Bring along your warm clothes, your overactive imagination, and someone to hold onto to. This fall, visit some of the scariest Halloween Haunted Houses and Haunted Tours in central Illinois.
Springfield Jaycees Haunted House (Springfield, IL)
A tradition in the Illinois capital for over thirty years, the Jaycees Haunted House is a charity haunted house with tamed-down Kids Days each weekend from noon to 3:00 p.m. and not-so-tamed-down Fright Times starting at 6:30 p.m., running until 9 p.m. weeknights, 11 p.m. weekends. Located at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Grandstand, October 9 – October 31, admission around $6, $3 for kids.
Auburn Haunted House (Auburn, IL)
Due to overwhelming response, the Halloween Haunted House in the tiny town of Auburn, south of Springfield, will be limiting ticket sales this year. This should give you an idea of how popular this event has become. Their website features high quality photos of the costumes and makeup. Opens in October, 7p.m. Fridays, 6 p.m. Saturdays, check website for dates. Admission is $7. Arrive early to secure your place in line. No children under 9 admitted. (It’s that scary!)
Boo Crew Haunted House (Rochester, IL)
A charity haunted house for the Rochester Lions Club, this haunted house is actually located 4 miles south of Rochester in the tiny rural town of Berry, and features high-tech effects. Excellent quality photos are featured on their website. Runs weekends through October, beginning October 9th. Admission is $7, or $6 for children 10 and under. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. A kids’ open house will be held October 24th, 1p.m. – 4 p.m.
Terror on the Square (Petersburg, IL)
“Ranked #3 in the state for 2006 out of 218 events on hauntedillinois.com,” boasts this haunted house’s website. Located in an abandoned 1930s funeral home on the historic Petersburg town square, this haunted house runs weekends through October, beginning October 9th, with a Hearse Parade October 26 at 6:45 p.m. Opens at 7 p.m. and is not recommended for small children. Their website features a gallery with some excellent photos of the ghost illusions.
Shotgun Manor (Sullivan, IL)
This year’s story for Sullivan’s Shotgun Manor, titled “Emmalee’s Knightmare,” can be read at their website. This charity haunted house is sponsored by the Sullivan Ambucs, and those who wish to volunteer for this haunted house will find information on the website. Open every Friday and Saturday in October, from 7:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m., with Kid Friendly Ghost Tours October 3, 9, 17, and 23 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Admission $10.
Haunted Illinois Tours (Decatur, IL and Jacksonville, IL)
The Haunted Illinois Tours were begun by author Troy Taylor, who grew up in Decatur, IL and whose first book was a haunted history of his hometown, called Haunted Decatur. These tours (both by bus and on foot) are “staffed by authors and historians and real-life ghost hunters with a genuine interest in the supernatural.” Haunted Decatur tours leave from the haunted Avon Theatre in downtown Decatur. Haunted Jacksonville tours begin at the haunted Illinois Times Theatre. Tickets start at around $30 for a tour lasting two hours or longer, and go on sale starting September 19th. Visit the website for complete tour schedules and for more Illinois ghost stories.
For listings and reviews of Illinois Halloween Haunted Houses, visit www.hauntedillinois.com/