Visibility / Location:
The entrance to the Haunted Forest is visible from Ravinia Ave, clearly marked with lit signs close to the Civic Center parking lot.
The line for the Forest was situated on the wide sidewalk bordering the woods in which the haunt is located, and populated by young volunteers in face make-up holding 'concession boxes' of fake popcorn and candy decorated with painted on 'blood', plastic eyeballs, ect. No actual concessions were being sold, though there was a food truck in the parking lot (that did not appear to be open at the time of my visit). A few costumed actors roamed the line, stalking guests in the queue area, and creepy haunted house ambiance played from speakers near the gated entrance. Both the line and the haunt itself are outdoors and subject to weather, so dress accordingly.
$15 (cash only, as their card reader was not operational on my visit. We had to buy tickets online via smartphone, which came with a 'convenience fee' for each ticket. Be prepared)
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 = 2.053
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.
We arrived two minutes after the haunt had opened (7pm) and there were already around fifty people in line. Groups of three to ten were lead into the trail every five to ten minutes, so be prepared for a lengthy wait in line unless you purchase VIP tickets. The only staging area in the haunt was the rules room, then groups are lead by a flashlighted guide in front and back but allowed to go at their own pace. Even with these measures, and the long wait between groups, we still ran into the group in front of us.
This being my second visit to the Lion's Club Haunted Trail in three years, I had an idea of what to expect (the ticket trailer near the civic center parking lot, the flashlighted guide, the possible muddy trail, ect). I remembered the unique rules room, a shack at the beginning of the trail with a talking skeleton: an adorable effect that may not have been geared towards children but I can't be sure. From the rules shack, we trailed through what appeared to be a sparse circus Midway with a game booth, kissing booth, and 'carnies' who were teenagers in street clothes and fake blood on their faces. Beyond that was a spiderweb strewn bridge to the Freak Show house with residents including the Half Man and Bearded Woman, along with some oddities on display under creepy lighting. The house itself consisted of a living room with a dark maze leading away from it, populated by psycho clowns and deranged carnival folk (also teenagers with minimal costuming).
Beyond the house and the dark mazes that followed were ...more dark mazes. A costumed ringmaster ushered us inside to meet more masked screamers and young people in hoodies and smeared with stage blood. Michael Meyers paid us a visit near the Corn Maze: the spookiest scene in the whole forest in my opinion. It was eerily lit and disorienting, and also well populated with folks looking to show visitors a good time.
All in all, the scare-factor for Forest of Freaks was more Scooby Doo than House of 1000 Corpses. With its family-friendly scare factor, I would say this event would be suitable for haunt fans 8 and up.
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"