Fright Season

Isabella Ghahtani, Staff Writer

Spooky season has begun. From scary movies to haunted houses, the month of October has lots of scares in store.

Illinois has some of the top scariest, haunted attractions in the country. Rated number one by Haunted House Chicago is Statesville Haunted Prison in Joliet.

With rioting prisoners and runaway guards, madness takes over the streets of Statesville Haunted Prison.

Senior Grace Banahan works in the maniac cage of the haunted house which began on Sept. 27th. She said, she “heard about the job offer from an Instagram ad.” Following her audition consisting of “silly improv,” Banahan said, she got the job.

Working on the other side of the haunted house was “weird to see with the lights on,” Banahan said. The dark, ominous warehouse was exposed with the flip of a switch.

“It was cool to watch the transformation from a set and costumes to a scary experience,” Banahan said.

This experience is “exhilarating,” Hannah Baines said after attending the haunted house.

From jump scares to gory creatures, the attraction “will leave you shaking,” Baines said.

“The best part of working in a haunted house is seeing people’s reactions,” Banahan said.

The hours of hair and makeup in the “pit” with cast members before the lights go out is the “calmest part of the job,” Banahan said.

Junior Paige Kipka has a passion for makeup, and she said she would consider working at one of these scary places. Trying the special effects makeup “would be fun to branch out of my comfort zone,” Kipka said.

Every haunted attraction is operated differently.

Within the Statesville Haunted Prison, “animatronics and loud noises are triggered by sensors leaving guests with an active reaction,” Banahan said.

This is “almost as scary as the people working in the haunted house,” Baines said.

With the lights down and smoke machines on, the spooky attraction comes alive.

The warehouse is revamped to cause terror among the common. Though “it is fake, it will still make me jump,” Baines said.

Deformed creatures and mythical monsters lurk in the dark before their cued time to fulfill the fear in attendants’ eyes.

The absence of light and horrifying screams ignites a thrill of fear.

With the inclusion of masked characters trapped underground, Basement of the Dead in Aurora is one of the top-rated haunted attractions in the Midwest, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Kipka emphasizes how Basement of the Dead is her favorite haunted house in the state. The best part of the attraction is “either watching friends get scared or waiting in line,” Kipka said.

The long lines can last nearly an hour, but they are far from boring. Attendants are visited by creepy characters and typically heavy metal music plays. Waiting in line is no safe zone from the scary creatures.

Attending the haunted locations will leave chills down spines. With an experience that will leave nightmares, October’s spooky activities are worth the wait.