Visibility / Location:
It's literally difficult to miss Statesville; less than a mile on your way out of the more populated area of Lockport and Joliet, the attraction is very visible right off the road, complete with flood lighted signs and a gigantic inflatable pumpkin. Turning into the attraction, cars are automatically directed into the parking lot line, which is a gravel road and grass field (it can get muddy after a good rain, so be prepared).
We arrived right before the complex opened for visitors, so we were directed to a set of lines against the fence circling the attraction and the pumpkin farm it's attached to until opening time. There was a security staff helping direct people. Once open, visitors can go straight to their designated line (we had VIP tickets, general admission was separate), or they could visit the various shops and cafes and photo ops around the little pumpkin farm before heading to the Haunt. The haunt line itself is outside, but sheltered, and populated by many costumed actors chasing and dancing with patrons to loud music pumped in by speakers. There is a designated area for extreme performers as well (a fire dancer while we were there). There were also a few games (zombie hand-toss) to play after the haunt (cash) and merchandise to be bought, as well as a complimentary photo op set up by the creators.
$30 General, $45 VIP (includes Statesville Prison and City of the Dead)
Though we were among the first visitors in line, we still waited for a good twenty minutes to be lead inside as the first group. The first haunt (Statesville Prison) was 35 minutes in length, after which we were lead to the line for the second haunt. City of the Dead was 13 minutes in length.
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 = 3.815
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 were the first group through the haunt for the evening, so there weren't any groups ahead of us to run into, however with the way Statesville operates, I doubt it would be possible to anyway. There are several check-points throughout both haunts, which hold groups (large, at least fifteen people) in one place for a few seconds to a few minutes at a time, assuring that flow continues in a very controlled manor. The actors also incorporated directions into their performance when needed, obviously having been trained to do so, to make sure the large groups of people aren't clogged by folks getting stuck or going the wrong direction. This haunt is not wheelchair accessible. Be prepared to duck, lean, and squeeze through tight spaces.
Statesville Summary: With realism so deep in detail that I genuinely questioned the fact that it was a fabricated prison, Statesville absolutely nails it's intended ascetic. The set was indistinguishable from something you'd find in a high budget movie, as were the props, and the actors. There were even rooms that smelled the way you might envision a dilapidated psych ward in a riotous prison would smell (although I can't say if the twang of urine and blood was intended there or not). Either way, it helped plunge you into a very disturbing world populated by murderous inmates and undead prison staff. The actors were fully dedicated to character, and played to their audience (extremely difficult for large tour groups). From the terrifying pyrotechnics and flying demons in the rules room to the body-strung hallway at the end, very well done.
City of the Dead Summary: A shorter haunt than the prison doesn't mean the creators skimped on any detail or expense. Your journey through a labyrinth of monster-infested underground caves is a walk through your favorite swamp-thing or haunted-mine horror flick. The sets and props were amazingly detailed, from murky floor to stalactite-strewn ceiling, and I wished I could take pictures of every single costume (I'm a demon bog-witch at heart). There were even live animals (very happy and well cared for reptiles in proper habitat tanks) to prick at some peoples' specific fears. I personally adored the little demonic reptile people and wanted to take them home with me. As in Statesville, the actors' performances were phenomenal to match the world that had been built for them. Excellent experience all around.
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