13th Floor Haunted House is haunted … to an extent

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A sign directs visitors to the 13th Floor Haunted House in Schiller Park, IL. (photo by Kevin Foss)

It’s that time of the year again where “spooky season” is in full force. If you are an avid fan of horror and frights, you might be searching for something more than rewatching the original Halloween this year. Luckily, the Chicagoland area has plenty of offerings.

 

One such offering is the 13th Floor Haunted House in Schiller Park IL. 

 

When you arrive at the 13th Floor Haunted House, you may be a little confused about where to park. Luckily, the 13th Floor Haunted House provides maps on their website that show where exactly you can park your cars. You can choose between the free street parking on the side next to the haunted house or you can pay for valet parking via the One Spot O’Hare International Airport parking for $10.

 

My suggestion would be to park on the side street for free as it puts you right next to the haunted house.

 

Once parked, you can make your way to the entrance. If you have yet to purchase a ticket, you can do so at the front of the building. If you have purchased tickets in advance, you are free to head straight to the line. 

 

The entrance to the house is located at the back of the warehouse. It can be a little tricky to find as you have to navigate through a parking lot packed with cars (that for some reason you can’t park in) but they do have staff on duty ready to help guide you through. 

 

Once you make it to the back they will separate you into either a general admission line, fast pass line or “skip the line” line. The fast pass line will let you wait for 1/3 of the time that you would wait in a general admission line and the “skip the line” line lets you completely skip the line entirely.

 

A fast pass ticket will cost you an extra $10 and a “skip the line” ticket will cost you an extra $20. This fee is added on top of the general admission ticket fee which can range from $25 to $33 depending on what day you are going. 

 

When I went, we had general admissions tickets, but they had only a small handful of people there, so we were able to walk right up to the attraction. If you know you are going on a busy night or don’t want to chance it, however, you may want to get a fast pass ticket at the very least to reduce your potential wait time. 

 

Once you get to the end of the line, you have to go through a security check and an optional photo op. If you want to keep the photo after exiting the haunted house, you will have to pay an additional fee. After passing those two things, you can finally enter the 13th Floor Haunted House. 

 

The haunted house itself takes you through numerous narrow hallways and small rooms chock-full of set pieces and animatronic monsters. The one thing it lacks in these areas is human actors. Generally speaking, you will see no more than 1 actor in any given hallway or room that you walk through, and sometimes they won’t have any at all. 

 

This was disappointing to see — although the set pieces and animatronics are quite frightening looking, they don’t offer much more than looking impressive. The real jump scares come from the actors, of which this haunted house is severely lacking. 

 

When you do come across an actor, however, they are sure to give you a scare. This haunted house does a very good job of having the actors hide in clever spots that you won’t expect to see them come out from. 

 

As you keep going through the haunted house, it’s very likely that you will end up running into another group that went in before you. While they do stagger the entry of groups of people, they wait no more than five minutes before letting in the next group of people. 

 

Depending on how fast you or another group makes your way through the haunted house, it’s highly likely at some point you will catch up to another group of people or another group of people will catch up to you. Both these scenarios can sour your experience if you are just trying to go through with your group of friends. 

 

When I visited this haunted house, we wound up catching up to the group that went in before us, which caused us to slow down and let the group that went in after us catch up to us as well. 

 

Once you exit the house you will be at the front of the warehouse building where you can purchase your photo op picture or 13th floor haunted house merchandise.  

 

Overall, for a base price of around $30, the 13th Floor Haunted House offers a fun experience that will satisfy any casual horror fan or someone who wants to do a haunted house close to home. But if you are someone who wants an intense haunted house experience, you may want to save your money and skip this haunted house.