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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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 17, 2020 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 9.23

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Evil Intentions (EI) took our spot for number one haunt in Illinois as well as scariest in Illinois for the 2019 season. In complete honesty, I wondered if haunts would be able to perform on the caliber that we were used to seeing this season, considering the strict guidelines needed to be social distance active. I did assume the show would suffer and time and time again I was proved dead wrong.

EI impressively continued to not only follow guidelines and take matters seriously all across the board, but they also expanded and made an even more stunning show this year!

Cast: 8.99

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Factoring in the 2019 season awards EI deservingly won from us at The Scare Factor last season, I feel we were expecting a highly driven performance from the actors as we have during our previous visits. It is safe to say EI did not disappoint on just how far actors are willing to go for the art of the scare!

Any room we entered popped with high intense energy and really did not stop. Easily one of the most disturbing scenes between actors had to have been the school nurse and her next victim. The nurse was going on this amazing rant on how to make the students perfect and directed our attention to a dismembered grotesque body. Her rant on how ‘she makes them perfect, God is perfect, she is God’ was enough to make us feel uncomfortable (good job nurse!) but when paired with her next victim, it took the whole ordeal to a new level. She was literally pushing and shoving the guy as he pleaded for help. This felt like a situation where I did for a split second forget where I was and wanted to intervene, so of course, I didn’t. While we continued down the long hall to the next room, we could still hear him screaming ‘please, don’t leave me alone here’ and that honestly kind of made my hair stand up and almost forget it was acting. They made an excellent pair and continued to show what EI is known for, intense actors.

Another great example of standout acting would easily be the dentist. Not only did he work well with his set and then interact well with his props, but he had some great jokes also! ‘How did the dentist turn into a brain surgeon? His hand slipped!’ classic!! We actually ran into him right around the time we were in ‘Ward-E’, home of some of the most disturbing baddies we have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Here we wandered from cell to cell just hoping we made it out of the Ward soon!

Overall, it seemed many of the actors throughout EI needed to blow off steam from the quarantine limbo we all suffered from and waited until the haunt season to lash it out on anyone walking through EI, in a good way of course. Personally, I didn’t know what to expect going in but was left blown away walking out!

Costuming: 9.06

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EI’s makeup and costume department is nothing short of hard work. Every actor was spot on in presenting their character and a big portion of this is due to professional quality costumes and makeup. One of the first scenes when entering is a great looking back road swamp house. To imagine what I’m talking about, think about some rustic abandoned shack in the middle of a swamp. The reason its so important to picture this is because of the costume design made for this room! It’s some sort of voodoo witch with just the wildest white hair and we had unwelcomely wandered onto her property. The outfit is really amazing and happens to tie everything together and bring the whole scene together.

A similar situation can be said in just the next scene, the Church. When entering it, we made it just in time for the sacrifice. Everyone in attendance had a feel of some God-hating cult and made it clear they were looking for new members. What really sold the feeling was the matching black robes and great makeup on each of them, everyone marked with some special symbol we can only assume they have earned from completing some gruesome tasks. Inside the church was also a full-bodied costume of what we can assume is the cult leader. This whole costume had an appearance of bones with a great looking ram skull as the mask. It is a great piece as well as a staple character in EI, but what I like about this particular one is you can only spot it inside the haunt, not the queue line. It makes for an interesting approach as we expect to see this costume, but it always appears in a new spot, though always appropriate.

The overall feel of costuming and makeup are all well received I feel and applied well enough to prove constant care and consistency throughout the walkthrough.

Customer Service: 9.48

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EI of course is a pretty easy spot, having made the Elgin Casket Company their home for some time now. It is a pretty easy give away when we approach the building and there is a massive projector with trailers of the haunt playing on a constant loop. Looking for info? Any and all information needed can be found on both their website as well as FB and IG.

There was plenty of staff walking around and making sure everyone was safe and practicing social distancing even! With having two lines formed outside for separate ticket times, the lines seemed to move faster than past visits for sure. Granted, with any haunt there will be a wait (rule #1: arrive early when possible) but EI seemed to have a great flow going on considering all things.

Every staff member was of course wearing proper face masks and continued to remind guests about social distancing as well as to make sure everyone had on masks. It was a real treat to see concern from the staff enough to address any and all issues guests may have had.

Atmosphere: 9.44

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EI has a super interesting environment as it has a different approach than most. Here, simple is more. They really use the essence of the Elgin Casket Company that once was as the foundation that is now Evil Intentions. As previously mentioned, EI has past promotion trailers playing on the side of the building outside. What is great about this is how simple and effective it is. Simple in the sense that, it’s just a brick wall on a building with a huge projection, not too exciting-sounding on its own. But effective in the sense that it really shows just how massive this building is and with the tense videos showing the inner workings of the Elgin Casket Company, it leaves a feeling of frightful excitement as to what’s to come.

When we found ourselves inside for the queue line, there were a few conveyor lines that were previously used to transport caskets to trucks. This whole area has a very tense feel to it, as the queue line has a very caged feel to it with all of the fencing around and above. Throughout this, line actors are using this as a personal playground. These guys are everywhere, making us watch our every move. On top of all of this, the lights and music are connected, so the more intense the music, the brighter the room becomes at points. It is an incredibly good mood setter.

Something new this year is the five coffins to enter. We were lucky enough to enter the haunt through one of these but remained locked in for what seemed to be an eternity. While waiting in a confined space, there are some loose boards that are rattled by actors who want to reach in and grab their next victim. The whole ordeal is a great start to an even more great show and definitely successful at setting the tone for what’s to come.

Special Effects: 9.33

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EI has always been one for not really embracing huge animatronics or over the top effects but relies more on the actors and amazing sets with a more embracive touch. One great example of this is under the Church. What works so well here is simply strobe lights, creepy-ass sounds, and well-placed actors blending in amongst countless robed figures. Even knowing all of this, it still remains one of the more bone-chilling rooms we have walked through each season.

One of the newer rooms and effects remained a constant guessing game throughout. What was great about this was the constant yellow strobe giving effect to the ribbed glass cages. It was difficult to tell if there was an actor behind each glass or a mannequin but that was the point! The whole scene a friend pointed out had a real ’13 Ghosts’ movie feel as if we were the ones with glasses on watching these ghosts behind the protective glass. It was a really wicked comparison as we could tell that it was some great inspiration.

EI does a fantastic job of maintaining a suspension of disbelief. It can get rather difficult to remember where we are at times when walking through. One great trick for this is just knowing the building. Some spots seem to be very drafty and therefore colder, and the scenes during these parts are usually outdoor settings. During one of these outdoor scenes, there is sort of a mausoleum with some great stained-glass pieces depicting the Grim Reaper and the Cult logo. It all works really well with the fog effects and natural cold.

One more unique thing for special effects has to be that EI worked with a local composer to create a whole one-of-a-kind soundtrack special to EI and EI alone. The fun part? There is a CD for purchase with a track listing and each titled for specific rooms and scenes for all to blast on their speakers on the way home! Kids acting up? Play track 3- The church while they cry themselves to sleep. Have your In-laws overstayed their welcome again? Play track 6- The School on a faint speaker and say you have no idea what they are talking about. This has to be a first I have seen from a haunt and really shows the amount of details thought out.

Theme: 9.19

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EI doesn’t follow a specific story line but does has specific scenes depicted that tie in with stories of the building. There has been reports of cult activity in the building and there are plenty of scenes with the depiction of cult activity as well as plenty of actors asking for anyone passing to ‘join the cult.’ Rumors of a so-called ‘Dentist’ who would practice his ‘medical profession’ have been reported and there is a scene dedicated to that story. The dentist story is backed up with found humans on the property at some point and can be viewed at the small but growing museum at the end of the haunt, also including a used coffin and an original Elgin Casket built on the property many moons ago.

Before the switch to the newly upgraded haunt we are now familiar with, there were some very interesting artifacts on display to help tie in these scenes to the building. It seems as though these artifacts are slowly making an appearance once again and I personally am very excited to see this take place to help the average guest have a better understanding as to what is taking place and why.

Scare Factor: 9.29

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EI is simply an intense experience and I feel they are always trying to top themselves year after year. As we have stated before, EI is a more actor-driven and scene-driven haunt over animatronics. Most of the scares from actors are going to be either intense, in-your-face and great timed pop scares or very deeply disturbing uncomfortable scares. There are plenty of both throughout the haunt. Again, going back to the nurse and her victim, there was just great dialogue to really make us believe she was crazed and tormenting victims and the icing on that cake was the other actor pleading for help in a frightened and desperate tone. They worked really well together and had to be one of the more impactful examples of disturbingly uncomfortable scares I can think of.

When giving an example of great timed scares is this unusual area leaving the church before heading below. I don’t want to give away much, but this actually does away with the usual drop panel and takes a more actor-driven approach. Just after this is one of the more effective scare effects, the Nun painting. It is a quick-paced scare that needs to be seen and is actually really great each time.

EI really delivered once again this year with frightening scenes, so much so that the group that exited right after us had a grown woman literally pee her pants! Shortly after that, another adult exited the haunt in tears. We have seen this before, from children of course, but these people seemed to be around our age. That is pretty wild and easily a terrible car ride home if don’t have leather seats.

Entertainment & Value: 9.16

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General Admission for EI is $35 this year. This is a very reasonable price considering the quality of EI. There is booking regarding time slots that takes place to help practice social distancing, but again, the lines have been well spaced out and move at a great pace.

Our walkthrough time for this season was 25 minutes, not much different than last season. Our MPD value is at a .71 making it a well worth spot to get your monies worth in this area!

It is really exciting to see all of the haunts that did manage to open this year not only continue constantly to follow COVID guidelines, but also improve all the while. EI remains a great example of a unique approach and remaining a high-quality haunt! It’s worth the visit to not only pee yourself but check out a piece of history within the building. EI also offers ghost tours during the off season! It is a great time hanging with fun people listening and trying to communicate with the dead!

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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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