20 Yorktown Center, Lombard, IL
We'll be honest - last year we really didn't like Lombard Haunted House, In fact, it was one of our least favorites of the entire season, and we seriously considered turning on our cell phones just to get escorted out. However, since we're haunt fans, we live in eternal hope that a haunt that is bad one year will be different the next year. In the case of Lombard Haunted House, this did turn out to be true, which was a good thing.
This year's them was one of twisted nursery rhymes, and the operators had promised a darker haunt as well. This was somewhat evident in the waiting area, where numerous creepy live actors made a point of scaring anyone in line who happened to look the least bit nervous. It was entertaining even before we got into the haunt itself.
Inside, we were treated to thirteen separate rooms each with a different theme. Some were quite clever, like the room with a girl reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb" while a younger actor dressed as a lamb jumped around and cracked a large whip - odd but definitely creative.
Other rooms included a giant Jack-O-Lantern with various demon headed actors popping out of the wall, a room with a girl on a swing in front of a huge clock, a children's playroom with a little actor dressed like Chucky, and a playground scene at the end with several creepy female actors asking us if we wanted to stay and play with them.
Our favorite room of all was a kitchen/dining room where a crazy man was holding some young girls prisoner and forcing them to eat what looked like razor blades. As we walked through, the actor went up to one of the girls and acted as though he was drawing a razor blade over her tongue. It looked quite realistic, and as the dining room table where she was sitting was covered in red, it really did seem like there was a lot of real blood everywhere. Well done!
One of our big problems with last year's haunt was the large amount of dark and white space. It was very disorienting and also led to lots of patron flow problems as groups backed up into one another. Thankfully, this year there was much less of this. While each room had dark hallways in between, the dark space was short enough so that it was not too disorienting or annoying. We'd still like to see more rooms and less dark parts, but it was much improved over last year.
On the down side, a number of the actor performances tended to be of the same variety. We were asked in numerous rooms if we wanted to stay and play, or we were screamed at to leave. This tended to get repetitive after a while. While there were actors with different performances, there was a lot of similarity as well, and some more unique performances would have been welcomed.
Overall, though, we're happy to say that the 2014 incarnation of Lombard Haunted House was much better than 2013. Here's hoping that it continues to improve in the years to come!