Tricks and treats, distress and dressing up — Halloween has it all
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media October 18, 2012 12:44PM
The cast of "Transylvania General," to be performed at Billie Limacher Theater in Joliet. | Courtesy of Billie Limacher Theater
Updated: November 5, 2012 4:03PM
Halloween is almost here, and there’s plenty to keep even the most jaded ghoul occupied.
Here are just a few haunted activities to entice you. Enter … if you dare.
All Hallows Eve: Village of Fear
6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20
Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St., Naperville
This annual event has been given a makeover, with community groups from throughout Naperville combining to create the ultimate family-friendly Halloween experience for those visitors who are 8 years old and over. New treats include the Magical Starlight Theatre’s hair-raising homage to Harry Potter in the Chapel and Kidz Kabaret’s haunted schoolhouse, “Too Cruel for School.” Witness the Salem Witch Trials, meet the Addams family at home, and enjoy live (and undead) entertainment on the Spooktacular Stage.
Back again are old favorites like Dracula’s Lair, Sweeney Todd and the Haunted Mansion, which promise to be scarier than ever. You can also have your photo taken with Frankenstein, Mr. and Mrs. Ghost and otherworldly creatures. Afterwards, stop in for a bite at the Creepy Cafe.
The Massacre Haunted House & Fear Factory 3D
3440 Odyssey Court, Naperville
Through Nov. 3
The Massacre Haunted House in Naperville was voted in the top three haunts in Illinois by HauntWorld. This year, organizers plans to take fear to the extreme. The Massacre offers two haunted attractions for 2012: The Massacre and Fear Factory 3D.
Both attractions are high-shock with horrifying and gruesome scenes, and are not meant for children under 14. No one will be safe from the fear, they say; some props and actors are timed to target the end and middle of a group.
The Massacre Haunted House and Fear Factory 3D are open on most nights through Nov. 3. Check the web site for a complete schedule of dates and times and prices.
1 Six Flags Parkway, Gurnee
Oct. 19-21, 25-28
New this year at Six Flags Great America’s annual Fright Fest is the Wicked Woods, a haunted forest where creatures from myths and urban legends will do their best to ensure you don’t make it out alive.
Also new is the Manslaughter Manor, where only the brave will survive the haunted hallways of death; and the Dead Line, a haunted train heading toward certain doom.
At the new Friday Night Feast, people will attempt to eat squirmy creepy-crawlers; and at Fright Club, the 17-and-older undead crowd can dance the night away.
Additionally, there are haunted houses, scare zones, hair-raising shows, a zombie parade and nearly 200 roaming monsters. Plus, many rides have undergone an eerie makeover.
The park is kid-friendly until 3 p.m. with scare-free zones and a trick-or-treat trail. After that, the monsters come out to play. Also, if you want a chuckle (along with some information), check out the Tips for Family Fun section on the web site; which is also where you will find info on hours.
Boo at the Zoo and Creatures of the Night
Brookfield Zoo, at First Avenue between Ogden Avenue and 31st Street, Brookfield
Boo at the Zoo at Brookfield Zoo returns Oct. 20-21 and 27-28. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
Activities include a costume parade, a master pumpkin carver doing demonstrations, the 7,000-square-foot Crazed Maize, haunted carousel and hay rides.
The Children’s Zoo is free during Boo at the Zoo, where kiddos can “pin the nose on the cat” and “pin the eye on the owl,” and make scarecrows until 3 p.m. The Extreme Bugs exhibit will make a Halloween encore.
Creatures of the Night will be from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 19-21 and 26-28, and will feature a Trail of Terror, Haunted Tram ride through Zombieville, Monster Mash Dance Party and pumpkin carving.
HallowFest: A Garden of Good...and Evil
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Tickets, $14-$20; $20 parking
Scare-seekers can take either the friendly or spooky path leading to Halloween activities in the Regenstein Center and McGinley Pavilion. Activities include face painting, haunted train ride, Mysterious Magic with Dracula and a live reptile and amphibian show. 6-9 p.m. Oct. 26-27; 4-7 p.m. Oct. 28.
Death Comes to the Tanner House
Tanner House Museum, 305 Cedar St., Aurora
Presented by the Aurora Historical Society and hosted by Edgar Allen Poe, it’s the annual Halloween tour of the 1857 Tanner House Museum in Aurora. This year’s tour will be a Halloween party held in 1893, just 10 months after the death of William Tanner. His grandchildren have organized the party, somewhat flaunting the proper protocols of mourning, with unpredictable results. Entries to the party are timed at 7, 7:30, 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m.
“The Haunted Museum” at SciTech Museum
18 W. Benton St., Aurora
6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19-21, 26-28
The SciTech Museum in Aurora has been taken over by a mad scientist and his chilling experiments. There visitors will find a labyrinth of experiments gone horribly wrong. Your journey begins in the eerie outdoor park maze, where mutant giant monsters freely roam. Next, visit the basement lab of the Mad Scientist, where he is on the lookout for his next lab rat.
Haunted Mansion and Asylum 13
Bolingbrook Sports Dome, 730 N. Bolingbrook Dr., Bolingbrook
Oct. 19-21, 24-28, 31 and Nov. 1-3
At the indoor Haunted Mansion and Asylum 1, you get two haunted houses for one price. Hours are 6:30 to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. all other days. At the Haunted Mansion, the stuff of nightmares awaits you. At Asylum 13, patients in this very unlucky mental ward want your help to escape their torment.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 20
Batavia Riverwalk, Batavia
Children in costumes can trick-or-treat downtown from 10 a.m. to noon, and follow it up with a pumpkin roll hosted by the Boy Scouts. Listen to scary stories and spooky songs, hosted by the Batavia Public Library, and then take a hayride. You can also march in the Halloween parade at 11:45 a.m., and then participate in Trunk-or-Treat at noon in the lot by city hall.
Top it all off by participating in — or simply spectating — at the Zombie Walk. Registration is at 4 p.m. The $10 fee gets you a zombie makeover and a place in line with your fellow flesh eaters. The Walk is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The walk concludes with a Zombie Dance Party, where instructors from the Batavia Academy of Dance will teach “Thriller.”
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20
Albright Theatre Company, 100 N. Island Ave., Batavia
Watch your head! Batavia’s Albright Theatre celebrates BatFest with the return of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” based on Washington Irving’s spooky tale of Ichabod Crane and his arch nemesis, the Headless Horseman.
Harold Hall Quarry Beach, 400 S. Water St., Batavia
7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 19-20, 26-27
Was that just the wind blowing in the trees or is someone walking up behind you? Swimming season has ended but that doesn’t mean all is quiet at the Quarry. Face your fears and experience all the nightmares that await you at this year’s Haunted Quarry. This night-time version is not suitable for kids under 10. A less scary version will be from 12 to 3 p.m. on Oct. 28. Admission is $5.
The Asylum Xperiment
Oct. 21-23 and 27-30
The Odeum Expo Center, 1033 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park
Terror returns to the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park once again this year as The Asylum Xperiment Haunted Attractions expands outward and upward. In addition to more than 100 creatures, zombies and freaks wreaking havoc throughout, there are many new effects, animations and scenes spread throughout 40 separate and unique rooms. This haunt has three unique attractions: the House, Blackout and Armageddon. All three experiences are seamlessly tied together and included in one admission ticket. Hours are 7 to 10:30 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
Haunted Halloween Happening
5-8:30 p.m. Oct. 19
Wheaton Park District, 1777 S. Blanchard Road, Wheaton
Registration is not required for this event, so there’s no excuse not to grab a costume and all of your favorite pumpkins. There will be kids’ Halloween games, costume pageant, comedian, “Trunk or Treat” in the parking lot, “It’s Bat-Tastic” bat show and Kidz Kingdom arts and crafts. Small fee for some events; bring a can of food for donation. Trick-or-treat trail for young children from 5 to 8 p.m. at Rice Pool for $2.
Haunted Ghost Story Train and Terror Trolley
5 and 6:15 p.m. (Ghost Story Train) and 7:45 p.m. (Terror Trolley) Oct. 20 and 27
Fox River Trolley Museum, 361 S. LaFox St., South Elgin
Jump on the Ghost Story Trolley and take a ride into the John Duerr Forest Preserve. Gather around the roaring fire and listen to spooky stories and sing campfire songs while eating s’mores. Costumes are welcomed. Suitable for all ages. Registration is required.
The Terror Trolley is a journey into the haunted woods full of unruly spirits and things that go bump in the night. The train suddenly comes to a stop, and everyone must get off and brave the woods to reach the next station. Survive the walk through the woods, and be rewarded with s’mores and hot chocolate. This event is not suitable for ages 12 and under, and no costumes are allowed. This event will regardless of weather conditions.
Creepy Crawly Halloween Party
6-8 p.m. Oct. 20
Museum of Natural History, 425 West State St., Sycamore
The museum gets a Halloween makeover and kids can test drive their Halloween costumes as they trick-or-treat throughout the decorated Museum. Meet tarantula breeders, have a photo taken with creepy crawly live critters, check out the Grossology lab, and enjoy games, candy, and prizes.
Oct. 20, 21 and 27
Knoch Knolls Park, 336 Knoch Knolls Road; Seager Park, 1163 Plank Road Naperville
Dress up in their favorite Halloween costume and enjoy a hayride along the wooded trails at Seager Park or Knoch Knolls Park. The registration fee includes hot chocolate and apple cider for all participants and Halloween treat bags for children ages 1 to 12. The Knoch Knolls hayrides are available on Oct. 21 and 27 and the Seager Park hayrides are offered on Oct. 20. Must pre-register; call or check web site for times.
Pumpkin Decorating and S’Mores
10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Oct. 27
Interpretive Center at Seager Park, 1163 Plank Road, Naperville
The whole family is invited to enjoy some Halloween fun. Children ages 2 to 8 receive a pumpkin and everything needed to create a Halloween masterpiece. Games, prizes, hayrides and s’mores are included. Don’t forget to bring your camera and wear old clothing. Dress appropriately for this outdoor event. Registration is required; a sibling costs $10.
7 p.m. Oct. 27
Millennium Carillon, on the base of Rotary Hill, 443 W. Aurora Ave., Naperville
This free concert will feature both classical and popular music with spooky and atmospheric themes. Special guests this year include Élan Dance Company dancers. The Naperville Park District will provide Halloween treats for the audience.
6-9 p.m. Oct. 26
Joliet Area Historical Museum, 204 N. Ottawa St., Joliet
(815) 723-5201, ext. 235
Family Halloween fun with activities and creepy crafts for the kids throughout the museum’s galleries on three different levels.
Extreme Adult Scavenger Hunt
7 p.m. Oct. 26
Prairie Bluff Public Golf Club, 19433 Renwick Road, Crest Hill
Tickets per team, $468-$478
Teams of six people receive a list of items they’ll need to find in this adult-only scavenger hunt. Each team will need to bring their own digital camera with a removable memory chip to take 30 pictures. Participants will receive two-hour limo service and three hours of open bar and appetizers. Prizes will also be awarded to the first-place team and the team with the most original costumes. All participants must be 21. Registration required.
5:30 p.m. Oct. 27
Challenge Fitness, 2021 S. Lawrence Ave., Lockport
Swim and hunt in a pool of “blood” for your perfect pumpkin. There will be a DJ, treats, games and special prizes awarded every “bewitching hour.” Registration required.
Beecher Community Park, 908 Game Farm Road, Yorkville
Kids and their families can enjoy hayrides, pumpkin decorating, a costumed pet contest and more from 5 to 8 p.m. At 8 p.m. the annual Halloween Egg Hunt begins. Wear your costumes; bring a flashlight and container for your eggs.
Statesville Haunted Prison and City of the Dead
17250 Weber Road, Crest Hill
Oct. 19-Nov. 3
Voted No. 1 the past two years at HauntedChicago.com, one admission price gets you into two terrifying facilities. Statesville is home to more than 100 prisoners too evil to die, with a warden more insane than they are. After you find your way out of Statesville’s unyielding walls, you must descend into the burial pit of City Of The Dead, where you will find the mass graves of Statesville’s past inmates. Open Thursdays through Sundays through Nov. 3. Check web site for hours.
Heap’s Haunted Corn Maze
4853 Route 52, Minooka
Oct. 19-20, 26-27
This terrifying haunted challenge goes beyond haunted houses by making you find your way out alive. In addition to the haunted maze, there is a flashlight non-haunted maze and a moonlight hayride.
Basement of the Dead and Shattered: a 3D Nightmare
42 W. New York St., Aurora
In addition to the Basement of the Dead, new this year is Shattered: a 3D Nightmare. The ticket price gets you admission into both haunts. Check web site for dates and times.
Chambers of Darkness Haunted House and Hayride
Custer Park Town Hall, 35332 Grant Ave., Custer Park
6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 19-20, 26-27
You start with a two-mile haunted hayride through a Forest of Terror before trying to make your way through the Chambers of Darkness. If you make it our alive, you must walk on the Trail of Insanity through the cornfields back to a tent where you will wait for the hay ride back to the starting point. The proceeds from this event goes to support the efforts of the Custer Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Founders Community Center, 140 Oak St., Frankfort
6 p.m. Oct. 19
This haunted house includes inflatables, fun fair games, hay ride, story time, one craft and one face painting. Wear a costume and receive $1 off your wristband price. There will be entertainment by Rainbow the Clown and stilt walker/juggler Jason Kollum.
Village of Screamfield
Plainfield Police Department, 14300 S. Coil Plus Drive
A lost village has been discovered below the new Plainfield Police Department. Construction crews have discovered a hidden passageway to a downtown where its cursed inhabitants have lived underground. The Plainfield Schools Foundation for Excellence, the Plainfield Police DARE Program and Plainfield Fire Department are providing tours of this haunted underworld. Full-scare and family-friendly tours available. Hours are: 6-10 p.m. Oct. 21 and 28; 2-10 p.m. Oct. 22 and 29; 5:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 23 and 30. Family-friendly times are 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 22 and 29.
A Walk in the Woods Spook Hike
South Park Island, at Route 53 and the Kankakee River, Wilmington
The Wilmington Lions Club hosts its annual three-quarters of a mile outdoor spook hike from 7 to 10:30 p.m. The brave will meet monsters, a haunted house and funeral parlor along the way. A bonus and the movie “Hocus Pocus” will be provided on the North Island at dusk. Hay rides provided to and from the Spook Hike.
Goblin Gallop 5K
9 a.m. Oct. 27
Chicagoland Speedway, 500 Speedway Blvd., Joliet
Presented by the Joliet Police Department Wellness Committee as a benefit for Crimestoppers of Will County. Runners get a T-shirt.
No Rest for the Wicked
356 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard
Oct. 10-31 (closed Oct. 15, 16, 22)
The Lombard Jaycees annual haunted house is next to Lucky Strike Lanes. Hours are 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. weekdays and 7:30 p.m. to midnight weekends. Free kiddie matinee from 12 to 4 p.m. Oct. 27 with a canned food donation.
Mazon Fire Department’s Dungeon of Terror
515 Depot St., Mazon
Oct. 19-21 and 26-28
This haunted house is a fundraiser for the Mazon Fire Department and includes a scary maze. Check web site for hours. Lights-on matinee from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27; admission is a can of food for the food pantry. At 8 p.m. Oct. 27, the On Broadway dancers will perform in the street.
Frankfort Area Jaycees Haunted House
Harlem Crossings Shopping Center, 19820 S. Harlem Ave., Frankfort
Oct. 19-20 and 26-27
This haunt benefits local families in need, and is recommended for ages 8 and up. Hours are 7:30 to 11 p.m. Lights-on matinee for children of all ages from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 28; $3.
A Stalk in the Park
14800 Ravinia Ave., Orland Park
Oct. 19-20 and 25-27
The Orland Park Lions Club presents a haunted woods walk. Experience what happens after dusk as you trespass past the old iron park gates and try to escape from what lurks in the darkness. $2 off with donation of non-perishable food item. Hours: 7 to 11 p.m. Last ticket sold at 10 p.m. No-scare trick or treat trail 3:30 to 5 p.m. Oct. 27 for children 8 and under. $3.
Heritage Halloween Fun Fest
Children, parents and pets in costume follow the Pirates Treasure map to locations offering contests, games, treats, a dance party, free pumpkins and a haunted house. Join the costume parade led by Capt. Jack Sparrow, leaving from Bartlett Village Hall, 228 S. Main St., at 10 a.m.
The Department, 205 N. Chicago St., Joliet
9 p.m. Oct. 27th
Adults-only Halloween bash. No cover charge. Includes DJ, costume contest, drink specials and more.
“Drakula the Musical”
Center Stage Theater, 1665 Quincy Ave., No. 131, Naperville
Kidz Kabaret produces a fabulous event for the whole family, with characters such as the flamboyant Drakula and the bumbling vampire hunter Van Helsing. Performances are at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27 and at 3 p.m. Oct. 27. Come in costume and receive a free concession item.
Kane County Scaregrounds
Kane County Fairgrounds
525 Randall Road, St. Charles
Steel Beam Theatre’s 3-D haunted house returns for a second frightening year with new features, more rooms, more characters and loads of fun. Hours are 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 19, 20, 26, 27, 29; 7 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 28, 30, 31. “Monster-Free” day is from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28; cost $10. Children in costume will receive a free treat. Proceeds from the attraction benefit the Steel Beam Theatre in St. Charles.
Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park indoor theater
201 W. Jefferson St., Joliet
Tickle your funny bone this Halloween with “Transylvania General,” a unique, family-friendly comedy with live actors and puppets on stage together. Performances are at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20, and at 3 p.m. Oct. 20 and 21. The play takes place at a hospital run by the infamous Dr. Frankenstein. Hilarity ensues when a hapless human stumbles in.
Nightmare on Chicago Street, a zombie apocalypse
Chicago Street, between Douglas and Villa, Elgin
6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 27
Chicago Street is haunted. Enjoy live music from local bands as well as theater performances, a Miss Zombie pageant, costume contest and special offers from the local businesses. The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us — beware. Featured guest will be Svengoolie.
Psychosis Haunted House
200 N. Spring St., Elgin
Oct. 19-Nov. 3
This interactive haunted house has more than 20 rooms with live animals throughout the house. You can also have yourself or someone in your group kidnapped for an additional $10. For an additional $5, you can be buried alive. Check web site for dates and times.
Evil Intentions Haunted House
900 Grace Street, Elgin
Oct. 19-21, 25-28, 30-31
Evil Intentions is a high-startle and extremely intense haunted house located in an abandoned casket company built in 1890. Hours are 7:30 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays; 7:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays and Sundays.
Haunted Forest Walk
Hawthorne Hill Woods, 2600 Center Drive, Woodridge
The woods will be transformed into a thrill of scary scenes — complete with ghosts, ghouls and all sorts of creatures that slither and groan. The Saturday afternoon session will be more suitable for children 9 and under and the faint of heart. Hours are from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 26 and 27, and children’s matinee with candy from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 27. Cost: $5.