Visibility / Location:
There is a large parking lot right next to the event ticket office. The Scout Reservation where the event is held is directly south on highway 51. Despite it stating Pana as the city, the location is southeast of Pana. When 51 ends you continue straight all the way to the reservation. At one point you will see a sign that says dead end however the reservation is at the end of this road. There is no signage at this intersection and unless my GPS said it was further ahead I would have almost certainly turned away. The roads south of 51 are fairly dark and not very well maintained. I would suggest bringing a car with good ground clearance.
There was a car and a hearse parked at the ticket office that you could look around. There was no wait at all so wait entertainment did not seem to be an issue.
The price was $10 at the site. I did not see any way to purchase tickets in advance or online.
After you have your tickets you follow a line of torches to the entrance. Once you enter the haunt it takes about 32.5 minutes to complete.
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 = 14.081
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.
The scare factor was medium. Most of the scares were provided by actors located in set piece locations in the haunt. In addition, simply walking through dark woods in the middle of the night raises the anxiety level.
There was no staff at the entrance to the trail so when several groups arrived we simply spaced ourselves before entering. Despite the long distance the groups remained separated.
The ticket office issues each group a pumpkin themed Halloween bucket with a light in it. They caution you not to use flashlights as it could temporarily blind the actors. The area is very dark and once the sun was down this bucket provided barely enough light to see the path at your feet. The haunt is a trail through the woods. The total distance is stated as 1.5 miles. Based on the time to walk the trail this distance seems accurate. Despite the dark, the path seemed easy to follow. I would recommend people with mobility issues avoid this haunt since the walking path has a number of areas that have suffered some washouts so the ground is uneven. There are also sections with muddy areas along the path. In those areas wood chips were distributed but you should be careful to stay on the chip covered sections.
The haunt starts with one of several canopies along the route. The first area is a section with tombstones. The challenge with such a long wooded path is that there is very little access to power so there was not much lighting to see any of the props that were placed along the path. As you walked through the woods the darkness made it easy for actors to get very close to the group before they could be seen. One thing I noticed the actors did well was that with groups close enough to be able to hear each other they did not try to jump out at every group. Allowing some to pass unscathed. They would move around the woods or even make some grunting noises. This set up the next group since they were not ready. The slight sounds in the woods were also very effective at inducing anxiety in our group since we could not be certain if someone was getting ready to pounce.
I felt the haunt was at its best when they used the woods as part of the adventure.
Since, there is little power along the path the appearance of lights made it obvious when scenes were coming. The result is that it was easy to relax in some of the long stretches between scenes since you could prepare yourself once you saw lights. The haunt experienced staff shortages during the first weekend and had to close early both nights. It is not clear if this also affected the number of actors in the haunt but there did seem to be stretches of the trail where there were no actors. One of the best sets was a shack that was well lit inside so the color shown through the slats. This is a charity haunt that benefits local causes. At the end you can also stop at one of the buildings in the scout camp to purchase food prepared by the scouts that benefits the scout camp.
Hats off to the scouts and the volunteers who put this event together and keep it running. It's nice to see the next generation of haunters starting with a good cause such as this one. We look forward to seeing how they grow as haunters in the years to come.
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