Thrills & chills

Stingy Jack The Pumpkin King played by Raven Bonham of Antioch poses in front of the bloody reflecting pond at Fright Fest preview night. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media
Oak Brook, IL - Saturday, October 6, 2012: Mary Buckley (La Grange Park) carries her son Billy as they hurry their way past Alex Abramski (Elmhurst) during the Oak Brook Park District's Haunted Forest. | Steve Johnston~for Sun-Times Media
Clowns bounce around the walls of their maximum security cell at the Statesville Haunted House in Crest Hill on Thursday, October 14, 2010. | Brian Powers~Staff Photographer

Looking at this year’s crop of Chicagoland haunted houses, it’s clear that the sick people who plan these things (and we mean that lovingly) know the creep factor of clowns.

But they didn’t just stop with clowns — oh, no. Some threw in the whole evil sideshow.

Others are putting “howl” holidays with sinister takes on St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and even Christmas, like the Lombard Jaycees and The Asylum Xperiment in Villa Park.

But no matter your scare preferences, you’re sure to find something to meet your needs. Here is a roundup of area haunted houses, spooky walks and tricky mazes. Check the websites for detailed descriptions, coupons, rules and restrictions.

Fright Fest

Six Flags Great America, 1 Six Flags Parkway, Gurnee. (847) 249-4636. Tickets, $32.50-$64.99. Hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays, 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 17 and 24, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Columbus Day, Oct. 14. Fright Fest has expanded to include Hurricane Harbor, which has been renamed “The Bermuda Triangle.” Many areas of the park are not recommended after 4 p.m. for children or those who scare easily.

The Massacre Haunted House

3440 Odyssey Court, Naperville. (708) 320-3327. Tickets, $20-$35. Hours: 7 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Sundays and 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 4 to Nov. 2. Includes The Massacre Haunted House and Fear Factory 3-D.

The Fear

Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Ave., Chicago. (800) 595-743. or Navy Pier’s haunted house, “The Fear,” returns to Navy Pier Oct. 10 to 31. Tickets, $12-$20. The house features both a nighttime haunted house and a low-scare, lights-on attraction during the day. “The Fear” is open from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Sundays (and Oct. 30); and from7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31. “The Fear-less” Haunted House runs from 12 to 5 p.m. during the day on Saturdays and Sundays and on Columbus Day.

The Asylum Xperiment

The Odeum Expo Center, 1033 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park. (630) 941-9292. Tickets, $25-$40. Hours are 7 to 10:30 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and 7 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 4 to Nov. 2.

Evil clowns and apocalyptic steam punk bikers are a few of the terrors guests meet at the three attractions: “The House: Home for the Horrordays,” “Subterranean” and “Armageddon.”

Screams in the Park

MB Financial Park at Rosemont, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont. (847) 349-5008. Hours are 8 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays, 7 to 11 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays Oct. 4 to Nov. 2. Tickets, $15-$25. Not recommend for children under age 13.

Statesville Haunted Prison and City of the Dead

17250 S. Weber Road, Crest Hill. (877) 722-7332.

Hours are 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays and Thursdays plus Oct. 23 and 30; 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 4 to Nov. 2. Tickets, $30-$45. Visitors in the lot by closing time will be admitted. Statesville employs more than 150 actors, more than 40 rooms and an average time of 40 to 50 minutes required to get through. Kids must be 11 or older; 11- to 15-year-olds must be accompanied by a legal guardian.

Eleventh Hour Haunted House

1940 George St., Melrose Park. Hours are 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays Oct. 4-6, 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, 30-31; Nov. 1-2. Tickets, $19.50-$23.

Happy Hell-a-Days

356 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard. (630) 519-3694. Tickets, $5-$15. Hours are 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Oct. 11-27 and Oct. 29-Nov. 3. The Lombard Jaycees present this fundraiser for needy families, which is thought to be the longest consecutively-running haunted house in the country.

Haunted Forest Walk

Hawthorne Hill Woods, 2600 Center Drive, Woodridge. (630) 353-3300, $5-$7. Hours are 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Oct. 25-26 and children’s matinee from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 26.

Cicero Town Hall of Horrors

The Old Town Hall of Cicero, 4937 W. 26th St., Cicero. Tickets, $5-$15. See web site for times and dates.

Haunted Forest Oak Brook

Central Park, 1450 Forest Gate Road, Oak Brook. (630) 990-4233. Tickets, $1. Hours are 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 11-12. The 2013 Haunted Forest event will once again feature a spectacularly spooky haunted maze with several new festive features.

Nightmare From North Street

Santa’s Village Azoosment Park, 601 Dundee Ave., East Dundee. (847) 426-6751 Tickets, $14. Hours are 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 4-26. Prepare for a scare as you zig zag through the maze of horrors in the upper level of the Haunted Barn.

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