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 22, 2023 by Team White City Devils.
About Our Reviews and Rating System
Final Score: 8.96
Final Scores – By Category
Final Scores – By Attraction
Killdare Haunted City is in its 3rd season in the Bridgeview Illinois Park district. What I find most charming about this haunt is that it comes up with tons of creative ideas and nailed them down to produce creative scenes and outlandish moments and still manages to frighten folks entirely. I’ve seen grown adults running back to their cars with chainsaw clowns at their heels. This haunt has had some terrifying and uncomfortable moments, some of the funniest from their actors/ costumes. It has quickly become one of the attractions in our area I look forward to seeing its development in. Their out-of-the-box thinking has led to a beautiful and terrifying city.
Cast Score: 9.08
Cast Scores – By Question
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The cast at Killdare led us to some uneasy moments in our walkthrough. The cast as a whole worked well with one another and were greatly dedicated to their roles. The night we visited had pretty much a full staff, so every scene, we were bombarded with at least one actor, but more times than not, many actors in bigger scenes. One particular actor during our visit was a super standout. Inside the doll room, there was an actor who would laugh and ask us to stay and play with them. They gave off an unpleasant childish laugh when we stayed to play. We had the stuffing of a teddy bear thanks to another actor, so we were trying to play catch with our new friend. Even after counting to three and tossing the stuffing, they never broke eye contact and would laugh at the failed attempt to play yet still demand a game. When we turned around to leave, their voice dropped deep and, with a loud demand, asked, “Why are you leaving? Why won’t you play?” They did a great job of keeping in character and left us uncomfortable. Kudos.
Other areas to mention great interactions would be the clown portion and the corn maze. Both are overwhelming in two different ways, thanks to their actors. The clown/circus theme scene had a bunch of clowns. Upwards of 6 different actors here, all of whom are just overstimulating guests in their act. Stikky the clown is leading a game of ‘Stikky says’ (a Simon says game), and there are so many distractions from all the other clowns surrounding. The corn maze area is rather silent, for what it’s worth. The actors here make the most of this by just being present and knowing the ins and outs so someone we may have just passed by ends up ahead of us in the next turn. It can be difficult to spot a person from a prop, but there are enough actors here as well to keep things tense even without saying anything. The silent moments here make the effect of scares.
Overall, I cannot say enough about the actors here; everyone was on point, and it was easy to tell they all enjoyed what they were doing.
Costuming Score: 8.97
Costuming Scores – By Question
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The costumes at Killdare are some of the most fun and random pieces one can find anywhere. One of the biggest attention-grabbers is the Chainsaw Barney costume. Sometimes, you can find an early ’90s Barney costume used for kids’ birthday parties (like we had when I was one year old) except yielding a chainsaw around (like when I was two years old)!
Other costume designs were completed with high-quality masks. One of the more interesting ones had to be the bus driver’s mask, which looked like a small Volkswagen Beetle with working headlights. The mask would give a smile as well and fit well for the scene being car-related.
The makeup application on some of the actors helped complete the scenes. The most notable would be the clown street. The makeup here gave zany yet creepy clown effects with some bright colors as well to add highlights. The costumes helped bring the actors to life and added much to the scenes they were acting in.
Customer Service Score: 9.48
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Customer Service Review:
Killdare Haunted City takes place in a local park district within the Bridgeview area. Some signs lead the way from the busy streets and lead to the parking on sight. The ticket booth is inside the district building just beside the haunted city attraction. There are staff all around that help guide, as well as a few local vendors as well. The staff on duty are super helpful and friendly and are available for any questions and needs. Killdare doesn’t have an official website but is active on social media outlets that list online ticket availability as well as dates and such.
One fun thing that takes place is live bands on selected nights! Some local bands come out to entertain while guests await their visit to the haunted city, something that is super unique to our area.
Immersion Score: 8.66
Immersion Scores – By Question
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Pulling into the parking lot, it was easy to tell this attraction was still in high gear. While we were getting out of the car, someone was running high with a chainsaw actor in tow. Once away from the ticket booth, we were guided to the queue, where they had some great music playing, and we were able to see some of the taller scenes and props just over the fence line. Baby greeted us and argued with another great actor over whose sacrifice we belonged to. Needless to say, we belonged to the forest! Just before entering the attraction, we went over the dos and don’ts with what we have known as “Not Blade.” I appreciate their gimmick and the fact that they found a home at Killdare, as their original haunt (unfortunately) is no longer around.
This attraction doesn’t follow a specific storyline and changes from scene to scene. With all of the different props used throughout, it does feel like a chaotic city at times, with even some rural areas, such as the butcher area and corn maze portion, being placed on an outskirt of a haunted city!
As mentioned in a different portion of the review (Customer Service), there are vendors on sight from a local shop. This is limited as far as vendors go and could make a great addition to add more and give guests more time to hang out and shop around after the haunt. I am sure this could be a difficult feat as there are tons of local markets where local artists and vendors go, so this could play a role in the limited vendors on sight.
Special FX Score: 8.8
Special FX Scores – By Question
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Special FX Review:
The style of Killdare is more of a low-tech, old-school attraction, so there aren’t too many over-the-top props here. A great example of what to expect would be in the caboose. The walls are covered in a bunch of wires and broken-down electronics you can tell came from scrap as opposed to bought props. With that said, there have been some new effects added in, such as some loudspeakers. Loud, unfortunately, doesn’t describe the effect of justice. You can feel the sound in your chest. Added with other effects such as the electric spark box and a great actor trying to use a wired phone and not knowing how (teens these days). Other examples of such practical things are crashed cars blocked and stacked on one another. The majority of the attractions happen to be recycled or repurposed items parts to create scenes. The trailer scene at the end, for example, has a neat video effect on old box TVs, giving new life to dying things.
Other great effects added in would happen to be just after the church scene. The walls outside have a volcanic-like glow giving the impression we are now within the charred walls of the Damned. It’s a great look after having been blessed by Father Jim in the church. We were also told about these giant flame throwers that are occasionally added to the show that throw up 8-foot flames. I believe these are used sparingly/ the team is still working on a proper way to present these for use.
This season came with some great upgrades and new bells and whistles; however, it still kept that practical ambiance that I feel Killdare puts on in a grand display, and great work overall!
Scare Factor Score: 8.85
Scare Factor Scores – By Question
Scare Factor Scores – By Attraction
Scare Factor Review:
Killdare presents scares in all sorts of ways, including overall scenes and actors. We mentioned before the corn maze scene and how well the actors performed. This scene was rather frightening for the sake of how it was presented. With the area and actors both silent, the scene left us uneasy and wondering who was real and what may have been a mannequin. The movements they displayed and being able to freeze in place at a whim when we would try to make sense of it and look in their direction worked wonders. It was a real mindbender.
Another great scary scene (if religion plays a role in your life) would be the satanic church. Father Jim leads a quick sermon and prayer to the devil while we sit there viewing the cracked ground and hellfire below. This could make any religious person uncomfortable and frightened enough to want to quit the haunt then and there.
The actors overall provided the most scares. As we mentioned before, there were plenty of actors on the night of our visit, so it felt as though we were overwhelmed by them. There were plenty of times we had up to five actors screaming over one another and grasping for attention. It was a sensory overload feel and affected well.
Entertainment & Value Score: 8.95
E&V Scores – By Question
E&V Scores – By Attraction
Our walk-through time for Killdare was 27 minutes. We did happen to be the last group of the night we visited, so we walked on a bit slower and had more interactions by default. With a 30-dollar admission ticket, this leaves our M.P.D. value at 0.9. This is great value at an upcoming attraction that seems to gain momentum every passing year. I am excited with the production this season had to offer, plenty of upgrades we wrote about, as well as a killer cast and crew. I feel Killdare Haunt City is quickly becoming a staple in the Chicago scene.
Given that this attraction sort of absorbed much of what D.E.A.D. Rising was in its day, Killdare has the same old-school feel with its practical effects and custom builds. Yet on the other side, Killdare has surpassed what D.E.A.D. Rising was in a loving tribute, including the sweet headstone dedicated to John Vitiritti within the attraction’s cemetery scene. I cannot stress enough how exciting this attraction is in terms of what it is producing and how they are accomplishing its scenes, props, and effects.
Pics We Took From Our Visit:
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