hauntedhouse1There are just two weekends left to be spooked by bloody, gory (fake) Halloween horror, and just one place to go in Chicago for a fantastic fright: Screams in Park in Rosemont.

This haunted house is modeled after the real horror of H.H. Holmes, the nation’s first serial killer, who plied his horrific trade in Chicago during the time of the 1893 World’s Fair. His crimes were profiled in the terrific book by Eric Larson, The Devil in the White City. Holmes opened a hotel less than two miles from the fair (known as the “white city”) that he designed himself to be a real chamber of horrors. There, it is believed he may have tortured and killed as many as 200 people.

hauntedhouse2The not quite as real but still very scary Screams is set up in a suburban parking lot as a replica of the Holmes mansion. “Guests” walk slowly through the maze-like hallways, knowing that just around the next corner could be anything from a menacing, snarling (fake) dog to a very real human with plenty of bloody makeup.

I took two teenage boys along for the 25-minute walk through hell. They loved it and wanted to go again. Once was plenty for me.

Note: There are no restrictions on ages, but this is a truly frightening experience. I wouldn’t recommend it for any but the bravest kids.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 7-11 pm, Sundays, 6-10 pm.

Admission: $20 regular admission, $30 express admission. Buy online to avoid the long lines, but expect to pay a 10 percent service fee.
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