Aura Haunted House – Full Review

Aura Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Bartonville, IL.

4500 Enterprise Drive, Bartonville, IL 61607
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 21, 2022 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 8.4

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Aura Haunted House is located inside the old Peoria State Hospital district in the former Pollack Hospital. This building was the wing that treated tuberculosis. Now in the hands of new owners that have taken months to build a haunted house in it from scratch, the scares keep going with the help of its haunting presence inside.

Cast Score: 8.38

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Cast Review:

On the night we visited, the rooms were inhabited by various actors and characters. With interactions, the actors made their characters come to life and feel convincing.

There was an average of one to three actors per room, depending on the level of intensity. The actors used their space effectively by walking the room with us. The main character that effectively used their space was the Gravedigger. While making it through a room with caskets stacked above eye level to create a path, the Gravedigger would come around a corner and stand in the way with enough room to pass him by. With the idea that we may have left him behind, he would show up further down the path by either peeping around the corners or standing in the way, it’s as if there were more than one of him. The shovel he used to drag was also unsettling.

With interactivity, there was a variety of both high and low roles. An example of a low is when we were in a room with an oversized cage in the middle. As the path is wrapped around the cage, you can see a dense amount of mannequins with rabbit outfits on them. Someone was inside reaching out to us, which was effectively creepy because of the combination of the darkness inside the room with some disorienting strobe lights. An example of high interactivity was when we ran into… a baby? The baby interacted with both of us trying to get us not to leave him behind, and asking us to change his soiled diaper. The interest was mostly to have daddy clean the brown he had made. We also met Bob the Caretaker who told us he was the employee of the month, also his name is spelled the same “front and back” and he was very determined we knew that information.

Throughout the haunt, we noticed actors were hitting their light or sound cue marks. In general, the actors wanted to keep us in their scenes and didn’t use the dreadful “get out” lines to rush us out. It felt theatrical and the actors did a great job making their scenes come to life.

Costuming Score: 8.38

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Costuming Review:

There were a variety of actors and characters using costumes and makeup that helped bring out their respective roles. It is also clear that they are using the airbrush makeup method, which helped make the faces and bodies enhanced, depending on their roles.

Generally, the actors in smaller roles had darker clothing that blended in the darker rooms. A few highlights when it came to costumes were the baby in just basically a diaper… that’s it. What else could be more convincing than that? With a bit of makeup to contour the skin and give a sense of dirtiness, this character was scary and a bit disturbing. We also saw the angel of death, she was in a dark angelic costume with a draped cloth as wings and a beautiful flower headpiece. The face was a bit unsettling as she wore white-out contacts, and the face looked a bit worn out with the help of her makeup.

For a few of the actors that were wearing masks, they were neatly tucked inside their clothing to keep the characters looking real. The masks looked real as they didn’t look clean or smoothie, but more of a rugged look or were skin textured. We had a queue line actor come over to take a picture with us that had a mask that looked like fabric overlapping and draping down the face. The eyes, mouth, and nose holes looked cut open unevenly which felt homemade and not store-bought. The costume was also showing a bit of fresh blood on the overalls and apron that proved there was foul play.

Overall, we liked how everyone blended well with their costumes, masks, and makeup.

Customer Service Score: 9.54

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Customer Service Review:

Using the GPS will be the best option since it is located inside the old Peoria State Hospital district with multiple businesses nearby. There are signs for the event with parking available nearby in unmarked areas. The ticket booth is marked with prices and different ticket options. While there is a QR code to buy online tickets, physical tickets were still needed to enter, and the staff ensured the customers were well aware of this.

The staff wore branded sweaters and shirts and walked around to make sure customers had tickets while sitting in the waiting area. The waiting area is a room with many sets of numbered pews that were called up once the previous groups went in. It gave a hospital vibe.

The website shows all information needed such as directions, parking, and ticket prices. Overall, the staff was helpful with questions and were the main reason for helping with the flow of customers in their first year.

Immersion Score: 8.15

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Immersion Review:

After acquiring tickets, the queue line starts inside a waiting room where groups sit in what appear to be pews that were used by the hospital when it was once up and running. The walls and ceiling look weathered as if the building was left untouched, which is probably for the best to keep the spirits at peace.

While walking inside, the path leads you in and out of rooms. A few items in the rooms were left unbothered like a few bathtubs, sinks, lockers, cabinets, and even toilets. The actors did a great job using their scenes to keep the immersion going and kept us pulled into the scene instead of rushing us out. We did notice that a group started catching up to us but with quick thinking, the actors stopped them to give us time to walk through without interruptions.

After exiting, the gift shop is back in the building where you initially wait sitting on the pews. While the vibe is still the same, we wish we could have seen more entertainment leading into the gift shop. We can’t wait to see how this develops in the next seasons.

Special FX Score: 8.68

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Special FX Review:

The building itself is already a great setting with its creepiness. There is no need to add a facade, but the inside is filled with a few more added lights, sounds, and animatronics to give a haunted house vibe.

What we noticed through the haunt is there was an adequate amount of sound in each room, ranging from ambient and intense sounds that coordinated with the lights. The actors used them as their cues which worked quite well in their favor. The use of different colored lights facing directly at you helped with disorienting customers while turning corners or going into a new room. The actors also hit their cues in those areas to get a great scare out of us. There was a scene with a swamp that got us good. The light reflected on the fog and made the lower half opaque enough to have an actor crawl around unnoticed and pop up in random spots.

We were told that there were about 200 mannequins in the building. While this helped with keeping the rooms filled, this also helped with making it uncertain if the mannequins were props or if someone was hiding in between pretending to be one.

We can’t forget to mention the camera room, which is fully decorated from floor to ceiling with a variety of old and modern cameras. The sound of shutters and random cameras lights going give a sense of disorientation while the sounds get more intense.

Scare Factor Score: 8.45

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Scare Factor Review:

Right off the bat, the entrance already gives a creepy feeling with a look inside the hospital. The actors play their roles in their given scenes and make this forsaken hospital come to life.

As mentioned above, the actors used light and sound cues to create a variety of pop scares. The lights were also used to disorient and distract while the actors come from below or from the sides. The actors did a great job using their surroundings to create quality scares.

There were a few times we just didn’t know what to expect, which helped create some memorable scares. There was a scene when a shovel just fell softly with no one around. We hoped it was just a coincidence, but with the history of the hospital, we weren’t sure if it was something supernatural, which is a first for us. As we started to walk away, someone came screaming at us from behind, we now realized it was all a setup. You got us there!

As we exited, we were happy to be back in the real world. Lo and beyond, we got to see someone pop up and scream to give the last scare from behind a wooden decoration on the side. Overall, we love how everyone was enthusiastic about playing their roles and scaring us, we can’t wait to see how everyone progresses throughout the seasons.

Entertainment & Value Score: 7.48

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E&V Review:

Aura Haunted House is in its first year running and while it is a work in progress, they have done so much with a clean slate.

General admission tickets are $30, and speed passes are $45. Our walkthrough time was a solid 15 minutes. While the MPD is 0.5, this is a bit below average in the area. This does not seem to discourage the customers that flocked in to see what creeps inside. With the walkthrough being 15 minutes, we felt that there was an adequate amount of scares inside.

Though a few actors were walking and interacting with customers, we do think that there could have been more entertainment outside. There are a few photo op sections while waiting in line, which comes naturally with the territory. With time, we do see the potential for expanding and adding more props and entertainment. For the moment, we are happy that Aura Haunted House is on a solid foot, and we wish them luck on their new journey.

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Pics We Took From Our Visit:

Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Alexis – 10/10October 22, 2022
40/10 so far its the best one around

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