13th Floor: Each one worse than the last

Julia Gerard, News Editor


Zombies, witches, spooks, and scares are what haunted houses have to offer to those who dare. 

For me though- I am not one who dares. 

Haunted houses have never been my thing.  In fact, even the thought of going to one terrifies me. I blame my parents. At four years old, I was brought to a not-so-kid friendly haunted house. After making it about ten feet, I ended up needing to be carried out in tears. After that experience, I have refused to go back to a haunted house- until now.

In an effort to overcome my fears, I decided to face them head-on and go to 13th Floor Haunted House in Schiller Park

Anticipation and nerves built  up while waiting in the line to be let in. Guests stood in front of what looked like a haunted building to really boost their fear factor. It was not a long wait, though I did attend on a weekday. The lines on the weekend are most likely much longer. 

For moral support, I brought my 12-year-old sister and my dad, who took me through my first not-so-fun haunted house.  The 13th floor has a clear warning indicating that the event may be too intense for children 12 and under, but since this is the same man that took me to a haunted house at 4-years-old, he probably felt my sister would be just fine.  

We  went through security and, which from there, led directly into the nightmarish house’s waiting room.

The waiting area was set up like a small building with dim lights  to set the spooky mood. As the haunted house employee allowed each party through the building’s door, a nervous pit in my stomach began to grow. I could not wait for this to be over, even though the frights had not even begun. 

As we were allowed in, I was faced with a corridor. Each corridor led into a different themed room of the haunted attraction such as a  bar, town area and library. The house’s layout was sort of like a maze, with lots of twists and turns, as well as animatronics that would jump out at customers. Every room was brimming with terrifying details such as blood splotches to add to the scene.

I do not even remember what hellish room I entered first because I was just so set on ending this ordeal and exiting as quickly as I could.

Loud banging and screaming sounded throughout, so 13th Floor may not be for everybody.. Each scream, cackle and clang  made my stomach stir and gave me goosebumps. 

Lighting varies in each room or corridor. Some were quite dark, such as the library set, while others were more lit up like the town setting. Strobe lights were also used in multiple rooms making it difficult to see. The lighting really brought the entire attraction together and truly accentuated the  scare factor.

Much detail was put into the actors’ costumes. Lots of zombies, ghouls and other terrors roamed the sets jumping out at customers which caused me countless times to grab  my sister’s arm and tell her to go faster. The actors would pop up behind hidden doors, jail cells or even just stood still and moved slightly, giving the passersby a good yelp or in my case a blood-curdling scream.

One particular zombie was on my tail and followed me through multiple corridors and rooms. I think he knew he could get a good fright out of me as I kept turning my head to look behind me, and my hand had a death grip on  my sister’s shoulder. 


The actors did get a little close but never invaded my personal space bubble though it constantly seemed they were about to cross the line. Some actors would try to scare me while others would stand their ground and give me stares that sent chills down my spine. 

Seeing the exit of my own personal nightmare felt the way a child feels on their birthday- deliriously happy. The twenty minutes I spent in hell walking to avoid butchers with chainsaws felt like the longest twenty minutes of my life. 

In general, the house did not space out groups enough, and my party collided with others about halfway through the attraction. This took away from the element of being surprised by the scares which was just fine with me but was a negative for the rest of my group.

Overall, the scare factor of 13th Floor for a normal person would be a 7/10- for those seeking a good fright.  For someone terrified of a haunted house, the scare factor was off the charts.

The 13th Floor haunted house attraction is open every day from now through  Halloween, as well as three days in November. Admission pricing varies by day from $19.99-$32.99. Fast passes and “skip the line” passes are available at an additional cost. 

The scare is definitely worth the price- but only come if you dare.