House of Torment – Chicago 2017
This year I returned to take on the House of Torment once more and for whatever reason I found myself more scared this time around. I was trying to put my (severed) finger on it as to why…
Returning to Morton Grove, the great folks at House of Torment have gone out of their way to scare the ever living hell out of its customers and this year they pulled it off thanks to their state of the art special effects and set decorations. Not to mention the talented actors who try their best (and succeed) in jumping out at as one walks from room to room.
The “House” is at the same location as last year – a gigantic warehouse with ample free parking. Once inside there are several booths to purchase your tickets. There are three types of tickets one can purchase: General Admission ticket ($26.99), which is just your average ticket to get in, Fast Pass ticket (add an extra $10) which gives you a very limited wait time, pushing you ahead of those poor schmucks stuck in General Admission, and finally for the impatient, there is the Skip the Line ticket (add an extra $20) and that allows yourself to choose an exact time to enter the House of Torment, bypassing everyone.
Like last year, I had a hard time remembering each room I walked through. That is not to say House of Torment isn’t memorable, it is. But House of Torment is a LONG haunted house, one that goes on for quite some time. Certain rooms held my interest more than others but I never walked out of a room being disappointed or let down. In fact, as I wondered through this maze of monsters and murder, I couldn’t stop laughing and smiling, enjoying the visuals and the talented actors who help make each scene all the more believable. House of Torment is pure fun.
When first walking into the first house (The Swarm) you are greeted by a large abandoned automobile with various zombies walking about. Each room resembles a hospital or part of a wing where a zombie outbreak has taken control of the hospital. Each room is covered in bugs (just plastic looking bugs folks, maybe the only thing I thought that was cheesy) and as you walk from room to room, various psycho’s, monsters, and zombie pop out from all around.
Some of my favorite rooms consisted of an antique shop as the detail that went into this room was breathtaking. I also loved the sick, nasty and yet sad trailer park home where the room is covered in trash with an old TV playing a QVC commercial for a bizarre looking doll. As one walks by pizza boxes and old photographs that look torn and slashed, this room provided me with my utmost fear: living in filth and trash.
One of the highlights was walking onto a subway car with zombies walking amongst you. The subway car actually shakes as if it’s running, adding to the amount of realism put forth by the folks of House of Torment.
Once The Swarm is completed, you are given the option to leave or take part in the second part of the House of Torment; Nightmare High Fall Harvest. The Swarm is nothing compared to Nightmare High as it takes the victim on a tour through this surreal nightmarish school now overrun by zombies and psychos.
There are demons, zombies, mad men, and clowns all about scaring the piss out of everyone who crosses by. Rooms consist of a classroom, a hallway with lockers, the cafeteria and school kitchen, even the auditorium. The library was especially freaky as you walk down several aisles of books as something is lurking behind or next to you. Once again, the attention to detail was absolutely stunning and precise. I felt like I was in some abandoned school and not some warehouse decorated to make it look so.
Two rooms actually freaked me out: one was a maze where each wall is covered in black and white streamers. Some you can walk through and some are walls painted just like the streamers. A demonic female clown asks you to follow her until you come to a dead end. She slowly stops and turns at you and just stares. Suddenly she starts screaming for you to get out and you have to make your way out somehow. Now…this actually freaked me out and I booked past my party and ran the wrong way where I wound up in the last room I was at, having to do it all over again. I felt like Lou Costello running about trying to get the hell away from this clown.
The other room that freaked me out was a room that consisted of all smoke with blinding light. It’s impossible to see in front of you, having to make your way out as someone is walking around you. At one point I stopped and tried to see where I was going but it’s close to impossible to see.
When it was finally over and I walked out into the night sky with the cold wind hitting my face. I was both relieved and sad that it was over. House of Torment is the real deal. It is not for the faint of heart. For those looking to find a haunted house to start the holiday season off right, House of Torment is for you.