Karnival of Karnage 2018
Reviewed on: Saturday, October 20, 2018
Just east of Rockford, located on the Boone County Fairgrounds, or as they have coined, “Scaregrounds,” sits one of the few old-school, classic-style haunted attractions in our area, “Karnival of Karnage.” Reminiscent of the Jaycee-era, the “Krew” here uses high-energy actors in tight spaces with masterful manipulation of the dark!
As we approached the ticket window, we were immediately spotted by “Chilly Billy.” Complete with his sceptre-boomstick, Chilly was the first to welcome us to his playground. But, soon, we were introduced to Coco the Clown and Mr. Giggles. Coco, who used a “Krusty-esque” voice, kept us running and laughing the entire way to the front door. (AND then even after we exited) With an amazing balance of humor, witty one-liners, and erratic unpredictability, Coco made sure we never turned our back.
Finally entering in the attraction, we appeared in a church-scene. Named, the “Khurch of Karnage,” we were asked to sit in pews. After a short time and the assembly being congregated, a nun-like actress named, “Mother Mari” appeared. Addressing both the group at large, as well as us individually, Mother Mari asked us our fears and names, and helped to plant the seeds of fear as we prepared for our tour.
Armed with 3D glasses, we embarked into the darkness. The combination of black walls and dirt floors was perfect as it continued to keep us on our toes, and not sure what to expect. After a collage of 3D hand-painted hallways, we experienced one of our favorite highlights: the chain link trail/maze. Actors played like children in the strobe light, whisking around corners, and never giving us a chance to catch our breath. We even had a run-in with one actress wielding a real aluminum baseball bat. (Who had no regard for our lives OR the chain link fence!)
Through the rest of the tour, other highlights included the rickety bridge, campsite, and several ramps and elevation points. But, what really got us going was the classic red-and-white curtain maze. Scenes on their own can be creepy, but add the right team of actors and actresses, and it can become a never-ending nightmare. Bravo!
Monsters of Note: Chilly Billy, Mother Mari, Mr. Giggles, and Coco the Clown
The Bottom Line: That feeling of being in the middle of nowhere with nowhere to go is certainly the feeling you get when entering the “Scaregrounds”. In the middle of an open field is a group of crazy actors and actresses who are certainly interested in wearing your face as a mask. This is certainly a classic-style attraction that should be among your considerations this season!
~ Official Haunted House Chicago Review Team Review