Reviewed on: Sunday, October 22, 2017
With 29 years under their belt, Reapers Realm is technically the reigning “elder” of the Chicago Haunted House industry. (The only other haunted attraction older within 100 miles is Niles Scream Park, just over the border in Niles, MI.) Our staff was raised on Jaycee Haunted Attractions, the Asylum Experiment, and none other than Reapers Realm! So, they certainly have a very special place in our hearts.
A staple right located right off of the expressway in Hammond, IN, Reapers Realm can be seen year-round. Boasting “three floors of terror,” they have (4) attractions to keep you and your entire family screaming all night long! Even their legendary radio commercials start the haunting process by getting stuck in your head for hours after you hear them!
Starting off your adventure from the parking lot, you immediately enter the carnival portion of the attraction, dubbed, “CarnEvil.” Although there is nothing “haunted” here, it is a nice combination to have before/after the haunted portion of your trek. They even have our favorite, funnel cake!
The first step into the darkness gives us the “steak and potatoes” main attraction, “Haunted Mansion.” Filled with a variety of haunted house classics, this takes patrons through a number of experiences that include walls and floors moving, use of different media like corn, and even a real, working Tesla Coil! (The only one in the Chicago Haunted House industry!) Actors here exhibit old-school pop-scares, and keep patrons running from room to room. Of course, when you have three floors of terror, remember that what goes up, must come down. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for this not-so-often seen haunted house experience!
The second attraction is, “Zombie Revolt.” Surrounded by complete darkness, and armed with only a small flashlight on its last battery leg, patrons are thrown into the lion’s den. With Zombies attacking from all angles, this is a great experience and keeps the hair standing on the back of your neck from start to finish!
The final attraction is, “Reaper’s Woods.” Completely outdoors, this trail takes you through all your favorite horror movies and brings you face-to-face with all the super baddies from your nightmares. Complete with some misleading trails, turn-arounds, a personal visit inside a well-scared for RV, and even those famous clean white sheets that every horror movie shows us, this will leave you running in all directions to find the exit.
The Bottom Line: Reaper’s Realm is an incredible part of the industry’s history and shows they are still kicking as they are about to start their 30th year of operation! Are they the most “extreme?” No, but that’s not what they are trying to be. Since day 1, they are trying to give patrons of all ages a haunted Halloween experience that will have them checking their closet every so often. Our hats are off to the crew and family of Reaper’s Realm!
– Official Haunted House Chicago Review Team Review