Criminally Insane – Full Review

Criminally Insane is a Haunted Attraction located in Crown Point, IN.

226 South Main Street, Crown Point, IN 46307
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Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 10, 2020 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 8.83

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Just an hour southeast of Chicago lies Criminally Insane (CI) in Crown Point, Indiana. This season was our first time out here and I am ashamed to say this having realized how many great seasons we have missed! CI really seemed to have a great backing from their community, and we can see why after our visit, this haunt is a blast!

Housed in the historic Old Sheriffs House Lake County Jail we are not only treated to a great haunt but also a look into a historic jailhouse that one John Dillinger once escaped from 86 years ago! That Chicago tie in is always a plus in our book!

Cast: 8.62

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During our visit, we ran into many ghoulish beings inside the haunt as well as outside. What is most interesting is how well the actors used the space throughout to make for a constant flow as we do walk through the same rooms multiple times. One unique feature regarding this is having a ‘tour guide’ seemingly appear from time to time. The idea here is we are escorted through a certain way while previously visited rooms are prepped for the next scare and/or we are to enter/exit a different route. This would be almost impossible to properly pull off without our haunted Sherpa!

We were first guided into a certain cell block with some deranged few who need to be kept from GenPop. These actors are really great at just looking the part of being intimidating. Each has their own private area and it feels like they deserve to be here based on looks alone. Throughout the rest of the haunt, we found some clearly veteran actors who really brought some great scares. It is really nice when actors work well with their environment, and what a great one being an old jailhouse!

We have had the pleasure of visiting many major haunts throughout our time, but this has to be one of the first times we can say a majority of guests waiting in line know characters by name! It was really interesting waiting in line and hearing children scream out for residents of CI. It seems fan favorites include Dorthy, Skytzo, Inmate, and the beloved Piggy. Each one would casually walk the line and freak many out. Piggy is a great example of never breaking character. He ordered a tamale from a vendor without ever breaking, it was actually hilarious how excited Piggy was getting in line for a tamale. Overall, the queue line actors did a great job of keeping the huge crowd entertained and the attraction actors did a great job of keeping the walkthrough fun and frightening.

Costuming: 8.85

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Costuming was acceptable for CI. The previously mentioned isolated inmates were all in sync with actual inmate jumpsuits and great makeup to complete them with a dirty tired look. There was one particular actor who was on some stilts/ arm walkers paired with a drenching cloak. This overall feel gives the look to be more humanoid than a person and really was a great tense scare from it. The masks inside the haunt were more of a high-end store quality look and fit well with given scenes. Outside in the queue line, Dorothy was a great stand out with a full Dorothy Gale (Wizard of Oz) dress with a great bloody spattered finish. Complete with her infinite blank stare, the character as a whole is complete and sent many running whenever she approached in line. Inmate and Skytzo both had matching clown masks with different colored hair and suits to differentiate them from one another. These masks are great quality and seem to fit the face tighter to where it seems more like makeup than a mask. Piggy has a great looking pig mask that does look like a slaughtered pig face skinned off. When Piggy takes off the mask, he also has some great makeup and astatic teeth leaving a drooling, gross look.

Overall, CI does a good job of keeping everyone looking complete and creepy. We did notice some actors in sweaters inside the haunt, but I feel this doesn’t matter much because an old creaky jail is cold and I don’t see this mattering to an average guest as their eyes are more than likely closed most of the time!

Customer Service: 9.53

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Being as this haunt is at a historic sight and also uses the proceeds for upkeeping to the building, it is an easy find in Crown Point. What I appreciate here is when in line, they hand out ‘raffle tickets.’ The idea here is the haunt is only allowed so many visitors per-night meaning guests need one of these to enter the attraction. I believe we arrived 15 minutes before the start time and the line was already around the block! There were plenty of police officers on site laying ground rules in and assuring guests they would not be allowed in if under any influence. It’s nice to see such backing from their community having off duty officers donate their time to keeping the attraction safe for all. There are a few staff members around (closer to the jailhouse of course) but were friendly and available to answer any questions and respond to any concerns.

Atmosphere: 8.78

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Given the line for CI is long on any given night, they provide great entertainment all the way back (literally a block away and through a parking lot) with actors traveling by foot to fiendishly greet all in line. This is the primary means of entertainment in line but when paying attention, I felt the overall ambiance of the huge Jail House is more than enough to set the tone. There is something about dusk creeping in and realizing how big this building actually is to get the tone set! There are plenty of dark spots in the far end of the building (where guests aren’t allowed) that helps provide a naturally eerie feeling to the overall mood before entering.

Special Effects: 8.76

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The effects in CI are more old-school than high-tech, which is a dying art form to me. What I like best about CI is everything seems hand-built. There was great lighting when appropriate and dark when needed to keep a certain level of uncertainty as to what’s lurking in the shadows. Most of the haunt is a great misdirect in the order you walk through, meaning there are multiple entrances and exits in a single room, but certain ones are meant for later as we are reintroduced at a later point.

One of my favorite effects is the jack in the box! For the sake of keeping it secret I won’t say what happens, just be cautious when approaching! Overall, the scenes are immersive on all levels as part of the experience is being inside a jailhouse. This makes it rather easy to be effective while using the jail cells with minimal added props for portions, just dark jail cells is rather creepy and who knows which ones are occupied. It is easy to tell CI takes much pride in scenes and props they make as well as grasp the idea of a haunted jailhouse and run with it!

Theme: 9.21

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Though the haunt did take place inside a Historic jailhouse, there is no overall storyline being followed. However, the jail cells were used to an amazing effect making for the overall feel complete. Personally, I am a sucker for storylines in a haunt and would love to see an overall storyline implemented at such a great location with its colorful history!

CI has taken advantage of its building and scenes plenty, but the cherry on top of the sundae would be a great storyline followed throughout. Regardless, it is an easy theme to tell, haunted jailhouse! It would not be right to try and make a ‘haunted manor’ or ‘spooky hospital’ out of this building, so I am very appreciative of what great theme they have already. I would however love some ‘haunted artifacts’ tied into the jailhouse! I could keep rambling here on how great this jail theme is, but let’s move on’

Scare Factor: 8.45

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CI does have a number of good jump scares throughout and the crowds really seem to react in a proper scared way! Every actor we encountered did great on providing scares to everyone in our group as well, making no one safe no matter the position in line.

I do feel CI does a great job on catering to the masses, meaning younger haunt enthusiasts can make it through with a fair amount of scares and have a fantastic experience in doing so. Overall, CI is spooky in some spots and did even provide us with some good scares, but I would say is adjustable to be family-oriented when needed! I love when children get to experience haunts and come out feeling super proud and accomplished that they conquered a haunted house! I feel this helps support why CI has lines as long as they do on any night and have a community that really does support them and what they do for the season!

Entertainment & Value: 8.93

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Our walk-through time at CI was 7 ������ minutes. With a flat ticket price of $10 our MPD value is .73! This is more than a fair price for a great old-school style haunt as well as a visit through a historical building. What is really great regarding the price is being that affordable can make for an easy Halloween activity for the whole family to enjoy, even a big one like mine!

CIHH is definitely fun for the whole family to enjoy, just be careful as plenty of the younger ones will want to see their favorite prisoners every chance they can, hell I’m excited to revisit just for another opportunity to watch Piggy order tamales!

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Past Awards

2020 Awards

Most Authentic Building (Given by: Team White City Devils)

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