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2017 Nightmare On Fairgrounds Road Review

Nightmare On Fairgrounds Road
Bureau County Fairgrounds
811 West Peru Street
Princeton, IL 61356

Reviewed By:

Jamie Sullivan



Visibility / Location:

I used Google maps and it took me right there. There is a sign out by the road with scrolling red letters advertising the attraction right by where you need to turn in. It was easy to find and there was plenty of parking available when I got there. I was confused about where to enter to purchase tickets and there wasn't a line of people waiting. There was a large section of the parking lot roped off with banner flags and there were several buildings and a bonfire inside the roped off area. I ended up figuring out that you enter just to the left of the sign. You walk up to a building, buy tickets through the window, get an arm band and then walk between a couple of unused ticket booths to enter the attraction.

Wait Entertainment:

There were large speakers up by the ticket booth playing music. We didn't have to wait in line to get into the first barn but that didn't stop the actors from stopping us on our walk there. The first one ran up almost immediately. She was jumping around with her messy hair and bloody face excitedly yelling "Hi!". The second one came scooting across the ground at us. He was in all black with a dark mask on that only showed one of his eyes. He stood up in front of me, took a small section of my hair and smelled it, then moved on to another member of my group. Once he was all done with us he walked behind us, crouched back down and then threw a piece of gravel at us when we started walking away. It was great! We went to the green sign as instructed by the ticket booth. There was a group in front of us that was confused about where to go. A worker pointed to 3 different areas. She said the first was for Dimension X. I never did figure out what that was. The second was for regular admission and the third was for VIP ticket holders. We were all regular admission so we followed them into the second area that was right by the green sign. It was a dirt floor barn with rope tied to barrels to create a path for the line to follow. There was an actor dressed as a scarecrow in there that I did not see coming. The people in front of us must have known the actor with the sugar skull looking mask who was marking the armbands because they stopped to hug her and talk to her. We went around them and were let through a door. We were told to step up onto a platform and we got our picture taken. They post all of the pictures on their Facebook page. We were let into the haunted house after getting our picture taken.


$10 for regular admission. $15 for skip the line VIP tickets.



Event Length:

1st Barn: 6 Minutes
2nd Barn: 5.5 Minutes


LPR Score = 4.025

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

Scare Factor:


Crowd Control:

We didn't end up running into any groups while we were in the barns but there were very few customers there at that time. As mentioned above, we went around the group who stopped to chat. We were able to go through the first barn at our own pace and didn't see any other groups. As we exited the first barn we found a group that was lost and not sure where to go from there. We noticed a large unlit arrow pointing to the right and decided to go that way. The lost group said they would follow us so my group ended up being first to go through the second barn. They never caught up to us inside the barn.


Overall, it was a good time but certainly not the best experience I've had at a haunted attraction. I feel like there was a lot of guesswork involved after getting parked. We walked right past the entrance and a man putting up the open sign had to tell us where to go. The unused ticket booths right by the building where you actually buy the tickets was confusing. We ran into the people confused about which of the three entrances to use and the people confused by where to go after the second barn. We never found out what the first entrance (Dimension X) was. There were several rooms that didn't have any live actors in them, just props. That made some of the rooms lose their potential to be scary. There was one room that had mirrors on the wall and a makeup vanity in the corner. Nobody was in there though so I'm not sure what they were going for. There were a couple of actors who barely moved. I found myself wondering if they were actual people or just props until they moved their head or arm ever so slightly. I didn't think that was scary. I would have rather had them jump out or yell at me. We didn't rush through either barn but the spider guy who was opening the door for the second barn commented on how fast we made it though. He was very nice. He was wearing a top hat and his face was white with black eye sockets. He kind of reminded me of Captain Spalding except he wasn't a clown. Speaking of clowns, the clown room was pretty cool! It smelled awesome and there was a bubble machine, a robotic clown and a couple of live actors with high quality masks/makeup on and big 80's hair band clown hair. One simply said "Hi!" in his clown voice and the other didn't speak at all but put his oversized mallet in front of the door to block us temporarily. They both looked great so I would liked them to interact a little more. I will cut the place some slack because it was opening night and we were some of the very first ones through. They may have just needed to work a few bugs out. I have been to my fair share of haunted houses over the years and there were several parts that I wasn't expecting and have never seen before. It was worth the $10 for sure! I also want to mention that there were lights to disorient you, swinging bridges, uneven dirt floors, step ups and drop offs, steep ramps, spinning tunnels, ect. Be sure to wear sensible shoes and watch your step. There is a huge bonfire with benches around it where you can hang out and warm up. You can also grab a bite to eat at their concession stand.

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