1962 W. Exchange Street, Crete, IL
Nightmare in Crete is one of those haunts that just has a fun atmosphere. While the haunt is not long, it is located in more of a remote area, and reminds us of Fall evenings, campfires, and forest preserves. There’s more to it than that, of course, but who doesn’t like good atmosphere?
The haunt itself is located in an old building that serves as the meeting hall for the Crete F-Men. It’s also stated to be haunted, which adds a nice bit of backstory to the entire proceedings. The general layout of the haunt hadn’t changed much from our visit in 2012. It starts with a short movie about the “history” of the building and some events that supposedly happened there. The movie is shown in a small old-fashioned cinema/projection room setup, with wooden chairs and red velvet curtains. It’s a fun scene that gets visitors in the mood for the rest of the haunt.
Following this, the haunt moves through a series of rooms that include a hospital setting, an execution, a creepy clown room, and our favorite – a corn maze with some clever characters hidden amongst the stalks. Again, this setup is basically the same as it was last year and even the year before, but that’s not to say it is not good. It’s pretty enjoyable as the sets are well designed and the actor hiding places are clever.
One of the standout things about Nightmare in Crete is the final room. While most haunts have some type of big surprise in the final room, Nightmare in Crete puts a small twist on it in that the last room is actually a dead end. Visitors enter the room, encounter the final character, and then have to reverse direction to get to the exit, allowing for double scares as the final character can not only scare when visitors enter, but visitors know they have to turn their back to him as they try to get out. It’s a nice, unusual twist that we really haven’t seen elsewhere.
This final character this year and last was Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Seeing him emerge from the fog in the last room is a creepy sight to be sure. Last year he chased us all the way out the door and down the side of the haunt, swinging his chainsaw the entire way – it was very well done!
Overall, we enjoy Nightmare in Crete, but we did find it seemed a bit shorter this year. Also, actors in some rooms were clearly off their marks, and some didn’t react at all as we went past them, as if they didn’t know we were haunt patrons. Still, what was there was fun, if a little short, and we certainly find it enjoyable. One thing we’d like to see again is the great Michael Myers/Halloween scene from a few years ago, where Michael Myers emerged from a “closet” in a room filled with TVs, one of which was playing the movie Halloween. It was fantastic, and one of our best Michael Myers Moments ™ - we’d love to see it once more!