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This attraction was reviewed on October 27, 2019 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 9.07

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To finish off our 2019 season for reviews, we found ourselves back at a place we visited for the first-time last year. In 2018, Haunted Hills Hospital issued a challenge for Chicagoan’s to leave the comfort of their city lights and head to the small town of Lake Station, Indiana to visit a haunt that they promised would have you running back to your car, and they delivered. In 2019, they did what seemed impossible and managed to take an already greatly brutal haunt and evolved it to another level.

One thing remains the same’ HHH does, in fact, still have people running to their cars!

Cast: 9.04

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HHH remains difficult to ignore, and in part of a whole list of reasons, the one at the top of the list would have to be their actors! With 100+ on any given night, there is literally no dead space inside the entire walk-through. Not only are there a plethora of crazed looneys inhabiting the hospital grounds, but all of them are committed to the art of the scare.

From the moment we walked onto the grounds of HHH, we could see actors chasing guests straight away from the parking lot. The queue line was full of devoted actors looking to give a proper scary good time and were everywhere they could possibly be. As is tradition, one of our review team members typically has to use the bathroom before each show’ sigh’ well an actor found his way on top of the portable restrooms and proceeded to bang on the roof of it the entire time she was in there. I laughed! She freaked.

We did happen to see fan favorites Reaper and Jax running around along with other queue line actors giving everybody in line an entertaining fright. We were also introduced to Alchemilla, who was frightfully fun! She would just lose her train of thought from time to time and be lost inside her head on the inside, but as still as possible on the outside. When she approached there was smelling involved to check if that particular person was nice enough to mess with. It all worked well, and we noticed plenty of guests not wanting her near them! She must be doing something right on that creepy level to get those reactions.

When walking through, there were plenty of actors giving big shoulder checks to the walls just to emphasize how insane these patients are supposed to be. It felt as if a good number of them also knew the ins and outs of the haunt, as we found actors well above us from scene to scene just adding to the stress of it all.

Dialogue was plenty and appropriate for the story telling portions. One scene we walked into we were told about the patients ahead who have been taking meds and nothing seems to help ‘these clowns.’ When we walked into the next room, all the actors were shouting at us to take our ‘Bozos’ (meds) and appropriately were painted up as clowns.

There were a few actors that I would put together for the next part I will mention, and that’s the stand-alone clown with all of the ‘colorful’ jokes as well as the cross-dressing patient. In bringing them up, it is worth noting that HHH is trying to push some boundaries and go places they haven’t been, so these two are great examples for that. The stand-alone clown does have some great funny one liners, but also did wind up using ‘colorful’ language towards us and the cross-dressing patient did happen to make some interesting gestures as well. Personally, I wasn’t offended because I really don’t get offended easily and also, we are in a haunt! Sometimes things like these happen. I bring this up because I would imagine that the actors placed here would take measures for the more-younger crowds walking in and sort of appropriate the situation they may find themselves in (but is pretty great for adults).

Costuming: 9.01

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The costume and makeup department at HHH are one of high standards. Everyone was appropriate for their scene and makeup had a real great applier for sure. All of the queue line actors’ costumes are definitely stand alone signature looks for their team, and all look great.

The masks used throughout are also very well put together. One of the queue line actors we were talking to assured me my face and beard would fit on him better. He proceeded to lift the skin off the mask and show all sort of gory flesh beneath! It was actually a really cool approach overall and the mask sold the whole interaction.

All throughout the haunt, we were thrown in with all sorts of deranged patients and all of which looked the part. Most costume designs are tattered and dirty-looking gowns and scrubs and they all worked with the scenes very well. The makeup applied gave a sort of veiny look for most actors, as if the meds they are being injected with are almost visibly pulsing through their bodies.

HHH also provides Haunted Hills Productions, which is a side gig for their team where they create a number of costumes, mask, and set props’ all for sale! Clearly, they save most of the best products for their in-haunt use. Overall, the costuming and makeup are a key part on the convincing aspect of what the overall theme is and work really well with the proper actors. It’s amazing how they can dish out over 100 costumes for actors and makeup applications on many of those actors night after night.

Customer Service: 9.3

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HHH has all information needed posted on their website, and constant updates on their social media pages. It is all easy to navigate and is pretty straight forward. The haunt itself is an easy find. On a main road (Central ave) all we needed to do is type the address in our trusty phone and then follow the screams and music when we were near. There is plenty of parking, as they use a school lot that is a short walk away from the haunt and it is free!

Once on the grounds, we noticed many great changes this year compared to last, and even the summer haunt we visited just a few short months ago. There are plenty of vendors around to sell some great snacks, a tarot reader, and a 5-minute escape room is offered. There is nothing we can recall as far as HHH being ‘unsafe’ from our recollection, and even if anything came up, there is plenty of staff all around to be able to handle anything appropriately.

Atmosphere: 9

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When we arrived, the most noticeable thing was visitors running for their lives! It’s hard not to miss because of the constant screams and older adults leaving their least favorite child behind as sacrifice to the chainsaws! This did happen on our visit actually, a full-grown man took off and left all his kids behind!

HHH did set up the queue line a bit differently to make things easier on guests. The queue line sets up GA and VIP ticket holders in easy to spot different sections. When we waited in line, there were plenty of queue line actors roaming around, scaring the eagerly waiting guests. No matter where we were in line, we could always see the new tower in the middle of the line itself, and every few minutes it would shoot out a massive flame into the night sky. What else is really cool and creative is a fog machine that also shoots out bubbles! It’s fun and keeps guests entertained plenty. We can pair this with heavy rock music blasting throughout the night and it’s a recipe for a great queued up line. All of the chaos around really does a great job on setting the mood for all that’s to come on the inside.

Special Effects: 9.08

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One of my favorite parts of HHH has to be the effects they use. There is so much going on and its sometimes difficult to take it all in but everything we see is quality. All of the lighting and sound effects were appropriate and worked great for the haunt as well.

When we are officially inside the haunt, we are taken to a waiting area to stand in line. There is a TV playing above us while we are told the rules and the whole scene looks run down and beaten up. The walls had cracked and chipping paint and there was a rustic feeling on items lying around; everything has a very grim feel to it. The patient areas all seem rather dark and cold, everything is everywhere, and all just disordered, which really is fitting for the patients of the haunt.

One of the new props we came across was a really awesome marionette, life-sized. It was actually hanging from tendons that were used as the string. The whole thing is out of some beautiful nightmare and just looks awesome. We were also introduced to the garden area where there is a big surprise waiting that is amazing, to say the least.

One really cool feature (which doesn’t have much draw power but if noticed is really cool) is the skeleton. When we found our way into a study room, there are all sorts of trophies and books and such throughout the shelves. In the corner of it all is a glass case that is lit green and holds part of an actual human skeleton, mostly torso and skull. I tend to always notice skulls around haunts (as a collector) but it’s the first time I have seen almost an entire skeleton used, it briefly took me away from what the actor was saying actually because I did a double take of course to check if it was real’ it is.

Other great effects were noticed when we entered a boiler room. The room has of course 3 giant boilers and seems real industrial like. What is great is one of these is big enough to fit a well-placed actor in! It’s the proper lighting and fog upon their pop out, it almost makes it look as if they are being boiled alive!

Overall, the special effects at HHH are great and can be enough to provide some great texture throughout the haunt, and in many ways provide their own scares!

Theme: 8.99

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HHH has a solid theme that flows through the haunt entirely through both actors and check points. I really enjoy a good theme and HHH makes it easy to read and all their actors are definitely involved throughout.

As they say, Hills Hospital houses the nation’s worst of the worst mental psychotic prisoners that couldn’t be handled in a general mental establishment. During their time here, the doctors and nurses show plenty of neglect toward these prisoners and even go as far as to using them as experiments for inhumane practices. These patients eventually turn on the staff and unleashed the Hell behind Ward H, a strictly secured ward that housed many of the most diabolical prisoners that were saved for experiments under the Truman Corporation.

What is great about this theme is all actors know the story, so they know the names of the medication we are introduced to and name these products out. When we reach the Truman Crop. held Ward H, the patients are also way more intense. It was here where we had most actors banging their entire bodies against the walls and it worked so well, convincing us that there was a special place for them in Ward H.

I am a sucker for themes and story lines. So, I really appreciate all the effort thrown into a story line here and love the fact everyone is so in sync to it.

Scare Factor: 9.06

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HHH is enough to question your sanity in the sense of questioning ‘what the hell did I get into?’ With great scenes, amazing props, and plenty of actors that just wont quit, there is plenty to get scared about at HHH.

Though some of the gory dark scenes are plenty enough as is, with 100 plus actors there is almost no space to reset mentally. These actors come plentiful and surround in a blink of an eye. It does become extra intense because of this, but it works! We are in a haunt and expect to be scared and HHH delivers in a big way. The actors have plenty of growl scares and pop up scares that work entirely well. When it comes to the scenes and props, they continue to deliver a very macabre and daunting appearance to make anyone freeze right in their tracks.

As I have mentioned throughout this review, HHH literally has guests running out of the parking lot. I can’t think of another haunt that does this in such a repeating fashion. It is really a great sight to see and stands as a great ‘on notice’ moment for when standing in the queue line that this will be us at the end!

Entertainment & Value: 9.05

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General admission for HHH is only $20. This isn’t bad at all considering the level of quality they provide. They also add an ‘Emergency’ fast pass for $30 and an ‘Insanity’ fast pass for $35 as well. Both are VIP passes, but the ‘Insanity’ pass also includes a T-shirt of your choosing.

Our walkthrough time was at 21 minutes and I feel we were walking through at a fair pace. I’m sure this changes from visit to visit, but it’s a fair number entirely. With a $20 GA and our walkthrough time, we come up with a MPD value of 1.05!

Again, with a high-quality haunt as this is, it is worth the challenge they gave last year and is worth the drive over. Lines can be long, and I would recommend the emergency pass, but suggest the insanity pass. A badass shirt for an extra 5 dollars is worth it! We have 2 each as HHH provides the most off season haunts we can think of and always try to visit when we can.

One other awesome feature after a visit at HHH is that they offer a $5 VIP pass to re-enter during the same visit! This allows for guests to enjoy multiple quick visits per night for an extra $5 charge. The team of HHH provide great scenes, costuming, and just overall a great evening!


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