The Warrior

A trip down Torment Lane

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The exterior of House of Torment Chicago’s 2nd house: “Nightmare High.”

The exterior of House of Torment Chicago’s 2nd house: “Nightmare High.”

Photo by Simone Brenner

Photo by Simone Brenner

The exterior of House of Torment Chicago’s 2nd house: “Nightmare High.”

By Simone Brenner, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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It’s that time of the year again. The cold in the air, pumpkins decorating the front of houses, and steaming apple cider. With Halloween right around the corner, this wonderful season convinces us to do things that may not be entirely pleasurable. Being scared out of your mind for 40 minutes is not something most people would pay for, but a haunted house is definitely something to cross off the fall bucket list.

Having gone to a few haunted houses, I was a bit skeptical entering House of Torment Chicago. Anyone who has been to a haunted house before knows it consists of long lines, insane prices and brief moments filled with adrenaline, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

House of Torment, located in Morton Grove, consists of two differently themed haunted houses which are both included in the general admission ticket. This year’s themes are “The Swarm” and “Nightmare High”.

Walking into the first house, “The Swarm,” immediately gave me some “Stranger Things” flashbacks — a government experiment gone awry, slimy bugs roaming free and some monstrous looking creatures lurking in the dark.

I’m not one to get scared out of my mind, but I still cannot shake the image of a hallway I walked through half way through the house. I was transported to the government building in “Stranger Things” right after the monster had taken over. Metal doors lined the sides of the hall with blaring, flickering lights. As I walked through, I dreaded the end of the hallway because I had no idea what lay ahead.

I was amazed by how intricate the sets in each room were. Every room was completely furnished with great detail. One room, made to look like an old woman’s house, was filled with what seemed like hundreds of tiny antique dolls.

Along with the notable sets, the actors were on their game. I’ve never been to a haunted house with that many monsters lurking in the shadows. There was someone breathing in my face or screaming at me with crazy eyes around every corner. My heart was beating full speed the entire time.

One of the coolest parts was the scene of the CTA train car gone wrong. Walking into the car, I kept getting hit by things hanging from the ceiling. To my horror, I realized these were body bags full of corpses being hung from the hand rails. After this experience, I don’t think I can look at the red line the same way again.

Along with the amazing scenery, the sound effects were what really gave me goosebumps. Each room had its own sounds that would go with the theme. Random bangs and screams came from all over. One room was set up as a lab with bloodied body parts scattered across the metal tables. The sound of a saw could be heard faintly in the background, causing me and my group to run for our lives.

At the end of the house, my ”chainsaw” nightmare came to life as the man who cut up the bodies chased us out with such impressive acting, I even tripped and fell over a table. The bruise was worth it.

After a 10 minute “cool down” from the first house, we were bustled into the second: “Nightmare High”.

If you think Lane is horrifying, this place will chill you to the bone. What was most terrifying was the sheer quietness of it. Most haunted houses try to give as many jump scares as possible, but this one had an even scarier technique: silence.

Walking through a deserted, run-down school hallway brought all my nightmares to life. The most startling moment of the whole night was when a zombie teacher ran at us full speed from the end of the hallway. He didn’t stop running until he was inches from my face and screaming so loud I had to cover my ears and run.

We then entered the clown portion of the house, which included the circus maze, consisting of tent-like circus boxes. Some walls moved apart and some stayed still, but you couldn’t tell how to get through without pushing on the walls. There were multiple times when the evil clown harassing my group led us into dead-end boxes. I would not recommend going if you are claustrophobic.

One of the most terrifying uses of lighting in this house were the strobes. One room we walked into started out pitch black until the discombobulating flashing lights turned on. The room would go completely dark for three seconds and then suddenly, blaringly bright. For those three seconds in the dark, you had no idea what was moving around you. Clowns would appear further away but when the lights came back on they would be right in your face.

After running for our lives from the chainsaw man for the second time that night, my friends and I made it through both houses. Although I was shaking, bruised, and terrified, I felt a sense of accomplishment.

House of Torment is open until the end of October. Tickets range from about $20 to $33. I would check the website’s calendar because different days have different prices, events and waiting times. You can also buy special tickets at higher prices, such as the “Fast pass” and “Skip the Line”. The house is about a 25 minute car ride from Lane and located at 8240 Austin Ave, Morton Grove, IL 60053.

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About the Contributor
Simone Brenner, A&E Editor

Simone Brenner is an A&E Editor for the Warrior. She is passionate about writing and learning new things about the people at Lane and events going on in Chicago. Simone enjoys being involved in many activities at Lane. She is a dancer on the Lane Tech dance team, a passionate member of NHS and an officer of the Lane Buddies club.

 

 

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