13th Floor Haunted House Returns To Chicago For A Spooky Good Time

By: Dennis M. Kelly

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It is that time of year again, time to start thinking about candy, costumes and good places to go for a good scare.

Fortunately for you, there are plenty of haunted houses and even haunted trails throughout the state for you, and your family and friends to go to, but I checked out the renowned 13th Floor Haunted House this weekend, brought to you by 13th Floor Entertainment Group.

13th Floor Entertainment Group brings quite a bit to the terrifying table with haunted house locations in Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, Phoenix and San Antonio not to mention many other types of attractions like Los Angeles’ Haunted Hayride, Terror On The Fox – Terror Train.

And of course, what they do is not limited to Halloween, they have touring events such as, Love Bites, A Valentine’s Haunted House, Krampus, A Christmas Haunted House, Zombie Apocalypse Live and much more!

If scary events are simply not your thing, they also have Blitz Bowl – Football Bowling, and Class Axe (axe throwing) in multiple locations throughout the country.

Last, but not least, there is the Great Room Escape – The Nation’s Premiere Escape Room, but for Chicago, all that is available are Mini Escape Games where you and your family and friends get 5 minutes to escape for $5.00.

The Chicago haunted house is in a new location on River Road in Schiller Park, easy to get to with very convenient and affordable valet parking through One Spot O’Hare Parking and Valet on River Street, just behind 13th Floor. They operate 24 hours and have indoor parking and security cameras overlooking the lot, so you can rest easy whether you’re at the haunted house or even headed out to O’Hare Airport for a trip.

Like entering through the gates of Hell, all must pass through the gate, and through a foreboding alleyway to get to the lines before entering the haunted house. The line length appeared reasonable for a Friday night though there were a lot of people continually pouring in all evening. So, wait times will vary depending on when you arrive.

The experience itself put all senses up to 11 as there was something around almost every corner in exceedingly dark spaces. Screams and music filled the air as I traversed through highly detailed and elegantly designed scenes, I was very impressed. I was not exactly sure how I was going to be since I don’t think I’ve ever been through a haunted house in my life, but surprisingly, a person in my group was screaming so much, it seemed like she was almost being targeted by the actors, which made a fun time in and of itself for the group I was with.

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There are two main attractions, Bad Blood which is a battle between werewolves and vampires and The Spirit Of Halloween. Honestly, I am not sure if they were part of the whole walkthrough or if they were something separate, though I did see some brief elements of the attractions while making my way through it. Some bits were a blur to me; concentrating more on looking out for where the next scare was going to come from rather than being able to take my time to appreciate all the levels of detail that they put into it.

I compliment 13th Floor Entertainment Group for providing a very well balanced experience for their guests, between the sounds and visuals to actors and animatronics and moving in areas the keep you unbalanced and a bit disorientated. As I was leading the small group, there were three spots I was not exactly sure where we needed to go, but in those instances, we were directed accordingly by the actors.

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Which brings me to the staff, I want to compliment two of the staff members in particular (Denasia and Jayda) who were absolutely wonderful in looking after a girl who became too frightened to get passed the entrance who were kind enough to keep her occupied. By no means are the staff intended to be babysitters, so please be sure your children will be comfortable with going through a very intense haunted house. They caution that the experience may be too intense for children ages 12 and younger, though there was a group with younger children ahead of me that seemed to get through it fine.

So, you’re probably asking yourself then, “Is it scary?” to which I would have to answer, it depends on you and your background. Those who may be desensitized to dark imagery and haunted houses in particular [may] not be as scared as others. I would recommend not going with people who have been desensitized, they might diminish the enjoyment of it for you, instead, take in the experience with fresh eyes to enjoy the full fear of the night it will be much more fun that way.

General admission ticket prices can range from $19.99 to $32.99 with optional Fast Pass and Skip The Line options that can add $10 and $20 more to your overall cost. Of course, as it gets closer to Halloween, expect more crowds and longer wait times, so the options might end up being worth it if you don’t like waiting.

Overall, I had a great time experiencing 13th Floor Haunted House and would definitely recommend checking it out at least once if haunted houses are your idea of a good time!

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