Fear City reviews: ‘spooky’ tours with ‘right amount of fright’

Silhouette of hands through a window

By Ibrahim Khan— ikhan30@uic.edu

A renowned haunted house in Morton Grove opened to the public Sept. 26 with spooky intentions.

Fear City - blog photos

Photo: Ibrahim Khan

The 40,000-square-foot multipurpose warehouse boasts two separate tours: “Fear City,” which has been around for four years, and newcomer “Our Lady of The Cursed Haunted House.”

Fear City was a bleak repeat from past years, including the pseudo L ride going through graffiti art, a butcher house (reminiscent of Chicago’s old meatpacking days) and a mental institution. 

“Our Lady of The Cursed Haunted House” featured an all-girls Catholic school scene led by a deranged nun. Her disciples were bloodied, estranged and even demonic. We went through typical schoolyard tales, where violent twists and series of corporal punishment occurred.

At some points, the nun went through episodes of satanic possession, throwing her body against lockers and classroom walls. The room ending the lesson used a classic illusion that made the viewer feel caved in.

Proper use of lights, materials and props were on point. Cheeky characters were what made this part of the haunted house a success. “This was the first time I felt genuinely scared in a haunted house,” said UIC junior Claire Short. “It was the best at the beginning, but became increasingly comical.”

Dancing zombies, Frankenstein’s monster-like people and goofy greeters prepped the viewer for the horror to come. One peculiar man brought out his pet rat and assortment of whips. Accompanied by a mediocre electronic rock band, V is for Villains, they distracted visitors from the unbelievable wait time of 45 minutes. 


Image of "ghosts" at Fear City Haunted HouseBy Gabriela Miankova— gmiank2@uic.edu

Fear City offers just the right amount of fright. With the creepy décor and variety of zombies walking around, you’ll certainly walk out with an experience to remember.

Fear City houses two exhibitions. The first is long and elaborate, with all kinds of cool (or scary) features, and the second is a mini tour in an abandoned girls’ school.

The first tour, which took about 30 minutes, was really great and gave me a legitimate fright. The more memorable scenes were a post-apocalyptic Chicago CTA stop, a butcher shop and an insane asylum. There’s a dark maze with flashing lights and a tunnel that you had to, literally, squeeze your way through (not recommended, claustrophobics!) and the ever-frightful messy home with piled up dirty dishes and old food in the fridge. There were little strings falling from the ceiling that played with our senses and were pleasantly frightening.

The second exhibition, at an all-girls’ school, was also an entertaining experience. Visitors are greeted by a nun and soon after, dead schoolgirls start creeping up. At one point I became part of the show and was made to kneel down before a priest. But I was saved from his damnation when two dead girls came out and told us to run away.

I love the “religious private school” narrative in fiction, so that walk was an utter delight. This tour was more interactive — we had to sit in on a nun teaching a lesson (twice!) and had to hold hands and “pray” with our tour group. At 10 minutes, it was a lot shorter than the previous one; I would have loved it even more if they had made it longer.

I absolutely loved my experience at Fear City and I’d recommend it highly as a haunted house must this season.

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