Realm of Terror Haunted House – Full Review

Realm of Terror Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Round Lake Beach, IL.

421 West Rollins Road, Round Lake Beach, IL 60073
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted HouseHaunted Maze


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), “Hi-Tech” Attraction, You will NOT be touched, Original Characters, Indoor Waiting Line, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 26, 2019 by Team White City Devils.

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Final Score: 8.99

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Just a short drive north of Chicago lies a haunt that isn’t afraid to get up close and personal. Realm of Terror can be found in Round Lake, Illinois and hosts one of the more unique haunt set ups both inside and out that can be found in our area. There are moments where claustrophobia can be triggered and yet there is still an actor or two screaming in your face. RoT is in their 17th season and they are not afraid to show all of their experience full force!

Cast: 8.65

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During our visit, RoT had roughly 60 maniacs running inside and out to terrorize all guests for the attraction. Usually maxing out at 75 actors on a regular night, we could thank the very crap weather for the shortage (rain would not stop!). Though there may have been a small difference in numbers, we still were witness to a stellar show! Everyone was amped up and impressed with all the dedication and knowledge of the ins and outs of there scenes.

We seemed to run into one of the same actors roughly 5 times throughout, just because he was working various rooms and groups. It was some serious commitment to even think about how much effort is put into achieve something of the sorts. Other actors we did run into more than once as well with various well-placed pop-up scares.

Actors worked well with keeping a good pace and helped the scenes become convincing by not breaking character. We did have a bit more growlers and occasional dialogue, but with how tight some of these scenes are to walk though, growls in the face are pretty frightening. One actor did give of a fair warning to watch out for his ‘key-gills’ up ahead, and I feel bad as I wasn’t sure exactly what that was. Another actor wouldn’t stop asking for sock donations and continued to ask what kind of socks everyone was wearing; we couldn’t pass pretty much until we showed or told her what socks we had on. It was rather bizarre but fun altogether.

During one scene we ran into a very impressive actor. We had to cross through a half air bag wall (only waste high) allowing us to see the hallway ahead. In the dimly lit hall was an actor facing away from us but literally bent over backwards and swaying back and forth. She has to be some sort of yoga instructor simply by how easy it seemed for her to be in that position for that long.

I do feel that if there were a bit more actors throughout it could relieve some actors for a few minutes throughout the haunt. We did attend within the first hour of being open so actors were still flowing very great and giving it their all, but I can see having to scream in guests faces every 4-6 minutes for about 5 hours could take a toll. Again, no fault of the RoT team on this as the weather all night was just horrible, but we can’t say enough on the actors who sucked it up and came in for some haunt fun!

Costuming: 9

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The costuming in RoT felt complete and of a great quality to be used in such an impressive way. One actor we ran into had a gory nurse feel and paired herself with what looked like some kind of piece of flesh. Her whole outfit looked as if she just finished some surgery and cut an artery by accident’ or on purpose? When she offered one of our team to touch what she was holding, it was also covered in bloody gore and left a stain on the finger. Convincing looking blood too I might add!

There are plenty of scenes to complement the doctor/ demented nurse looks throughout and worked great to have people leaving as quickly as possible. Some of the nurses placed in the darker spots come across like the nurses in the Silent Hill franchise and can trigger any past fear guests may have had of those video games/movies.

Customer Service: 9.36

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We found all of the needed information on the RoT website as well as their social media pages. As far as finding the haunt, it is located at the Kristof’s Entertainment center which is easy to find and offers many fun activities both off/on season including bowling, billiards, arcade games, pinball, mini golf, go karts, and of course, adult beverages.

When we pulled up to the location, there is a visible trailer with the RoT logo in the parking lot on the main road. The haunt is actually in the overflow parking lot behind Kristof’s and includes plenty of staff to direct traffic and place guests into proper parking spots. The haunt itself is plenty safe but considering it was set aside in the parking lot area, there were times we happened to step in puddles due to (again) some pretty terrible weather. It did make us have an extra cautious approach knowing this, but I feel that was just a personal effort on our end and doesn’t take away from the safety precautions the staff take to help guests.

Atmosphere: 8.94

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RoT has stepped up from what I can recall 2 years ago in terms of atmosphere. They have a brand-new haunted house fa������ade that sits almost 3 stories high and is such a cool sight. We also had to walk across part of the lot to get there, and of course we get to pass by some super great rusted out 1950’s cars.

One unique feature RoT offers for the queue line is a lack of a queue line. Confused? Let me explain! RoT has actually made a system to contact one’s cellular phone of their ticket number. What this does is allows for a shorter queue line overall because they will alert in numbers of 25-30 (I believe is the correct number). So, while we wait for our number to be called for, why not take in some of the scenes placed around or help ourselves to the cash bar; maybe even go into Kristof’s for some quick pinball action! If this is still sounding a bit confusing, think about when you go to a restaurant and you have a buzzer the greeter hands you to alert you when a table is ready for you. This is, in a sense, the same idea, so it allows guests to roam the grounds for a bit and run into ‘queue’ line actors that are running amok. I feel this is a completely different idea and allows for guests to have an opportunity to roam freely as this location has plenty more than just a haunt attraction to offer.

Special Effects: 9.15

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RoT has some pretty freaky special effects, enough to challenge one’s claustrophobia as well as anxiety. For starters, there are plenty of transitions that work as their own scenes because of what’s going on at the other side of the walls. Head space is limited to what feels about no more than two feet in length and there are well-placed windows to show scenes of an asylum room with demented patents all over. Being so close to these windows forced us to see everything and take any violent hits loudly even though we were close enough to be within a whisper range. Some of these windows were drop downs and allowed for actors to literally smell the sweat on anyone passing by.

Even in the more spaced out rooms, we were given some pretty great gore to walk through yet still have a very small spaced feel. One room had some body bags with full sized ‘corpses’ hanging from the ceiling and these suckers shake violently! Its almost a mini maze of sorts trying to get out of the room because there is so much going on all at once, it becomes discombobulating.

Some of the props do have a hyper-realistic look to them, such as the mannequin on a stretcher. I’ve seen some pretty great looking bloodied up mannequin’s in my day, but there is a specific company called Ghost Ride Productions that creates some of the most realistic looking props we have seen on the market. RoT does a great job utilizing some of these in the correct spots making it difficult to tell who is an actual actor and who is not.

Theme: 8.62

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RoT has a theme that seems to work well with the haunt. We as weary travelers are transported into the Realm of Terror where plenty of nightmarish creatures and dark imaginative tragedies take place. From the first scene we are introduced and informed of where we are heading and given the assuring ‘no one makes it out alive’ script that works well with the actor working with the speaker to set the theme. Everything from this point on is in the Realm of Terror and it is a simple enough theme to score it as one. It works well with the chaos we witnessed throughout.

Scare Factor: 9.05

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RoT is plenty scary and continues to hit hard throughout the walkthrough. It is very intense during every scene and is one of the few haunts I can think of that I would consider all of the warning signs they have listed on the ‘Enter at your own risk’ signage all around.

The actors provide a great amount of the scares and trigger props at appropriate times. A good majority of the scares (at least for our group) were provided from the tight space we had to move through as well as the last part of the attraction, the maze. The maze in RoT is simply a pitch-black maze with all sorts of turns and twists. The biggest fear in this is feeling alone and having no sense of direction you’re heading in. They do provide some actors inside that use flashlights to briefly jump scare, but second as a temporary light source to help guide out. Overall, RoT is very ‘in-your-face’ with such constricted space and provides a well-rounded amount of ways to become scared and trigger anxiety all at the same time! It is a rush that can sometimes be lost through the art of a haunt’ not here!

Another awesome feature is a trigger after the haunt. Guests have a live video feed of others walking through and can hit a button to provide a scare to unsuspecting visitors walking through. I believe we must have pressed this button at least a dozen times and enjoyed each live reaction!

Entertainment & Value: 9.07

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Our walk-through time for RoT was about an even 20 minutes long. It honestly felt a lot longer than that considering the pitch-black maze felt like forever, but I feel with more actors coming in for the final week of the season there will be more interactions and increased walkthrough times- by an easy couple of minutes at least.

With general admission running $25 a ticket, it brings our MPD value at 0.8. This is not bad considering the quality of the haunt RoT provides. There is also a ‘skip the line’ ticket priced at $35 and a VIP ticket at $45 that is front of the line access as well as a drink ticket. There is almost too much to do on location being attached to Kristof’s which makes for an easy night of all-around entertainment as well as the haunted bar.

Again, RoT remains one of the more intense haunts we have been through this season so I would take advantage of the VIP ticket, use that free drink as a bit of liquid courage and embrace the horrors of RoT!

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