Midnight Terror Haunted House – Full Review

Midnight Terror Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Oak Lawn, IL.

5520 West 111th Street, Oak Lawn, IL 60453
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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Optional Games/Midway, Special Events, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line

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This attraction was reviewed on October 9, 2022 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 9.02

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Oak Lawn, Illinois, has been the home of Midnight Terror (MT) for many years now. Within the building it resides in, MT is a constantly evolving beast that seems untamable, constantly pushing the boundaries of its own walls and finding ways to spew onto the outside parameters to continue to wreak havoc all throughout the night.

It was October’s Hunters Moon during our visit and was a definite warning for things to come…

Cast Score: 9.02

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Cast Review:

The cast during our visit was plentiful, with nearly 60 actors throughout the haunt, queue, and midway. We did see a good variety of characters throughout, and they were very wicked acting. I cannot for the life of me recall another time I have seen a literal queue of guests (easily over 30 people within a larger crowd) run while waiting in line in such a chaotic fashion due to the actors. It was a sight to see, and I am sure even more rewarding for the team.

Inside the haunt, there were great interactions with actors and good dialogue was utilized throughout. I appreciated the fact that there were certain times when a key character in the story had audio recorded and played on a speaker to help progress the story. Within this, the characters had fantastic portrayals that clearly showed their importance to the story. Malum’s character is a fitting example of this, especially considering the current chapter of MT revolving so heavily around him.

Most of the rest of the actors took to their environment in a well-placed fashion. The tight space used to get through Malum’s factory led to unique encounters and interesting ways actors approached us. It seemed as though they were able to jump out of anywhere and had no boundaries. The same applies to the second half in Black Oak Grove. the townsfolk were really out for blood. There was one actor I was sure was just a realistic prop, and turned out to be a person! It was amazing how convincing they were, and the spot they chose to do so made sense for there to be a prop. Overall, it was easy to tell the cast was having an exciting time and committed to what they were presenting as a whole unit.

Costuming Score: 8.96

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Costuming Review:

Costuming was high quality throughout MT. The queue actors had both impressive masks as well as great makeup. In the queue, we happened to catch a super unique costume from an actor on stilts. The actor had a dirty bandaged-up look with a “dunce” style hat, makeup, and eye contacts that made them look soulless. Combine that description with long, claw-like fingers and a 9-foot stance, it was clear why the guests in queue avoided them as if they had the plague.

Malum’s character looks as though he has come straight from Hell. The costuming here feels like it could be off the set of an old horror movie where CGI was not a regular thing but relied on costuming and practical effects. Along with the impressive details, the placement of Malum makes it feel as though you are in a lower level of Hell, and he is a guide through. It is convincing due to the level of detail throughout Malum’s suit.

A constant theme throughout everyone’s costuming is the continuing marks that plague the town. The factory workers are all overly gritty and look as though they have a continuing 24-hour day shift with minimum breaks. Everyone in Black Oak Grove has a black sludge that seems to slowly be taking over any good these folk may have once possessed. Ripped and tattered clothes throughout also ensure they have had this curse for an unthinkable amount of time.

Costumes were appropriate during particular scenes throughout. A fitting example of this would be the forest area. A team of camouflaged actors constantly blended in with their surroundings. This resulted in different scares completed by the same actors, as though they were attempting to gain a high score of sorts. Overall, costuming made sense according to where actors were, and consisted of good quality pieces and designs.

Customer Service Score: 9.38

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MT parking was available only in nearby surrounding lots on the night of our visit. We typically will get on a shuttle at a nearby garage which I believe typically runs on the Friday and Saturday days of operations and recommend doing so not only for more ease of parking but also for a fun experience as they also flood the bus with actors!

Staff members are easy to spot and will hold conversations with anyone asking any questions. All information can be found throughout their website/ socials, including discounted days and times of operation. One thing I appreciated is when we happened to be in mid-conversation with an employee, and they were called on the walkie for something and needed to run due to a situation. It shows priority for safety regardless of how small the scenario may be, and it is always great to see how seriously an establishment takes these things!

Immersion Score: 9.05

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Immersion Review:

MT does a really fantastic job immersing customers into the haunt as a whole. One of my favorite particulars of this haunt is the new chapter to their storyline that we see every year, which is a continuation of the previous season. It is great to see new chapters come to life with the help of character development and loans themselves to drive a story that carries on during the visit. The result is every scene lending itself to the next, both from the factory and also entering into the town of Black Oak Grove.

If we base the “pre-haunt areas” on preparing us for the actual haunt inside, we can focus on when we are inside the building, caged up and waiting our turn to enter the haunt. Inside, we have a very sinister-like quality of music and actors free roaming to warn guests of what is to come. There are a few TVs with promotional videos that show particular scenes throughout the haunt, as well as a storyline-driven promo video introducing the current chapter of MT.

The queue outside hardly lends itself to any immersion toward the grim details to come but has a more fun vibe with a local DJ blasting tunes and actors roaming around just interacting and scaring guests. The outside area, for clarification, is where panicked guests ran out of the waiting line. I believe the goal here is to keep folks entertained and spooked, regardless of any specifics toward the haunt, which will come in full force later.

The flow after the haunt into the midway also feeds into the immersion of the haunt! With the same writing on Willow’s walls as the concession area, it can be determined that a small detail like this could potentially lead to a continued experience even after the attraction walkthrough.

Special FX Score: 9.02

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Special FX Review:

The SFX department at Midnight Terror can produce amazing scenes in little to no time. One of the newest additions this year is an entire cave that was mind-blowing. Just being able to see the capabilities this team has to offer and can accomplish is really amazing.

The details throughout the rest of the haunt are also visible. The bathroom is a fan favorite, fixed with working plumbing, horrid smells, and porcelain toilets one after another wielded high above. What seems to be another great factor in the details is how well everything appears to be clearly built rather than purchased off of a show floor. One can also appreciate that the tools used to build are also used as secondary props, which is brilliant! I had an actor come at me with a table saw… of course, no blade, but it was a legit table saw! The overall fact that the build is genuinely a build makes these scenes that much more appreciated.

The sound overall is plentiful as well. As mentioned before, there are key moments where we hear characters over a speaker. These are great moments to show storyline development and make creative moments to help us see what is to come. I feel an average guest may overlook these details, especially those trying to run out of the haunt due to being frightened, which is unfortunate due to how great these scenes are.

Props are a little scarce throughout MT. The haunt leans more toward an actor-driven style over massive props, and it works here. That is not to say it does not have a couple of them, we just didn’t see anything massive inside the attraction. The one thing that could have been a bit more effective during the night we visited would be the benefit of more fog. The haunt’s fog in certain areas (mostly the forest portion) was light that night. This did result in the usage of a laser swamp to be less effective than average and resulted in moments where we were able to see certain actors a bit easier than we should’ve. This is not the biggest issue in the world, and we have of course seen this room fully utilized prior to this visit on other nights. I think knowing its full capabilities and a standard to such did result in a mention here.

Overall, the work the team at MT puts into the attraction really does shine throughout in details, originality in sets, and effective usage in everyday tools and such.

Scare Factor Score: 8.84

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Scare Factor Review:

Time for the big question that everyone asks when it comes to haunts… How scary is it? The clear-cut example of how scary MT can be has been highlighted throughout this review with the way the queue alone scattered folks, causing them to lose their spots in line. This is even before entering the attraction, mind you! Inside the attraction, we became victims to a wide variety of scares throughout.

One of the stronger scares happens to be early on in the haunt when we are introduced to Malum. The workers of the factory seemed to appear from almost nowhere and demanded us to get down on our knees. It felt as though they were approaching this demand as a sense of worship toward Malum and made for a very crazy moment. For the rest of the attraction, actors came at us from all angles and knew how to use their environments and props to continue to drill fear into guests. The only hindering factor, as we previously mentioned, would be the lighter presence of fog during this visit. This of course results in being able to spot some actors from time to time, however, I do want to state I am sure it was a one-off situation as we have seen MT utilize fog much more to hide the monsters.

I appreciate the finale to MT as they also continue to extend it somehow. There is a fairly new cemetery scene that then leads to chainsaw alley to make an average guest run! Chainsaw alley also develops in ways that seem to want to progress to a maze at some point and also includes its own façade when entering, which is something worth mentioning to ensure it is not an afterthought. Make sure you don’t miss this. Overall, we had plenty of scares throughout our visit and plenty of actors came at us in about every scene!

Entertainment & Value Score: 9.01

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E&V Review:

Our walk-through time was at the 24-minute mark, bringing our Minute-per-dollar of entertainment to a 0.8. Considering the brilliant builds, props, and amazing actors, this is a more than fair price for what is two attractions, Factory of Malum and Black Oak Grove. Overall, each room has a unique yet gritty feel. The artistry shines throughout the haunt. The midway area is growing as well! It offers great concessions (we recommend the Witches Brew soda) and of course, the Clockwork Mobile Escape Rooms as an add on. Occasionally they offer oddities vendors and palm readings as well! Midnight Terror should be on every person’s list to visit this season!

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Arty – 10/10July 26, 2018
I loved every second of it everything about it was soo professionally done and there was not one …show more second of boredom. There was this one worker especially and her name was Jas and she was soo kind and friendly and helped me when I was confused.

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Past Awards

2020 Awards

Most Detailed Haunt (Given by: Team White City Devils)

2017 Awards

Most Twisted Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Unsuspecting Atmosphere (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Past Awards

2020 Awards

Most Detailed Haunt (Given by: Team White City Devils)

2017 Awards

Most Twisted Haunt (Given by: Team Zombillies)

Most Unsuspecting Atmosphere (Given by: Team Zombillies)

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