Basement of the Dead – Full Review

Basement of the Dead is a Haunted Attraction located in Aurora, IL.

42 West New York Street, Aurora, IL 60506
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsEscape RoomHaunted HouseHaunted Laser Tag


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Free Parking, Paid Parking, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 16, 2022 by Team White City Devils.

About Our Reviews and Rating System

Final Score: 9.09

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Basement of the Dead (BotD) is a special spot on our season’s list. Why? Simply because Halloween is a legitimate EVENT during operation here. The entire moment anyone steps onto the grounds it can be overwhelming to see a live DJ, actors galore, free giveaways, photo ops, oh, and a new 26-foot pumpkin bigger than our apartment.

This season was proof the team behind BotD was hard at work during the off-season… we have tons to go over!

Cast Score: 9.04

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Cast Review:

BotD is widely known for its absurd amount of queue actors that help bring life to the party. One of the classic characters who we have watched shed many forms over the years is Simbu. The Snake King is a staple upon every visit and embodies BotD in many ways. What was out of character during our visit was seeing him within the attraction working certain rooms at times. Where the energy to work both the queue and the attraction comes from, I’ll never know.

Inside the attraction, actors are high energy and provide various scares, including drop panels, environment, prop usage, and vocal screams and growls. The hospital area near the beginning of the haunt had some creative dialogue from actors in the respective scenes. The different rooms also provide many characters depending on the location we go through. Some of the darker areas have actors hitting their marks like pros and continuing to try and stalk guests like prey. Overall, it is easy to tell most of the cast are experienced and know their scenes!

Costuming Score: 9.03

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Costuming Review:

There are plenty of costumes and different makeup applications to look at throughout the queue and attractions. Using Simbu as an example again, it is easy to tell his mask is high-quality material and makes it look as though he is covered entirely in scales.

Inside the haunt, there are some excellent examples of makeup applied to the nuns inside the haunt. The costume of a traditional nun habit with a demonic look leads to some wicked moments during their scene and can be difficult for some with a more religious upbringing or background.

Inside the 3-D funhouse, makeup is meant to pop with neon coloring and clown funhouse themes. It is fun to see some of the different applications here leap from actors’ faces and they work this effect confidently.

Customer Service Score: 9.53

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Customer Service Review:

BotD is located on New York Street and N River Road, hidden near the parking lot. The giant Gore Galore monsters walking the sidewalk are an easy indication you’re in the correct spot.

The staff at BotD are easily some of the most excellent folks around, providing a safe environment yet a fantastic and fun one as well. Information on the website offers all dates open as well as a text sign-up for discounted ticket deals (the best deal I’ve seen provided was a BOGO deal combo with Disturbia earlier in the season). We constantly feel super welcomed during every visit, and I’m sure most returning guests do that to introduce themselves, as this location has a great following.

Immersion Score: 9.08

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Immersion Review:

Immersion is something BotD does well. The entire atmosphere is made to be entertaining. Outside, DJ Psych blasting all sorts of mixes between pop, rock, and Halloween tunes makes it feel as though guests came for a show and the haunt is icing on the cake.

Inside the attraction, there is plenty of immersion through detailed scenes and excellent props. Scene by scene, it is easy to get lost in all the details and moments, giving plenty of authentic surroundings. After the attraction, the exit leads right back to the party queue, giving a full-circle feeling. Overall, BotD has a great experience from the moment you walk in, to the minute you leave!

Special FX Score: 9.03

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Special FX Review:

Being super transparent, we went in with the expectations of seeing a similar show as the previous season. BotD legitimately blew us out of the water (pun intended). When walking through, we noticed changes right away. What was normally more of a mannequin room was changed up to have a darker approach with sacks covering them, giving more of a body bag look. The demonic nun room was also changed up a bit and shortened, which we found interesting. All this is to reveal a brand-new room with a nautical theme. The room is crazily detailed, with a pirate boat and giant tentacles attacking it. Even the ceiling has screens on it to give an underwater effect. What nautical-themed room wouldn’t be complete without H.P Lovecraft’s cosmic entity character, Cthulhu!

These are just a few examples of the great rooms and effects BotD has to offer, and is something that needs to be seen to truly appreciate.

Scare Factor Score: 9.03

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Scare Factor Review:

BotD packs various scares into its halls and continues to hit one after the next. Inside the nun area, it is a sight that is frightening with hanging nuns from the ceiling and all sorts of crosses. The whole scene almost feels sinful to walk into, making it one of our favorites.

We had a few moments with Simbu inside the haunt, which was a pleasant surprise! Almost felt as though he was stepping back into his roots to go the extra mile to scare at the most random moments. Other scary moments would include the dark maze. There are disorienting sounds that plague these walls that are active when approached or also active via well-placed actors. The whole moment is difficult and can cause moments of panic giving some great scary instances.

Another great scene has to be the finale with the giant saw gutting a victim on a table. Overall, BotD does a superior job at providing scares for everyone in a group. The overall disorienting moments are something the team here uses to their advantage and exploit.

Entertainment & Value Score: 9.05

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E&V Review:

Our walk-through for BotD was at the 21-minute mark. Ticket prices vary depending on the date, so a GA for Friday and Saturday shows is $32 online giving a .66 Minute Per Dollar value. This is for the “attraction” times only, but I feel the overall experience includes the queue entertainment as well as a big number of queue actors roaming around! Not even mentioning the giveaways!

It is easy to see why BotD is highly regarded in the Chicagoland area and continues to grow in such an exciting way. It can be difficult to leave the grounds after the show as it is an event to be at during the season. BotD took this season and brought their haunt to a whole new level!

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