Evil Intentions Haunted House – Full Review

Evil Intentions Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Elgin, IL.

900 Grace Street, Elgin, IL 60120
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Special Events, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 19, 2019 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 9.41

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After wrapping up the 2018 season, Evil Intentions Haunted House (EI) had to relocate as their lease was up at the Elgin Casket Factory. This was unfortunate because they had called this place home for many years and embraced the authenticity of cult and paranormal activity.

With the clock ticking and panic setting in to find a new home, they finally caught a lucky strike and were offered to relocate within the building. They managed to snag the bigger and older section of the once lucrative Elgin Casket Company. With twice the size and so little time to complete, I am sure the team at EI met with many sleepless nights to put this haunt together in time for the 2019 season. Thankfully, they managed to pull it off and blessed the Chicago area with one of the more intimidating attractions around!

EI will make you question your sanity and leave you wondering what delves in the darkness, and also brings many fears into the light.

Cast: 9.44

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EI never disappoints with the quantity and quality of active actors. This haunt is more known to be purely actor driven, and those 90 actors did such a great job. Depending on what the room or scene was, there was at least 1 actor minimum and a maximum of 5 trying to find their way closer and closer to us. Given we always try to interact with actors, some of them didn’t as it was part of their character, giving us a sense of “less is more” in these instances.

Many of the queue line actors used the set up to climb above guests and remain at a constant macabre vibe. The queue line is set inside one of the casket lines where hey had to move them frequently, so we have these rollers lined up all around. Actors use these rollers to maneuver all around in a quick fashion and must have had plenty of practice time doing it so effortlessly.

Just after walking through the church, there are plenty of cult members demanding us to stay and chanting ‘join the cult’ over and over. One of the more riveting parts of the haunt can really make anyone walking through question, ‘what the hell did I get myself into?’ The actors in this particular space are one with the environment. There is a scene we find ourselves in, walking through the catacombs of the church and there are many hooded cult members down there. Amongst the majority of mannequins placed down there are some really well-placed actors that move only in the dark; causing any plan of action we had to get out as quickly as possible to break down. It takes some dedication to stay down there for even as long as we did, so to have actors placed there for hours on end for the art of the scare?! Its impressive.

During some of the new scenes we found ourselves in this year included a schoolhouse, complete with teachers, lunch staff, and the principle of discipline. She was screaming and ranting on about many different topics of how the world was overpopulated and such and a method on how to bring that population down quickly. It was such a great rant that we got lost into the moment so much that we sinned and briefly caused a conga line (sorry guests).

Being as actor driven as EI is, it makes absolute sense that the team they have are clearly committed to their craft and provide some of the best scares I can say we encountered throughout our season.

Costuming: 9.41

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A great feature that paid homage to previous years yet also evolved along with the new show was the costuming and make up at EI. Queue line actors here aren’t really a playful/fun looking group. They happen to be a great set up for what lurks inside the main attraction which is straight up fear. We did happen to run into a classic character, Chuckles the clown, and he is in the same attire, why fix what isn’t broke.

Inside the attraction, most noted and uniformed attire would have to be inside and underneath the church. Here is where the cult resides and everyone is robed up with a great darkish toned paint, giving us the vibe there is something bad living inside everyone here just below the skin.

There are plenty of actors to look at throughout the haunt even though some of our group really wanted to keep their head down in fear. Another notable costume for actors was the lunchroom workers. Banging pots and pans all over, they looked menacing with just worn tattered clothes and a dirty look of food and other rotten stuff smeared all over. That whole scene is done up really well and reminded us of elementary school, and how those lunch ladies weren’t always very cool.

Of course, there is a signature costume within the casket company, and it is their ‘Baphomet’ vibe costume. The head of it all is a Jacobs skull (4 horned) and the body of it all is a skeleton backed with a black bodysuit to really give the appearance of just bones walking around. We spotted this character in a new room and there is just no hiding from him at all (more on the room later).

Given every scenario we found ourselves in, costuming didn’t seem low quality and all was well applied in terms of makeup and plenty of contacts, the actors really did great on selling their attire.

Customer Service: 9.35

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EI has all information on their website as well as social media pages. Of course, on their social media pages one can find some great pictures, trailers for the haunt and some fun amongst the team. The staff (un-costumed) is plentiful and easy to spot for answers and concerns. They have portable restrooms and also a merch table with some of their staff’s local art (do not skip over some of these!)

The night we attended, it seemed as though security had to head one way and then the opposite right away due to rowdy guests either trying to start problems in line and some even within the haunt. I can’t imagine the stress that can cause to security, back of house, and actors alike but security took care of each and every problem quickly and as quietly as possible. The reason for so many issues in one night is because of an event we attended just before going to EI for the evening. Nightmare on Chicago Street. Nightmare on Chicago Street is a super fun Halloween event that 1,000’s of people attend within about a 4 block radius and plenty of drunk patrons (that’s not the fun part). NoCS is also in Elgin (10-minute drive from EI in fact) so many of the drunkards seem to have found their way over to the haunt that evening. This stems for security having their hands full that night but they handled it professionally and did a stand-up job at keeping their cool every time. The attraction itself is a safe walkthrough for everyone, as long as everyone is behaving themselves.

Atmosphere: 9.29

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When we pulled up to EI, the line was around the block. Actors were in the middle of the street with police protection, and music was blasting at the entrance. EI has a blacked-out school bus that sits in front of the entrance and they also have a giant video playing on the side of the building. The new home for EI is actually the same address as the old, just in a particularly bigger part of the building.

When inside the queue line, the lights are red and the line is covered in cages but also has embraced the history of the building, being the Elgin Casket Company. There are plenty of coffins left for display throughout. The lights in the queue line pair well with the ominous sounds playing from the speakers, giving the impression that this is serious, and rightfully we should be afraid. One of the cool features from last year has been moved from the beginning of the haunt to the end. When in the queue last year, we found a display of relics found from the building when the team of EI were building the haunt. This year, that display is at the end of the haunt, but they have added plenty of more interesting relics and items related to the building, including a casket that was used’ once.

Special Effects: 9.42

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EI is well known for not embracing animatronics but for being more actor and set driven, and it works so damn well for them. There are plenty of rooms with props and such that work great for the setting they are in and these are effects we will touch base on.

When entering the main attraction, we are thrown inside of a freight elevator. The actor is supposed to take us up to the 3rd floor where all the madness begins. Turns out, the freight elevator malfunctioned just in time to make us use the stairs. Even when walking up the long narrow staircase, we can see many actors looking down towards us and can’t wait to greet visitors! The scene at the top of the stairs is one from the previous year and a really good one! I described it as being transported into the middle of a heavy metal music video, and it still as that feel. Music is blasting and actors are sliding to the end of cages in a matter of seconds providing plenty of scares. Shortly after this we found ourselves going through an airbag wall. I feel the reasons the airbag walls went on so long was to do a great job on masking all the heavy music and transition into the ecclesiastical choir hymns. As we found our way out of the wall, we were led straight into a swamp area with a lone home. Thick fog covered the bridge and we found ourselves inside the home. It was a well finished scene and gave us the appearance of a back-road area overall.

We were eventually led to the outside of the church where the hymns only became louder, and eventually we were invited inside. When inside, we realized we must have walked right into a mass. This church was complete with the altar, pews, and of course, a picture of Jesus covered in blood. There are some simple effects here that play through very well, such as an actor banging on an organ when we passed. The whole vibe inside is harrowing to say the least’ but things only became more nightmarish as we progressed. The tunnel leading down to the catacombs of the church is a great effect that I am glad to have seen returned. Here, we are surrounded by demonic nuns lining all the way up to what comes off as another alter above the declining walkway. On the altar, there is a nun hanging ever so slightly off the edge of the altar, when the lights go out for just a few short seconds, the nun is gone and the frame behind her now has a painting of her on it. Eventually the lights go off and on again and, well, we don’t want to ruin the surprise but it’s such a great worrisome effect and really messed with one of our first timers. There is also a great coffin shaped maze that seems to extend for a while. It can be a difficult walk through as panic can ensue but pays off in the end!

During the medical scenes, we did see some really cool electric effects go throughout and paired an actual actor with it, making the whole scene all the more believable. All props such as bodies and and gory stuff did come across believable and of a higher quality. I do want to continue talking about some of the great effects we saw, even with not being high-tech, but I do also feel some of it seeps into the Scare Factor category, so I’ll leave some room to talk there as well!

Theme: 9.32

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EI did happen to add some extra scenes into this years attraction (as they are about double in space and more room to play) that happen to sit outside of the stories of the building itself, but they did maintain many of the key factors into keeping the theme of the haunt alive through the building used.

There have been reports of cult activity, murders and other grim topics to have taken place inside the Elgin Casket Company for many years after its doors closed. EI does have an eye into adding these alleged happenings into the haunt to give a good realistic vibe as if guests are walking right into these scenes. Given that a primary part of the haunt happens to be amped up to ten as far as the background stories go, we decided it was still safe in scoring theme overall.

Scare Factor: 9.56

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It is puzzling how many times we as a group literally jumped walking through EI. Being as actor forward as the haunt is, it leaves no room for error to be effective and we seemed to get hit spot on each time.

As mentioned before, the catacombs are just baffling scary. I was told the building team really have issues with staying in there for long periods of time because of how creepy it is. When we entered and seen as many robed figures as we did and the very unpleasant hymns on a loop, it is a tough walk through. The devoted actors are paid off in the end each time I would imagine because I can’t see anyone going in there and not even being the slightest disturbed from it.

When approaching the school, it looks as though all rooms have been ransacked and there are plenty of spots for actors to hide and jump out for jump scares. Actors overall seemed to just appear from no where most times. In some of the longer hallways we could make out a figure and that actor comes running full speed for an incredible slide. The props used for scares are simple startingly effects, loud bangs and such, but EI applies them so well it can become unnoticed as far as props used in that way.

One of the more forward scares this year which works out amazing is the use of white rooms. The first white room has a high arched ceiling and feels sort of like a medical room. The lights are on and cannot hide anything, especially the tall monster ahead who is motionless. When we were close enough, he animates to life and scurried our group away on fear alone. What is really scary about this simple approach is there is no where to hide or no ‘leave it to the imagination’ approach. Everything you see is set right in front with a ‘yeah, you’re screwed’ feel. It really gives a vibe of there is no where for us to hide as well as this creature maliciously waiting and sees everything moving. It is a great scare when we break it down, because most of the time we are used to black rooms and dark all around and that works for the art of surprise, not here, there is no surprise and we must encounter what is.

One actor who has a very scary vibe about her is working on a corpse inside a medical room. When we first approach, we are in viewing site of her right above watching what she is doing. Somewhere down the line we make our way directly inside the surgery room, and she couldn’t help but notice. She was talking on about needing to perfect her masterpiece and how our eyes would work to get her to her goal. It was all wild how in tune she was to complete her job and paired with some scissors actually made us believe she would get some eyes that night.

It is safe to say with all we were thrown into scene by scene, knowing that some of the ideas behind the haunt actually come from stories that have taken place inside the building, and actors who were not afraid of boundaries and were on top of their game, EI happens to be one of the more terrifying haunts we have stepped into this season.

Entertainment & Value: 9.35

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General admission for EI is $30 and VIP tickets will cost $40. Considering lines are typically wrapped around the building (literally) I always recommend the VIP here as we did only have a 20 minute wait (if that). Our walk through time for the entire haunt was at 28 minutes. Although that was our walkthrough time, this can vary from group to group, but I feel it is a fair bet it an average walkthrough can range from 27-30 minutes. Plugging our numbers in, the MPD value of entertainment is at a .93! It is a decent number in the area for the quality haunt they are putting out for guests.

EI is a definite must-see this season with their new sets and new show as a whole. It is simply scary with a group of talented actors, a well-placed team for building amazing scenes, and amazing minds to put it all throughout the haunt not to mention the building itself! I cannot say enough about EI but I feel it is something everyone should experience in the Chicago area. I cannot comprehend the idea of ever missing a season here. Given the team at EI started taking sets apart after Halloween 2018 to build a whole new attraction, and also wasn’t sure of where home would be after their lease was up, I cannot begin to think of what’s to come next year with a stable home in place (in the bigger side of the building) and much more time to work on the haunt given its not a ‘built from the ground up’ situation as the 2019 season was. 2020 cannot come fast enough, so I am sure we are going to treat ourselves to another visit before the seasons over!

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Past Awards

2022 Awards

Scariest Haunt in IL (Given by: The Scare Factor)

2019 Awards

Highest Rated Haunt in Illinois (Given by: Team White City Devils)

Scariest Haunt in Illinois (Given by: Team White City Devils)

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