6143 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL
St. Pascal's is a haunt that has been operating since 1981. We first visited there in 2009, and we most impressed with the detail and quality of the entire thing. We managed to get back there in 2010 and 2011, but we didn't have time to wait in a long line in 2012, so we missed out. Each year there was something new to see, so we look forward top many return visits in the future.
The fun begins from the time visitors enter the haunt. There are many live actors as wait entertainment, from traditional vampires and creepy clowns, to sword-wielding maniacs, to escaped mental patients. All of them remain in character and wander amongst the visitors waiting to get into the haunt. As this haunt is very popular, lines can be quite long, and as such the wait actors have a lot of victims to choose from!
Visitors were escorted into the haunt in small groups, but first had to stop in a waiting room and watch a short video about the haunt. Once inside the haunt, the attention to detail stands out almost immediately. An early portion of the haunt is located in the basement of St. Pascal's itself, using the actual pipes and boilers as a backdrop. On our first visit, this arfea was home to Freddy Krueger, who stood behind a fence and scraped his gloved hand across the chain link. Seeing Freddy in a real boiler room setting was most impressive, even more so given that this is not a professional, for profit haunt.
Other scenes were of a similar high quality, and included a toxic waste dump area, complete with glowing barrels of waste, a funeral setup with real coffin, a swamp scene with camouflaged live actor, and a dot room with actors that blended into the walls. One of our favorites parts of the haunt was a mirrored room at the end of which stood Michael Meyers. As visitors approached, he darted out of the room, leaving visitors to wonder just when he'd pop out again. Seeing him and knowing what was waiting was an excellent way to up the tension.
In addition to Michael Meyers and Freddy, many recognizable movie characters were present, from Jason Voorhees, to Frankenstein's Monster, to Hannibal Lechter, to Leatherface. Even the Predator made an appearance! Special mention must be made of the actors. Although most of the actors inside the haunt were younger (and many of them were short), they all stayed in character and played their roles well. Their obvious enjoyment really helped sell the experience for us.
Overall, we like St. Pascal's as long as there isn't too much of a wait. It's a fun haunt, but it's somewhat short (about 10 minutes), so waiting in a line for an hour or more is sometimes not the best choice, especially when we have many other haunts to visit and limited time in an evening to visit them. However, taking away the long wait time, it's worth a trip to see St. Pascal's. The elaborate sets and actor enthusiasm puts this one ahead of other, similar haunts, and the low price of only $8 (or $7 with a $1 coupon on the web site) makes it affordable, too. We'd recommend it - just get there early or be prepared to wait.