Blog Directory We Love Halloween

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

List of Chicagoland Halloween haunts now posted

Spirits on Sproat isn't the only Halloween-themed property worth visiting this October. Want a list of Chicago-area Halloween yard displays as well as paid haunted attractions? The 2016 list of Chicagoland Home Haunts is now ready for viewing/downloading. Click here to access it.

Spirits on Sproat ready for prime time this Saturday

Your favorite Halloween haunt, Spirits on Sproat: The Gallery of the Dead, will reopen to the public for its 13th season this Saturday, October 1, from 7-11 PM. We've got lots of new characters and surprises for you to discover, so make plans to visit this weekend, or any of our open dates in October (click here for full schedule).

Monday, September 19, 2016

Midnight Terror Haunted House moves to massive new location in Oak Lawn

Things can get messy in the Black Oak Grove butcher shop.
When it comes to fun Halloween scares, the bigger the better – which explains why Midnight Terror Haunted House in Oak Lawn has relocated to a mammoth new site for its third season. Visitors to this year’s edition of Oak Lawn’s first ever commercial haunted attraction can expect an incredible value: two all-new haunted houses for the price of one at a prime indoor location that, compared to last year, offers more than four times the space and a walk-through duration that’s approximately three times longer.

Never content to rest on his laurels or repeat himself, Midnight Terror creator/co-owner and Oak Lawn native Justin Cerniuk wasn’t satisfied with the size or expansion potential of his previous location in the village. That was the 6,000-square-foot Beatty Lumber warehouse property, which hosted the haunt in 2014 and 2015 but was razed over the summer. He and co-owners Robert Page and Maciej Kulawiak found the ideal digs in which to dig up the undead and expand Cerniuk’s ambitious nightmare vision: a former fabrics factory at 5520 W. 111th St., just 3.3 miles south of Midnight Terror’s last address and boasting 26,000 square feet.

“We hit the mother lode when we found this warehouse, which offers so much more room than our previous site,” says Cerniuk, an ex-Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan during combat operations there. “I’ve always dreamed of staging a really large, immersive haunted attraction. Now I can – one with a completely unique mythology, wide cast of characters, and ultra-detailed sets and props that combine to create an unforgettably frightening experience. This is going to be above and beyond any other paid haunted house you’ve ever visited.”
Meet Tool – head foreman of the Factory of Malum.

For those who dare to pass beyond Midnight Terror’s portals, here’s the inventive setup fiendishly concocted by Cerniuk and his skeleton crew: The small provincial settlement of Black Oak Grove (in reality the earliest known moniker for what eventually became the village of Oak Lawn) has become Ground Zero for a battle between the forces of good and evil. The once-thriving community has turned into a hellish landscape populated by Stalkers and FearCorps monstrosities lurking around every corner. The only path forward requires following the mark of Willow, a wraithlike female entity searching restlessly for her disappeared father, a factory owner named Sledge. Those who survive the horror of Black Oak Grove must venture through the Factory of Malum, named after the demonic overlord who has enslaved Sledge and his minions within an industrial labyrinth that manufactures your worst fears.

To make these demonic visions come to life, Cerniuk had to start from scratch. So he created a fresh and original storyline driven by an ensemble cast of creatures – each with its own personality, devilishly detailed design, and custom costume. (The story arc is detailed within Willow’s diary entries and brief webisode video segments posted at midnightterror.com.) The reinvented haunt’s mazelike walls were intricately hand-fabricated. Additionally, every nook and cranny along the maze was enhanced with elaborate props, set pieces and fright furniture. They add awe-inspiring color, texture, depth and realism to the environment and make for distinctively themed rooms, passageways and scare stations.

“The level of fine detail in the architecture, wallscapes, props, costumes and makeup, combined with our carefully timed scares and surprises, is impressive. It’s totally unlike any other haunted house,” says Cerniuk, who this year expects to well exceed the 15,000 visitors who attended Midnight Terror in 2015. “For example, we’ve created an enormous replica of an old town main street, featuring a butcher shop, school, library, jail, and mechanic shop, plus a 13-foot high waterfall.”

Highlights of the 2016 version of Midnight Terror include:
A 30-minute walk-through (on average) across two haunted houses – Black Oak Grove and the Factory of Malum
More than 60 rooms – double last year’s number
Over 100 actors – at least 30 more than 2015
Over 50 props custom made for Midnight Terror, Hollywood-style CGI effects, a cutting-edge lighting system, and a state-of-the-art sound system
The guidance of skilled haunt industry professionals, among them veteran actor trainer/scare choreographer John Shankel, makeup manager Bonnie Bones, and scenery artist Barbie Hood
A gift shop where Midnight Terror shirts, hoodies, hats and other apparel as well as Halloween-themed merchandise can be purchased
Free entertainment for guests waiting in line – among them street drummers, stilt walkers and DJs.

What’s more, attendees can take advantage of valuable promotions, such as:
$2 off each ticket when purchased online at midnightterror.com
Half off regular admission on opening night, September 29
$5 off regular admission on Thursdays in October if you bring an item for a military veteran (a list of acceptable items is posted at midnightterror.com)
Ladies get $10 off on October 6
Students with a school ID get $5 off on October 9
Family Day on October 30 between 3 and 5 p.m., when kids age 12 and younger can walk through, free of charge, with the lights on and wave to the actors, who will be in friendly mode.

Cerniuk is also excited about off-season possibilities at the new location.

“Beginning early next year, we plan to offer laser tag in the same space as well as bookings for private parties,” he says.

Midnight Terror Haunted House is located at 5520 W. 111th St., Oak Lawn, Ill., 60453, just east of the intersection of Central Avenue and 111th Street. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office on site: regular admission per person is $25 at the door or $23 online; VIP admission per person, which provides faster entry without having to wait in the general admission line, is $35 at the door or $33 online. The attraction is wheelchair accessible and open, rain or shine (a covered waiting area is provided), from: 7-10 p.m. on Sept. 29, Oct. 2, 6, 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, and Nov. 4 and 5; and from 7-11 p.m. on Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 30 and 31. Visitors can park for free at the Oak Lawn Metra station parking garage (located at 9525 Tulley Ave.) and take a complimentary round-trip shuttle – with costumed characters aboard to entertain passengers – to the Midnight Terror site. For more information, visit midnightterror.com or email midnightterror.info@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Spirits on Sproat October 2016 schedule now posted

Eager to learn exactly when Spirits on Sproat: The Gallery of the Dead is open for visitors this October? We've locked in our calendar and it's ready for viewing by clicking here.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The spirits return on Oct. 1

Your favorite Halloween house is readying for a killer comeback. Mark down Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016 on your calendar--that's the night Spirits on Sproat: The Gallery of the Dead comes back from the dead. This year, we will debut more new props than ever before and expand our dates of operation to a record 19 nights in October (weather permitting), most notably a string of 11 consecutive evenings when we'll be open (Oct. 21-31).

We now have over 50 famous monsters and horror icons from your favorite scary movies waiting to be discovered; joining our ranks for 2016 will be several newly made classic creeps as well as mini miscreants that gave you the willies as a wee little kid (hint-hint).

The Halloween season is right around the corner--can your nerves handle the fright? Make plans to visit Spirits on Sproat and find out! Check back to this site between now and October for more updates and our official schedule.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Spirits on Sproat's Svengoolie spotlighted by the real McCoy

Halloween may be long gone on the calendar, but it's still fresh on the mind of Svengoolie, TV's favorite horror host. He featured our Spirits on Sproat life-size Svengoolie figure on his program last evening during a Christmas season broadcast. Click the video below to view.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Thanks for a great Halloween

The living (and the undead) at Spirits on Sproat want to thank our fans for another fantastic Halloween season. More visitors came to our display in 2015 than in any previous year, which we greatly appreciate. Hard to believe another October has come and gone, but we're already getting excited about plans for 2016. Hope to see you again in 11 months!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand monsters

The official 2015 video of our Spirits on Sproat: The Gallery of the Dead is now live and ready for prime time. Click on the video below to watch...if you dare!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Spirits on Sproat named to the Horror Tourers Hall of Fame

The Horror Tourers, a group of dedicated and well-traveled reviewers who evaluate professional haunted attractions as well as home haunts, has just named Spirits on Sproat: The Gallery of Dead to its Hall of Fame for the 2015 season!

It's quite an honor for a non-professional yard display that started from humble beginnings with meager props back in 2004 and has grown into one of the south suburbs' favorite Halloween destinations.

Thanks to The Horror Tourers for their kind words and generous review, which are captured in a review video you can view by clicking here or on the video below.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Spirits on Sproat mentioned as one of the best south suburban haunts

The Chicago Tribune/Daily Southtown has just published a new article on south suburban home haunts that rise above the pack, and Spirits on Sproat is mentioned as one of the notables.

Click here to read the full story.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Spook spotlight: Evil Ash

The evil dead refuse to stay dead – thankfully for us – as evidenced by a new cable series based on the popular horror film franchise. The key character, of course, is Ash, who has a penchant for turning evil himself from time to time, as demonstrated in" Evil Dead 2." Here's the full scoop on Ash's demonic alter ego:

Afraid of: The Book of the Dead, cabins in the woods, Kris Jenner
Secret shame: His severed and possessed right hand constantly flips him the bird
Favorite films: Evil Dead 2, The Exorcist, The 3 Stooges Meet Hercules
Favorite book: A Farewell to Arms

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