepy sounds and outstanding audio to set the tone, it made the scene complete and added an extra chill down our spines.  Watch out for the twins, you never know what may happen when they are around.

Making a unique entrance into the rest of the attraction, we encountered the study, filled with so many things to look at.  If you get the chance, make sure to give those candles a smell too! Entering into the rest of the house through a secret passageway, we were excited to begin our journey into the unknown.

Weaving our way through the attraction, we found ourselves taking a trip through the kitchen, library, multiple hallways, and the trophy room.  Be careful around those trophies, you never know what may happen in there.

The MOST memorable room, would have to be the doll room.  If you aren’t a fan of creepy dolls, hold on to your loved one in front of you, because they are EVERYWHERE. Not only are there over 100’s in the room, but the life sized ones throw you for a loop too! Did we mention walking through the life-sized doll house built like the mansion itself?!  The designers behind this room definitely know how to mess with your head on this one.

Continuing on our adventure, just when we thought we were safe, we ended to the lab area which was filled with LIVE ANIMALS!  If you have a fear of spiders, snakes and scorpions, you’re in for a big shock, because HellsGate packs a perfect combination to mess with those fears.  (Trust us, when not one, but two of our review team members didn’t even want to walk through this part!)

After escaping from the critters, we made our way upstairs to the attic.  Here we met Granny, who sets you off on a small adventure through the crates.  Which one will she choose for you? Guess you’ll have to see for yourself!

Making our way out of the attic, we approached the infamous slide!  As our group lined up at the top, we all made our way down and ended in front of a black curtain.

Here, we were handed a glow stick and told that we have 45 seconds to enter the room in front of us and find the key to HellsGate.  Spreading our group out to cover the most effective ground inside, we were set free and scoured the room top to bottom, even crawling in and out of barrels.  Unfortunately, our group didn’t find the key, but it is definitely a well thought out concept!  (For those that aren’t aware, if your group finds the key, your ticket is free!)

The Bottom Line: HellsGate is not just your average haunted attraction.  Taking a different spin on things, its meant to be more of a theatrical piece, then in your face intensity.  This is not just a haunted house, but an overall adventure to be a part of.  Experience it for yourself and make sure that you add HellsGate to your must-see list.  We have a feeling this attraction won’t be going anywhere for a VERY long time!

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