Sep 26, 2023 - Things to Do

Nightmare on Clark Street is one of Chicago's scariest haunted houses

A zombie figure with a woman in glasses next to it.

Even in daylight Monica was scared by the Nightmare on Clark Street haunted house. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

I recently checked out the revived Nightmare on Clark Street at the Bamboo Club in Wrigleyville — alone.

What happened: After my son, my partner and my "friend" all backed out of helping me test this three-story scarefest, I said to myself, "Buck up; it's not real, and you'll be fine by yourself."

Reality check: Wrong. After about 15 seconds in this horror den, I screamed and bolted for the nearest emergency exit.

  • Before I could leave, a publicist suggested I tour it with some other visitors who didn't mind if a terrified stranger clutched their arms for 15 minutes — and that's how I survived.

The scares: "Nightmare" offers three floors of indoor and outdoor rooms and corridors filled with bone-chilling sounds, sights, actors and air blasts to aggravate a wide range of phobias:

  • Spiders, aliens, insane clowns and butchers, killer dolls, rabid animals, chainsaw wielders, ghouls and zombies. You get the picture.

Food and drink: About nine-tenths through the house, you can stop at a bar for spooky Halloween drinks and Jell-O shots injected into your mouth with a syringe.

  • And once you emerge back into the real world, you can munch on the Bamboo Club's Tiki bar-themed menu of egg rolls, crab Rangoon and meat skewers that, honestly, looked a little less appetizing after all that gore.
Meat skewers on white plate next to egg rolls with two dishes of sauce on white plate.
Meat skewers and egg rolls at Bamboo Club. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Price: Tickets range from $20 for general admission to $30 for VIP, which includes express entry and a cocktail.

  • The experience runs through Oct. 31.

Of note: Visitors ages 15-18 won't be admitted unless accompanied by a paying adult. Anyone under 15 will not gain entry. No refunds.

Black and red room with doll in center
Scary doll room at "Nightmare on Clark Street." Photo: Monica Eng/Axios
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