Blog Directory We Love Halloween

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Creepy clowns converge on Midnight Terror Haunted House in Oak Lawn on Nov. 4-5

The Ringleader serves as the master of scare-a-monies
at Midnight Terror's Clown Takeover.
Throughout 2016, creepy clown sightings have dominated the news. Now, sinister circus exiles everywhere have descended on Midnight Terror Haunted House in Oak Lawn, which will present a special two-day-only “Clown Takeover” haunt on Friday, November 4, and Saturday, November 5, from 7-11 p.m.

Midnight Terror, which wraps up its third annual Halloween-themed attraction on October 31, has decided to extend its season by hosting these two encore dates. But it isn’t simply reopening its doors and repeating what it offered in October – the haunt will be completely redesigned with all-new characters, costumes, props and themes that play upon our innate fear of clowns.

“This will be an entirely new and unique haunted house totally different from what we offered in October,” says Justin Cerniuk, Midnight Terror creator/co-owner and Oak Lawn native. “We will have over 100 clown characters, each with a one-of-a-kind personality, costume, and backstory. Visitors will be treated to a lot of shocks and surprises as they rediscover Midnight Terror in a whole different way from what they previously experienced.”

Here’s the scary scenario Cerniuk conceived: The unnerving clowns spotted across Chicagoland this year have been kidnapped by Boss Clown and his greasepaint-faced minions and brought back to Midnight Terror Haunted House. There, the unleashed clowns wreak havoc and force everyone they come in contact with to join their evil jester ranks. The brave souls who venture into Clown Takeover territory will encounter a myriad of monstrous mimes, putrid pranksters, fiendish fools, big-red-nosed brutes, and cartoonishly colored cut-ups eager to cut you up, including The Ringleader, Dynamite Dave, the Balloon Buster, The Twins, and Boss Clown himself. Attendees can even choose to have a free quick-change “clown makeover” (while supplies last). For more clues about what to expect and to view a promotional video that introduces the characters, visit MidnightTerror.com; for special discounts and promotions to this event, visit Midnight Terror’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/midnightterrorhauntedhouse.

“Tickets are bound to go quickly because this is such a limited engagement event, so you’ll need to act fast if you want to be among the lucky few to experience our Clown Takeover,” says Cerniuk, who adds that the encore dates provide an extra opportunity to attend Midnight Terror for Cubs fans who didn’t want to miss any playoffs games (the World Series wraps up by November 2).

Highlights of the Clown Takeover edition of Midnight Terror include:
A 30-minute walk-through (on average) across two indoor haunted houses
More than 60 rooms to explore
Over 100 actors
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
Free entertainment for guests waiting in line – among them street drummers, stilt walkers and DJs.

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 $31 online. The attraction is wheelchair accessible and open, rain or shine (a covered waiting area is provided), from 7-11 p.m. on November 4 and 5 only. 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.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Spirits on Sproat earns Golden Chainsaw for second year in a row

For the second year in a row, Spirits on Sproat: The Gallery of the Dead has received a Golden Chainsaw Hall of Fame rating from The Horror Tourers, a group of well-traveled fans who critique home haunts and commercial Halloween attractions. We are honored to be awarded this rare and prestigious designation.

It's not too late to see the display for yourself – we're open every night now through Halloween. Thanks to The Horror Tourers for their kind commentary, which you can view below.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Spook spotlight: Meet the Bride of Chucky


Good things come in small packages, it's been said. But bad girls come in ultra-petite sizes sometimes, as is the case with the Bride of Chucky, who looks like she could fit into a diaper as easily as she could a sexy halter top. Here's what we know about her:
Also known as: Tiffany, dollface, devil in a toddler’s dress
Dirty little secret: She married Chucky for his money and plans to strangle him as soon as she lands a morning TV talk show deal
Pet peeve: When Chucky forgets to put the potty chair seat down
Favorite book: “Little Women”

Spook spotlight: Meet Vincent Price

Boris Karloff may be considered the most famous or actor in Hollywood history, but many would argue that the crown really goes to Vincent Price, who made his bones playing creepy characters and countless fright films. Here's what we know about Mr. Price:
Favorite TV show: “The Price is Right”
Weapon of choice: His sharply trimmed mustache
Often seen at: The House of Wax, The House of Usher, The House on Haunted Hill, The House of Boos
Secret shame: Broke his pelvis while trying to moonwalk during his rap in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”

Spook spotlight: Meet Sally

It's not easy being a mad scientist's plaything or the patchwork girlfriend to a bald-headed albino with multiple personality disorder. But Sally sallies forth and rises above the fray (and the frayed fabric, too) as the queen of Halloweentown. Here are 4 fun facts about Sally:
Favorite song: “Rag Doll” by Aerosmith
Secret talent: She keeps Jack Skellington in stitches
Weapons of choice: Deadly nightshade, a needle and thread, sexy detachable gams
Personal heroes: Raggedy Ann, Lucille Ball, the Bride of Frankenstein

Spook spotlight: Jack Skellington

He may be tall and wiry, but Jack Skellington is fat in the head with fun plans for Halloweentown. He likes to sing, dance, play Santa Claus, and spend time with Sally, among other pastimes. Jack is also known for the following:
Aliases: The King of Halloween, Bone Daddy, baseball head
Suffers from: Anorexia, multiple personality disorder, lazy agents who can’t get him a movie sequel
Little-known fact: Once sued Billy Corgan for copying his look
Least-favorite holiday town:  Canadian Boxing Day Town

Spook spotlight: Slappy

Even a dummy knows that the most feared character in the Goosebumps series is Slappy, the pint-sized villain with a Napoleon complex who wants to make the world grovel at his feet – which is a pretty low place to be. Fascinating facts about Slappy include:
Favorite book: “World Domination for Dummies”
Personal heroes: Charlie McCarthy, Howdy Doody, George W. Bush
Phobias: Termites, fireplaces, monocles, bony knees
Little-known fact: Has scared millions of children but is afraid to ask Annabelle for a date

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Spook spotlight: The Flying Monkey

They say humans descended from the apes. If that's true, where's our wings? That's a question you may want to ask the Flying Monkey, who's always ready to do the evil bidding of the Wicked Which of the West. Want to learn more?
Known for: Capturing Dorothy, guarding the witch’s castle, making it rain ape dookie on stupid humans below
Hates: Organ grinders, Jane Goodall, “Shock the Monkey,” “Bedtime for Bonzo”
Favorite food: Liquefied witch

Spook spotlight: the evil witch from Snow White

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But after eating an apple from the Witch from Snow White, you won't need a doctor – you'll need an undertaker. She bears a basket of bad luck and a mirror full of malevolence. Steer clear and be mindful of these facts:
Nickname: Miss October
Weapon of choice: Toadstools, eye of Newt Gingrich
Dirty little secret: Prefers battery-operated broomsticks
Favorite performer: Stevie Nicks

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Spook spotlight: Pennywise the clown

Bozo was America's favorite TV clown for many moons. But Pennywise, the evil sewer dweller from Stephen King's "It," snatched the top clown crown from consumer consciousness in the early 1990s and never let go. The dossier on Pennywise reads as follows:
Nicknames: Pound foolish, balloon goon, Wonder bread, Baldy McDonald
Voted in high school: No. 1 class clown
Secret shame: That’s his real nose
Little-known fact: Banana peels instantly turn black before he slips on them

Spook spotlight: Meet the Wicked Witch of the West

She's the green-skinned goddess who's made us melt since young childhood – the black-clad broomstick-riding badass who has minions of flying monkeys and Winkies at her command. She's the Wicked Witch of the West, and she won't stop until she gets those ruby slippers. Consider these facts:
Bet you didn’t know: She likes to dunk her Munchkins in coffee
High-tech pastime: Skyping in the sky using cloud-based messages like “Surrender Dorothy”
Secret wish: That somebody would drop a house on those lazy, good-for-nothing flying monkeys

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.

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