Killdare Haunted City – Full Review
Killdare Haunted City is a Haunted Attraction located in Bridgeview, IL.
8110 S Ferdinand Ave, Bridgeview, ILView All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, “Old-School” (Low Tech)
This attraction was reviewed on October 28, 2022 by Team White City Devils.
About Our Reviews and Rating System
Final Score: 8.01
Final Scores – By Category
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We are happy to see Killdare Haunted City back for its second year running at the Bridgeview Park District. Using their given open space in the park and making a path out in the woods, they have shown to be going in the right direction. The actors also played a role at making the haunt more believable and keeping the customers more engaged. Killdare Haunted City proves to be reaching for the stars and their hard work is paying off.
Cast Score: 8.04
Cast Scores – By Question
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Compared to last year, we noticed more actors who created a lot more interactions. Everyone did a great job giving dialogue and were able to improv their responses, giving a more intimate feeling when interacting with the whole group. Covering scenes was also easy for them, when they were running from start to end.
On the woods trail, there were a few animal-like creatures out there that were lurking in the darkness. Thinking we have lost them, they keep popping up and posing threateningly. No dialogue was given and rightfully so because of their predatory roles. Though they were low interactivity actors, they sure gave a big presence.
A few scenes were high-intensity because of their respective roles. There was a junkyard scene where some actors were making noise by hitting random junk lying around. The actors did try to make a bit of money out of us by offering a washer and dryer combo at a reasonable price with a variety of payment options including bitcoin, liver, and souls. While making our way through a different scene, one of them popped in and asked if we were looking for anything in particular. It was highly unexpected but we laughed about that.
While inside a school bus, there were some actors on top of the seats army crawling back and forth as we made our way to the back of the bus. It was a bit overwhelming as they were quite fast, and they were mocking us the whole time.
The clown section is a fan-favorite because of the clowns’ crazy antics. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with some popcorn confetti. We can’t forget to mention Bummer the Clown in here! We have known Bummer’s antics for quite some time, and it’s never a disappointment. We were treated to some jokes that were knee slappers. Baldy told us a joke that was mumbled with random noises, but for some reason, was the funniest.
While I could keep talking about more of the actors, there will be more mentioned in the Scare Factor section as their interactivity fits more in that section.
Costuming Score: 7.43
Costuming Scores – By Question
Costuming Scores – By Attraction
It is worth noting that this haunt’s vibe is more of an old-school traditional haunted house. Some actors were dressed in either street clothes that were detailed with paint and blood or wearing full-body costumes like jumpsuits or costume pieces. The costumes and masks were of good quality and were used well to complete the character’s looks.
In the woods trail, the two actors we saw had animal-like features, one wearing horns and an animal skull mask and the other in a fur-like costume. Both actors wore dark clothing to blend in the dark and enhance the other pieces. The dark priest also had a black robe to fit in with the demonic church scene, which was quite convincing.
Some actors wore makeup to execute the appearance of cuts, blood, or enhanced distressed facial features. The clowns had more of a complete look, with faces fully covered with colors, similar to what a traditional clown would look like. On the other side, actors wearing masks were of a higher quality this year. They did a great job of tucking in the neckpiece under clothing and using makeup to cover any exposed skin.
One particular actor I would like to point out is the actor with the face mask with carved skin that hangs off and attaches with magnets. This was a perfect use of the mask in his designated room. Baby from the queue line also had a very creepy and detailed mask that resembled a smaller version of a Conehead which was a white color that matched their costume. It was extremely weird but quite creative.
Overall, the costumes were well thought out and the actors did a great job making their characters more believable. We can see this haunt is going in the right direction.
Customer Service Score: 8.66
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Customer Service Review:
While there isn’t an official website, their social media provides location information and dates. Since it is in a park district, visible signs point to the attraction for easier access. Parking is onsite and free, with a parking director guiding since it is a bit dark. The ticket booth is inside the park district building, though tickets can also be bought online.
There are stairs, uneven floor levels, dirt trails with rope barriers, narrow spaces, and low clearances throughout the haunt. There isn’t any significant danger walking through but it isn’t ADA compliant, seeing as they use the forest trail and outdoor sidewalk to make their haunted city a more believable setting.
While the monsters are running around and playing with the customers, a few staff members are everywhere with branded clothing. Everyone was guided into the ticket booth if tickets were needed and then guided back out to the trail entrance. Overall, everyone was professional and attentive to customers’ needs.
Immersion Score: 7.68
Immersion Scores – By Question
Immersion Scores – By Attraction
We laughed as soon as we started heading to the queue, as an actor came up from behind and rushed us in with his chainsaw, which is normally the opposite for the majority of haunted houses. Matching people screaming as more groups started to arrive, really sets that haunted house vibe right off the bat. A few actors were roaming around as well, like Baby, which I’m not even sure how to explain what this creature is. They were passing around tiny babies, which we were lucky to receive. There was a distinct screaming coming from another actor who was roaming around and yelling at customers. She was dressed in a straightjacket and had real chains wrapped around her. She walked up to a customer who was scared and noticed she had a cross necklace and told her “that won’t help you in there, by the way” and walked off. Not Blade, at this point, will also give the house rules and will not tolerate any shenanigans.
While there isn’t an exact storyline, many different types of scenes created different kinds of scares. The transitions and flows vary because some scenes are outside whilst some are indoors like trailers, a caboose, and a school bus which kept us on our toes. The actors did prepare/ warn about the next scene or character so it helped with transitioning.
Reaching the end, we stumbled upon an ice cream truck that offered nut-free frozen treats and snacks. There was also a bit of retail therapy with a vendor selling spooky decorations and clothing. This is an improvement from last year, and we hope to see more in future seasons.
Special FX Score: 7.78
Special FX Scores – By Question
Special FX Scores – By Attraction
Special FX Review:
While Killdare Haunted City is in a park, they effectively used the open space placed with trailers and a variety of indoor buildings. This gives it a more authentic feeling of a city because of the open space.
The new addition of the trail in the woods was done purposely to be dark with minimal light on a dirt path. This was effective as the lights were blinding while turning corners, which startled us when we figured out that an actor was a prop. There were sound effects that filled the woods as if there were multiple people in the area coming from different angles, causing a minor paranoia.
After the trail, we saw a legit caboose sitting on train tracks that aren’t operational. Going down the path, in the junkyard, there is a railway crossing bar that is operational and is operated by the actors. This is a unique haunt that incorporates their given surroundings to create a full experience.
The church is a complete building that houses the evil spirit. While inside, there are scribblings with what I can assume is unholy scriptures. When the dark priest finishes his prayer and asks us to stand, a demon falls, swings, and hovers while he laughs. A small detail we noticed walking out was the cracks on the floor. While this is outside and naturally buildings look old and cracked, these cracks had red LED lights, which symbolize hell just underneath us. We couldn’t believe we almost missed this small detail.
A new room that we got to see was the arcade room. There were various broken-down arcade games with a ticket machine and a few added lights. We were given free rein to play the games and we took the opportunity. The attendant was happy to have a few customers play with his machines. In the end, we had to hit a few lit buttons with no idea what would happen since we have had a few experiences at other haunts. Hitting one by one, the anticipation was building up as we came up on the last one. As we pressed it, the attendant yelled which was unexpected.
Overall, this year was an improvement in all the new additions of special effects and details.
Scare Factor Score: 8.1
Scare Factor Scores – By Question
Scare Factor Scores – By Attraction
Scare Factor Review:
Though being a low-tech haunt, the actors did a great job dominating this year. The dimly lit woods trail was enough to give scares with the darkness playing with our minds. Using the environment to their advantage also helps with providing scares.
Throughout the haunt, multiple sounds were being used to create a creepy vibe, and that was used to their advantage. We were in between scenes and noticed there was classical music playing. While I quickly mentioned this room gave me Hannibal Lecter vibes, an actor with a peel-off face mask showed up at the perfect time I uttered that. Unfortunately, when we were distracted from looking at the actor, a girl showed up and screamed right in my ear. It was a distracting moment that they took the opportunity on.
In the maze, there wasn’t a clear path to go through so we took our chances and braved through to only hit some dead ends a few times. We could hear someone singing a song in a corner of a dead end, thankfully we were able to see who was singing and we took off in the opposite direction. With no interaction, that was enough to bring chills down our spines.
There is also a particular section between scenes where a small actor is wearing a Jeff the Killer mask and the only thing moving is the head looking at us. It was quite frightening as someone came up from the side and jumped out towards us.
In the end, we came across a trashed trailer. The occupant asked if we would like to stay for dinner, which we quickly declined after learning that we were the main course. She was thoughtful enough to mention how the shorter one of us would be small enough to fit in the fridge while my other teammate would be too big to fit in. We tried to offer other options that would not include us and I guess she didn’t quite like that idea and ran away. We kept following the path and she immediately came up to stop us in our tracks, reminding us that we were still indeed dinner for tonight. Her convincing was insufficient to keep us there, so we quickly walked out to safety.
Entertainment & Value Score: 8.25
E&V Scores – By Question
E&V Scores – By Attraction
This season, we noticed the price went up on tickets to $28 ($25 in cash), which is valid since their path is longer and they have more actors. With the walkthrough time at 22 minutes, this leaves the MPD at 0.79. While this is lower than last year’s, it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are doing a great job adding more to the haunted house. The entertainment inside was plentiful and there was rarely a moment of dead scenes.
We did not have the pleasure of being there on the right night, but there is a local band called Bachelor’s Grove that performs on certain dates that are posted on social media. Overall, we had a great time with all the entertainment and look forward to what next year brings to Killdare Haunted City!
Pics We Took From Our Visit:
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