Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review- Nightmare on Leamington - Chicago ,IL

Here's our review of one of our favorite haunts of the season, and easily the best value of the season - Nightmare On Leamington in Chicago. Some great old school scares for only $3!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review - Psychosis Haunted House 2014 - Elgin, IL

A review of one of our 2013 favorites - Psychosis Haunted House in Elgin. Unfortunately, some changes for 2014 made it a bit less enjoyable this time around.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Review - D.E.A.D. Rising Haunted House - Alsip, IL

Located at Fun Time Square, a family fun center in Alsip, D.E.A.D. Rising was the latest incarnation of a long running haunted house, this time with a zombie theme.


Review - Macabre Haunt - Antioch, iL

Just published our review of one of our favorites for 2013 - Macabre Haunt in Antioch, IL. We loved it last year, but this year promised some changes - was it good? Find out with our commentary and full review!


Friday, October 10, 2014

KC Scaregrounds 3D Haunted House - St. Charles, IL

KC Scaregrounds was one of the enjoyable surprises oft he 2013 season. Operated as a fundraiser for the non-profit Steel Beam Theatre group, KC Scaregrounds features something that no ther haunts have - artwork designed by former Disney artist and St. Charles native R.J. Ogren. Not only that, it's also in 3D! We simply had to check it out, and we're glad we did.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ghoulson Family Reunion - Aurora, IL

Overall, Ghoulson Family Reunion is a cool setup that is not too scary, so it would be good for people with smaller children. If you look closely, you'll even see a skeleton in the passenger seat of the car in the driveway! The display's property is located in a cul de sac, and as such it can be very quiet there, which makes the entire setup all the more creepy, but not in your face scary. Haunt fans of all ages are sure to appreciate the mix of humorous and frightful on display here.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Spirits on Sproat Yard Display - Oak Lawn, IL

Our 2014 review of a really enjoyable yard display in Oak Lawn - Spirits on Sproat. If you like movie monsters, this is the place to go! This year marks the 10th anniversary of one of our favorite yard displays - Spirits on Sproat. Like many haunts we visit, this is one that has gown over the years to include more and more props and figures. In fact, this year the display has expanded to the point that it has moved from the front yard to the back yard, giving it more room to grow.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Commentary - Resurrection Graveyard Home Haunt - Evergreen Park, IL

Just posted our review of our top haunt (so far) of 2014, Resurrection Graveyard Haunted House in Evergreen Park. Yes, it's early in the season, but we could wrap it up now and be happy! Resurrection Graveyard reminds us why we do what we do - you owe yourself a visit here!

Full Review 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Commentary - Niles Scream Park - Niles, Michigan

When we judge haunts, we not only judge them on tangible qualities, such as the amount of props or actors or the quality of the props, but we also judge on the more intangible qualities, such as the overall “feel” of the While any haunt can have good props or sets, it takes some effort and time to get the feel just right.

By the time one gets to the professional haunt level, finding that welcoming feeling can be difficult. In our experience, the bigger and more hyped a haunt is, the easier it is for it to feel impersonal. . We’re happy to say that Niles Scream Park is a big haunt with a small town feel – a professional operation with a lot of heart, and that heart is what makes it so enjoyable for us.

Full Review

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome to the (Haunted) Neighborhood - New Haunts for 2014

Each year we Horror Tourers look forward to the new haunts that open, as each new haunt brings with it the anticipation of seeing something completely new and different. While we love seeing a lot of our old favorites, there’s always that special thrill that we get when we’re entering unexplored territory. 

2014 is shaping up to be a smaller year in terms of the new haunts that are opening up, but there are a few. First, and perhaps most interesting, is the opening of the 13th Floor in the former Eleventh Hour space in Melrose Park.  For those that don’t know, 13th Floor is a chain of professional haunted houses with locations in Denver, San Antonio, Phoenix, and now Chicagoland. 13th Floor boasts Hollywood style makeup and effects and intense scares, and has a reputation for excellence. Here’s hoping that it does live up to the hype.

And speaking of hype, another new haunt this year (albeit in perhaps a temporary fashion) is Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, located at the Odeum in Villa Park, formerly home to Asylum Xperiment, one of our top haunts for 2013. We get the impression that the Zombie presence is strictly a one time thing, but we’re not sure on that. Featuring three haunted houses, each focusing on a Zombie movie (Lords of Salem, Devil’s Rejects, and Zombie’s animated The Haunted World of El Superbeasto), American Nightmare promises some high level scares and weird experiences. 
 However, the attraction has garnered mixed reviews on various online outlets, so we’ll reserve judgment (and our decision to visit) until we see some reviews of the 2014 incarnation.

Not completely new, but new as a professional haunt is Midnight Terror in Oak Lawn ( This is one of our favorite home haunts, even making our Hall of Fame for 2013, so we’re especially looking to see how well it translates to a professional setting. Also under the “not completely new” banner is D.E.A.D Rising, located in the former House of Nightmares space in Alsip, IL. D.E.A.D Rising was around last year in another location and with a slightly different name (D.E.A.D. Central). We enjoyed it, but it was quite short for the price, so here’s hoping the change of location will result in a bigger and better haunt.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Shurley House of the Dead - Orland Park, IL

Shurley House is one of the Horror Tourers annual favorite haunts. There is so much to see here that one can easily spend 20-30 minutes just looking around and making sure that nothing is missed. The front yard is packed, and the displays carry on up the front walkway, onto the porch, inside the rooms on the bottom floor, and even in the windows of the top floor. In addition there are more props along the driveway and even hanging from the house itself. If you don't look closely you'll be sure to miss a display of some kind.

Full Review

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dark Shadows Home Haunt - Orland Hills, IL

Up next is the very first home haunt we ever visited - Dark Shadows Home Haunt in Orland Hills, IL. It's hard to beat Dark Shadows for its atmosphere. The hard work put into it really shines, and we make a point of visiting this one every year. It's really fun to just look at all of the props and see how well crafted they are, and the garage haunt is always good for a startle or two. For those thinking that home haunts aren't worth it - think again. For no cost (unless one wants to donate), one gets a display and a haunted house walkthrough.  Do yourself a favor and check Dark Shadows out - you'll be glad you did!


House Decor Yard Display - Lockport, IL

House Decor is a yard display located in Lockport, Illinois, home to the famous Thanatophopbialand. We made our first visit there in 2013, and found it to be whimsical and fun. Although not high on scares, it was creative and enjoyable nonetheless.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Thanatophobialand 2013 - Lockport, IL

One of the things that we look for in a haunt in originality. It's that quality that can give a yard display the advantage over a professional haunt. And one haunt that is definitely original is Thanatophobialand.

Thanatophobia refers to the fear of death and, true to its name, there is a lot of death on display at Thataophobialand. From its front yard full of tombstones to its multiple real hearses to the garage that's set up like a funeral parlor, visitors find their fill of death scenes here. 

However, unlike some typical yard displays, a lot of Thanatophobia's setup is done with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Full Review here.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fear on Fiona Yard Display 2013 - Mokena, IL

A perennial favorite of the Horror Tourers, Fear on Fiona is one of those displays that is almost too much to take in. It's also one of those displays that gives lie to the whole "it's just a yard display" mentality that some have - in other words, if it's not a professional haunted house it's not worth it. Well, Fear on Fiona is worth it. It offers lots of props and lots of creativity and, unlike a professional haunt, it's free!

Full review here.

Evil on Everest Yard Display - Lombard, IL

Evil on Everest was another new visit for the Horror Tourers in 2013. Much like Millstone Manor in Rolling Meadows, this one has a bit of a Disney/Haunted Mansion vibe going on, which makes it interesting on a different level.
The majority of the display consists of various elaborate tombstones,
done in the style of a turn of the century Victorian cemetery. The biggest portion of the display is the large cemetery entrance gate, complete with imposing stone pillars and metal gate with chains and padlocks.

A giant sign on the front of the gate proclaims that the cemetery is "closed to the living", 

Full Review here.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fables Studios Haunted House - Morton Grove, IL

Fables Studios is an unusual haunted house in Morton Grove, IL. It's unique in the sense that it is a haunted house that provides some scares but also attempts to sell an entire story. While many haunted houses have a theme, Fables Studios sets itself up as a type of traveling  freakshow from the turn of the century, complete with circus tents, carnival barkers, gypsy fortune tellers, and many of the classic traveling show tropes.

Check out the full review here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

One Month until our First Official visit of 2014!

My how time flies! It seems like only yesterday that we finished up our 2013 Horror Touring with our visit to The Realm of Terror Haunted House in Round Lake Beach, and now we're only one month away from opening night at Niles Haunted House Scream Park in Niles, Michigan. We'll be counting down the days with some new reviews and other surprises, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Frankenstein's Wedding Yard Display - Oak Forest, IL

If we had to describe Frankenstein's Wedding in one word it would be "eclectic" - it's got a little bit of everything, from unique interpretations of famous movie monsters or even local legends like Resurrection Mary, to authentic recreations of medieval torture - most of it homemade. It's simply a fun and enjoyable yard display/home haunt that must be seen to be appreciated.

Full review

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Haunt on Massasoit Yard Display - Chicago, IL

Haunt on Massasoit is almost what we'd call a drive-by haunt. In other words, there's not a lot to see, and if the night is cold and/or rainy, it's easy to view the entire thing from your car without having to get out. However, being dedicated Horror Tourers, we did get out to take a look to see what it was all about.

Our first visit to this haunt was in 2012. At that time it was a really small display that could easily be seen in about 30 seconds. There was not much there other than a handful of tombstones and a few other props. To be fair, this haunt is located in an area with not much lawn space
, so there's not a lot of room to work with, but even so, a number of other haunts in the area, such as Eerie Acres and Nagle's Khaos Corner are able to utilize the space well, so it's not and entirely valid excuse.

We are happy to say that, while still small, Haunt on Massasoit did double in size from 2012 to 2013.
  Full review here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Screams in the Park Haunted House - Rosemont, IL

The best thing we can say about Screams in the Park is that it is one of the few pay haunts (in our
view) that lives up to the hype. We remember when this haunt came on the scene. It was clear that it was being portrayed as one of the best haunts ever, and given that it was brand new we found that a bit circumspect. We're always a bit skeptical of such claims as we see them all the time. Thus, we avoided the haunt for it's first year. However, we did eventually get there and we loved it, so it's now one of our "must do" haunts each season. Full review here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Review - Madness on Midland Yard Display - Joliet, IL

Madness on Midland is one of those yard displays that keeps getting better each year. It's located in Joliet, home to several other great hone haunts/yard displays, including Count Kuhadja's and Agony, and we make a point of visiting it each time we are in the Joliet area.

Full review here.

Commentary - Haunted Quarry, Joliet, IL

The list of brand new haunts for the Tourers seems to be endless. Here's another one that cropped up for us in 2013 - it's the Haunted Quarry in Batavia. As with many haunts, this was one that was on our list before but that we never got to. However, we made a point of going out there in 2013 and it was well worth it.

Unusually, this haunt featured both inside and outside spaces that visitors alternated between.
It was held in some park district buildings that were not connected, so visitors went from building to building via a series of outdoor trails that also had haunted scenes interspersed among them. It was a very effective use of oddly configured space, and also made the haunt longer and gave it some additional variety.

Full review here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Agony Home Haunt - Joliet, IL

Agony is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, home haunts we've ever been to. It is actually two parts in one - the first part includes an elaborate yard display, complete with animated props, pneumatic props, homemade props, lighting, smoke, live actors, and more. This portions encompasses the entire front yard, front porch, and side areas of the home where the haunt is located. This portion is elaborate enough and large enough on its own, but that's really only the half of what Agony is.

Rwview here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Graveyard on Roy Street Yard Display - Oak Forest, IL

Graveyard on Roy street is a display located in Oak Forest, home to some of our favorite yard displays and home haunts, including Frankenstein's Wedding and Nightmare on Newport. It falls more into the humorous category, as opposed to the scary, but it's one that has grown over the years and one that we make a point of visiting each time were are in the Oak Forest area.

Full Review here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

In describing the Realm of Terror experience we are reminded of the theme from the TV show "The Facts of Life," which starts out with "You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have..." That phrase perfectly sums up Realm of Terror for us.

Find out why here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shabbona Butcher Shop Yard Display - Park Forest, IL

2013 brought us to many completely new haunts and displays, including this interesting one in Park Forest, which is close to Horror Tourer home base. We love when new haunts show up in our area, so we always make a point of visiting them.

Was this one worth it? Find out in our full review, here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Resurrection on Rosehill Yard Display - Lemont, IL

Resurrection on Rosehill was yet another in a long line of brand new haunts for the Tourers in 2013. We hit this on on Halloween itself. It was cold and rainy, and we were thinking that the haunt would not be open at all, but it was, complete with full lights and sounds, and live actors that were terrifying unsuspecting individuals who were across the street. Extra points for the dedication!

Full review here.

Sunny Acres Yard Display 2013 - Mokena, IL

Sunny Acres is an elaborate yard display that we stumbled upon in 2012. We were looking for another haunt and spotted some creepy looking things in the distance so we thought we'd check it out. We didn't realize we were actually at a display that we had slated for later in the season, though. The first time we went there there were live actors, but we liked it so much that we made a point of going back so we could see them.

Since we enjoyed Sunny Acres so much, it was a "must do" on our 2013 list. Alas, the time we visited there were no live actors, but there were plenty of things to see, as well as a nice lighting setup that enhanced the creepiness factor.

Check out our full review here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hair Razor Haunted Scenes - Chicago, IL

It's that time again! Only a couple of months until Halloween season begins, so we're back with some 2013 reviews to whet your appetite. First up is Hair Razor Haunted Scenes, a unique haunt on the north side of Chicago. Check out our video commentary here:

Hair Razor Commentary

and our full review here: