Visibility / Location:
The haunt is located along a busy street so it is very easy to notice. There are signs across the street as well as signs on the actual property and a large banner across the main entrance. Also, there are large inflatable characters blowing in the wind so it's easily spotted even if one is not looking for it.
The Catacombs has numerous wait line actors, several of which return year after year, including Peanut the clown, Michael Myers, and a creepy character in a hooded robe carrying some type of book of incantations or prayers who walks silently in and amongst the crowd. The return of known wait actors adds a nice touch to the waiting in line.
General Admission $10/VIP $18
Since people move through haunted attractions at different rates, your time will vary. Note: The time shown here represents the actual time spent moving forward through the attraction. Time spent waiting in queue lines, staging areas, intro scenes, rules rooms and when traffic jams cause patrons to come to a halt, has been subtracted.
LPR Score = 3.500
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.
Medium - this haunt is populated mostly by younger actors, so your scares may vary. Most actors simply hide and jump out at visitors from various places, although some interact in different ways.
Crowd control can be an issue in terms of delays. This haunt attracts large crowds, and even if visitors get the VIP option, which avoids the main line, they will still have to wait in a smaller area prior to entering the rules room, where they will have to wait for extended periods of time. For example, on the night we visited, we had VIP tickets so we bypassed the long main line and made it into a smaller room before the rules room. There were only about 10 people ahead of us, yet it took 25 minutes to get into the rules room, then another 10 minutes once in the rules room, as visitors are seated in rows of chairs and only one row goes into the haunt at a time. Thus, if going on a busy night, one can easily wait for a few hours before getting in.
This is the 39th year for The Catacombs and it has grown into a large community attraction. It uses the actual basement of a local church as the catacombs area, and it is used quite effectively. Visitors start off in an actual boiler room filled with fog, then move into the full haunt. Each room has a different them, from toxic waste, to cannibal/zombie areas, to actual catacombs, complete with faux stone walls and ceilings, and also an excellent mirrored room with laser lighting. Many rooms are dimly lit and fog swirls throughout, making the haunt quite atmospheric.
Actors primarily wear simple masks or light makeup - no elaborate costumes or prosthetics here, but that's not surprising given that this is more of a community haunt. The actors tend to be hit or miss, depending on the year, but this year the actors were very good, with numerous surprises and several interacting with us in comedic and clever ways. Actors stayed in character throughout, not breaking at all, which has sometimes been an issue in previous years.
Overall, the Catacombs is an enjoyable experience. If you're expecting Hollywood style sets and elaborate characterizations, this is not the haunt to find those things, but it also never bills itself as that. Basically, the experience is a good one as long as the actors are into it, as the general layout doesn't change much from year to year. Therefore, it's the actors that tend to make or break it. The haunt is rather short at 10 minutes, and wait times can be exceptionally long, so get there early or buy the VIP tickets, which can be purchased online ahead of time.
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