Oct 4, 2023 - Things to Do

5 Chicago-area haunted houses ready to thrill this October

Photo of a scary monster in a cage at a haunted house

Good luck avoiding this inmate at the Old Joliet Haunted Prison. Photo courtesy of Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group

If your October consists of searching out all things spooky, here's a compilation of intense and unique scares in our area.

Driving the news: These haunted houses are using not only traditional jump scares and ghastly images to frighten you, but also the latest technology and, in some cases, puppetry.

Nightmare on Clark Street

505 N. Clark St,, Chicago

Photo of a woman in a costume crawling
Live actors crawl and shriek to chilling effect at Nightmare on Clark Street. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

The newest pop-up fright fest takes over an old space in Wrigleyville. It was so scary that Monica lasted about 15 seconds before bolting for the emergency exit:

  • The haunted house 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.

Price: Starting at $19.95 a person

The Old Joliet Haunted Prison

401 Woodruff Road, Joliet

Photo of the front of an old prison lit up with lights.
Photo courtesy of Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group

Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group bills itself as the "world's largest Halloween-themed entertainment company." They operate two big haunted houses in the area, including the gold standard 13th Floor Haunted House Chicago.

  • Yes, but: The other is located at the old Joliet prison made famous by The Blues Brothers, which is a perfect place for a scare and some history.

Price: Starting at $29.95 a person

House of the Exquisite Corpse III

1624 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Photo of a muddy puppet face
Puppet horror. Photo courtesy of Rough House Theater

The Rough House Theater company sets out to prove that it's not all chainsaws and actors in clown masks. Puppets can be scary, too.

  • "House of the Exquisite Corpse" is back, this time at its new location at the Steppenwolf Garage Theater. This annual spectacle is a horror peep-show with puppets, designed for you to view through keyholes, cracks, and hidden doors.
  • The show producers remind us if you can see these nightmares, they can see you, too.

Price: Pay what you want model

Evil Intentions Haunted House

900 Grace St., Elgin

This professional haunted house aims to scare the pants off of everyone who walks through the door. It bills itself as the most evil of the bunch, which is why it's located in the Elgin Casket Factory.

  • This is the real deal, so don't bring kids under 13.

Price: Starting at $35 a person

Basement of the Dead

42 W. New York St., Aurora

Head west to Aurora for a haunted house that preys on everyone's fear: the basement. Make no mistake though, this is not a DIY haunted house under your staircase. This scary spot attracts thousands of people to the Western suburbs and prides itself on skin-crawling frights.

  • They also feature blackout nights, where you go through the haunted house without lights.

Price: Starting at $29.95 a person


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