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Kid-friendly haunted houses

These spots offer spooky fun that isn't too terrifying for junior ghouls.


Asylum Experiment
Odeum, 1033 N Villa Ave, Villa Park ( Oct 7, 8, 7pm–midnight; Oct 9, 13, 7–10:30pm; Oct 14, 15, 7pm–midnight; Oct 16, 20, 7–10:30pm; Oct 21, 22, 7pm–midnight; Oct 23, 27, 7–10:30pm; Oct 28, 29, 7pm–midnight; Oct 30, 7–10:30pm. $20, no-wait on Thu $30, no-wait on Fri and Sat $35.

This 30,000-square-foot Hollywood-set–style haunted house features 23 scenes (including six new ones), many inspired by horror flicks. New this year: A runaway elevator and a hillbilly campsite. Lights on behind-the-scenes tours are available for groups of 10 or more October 9, 16 and 23, and are a less-scary option for older kids. Advance registration is required. Call 630-941-9292 or email for details.

Eleventh Hour
434 E Devon Ave, Elk Grove Village ( Sept 30, Oct 1 7–11pm; Oct 2, 5, 6, 7–10pm; Oct 7, 8, 7–11pm; Oct 9, 12, 13, 7–10pm; Oct 14, 15, 7–11pm; Oct 16, 19, 20, 7–10pm; Oct 21, 22, 7–11pm; Oct 23, 26, 27, 7–10pm; Oct 28–31, 7–11pm. Two haunts $18, all four $23 (online $19.95), no-wait tickets $35 (online 27.50).

The four scary attractions offered an an Elk Grove Village farm are the theatrical, bloody Eleventh Hour, high-tech Catacombs, funhouse-like Intensity (updated in 2011 as Curtain Chaos, a befuddling maze) and the corn-maze Creatures of the Corn. In the daytime, the site runs a kid-friendly pumpkin patch and a lights-on haunted house matinee. See website for details.

Six Flags Great America’s Fright Fest
542 N Route 21, Gurnee (847-249-4636, Fridays 5–11pm; Saturdays 10am–11pm; Sundays 10am—9pm; Oct 11, 10am–6pm. Oct 1–Oct 30. $59.99, online $34.99–44.99, parking $20; additional fee for some haunted attractions.

New this year: Massacre Medical Center is a 10,000 square foot "abandoned" hospital. Two annual haunts—Necropolis and Mausoleum of Terror—and tricked out rides add to the scares. Check the website for specific haunted-house hours. All haunted attractions except the Massacre Medical Center, which is not appropriate for kids, are recommended for kids 13 and up.

Reaper’s Realm
626 177th St, Hammond, IN ( Sept 30, Oct 1 7pm–midnight; Oct 2 7–10pm; Oct 7, 8, 7pm–midnight; Oct 9, 7–10pm; Oct 14, 15, 7pm–midnight; Oct 16, 7–10pm; Oct 21, 22, 7pm–midnight; Oct 23, 26, 27, 7–10pm; Oct 28, 29, 7pm–midnight; Oct 30, 31, 7–10pm. Woods only $10; mansion and woods $20; unlimited haunts and one free ride $25, unlimited haunts and rides $30.

The haunted mansion and Reaper's Woods at this spooktacular in the region are for adults only. But the ride-filled carn"evil", complete with fare food like funnel cakes, is appropriate for all ages.

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