HellsGate Haunted House
HellsGate Haunted House
Reviewed on: Friday, October 13, 2017
Chosen as Haunted House Chicago’s 2016 New Haunted Attraction of the Year, HellsGate Haunted House returns for its second year of fear in Lockport, Illinois. For those that have not yet partaken in the legend of HellsGate, this is a must-see attraction. Here, patrons don’t just experience a haunted house, they take an adventure. This adventure consists of a walk into the forest, across the cemetery, up to the house, along with a slide down to the Basement… only then will you find HellsGate.
Something that HellsGate does is submerse you into its very own world. Literally, found deep within the woods, guests must park in the nearby Metra lot, as buses shuttle you to and from the property. Making you feel as if you are going into the unknown, the creators behind this attraction know exactly how to set the tone.
As you embark on your adventure through the forest, creatures lurking in the dark come out into the shadows enough to send shivers down your spine. One of the biggest changes this year on our walk through the forest was the fallen tree. Here, patrons have their comfort level tested, as they have to duck and find their way through. Encountering numerous bee inhabitants along the way, this is a structure that we have never seen elsewhere!
After leaving the forest, you make your way through the Lost Souls Cemetery, where more creatures attack from all sides, leaving you feeling as if you may never make it out alive. Following the winding path, as you leave the cemetery, slowly coming into view are the gates holding the evil inside that lead you to the mansion.
With a view as if it was straight out of a movie, the mansion appears as the fog surrounds it. You could not ask for a better sight! As we approached the front door, numerous wait line actors paid attention to our group and warned us of the evil that we would encounter inside.
When it was time to enter, we made our way into the great room and waited for what happens next. From floor to ceiling, this room engulfs you completely and makes you forget that you were just outside in the woods and brings the house to life, and this is just the first room!
One of the things we enjoyed the most last year was their iconic opening, which is something that we’ve learned from Zombie Army Productions, is that they always want it to be memorable. This year was no different. With a great combination of actors working the room and the outstanding audio and lighting within, this opening is definitely one you don’t want to blink during!
As our group proceeded to the study, filled with even more treasures than the year before, we patiently waited to enter the rest of the house. As the secret passageway whisks us away into the mansion, we were ready for 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 where you walk, you never know where a creature might come lurking from the dark.
For the second year, one of the MOST memorable rooms we encountered, the doll room. Now, for those who suffer from Pediophobia, this room will make you hold on tight to your loved ones and friends, as there are over 100’s inside! Complete with life-sized dolls and did we mention the life-sized doll house built like the mansion itself that you have to walk through?! Add in one of the twins having a tea party with a clown, and the intensity of this room multiples by ten!
Making our way through more secret passages, we ended up in the critter room. Once again, the use of LIVE ANIMALS in incorporated here! If you have a fear of spiders, snakes, cockroaches and more, than this room is going to make you cringe and leave you wanting to run upstairs as fast as possible.
After making our way to the second floor of the attraction, we arrived in the attic. Here, Granny chooses which adventure you will take through a series of different crates. What box will send you to your fate? Guess you’ll have to see!
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 to the bottom and were instantly blown away. This off-season, the designers and builders of HellsGate were quite busy bringing the basement to life.
Completely brand new for 2017, the basement of the mansion came alive with floor to ceiling design, we could barely contain ourselves with excitement! The actors in this area did a very good job at messing with our group when just when we turned the corner and thought we were safe, we were attacked from a completely different angle! This new design was definitely well thought out and showed how much more evil is lurking within the depths below.
Lastly, it was time to find the key to HellsGate. Another change for 2017 is that they made this area smaller, giving groups a better chance to find it. As our group spread out, we scoured the room from floor to ceiling, in and out of crates and barrels in search of the key. 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 house, but an overall adventure to be a part off! If you have not yet taken the journey, make sure you add this to your must-see list!
– Official Haunted House Chicago Review Team Review