BY ANNIE ALLEMAN | FOR SUN-TIMES MEDIA
Rob Zombie has invaded Chicago.
The rock star and movie maker has brought his “Great American Nightmare” to the Odeum in Villa Park with three haunted houses: “The Lord of Salem in Total Black Out,” “Haunt of 1,000 Corpses” and “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto 3-D” are all takeoffs from his horror films, and are sure to put the fear in your Halloween. The event takes place Thursday through Sunday nights through Nov. 1.
Included in the attractions is a midway of entertainment called the Bloody Boulevard; with roaming creatures, freak shows, musical entertainment, themed food and drinks and other creepy activities.
Another surefire way to get your scares this month is to visit Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America. It’s the ultimate Halloween destination with five haunted houses, mazes, shows, a midway and of course, rides — some of which have been revamped with Halloween themes. Additionally, costumed monsters roam the park ready to scare innocent bystanders. The daytime hours are family-friendly and offer kids the chance to grab some candy from in the trick-or-treat trail. After 6 p.m., the park is filled with the living dead and other creatures ready to scare the pants off of anyone who dares to cross their path. Fright Fest is open Fridays through Sundays until Nov. 2, plus Columbus Day.
Elsewhere, the professional haunted house production company 13th Floor Entertainment Group is introducing its particular brand of terror to Melrose Park with “13th Floor Chicago,” featuring two terrifying attractions: The Rising — a modern gothic destination inspired by an actual graveyard in Paris; and the Dead End District — a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic dead zone with nightmarish urban and rural settings. Patrons will also have the pleasure of getting the full immersion experience with sound, lighting, video and scent effects. According to the press release, guests will be able to experience being spun into a large meat grinder. Good times! 13th Floor Haunted House Chicago runs Thursday to Saturday through Nov. 1, and is also open on Wednesdays in mid-October and the entire week of Halloween, with a special post-Halloween Blackout event Nov. 7-8.
Another immersive haunted house is “Disturbia: Screams in the Park,” located in the basement level of the parking garage at MB Financial Park at Rosemont. This “new” haunt combines two top-ranked houses (Disturbia: Torment of Fears in Addison and Rosemont’s Screams in the Park) into one devilish world of terror and mayhem. Guests become part of this interactive world of horror, whether they want to or not. Disturbia: Screams in the Park is open to Nov. 1.
For the fourth year, Geneva’s Steel Beam Theatre is staging the “KC Scaregrounds,” a 3-D nightmare at the Kane County Fairgrounds. This is the theater troupe’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and features their professional monster-actors lying in wait to scare the bejeebers out of guests.
For the little goblins, there are two scare-free viewings with candy on Oct. 19 and 26.
Back again is Statesville Haunted Prison and City of the Dead in Crest Hill. This staple of the south suburbs has been named the best haunted house in Chicagoland for 11 of the past 14 years by HauntedHouseChicago.com, ranked one of the “Must See Top 25 Haunted Attractions in America” by Haunted Attraction magazine and was featured as the Craziest Haunted House on the Travel Channel’s “Halloween Craziest” in 2013. This year, both haunted houses have increased the area inside the walls by 20 percent, adding more cells, more convicts, more time on the inside and more frights. Yes, this attraction plays off the nearby Stateville Penitentiary.
Statesville Haunted Prisons prides itself on being an “aggressive interactive experience designed for adult audiences, and not intended for children or the weak,” according to press materials.
Guests are led through the twisted chambers of the darkest creatures ever imprisoned, with more than 150 live prisoners attacking at every step through more than 40 horrifically detailed rooms. After escaping Statesville, guests will enter the City Of The Dead, where they encounter the mass graves of Statesville’s past inmates.
It wouldn’t be Halloween in Chicago if Navy Pier didn’t become Navy Fear. This year’s mega-haunted house is called Zombie Containment. Zombie Army Productions, the award-winning creators of The Fear and Statesville Haunted Prison, bring the undead to life this month with a high-scare, high-intensity house that’s only for the brave. A lights-on, low-scare version is available during the day.
And if you like your scares with a wee bit of intellectualism behind them, check out the Naper Settlement’s All Hallow’s Eve, which runs Oct. 17-18 in Naperville. A benefit for the Naperville Heritage Society, it’s a night when some of the scariest literature of the past, present and future comes to life. The living (undead?) museum’s historic buildings are turned into Frankenstein’s Laboratory, a Victorian Insane Asylum, a Torture Dungeon and a Journey through the Underworld.
And while the Chicago Park District’s annual haunted attraction, 13 Terrors is temporarily dead this year thanks to construction on the Theater on the Lake Building, there are a few one-off haunts in the park to be had. Check out the haunted houses at Brainerd and Foster parks on Oct. 31, at Sheridan Park Oct. 24 and at Fosco and Austin Town Hall parks Oct. 30.
Here’s some other area haunts. Check the wwebsites for dates, times and ticket prices; plus detailed descriptions, coupons, food donation deals, rules and restrictions and any other info you don’t see here.
13th Floor Haunted House, open to Nov. 8, 1940 George St., Melrose Park. (708) 571-3326. 13thfloorchicago.com.
Abyss Horror Zone, open to Nov. 1, Ogden Avenue and U.S. Route 30, Aurora. (630) 820-8624. Abysshaunts.com.
Basement of the Dead, open to Nov. 1, 42 W. New York St., Aurora. (630) 896-2466. 42fear.com.
Frightmare Haunted House, open to Oct. 31, Haunted Trails Family Amusement Park, 7759 S. Harlem Ave., Burbank. (708) 598-8580. Frightmare.org.
The Catacombs of St. Pascal, to Oct. 26, St. Pascal Church, 6143 West Irving Park Road, Chicago. Catacombshh.com.
The Fear at Navy Pier, open to Nov. 2, Navypier.com or Thefearhauntedhouse.com.
Nightmare Asylum, open to Oct. 31, 4033 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago. (773) 236-4170. Hauntedhousechicago.com/hauntedhouses/471/nightmare-asylum/.
Nightmare on Leamington, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, 4810 S. Leamington, Chicago. Facebook.com/NightmareSchool.
Cicero Town Hall of Horrors, open to Oct. 31, the old town hall and police station of Cicero, 4937 W. 25th St., Cicero. Facebook.com/CicerosTownHallOfHorrors.
Statesville Haunted Prison and City of the Dead, open to Nov. 2, 17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill. (877) 722-7332. Statesvillehauntedprison.com.
Nightmare From North Street, open to Oct. 31, Santa’s Village Azoosment Park, 601 Dundee Ave., East Dundee. (847) 426-6751. Nightmarefromnorthst.com.
Evil Intentions Haunted House, open to Oct. 31, 900 Grace St., Elgin. Evilintentionshauntedhouse.com.
Psychosis Haunted House, open to Nov. 1, 300 Lake St., Elgin. Psychosishauntedhouse.net.
Blood Shed Haunted House at Creepy Hallow Halloween Fun Park, open to Nov. 1, 24405 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort. (708) 532-6668. Creepyhallow.com.
Fright Fest, Six Flags Great America, open to Nov. 2, 1 Six Flags Parkway, Gurnee. (847) 249-4636. Frightfest.sixflags.com.
Lombard Haunted House, open to Nov. 2, 20 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard. (630) 519-3694. Haunted-house.com.
The Massacre Haunted House, open to Nov. 2, 299 Montgomery Road, Montgomery. (708) 320-3327. FearTheMassacre.com.
Fear City Chicago, open to Nov. 1, 8240 N. Austin Ave., Morton Grove. (224) 888-1031. FearCityChicago.com.
Midnight Terror Haunted House, open to Nov. 1, 9531 S 52nd Ave., Oak Lawn. (708) 571-0266. Midnightterrorhauntedhouse.com.
Zombie Safari Hay Ride, open to Nov. 1, Odyssey Fun Farm, 19112 S Oak Park Ave, Tinley Park. (708) 429-3800. Odysseyfunfarm.com.
Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, open to Nov. 1, at Odeum Expo, 1033 North Villa Ave., Villa Park.
Nightmare at the Terrace, open to Oct. 26, Terrace Centre, 11500 S. Beloit, Worth. (708) 448-7080. Worthparkdistrict.org/programs/special-events.html.
Hair Razor Haunted Scenes, Oct. 10-12, 17-19, 24-26, Basement of St. Thecla Church, 6725 W. Devon Ave. Chicago. (773) 792-3077. Hauntedscenes.com.
Haunted Forest, Oct. 10-11, Oak Brook Central Park, 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. (630) 990-4233. http://www.obparks.org/hauntedforest/index.asp.
The Orland Park Lions Club presents Forest of Fears, Oct. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 14800 Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (708) 675-7403. prepared2scare.com.
Kane County Scaregrounds, Oct. 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 Randall Road, St. Charles. (630) 587-8521. Kcscaregrounds.com.
Haunted Quarry, Oct. 17-18, 24-25, Harold Hall Quarry Beach, 400 S. Water St., Batavia. (630) 406-5282.
Elgin Turners Haunted Hall, open Oct. 17-19, 24-26, 31, 112 Villa St., Elgin. (847) 697-4431.
All Hallows Eve: Village of Fear, Oct. 17-18, Naper Settlement, 523 S. Webster St. Naperville. (630) 420-6010. Napersettlement.org.
Sandwich Sportsman’s Club Haunted House, Oct. 17-18, 24-25, 1011 Hartman Trail, Sandwich. (630) 479-1271.
Village of Screamfield, open Oct. 18-19, 25-27, 14300 S. Coil Plus Drive, Plainfield. Facebook.com/villageofscreamfield.
Haunted House at Sheridan Park, Oct. 24, 910 S. Aberdeen St., Chicago. (312) 746-5369. Chicagoparkdistrict.com.
Haunted Forest Walk, Oct. 24-25, Hawthorne Hill Woods, 2600 Center Drive, Woodridge. (630) 353-3300.
Nightmare on Chicago Street, Oct. 25, on Chicago Street from Douglas to Villa, Elgin. Nightmareonchicagostreet.com.
Park After Dark: Outbreak, Oct. 25, 810 Preston Lane, Oswego. (630) 554-1010. http://www.Oswegolandpd.org/Events/Park-After-Dark.htm.
Haunts Against Hunger Haunted House, open Oct. 25-26, Calvary United Protestant Church, 425 N. Orchard Drive, Park Forest. (708) 748-6261.
Haunted House at Austin Town Hall Park, Oct. 30, 5610 W. Lake St., Chicago. (773) 287-7658.
Haunted House at Fosco Park, Oct. 30, 1312 S. Racine Ave, Chicago. (312) 746-5086.
Haunted House at Brainerd Park, Oct. 31, 1246 W. 92nd St., Chicago. (312) 747-6027.
Haunted House at Foster Park, Oct. 31, 1440 W. 84th St., Chicago. (312) 747-6135.
Annie Alleman is a local freelance writer.