1901 Hill Avenue, Montgomery, IL
The Abyss has been a favorite of the Tourers ever since we first visited it several years ago. However, we didn't visit in 2013 as we couldn't fit it into our schedule, so we made a point of checking it out in 2014.
Formerly located in Channahon, Illinois in an actual haunted barn, the Abyss provided quite a lot of entertainment for the price. The haunt was over 30 minutes long, and featured multiple rooms in two different buildings, including a large section set in the actual cellar of the old haunted barn. It was atmospheric and entertaining. This year, however, the Abyss was located in a family fun center, actually on top of a miniature golf course. Would the change in location change the quality?
The haunt was quite spread out this year, due to the nature of the miniature golf course. Instead of one big area there were many mini areas to walk through. Many of the scenes from the original Abyss were present, including the gated opening to the haunt and a large crypt scene in the middle, also with a large entry gate. Along the way there were creepy clowns, cannibals, zombies, surgeons, rednecks, homicidal children, and lots of other things.
One of our favorite scenes was set in the giant crypt in the middle of the haunt, which was very well designed. It had a cemetery setup outside of it, and visitors approached a large metal gate, where a caretaker waited to let them in. Once inside, there was a red room with a coffin in it. The coffin had a moving body inside of it, which was apparently a dummy, but it was hard to tell at a glance. As visitors looked at the dummy, an actor popped out of the opposite end of the coffin to surprise them. A clever touch!
There was some excellent acting throughout, including a homicidal little girl who stalked visitors from behind and a statuelike figure inside of another church/alter type setting who stood completely still, but grinned at visitors as they a walked by. However, as entertaining as everything way, we do have to say that the quality of the haunt has suffered with the move.
Although many of the original Abyss sets were still there, only a few of them were interconnected, and we often had to enter a scene them immediately exit back onto the golf course and walk to the next scene. This removed the creepiness factor for us, as there was no continuous flow from one scene to the next. We knew that as soon as we exited one door we'd be outside on the golf course. Of course the haunt operators really had no control over this, and we must say that they did a good job of dressing up the golf course to look like a series of buildings and a cemetery. The waterfalls were tinted red and there were a number of nice props scattered around. However, it's the haunt that counts, and unfortunately the move did the haunt no favors.
Also, we were disappointed that the haunt was only about 10 minutes long in total, whereas in previous years it was 30 minutes or more. The price had gone up as well, from $17 to $20. Thus, we were effectively getting 1/3 of a haunt for a higher price. Although we enjoyed what we saw, both in actors and in set design, the Abyss is simply not worth the price. As it stands, it would be a good $10 or $12 haunt, but $20 for 10 minutes is just not worth it in our opinion. There are numerous other haunts in the same price range that offer more.