Where you can find the scariest haunted houses in the suburbs
Fifteen years ago, Mike Fitzpatrick was running a haunted house out of his Glen Ellyn home. After two years and thousands of visitors, he knew that he had something special on his hands. So when the village shut him down, he conjured up Evil Intentions.
Marking its 10th year at the old Elgin Casket Factory, after brief stints in Bolingbrook and Elk Grove Village, the Evil Intentions haunted house is one of the highest rated in the country, according to online reviewers.
"I always loved Halloween and haunted houses," Fitzpatrick said. "This is something I wanted to do for a long time."
Last year, Evil Intentions became the first haunted house in the state to be voted No. 1 at both Haunted Illinois and Haunted House Chicago in the same season. In its review, Haunted Illinois praised Evil Intentions for having a dark, twisted production that provided an intense and relentless experience.
Thrill seekers are led through the abandoned casket factory, which Haunted House Chicago hailed as an ideal setting -- decrepit, aged and truly haunting.
"It was unbelievable," Fitzpatrick said of the glowing reviews. "It was a great season last year, and 95 percent of customers this year have said it's been even better than last year."
Haunts fill room after room in the 55,000-square-foot building. Several of the rooms are themed after dark deeds that the production team claims occurred at the old casket company, including cult activities.
Performers begin rehearsing for the scare season in May.
Fitzgerald said the options for haunted house lovers have improved a lot since he launched his at home.
"Every year it's gotten better," Fitzgerald said of the local haunted house scene. "It started out with painted black walls and a few nice scenes but now it's an immersive Hollywood-level experience."
Here are the details of a number of suburban haunts:
Basement of the Dead, 42 W. New York St. Open Thursday through Sunday now through Oct. 28, plus Tuesday, Oct. 30, Wednesday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 3. Hours vary. General admission tickets start at $28. Go to basementofthedead.com.
Evil Intentions in Elgin earns high marks from haunted house websites.
- Courtesy of Evil Intentions
Evil Intentions, 900 Grace St. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Oct. 28, as well as Thursday, Oct. 25, and Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 30-31. Hours vary. General admission tickets cost $25. Go to eihaunt.com.
Haunted houses and creepy creatures are all part of Fright Fest at Six Flags Great America.
- Courtesy of Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Fright Fest, 1 Great America Parkway. Open Thursday through Sunday through Oct. 28, as well as Thursday, Oct. 25, and Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 29-31. Hours vary. Tickets start at $49.99. Go to sixflags.com.
House of Torment, 8240 N. Austin Ave. Open Wednesday through Sunday through Oct. 28, as well as Tuesday, Oct. 23, Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 29-30, Friday, Nov. 2, and Saturday, Nov. 3. Hours vary. Weekend general admission tickets start at $31.99, and weekday tickets range from $19.99 to $31.99. Go to houseoftormentchicago.com.
The 13th Floor, 1940 George St. Open Wednesday through Sunday through Oct. 28 as well as Oct. 23, Oct. 29, Oct. 30, Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. Hours vary. Weekend general admission tickets start at $29.99 and weekday tickets range from $19.99 to $29.99. Go to 13thfloorchicago.com.
The Realm of Terror haunted house scares up the frights in Round Lake.
- Courtesy of Realm of Terror
Round Lake Beach
Realm of Terror, 421 W. Rollins Road. Open at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Oct. 27, as well as Saturday, Oct. 21, Sunday, Oct. 28, and Saturday, Nov. 3. Hours vary. General admission tickets cost $25. Go to realmofterror.com.
Insanity Haunted House, 3800 E. Main St. Open Friday through Sunday through Oct. 28, plus Wednesday, Oct. 31. Hours vary. Tickets start at $15. Go to insanityhh.com.
Dungeon of Doom, 600 29th St. Open Friday through Sunday through Oct. 28, as well as Wednesday, Oct. 24, Thursday, Oct. 25, Wednesday, Oct. 31, Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3. Hours vary. October tickets start at $30, November tickets start at $25. Go to dungeonofdoom.com.