Visibility / Location:
Like everyone who grew up near Bartonville, I already knew how to get to the old hospital grounds, considering it was always center to many local ghost legends and a popular teenage adventure before it'd been made a Haunt attraction. For visitors who are unfamiliar with the area, however, I would suggest the use of GPS to find the place. There were plenty of well-lit signs (as well as volunteers in safety vests directing traffic) to ample parking, but only up to about a block away. Before that, I suggest planning your route beforehand.
On the night I visited, there was plenty of parking a short walk away from the event lines and entrance. The path took me between some of the old infirmary buildings, but was marked off with signs and tape to help direct foot traffic. Congratulations to the pre-teen in the scarecrow costume hiding in the shadows; I'm sure the noise I made when you jumped out at me was quite entertaining.
Rather than a single long line to snake around the empty lot beside the attraction, volunteers had organized three separate lines that filtered groups according to size (two, three, four, or groups of five or more)- each of them sheltered by temporary tents lit by red rope lights. They also offered benches for waiting, which was nice even though the crowd was a manageable sixty or so people. The group sections emptied into a master line, gated off and fed by costumed volunteers as the cycle of visitors went through. Music played from one of the volunteer booths (either from ticket sales or concessions, I couldn't tell which), and everything from AC/DC to spooky ambiance played in the twenty minutes I was in line. There were two creepy clown actors stalking those waiting in the master line, offering cheap thrills, mostly to the entertainment of visitors by scaring the more squeamish members of the herd.
$15 for a general admission ticket, including the one indoor attraction. The Infirmary used to offer historical hayrides that took visitors around the old hospital grounds, complete with little tidbits of the infirmary's history, but for whatever reason they were not offered this year.
Free, or donation parking closer to the event. We donated $4 to the local JFL.
LPR Score = 2.451
LPR stands for Length/Price Ratio. It represents perceived value of an event, by comparing length vs price of admission. Higher numbers represent more value per dollar. Actual quality and/or entertainment value of an event are not factors in this calculation. Click Here to see how this event compares to others visited this year by the staff of HauntedIllinois.com.
The Infirmary volunteers were highly organized, and had a clear and efficient system for delivering visitors through the wait-lines and into the attraction. As far as I could tell, no groups over 6 people were allowed through at a time. We could move through at our own pace, for the most part, save for a few areas with extremely low visibility, and twice when actors purposely impeded our way.
One might assume that an event called 'Haunted Infirmary' would go with an overall creepy hospital theme- which they did- but this year seemed to throw in a hodge-podge of other cliche scare rooms, including scary clowns, demonic entities, and a zealous dedication to the 'cannibal hillbilly' theme. There was a shantytown-like walk into the building with *very* energetic rednecks wielding cleavers and machetes, shouting promises of some delightful torture. My friend (who happens to be much more jumpy than me) had her head buried in my Northface hoodie the whole time, which of course drew most of their attention. Very entertaining for me.
Inside the infirmary, the first thing anyone would notice was the plentiful use of fog machines. The air was thick and heavy, adding to the atmosphere but also sometimes made it difficult to breathe, though my recovering from the plague may have exacerbated the effect. The first room was the Chapel- as I was informed by a hooded monk who implied I was already on my way to Hell. Definitely well decorated and high on the creep-factor.
After that, the rest of the tour was basically one long winding hallway with 'gallery' rooms (scenes that you could walk by and observe, but not actually go through) strung together with bigger rooms like the Cannibal Kitchen (that looked *way* too similar to my old high school feed line), the Radiation Room (and melted mutant patients), the Clown Room (shout-out to the insanely tall skeleton who looked like the lovechild of Pennywise and Slenderman), a black-out maze complete with bungee floor, the Demonic Doll room (and the Goatman I accidentally stepped on- sorry, dude), and of course, the wall corner I literally ran face first into (careful fellow bespectacled Haunt-fans). Of course, we were cordially sent off from our adventure by a man with a chainsaw.
This attraction is a non-profit affair with a fairly low scare-factor, however was still quite entertaining. For a small budget Haunt, the construction and costumes were cohesive and well done, but the actors were what really sold the entire experience. They were dedicated, enthusiastic, and stayed in character like pros. I would recommend this attraction for ages 10 and up, though I did spot a few obviously younger (and more adventurous) kids in line with their parents.
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