The Catacombs of St. Pascal 2018
Reviewed on: Thursday, October 25, 2018
There aren’t an overwhelming amount of haunted attractions that technically have a mailing address in the City of Chicago. But, for the last 39 years, underneath St. Pascal Catholic Church in the ventilation shafts, sits a haunted attraction known simply by many as, “The Catacombs.”
MANY designers spent a small fortune to try and provide their show with the atmosphere that is present here. But, if you can get it, there is definitely no substitute for the real thing. In these dark, musty tunnels, is one of the most unique haunted attractions in all of Chicagoland!
A fundraiser for the students and parishioners of St. Pascal’s, the entire community embraces the attraction. (Even the clergy!) With copious amounts of volunteers, parents, teachers, and staff to help ensure the event is a constant success, patrons and guests line up in troves just to get into these mystic chambers underneath this 100+ year old building.
We began our journey by hearing the rules from our guide, Medusa. Complete with a live snake, she instructed us on what would be expected of us before we ventured down the stairs into the depths below. Once mentally prepared, we met the Gatekeeper, who helped us find our way into the boiler room. As if it was out of Freddy’s own imagination, this boiler room was a nightmare come to life! Hot, steamy, foggy/smoky, and with plenty of simulated fire, there isn’t any better way to showcase a more-accurate boiler room!
What really accented our surroundings was the actor who played the room: Tri-Face. With a mask that was seemingly designed perfectly for him, the lighting and effects made the illusion come to life and look fantastic! What a great combination and choice to put this actor and this costume in this room!
We traversed through a number of nicely executed rooms like the swamp, clown room, and butcher shop. But, a new highlight for 2018 was the cage room. When we entered, we found ourselves fumbling in the dark silence. After a few moments, the room lit up with alarms and sounds blaring and before we knew it we found ourselves face-to-face with nearly 6 actors! What a great shock that had our backs against the wall!
Another personal favorite is the decontamination room. Here, the walls are closed in and guests are detoxified… (Or are they really filling us with poison?) Luckily we escaped, but it certainly was a fun simulation!
As we have had the honor of going through this attraction, one of the cool features is that the tour through the underground is actually in a loop, and forces guests to actually exit the same way you entered. This is an extremely rare situation, and allows the Catacombs crew to give us a second look at the boiler room, Tri-Face, and switch up the scenario while the Gatekeeper helps us escape!
Monsters of Note: Tri-Face, Bubbles the Clown, and the Gatekeeper.
The Bottom Line: This is an amazing experience, in a really special setting, for a really fantastic cause! (We call it the trifecta: great show-great place-great people!) This is certainly far from anything else you will experience this Halloween, so make sure you take the entire family for a great experience!
– Official Haunted House Chicago Review Team Review