Visibility / Location:
We found a marquee sign that read "TRAIL OF SCREAMS" at the entrance of the paintball park. The paintball park also had a sign.
We travelled down a very long one lane road for a while before we saw a small sign that said "Trail of Screams" and pointed toward a walking path. This caused some confusion because it seemed the road was leading nowhere and we thought we were passing up the haunt. For some reason, there were police with their lights on a little bit farther up the road, so we asked them where the haunted house was. They told us it was still farther down the road. After having to pull off of the road a couple of times to let people pass by, we finally found a line of cars parked on the side of the road and a building that was lit up.
We parked and walked to the building to buy our tickets. After our tickets were bought and our wristbands were put on, we were directed to go to the "Enter" sign on the side of the building to get in line. We did so and found that the enter sign was fenced off by rope and that there was no actual entrance anywhere in sight. We ended up just crossing the rope to get in line.
They had some music playing near the building that houses Screamatorium. There was no line entertainment that we saw while we were there.
Screamatorium: 4 Minutes
Trail of Screams: 17 Minutes
Zombie Outbreak: 2 Minutes
LPR Score = 3.795
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.
Trail of Screams: Medium
Zombie Outbreak: Low
The groups in the Screamatorium seemed to be spaced out evenly. It seemed like they only let one group into the entire building at one time.
The "crowd control" in the Trail of Screams could be improved upon. Each group of about twelve is given one flashlight, and the actors chose to give it to the most skittish teenage girl in our group. She ran through the entire path with the only light source. This caused the remaining few people in the group to stumble through the dark to the next scene over and over and over again, while the kids that ran with the flashlight had to wait at each stop for everyone to join again.
There was no crowd to control at Zombie Outbreak. Four people at a time took their turn at the paintball guns.
Once we were finally admitted entry to the Screamatorium, we found several scenes; like a medical scene, a butcher scene and a clown scene. The sets were fairly detailed and the costumes were well done. The acting mostly consisted of screaming. An actor followed me as I walked through a cage scene and asked me what the hold-up was. A clown chased us through some circus tent panels and we found the exit. Overall, the Screamatorium was a collage of typical haunt scenes and generic acting.
We then got into the line for the Trail of Screams, which ran parallel to the line we had just spent a significant amount of time in. Since the Trail of Screams is located a distance from the Screamatorium, we had to wait for an old white kidnapping van to pick us up and take us to the trail. After a few rounds of picking people up and dropping people off, the drivers finally loaded our group into the van. We were squeezed into this van like prisoners. The driver, who only slammed doors and said nothing, was intentionally speeding over hills and taking quick sharp turns. It was clear that this was supposed to be part of the show, but I thought it was incredibly unsafe and unnecessary. Nobody in the van had seatbelts to put on. My friend, who happens to be a mechanic, smelled an exhaust leak inside of the van. As a mother of a teenager (teenagers account for a majority of the customer base for most haunted attractions), this made me more so angry than scared or intimidated. On that note, we arrived at the Trail of Screams.
We waited for everyone to be out of the van and we were given permission to proceed down the path laid out by the confusing sign we saw when we arrived on the property. We walked into a small building that we found along the path and we found a couple of actors in a funeral parlor. They said nothing of significance as we walked by, so I assumed it was like every other self-guided haunted house. But as I opened the door to the exit at the back of the building; they freaked out and yelled at me to stay inside. I asked them if they were serious and they snapped at me. At this point, the skit that they went into about the spirits picking someone to hold the light just seemed forced and awkward. They, of course, handed the flashlight to the smallest, youngest girl in a group of twelve, so the rest of us level-headed people were literally left in the dark while she ran away from everything.
We continued down the path and we found several different buildings filled with pretty impressive and detailed scenes. The kitchen and the sweet shop scenes stood out to me the most. The intricate spider webs on the candelabras in a dining room scene were exquisite. However, our visits to each building were cut short because every single building had a chainsaw chasing the flashlight girl away. Every. Single. Building. I wish I had gotten more of a chance to take in all of the beautiful attention to detail that went into the scenes, because what I briefly saw was very pretty.
When we came to the end of the trail, we were directed to the paintball shooting range for Zombie Outbreak. We waited our turn and when we finally got to hold a gun, we were informed we only had twenty paintballs. We had a large canvas with a backlit zombie scene that we could shoot, or there was a dummy on a guideline that we could shoot. Everyone in our group was out of paintballs in less than a minute. We then waited for the kidnapping van to return to pick us up. We got dropped off back at the Screamatorium and we made our way back to our car.
I am on the fence about my visit to Trail of Screams. I don't know if I attended on an "off night," but there was some room for improvement. While the scenes and costumes and make up looked impressive, the logistics and some of the actors' dialogue took away from our experience.
Get the latest Halloween and haunted attraction news, haunted house discounts and more by entering your email address below.
HauntedIllinois.com is your online source for everything Halloween in Illinois. We host the internet's most comprehensive and up-to-date directory of Illinois haunted houses, hayrides, haunted trails, home haunts, yard displays, fall festivals, apple orchards and other Halloween attractions. You will also find Haunted House reviews, local trick-or-treat hours, Haunt Industry news, links to hundreds of Halloween / horror / haunted house websites and more!
"The Internet's Most Comprehensive & Up-to-date Directory Of Illinois Haunted Attractions"