Blog Directory We Love Halloween

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spook spotlight: The Grim Reaper

Not to be confused with The Angel of Death (who's flying around in our backyard somewhere and also covering his skull face with a black hood), The Grim Reaper likes to look about with flashing eyes and scope out the scene. Don't let your eyes meet, however – he might just harvest your soul prematurely. Here are some more interesting tidbits about this dude:

Movie appearances: “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life,” “The Seventh Seal,” “Transformers 15” (the one where everybody finally dies thanks to his uncredited cameo)
Nickname: Scythe for sore eyes, Mr. Buzzkill
Secret wish: That the average human lifespan was at least 50 years longer (his feet are killing him)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Spook spotlight: Svengoolie

Chicagoland's own beloved horror host, Svengoolie, is now immortalized in our Gallery of the Dead. That's right, Sven has joined the ranks of Spirits on Sproat's army of the undead, and he's wielding one badass rubber chicken. Here's the dossier on Berwyn's favorite son:
Voted in high school: Most likely to be elected Mayor of Berwyn
Secret shame: Everything he eats now tastes like rubber chicken
Moonlights as: The manager of a boy band featuring Tombstone, Durwood and Kerwyn
Little-known fact: Nearly underwent breast augmentation surgery to beat Elvira’s TV ratings

Friday, October 2, 2015

Spirits on Sproat returns...tonight!

It's October 2, which means Spirits on Sproat: The Gallery of the Dead is about to be re-animated and come back to life for another season. We open tonight promptly at 7 p.m. There are several new props to discover and surprises in store for visitors, so make plans to come by this weekend. We're just dying for a chance to scare the yell out of you!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Midnight Terror Haunted House in Oak Lawn returns with double the dread

Malum (pictured) runs the factory
Blackwood Hospital is one of two Midnight Terror attractions
Midnight Terror Haunted House made a big splash in 2014 when it debuted as Oak Lawn’s first ever commercial haunted attraction. Now, it’s preparing to awe visitors with an all-new frightfully fun attraction that’s at least twice as large as last year’s. In fact, the site now hosts two uniquely themed haunted houses deviously designed to terrify patrons: (1) Factory of Malum and (2) Blackwood Hospital, both included with the price of admission.

Inspired by rave reviews and an even better-than-expected turnout (over 9,000 customers) last October, Midnight Terror creator/co-owner and Oak Lawn native Justin Cerniuk refused to rest on his laurels or repeat the same haunt. So last November, as soon as his inaugural attraction closed, he went back to the drawing board and began plans for a completely different and expanded Midnight Terror attraction for 2015. Working closely with village officials, Cerniuk and co-owners Robert Page, Maciej Kulawiak and Mark Krupa earned approval to expand their attraction’s footprint beyond the boundaries of the 4,000-square-foot Beatty Lumber warehouse that shelters the walk-through portion of their haunt.

“Now, I get to fulfill a longtime dream of mine – hosting two haunted houses on one site and enhancing the experience for visitors with a greater level of detail and sensory stimuli,” says Cerniuk, a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan during combat operations there. “This year, we created fresh sets, animatronics and props as well as a whole new mythology, backstory and cast of characters that mesh with the themes we’ve built into this two-in-one attraction.”

Visitors first enter the Factory of Malum, the nightmarish industrial headquarters of a demonic dream-haunting overlord named Malum, who has transformed his workshop’s rooms and corridors into architectural manifestations of your worst fears and phobias. As you wind helplessly through Malum’s labyrinth, you come face-to-face with a menagerie of scary simulations, including grotesque insects, snakes, rats, living dolls, sparking electrical hazards, fire-scorched clowns, pitch-black passages, and claustrophobia-inducing narrowed hallways. Accompanying you on this excursion into fear are fellow factory worker fiends who mercilessly shriek, stalk and surprise at virtually every turn.

But your tour of the terrifying doesn’t end there. Next, your mission is to avoid becoming an inpatient at Blackwood Hospital, the warped wards of which you’ll walk warily through in the hopes of being discharged without being dismembered. It’s awfully convenient that a medical center is adjacent to Malum’s factory, but it’s awfully creepy that the hospital beds, surgical tables, and padded cells are occupied by mangled, possessed, and deranged factory employees under the care of the sadistic physician Dr. Blackwood and gnarly nurses who belong in hearses. Souls fortunate enough to escape Blackwood’s confines must lastly brave an outdoor home stretch better known as “Chainsaw Alley” before they can taste freedom.

Yes, it’s safe to say that Cerniuk and crew had a busy off-season.

“We had so many great ideas for a bigger and better haunted attraction that are now being realized,” says Cerniuk, who plans to keep Midnight Terror within Oak Lawn and improve it every year. “Staging this on a bigger scale also meant growing our staff, delegating responsibilities and dramatically increasing our budget.” Consequently, the 2015 edition of Midnight Terror includes:
• More than 30 rooms – 15 more than last year – as well as a new outdoor section.
• 70 actors – 50 more than 2014 – each a distinctive character with a custom costume and makeup.
• The guidance of experienced haunt industry professionals, among them veteran set detailer Dan Haynes and actor trainer John Shankel (who choreographs the scarers’ actions).
• A brand new LED lighting system and improved sound system.
• Hollywood-style CGI effects, including monitors displaying monstrous footage.
• Free entertainment for guests waiting in line – from DJs to stilt walkers to street drummers.

Additionally, visitors can benefit from special promotions, some involving partnerships with community organizations, including:
• Half off regular admission (a $9 value) on opening night, October 1.
• Ladies get $5 off on October 8.
• Students with a school ID get $3 off on October 11.
• Buy one regular admission, get another for half off on October 22.
• First 25 people pay half price regular admission on October 28.
• Family Day on October 31 between 3 and 6 p.m., when kids age 12 and younger can walk through, free of charge, with the lights on and trick or treat with the actors, who will be in friendly mode; during this three-hour period, families can also register early on-site for the 2016 Westside Baseball season or for a local Boy Scout troop.
• An on-site community blood drive (date to be announced soon): anyone who donates blood will receive a half-off regular admission voucher.
• A $3 off coupon (valid on select dates), found online at

Cerniuk promises that guests will get a great bang for their buck at Midnight Terror, which he says charges much less than other commercial haunted attractions – in fact, admission is as low as $9 after some of the aforementioned discounts. For those who want their chills without the wait, a V.I.P. pass provides fast entry.

Midnight Terror Haunted House is located at 9531 S. 52nd Ave., Oak Lawn, Ill., 60453, near the intersection of 95th Street and 52nd Avenue. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office on site: regular admission per person is $18; each V.I.P. pass is $25; discounts for large groups are also available. The attraction is wheelchair accessible and open, rain or shine (a covered waiting area is provided), from: 7-10 p.m. on Oct. 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25, 28, and 29 and on Nov. 1; and from 7-11 p.m. on Oct. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30, and 31. Visitors can park for free inside the nearby Metra parking garage at 9525 S. Tulley Ave. To purchase tickets in advance, get a coupon worth $3 off admission on select dates, or for more information, visit or email

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Spirits on Sproat comes back from the dead on Oct. 2

We are now mere days away from the kickoff of Spirits on Sproat's 2015 season, scheduled to open on Friday, October 2. Rest assured that we're busy preparing several new props, lighting effects, and live entertainment as well as improving our popular scavenger hunt games.

Check back to the site regularly between now and October 31 to learn the latest news about our home haunt. We will be posting all new spook spotlights – individual profiles of specific new characters with descriptive details and humorous trivia – as we advance toward Halloween.

Make your plans now to visit Spirits on Sproat this October... If you dare! For our October 2015 schedule and driving directions, click here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Sayonara from Spirits on Sproat

Thanks to all for visiting our Spirits on Sproat display this year, and for helping to make this our best season yet! Now only 365 more days to go...

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Spook spotlight: Carrie White

Teenage girls can be so cruel. Especially when they splatter pig's blood all over you after setting up an elaborate scheme to make you think that the school's top hunk truly wants to be your prom date. But revenge is a dish best served White – as in Carrie White. What else do we know what Carrie? Plenty...

Favorite band: My Bloody Valentine
High school achievements: Named to the horror roll and scream’s list every semester
Catchphrase: Blood is thicker than water
Has nightmares about: The fashion police

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Spirits on Sproat 2014 video: the next best thing to being there!

Want a sneak peak of what you can expect when you come see our home haunt in person? Feast your eyes on fiendish new footage of our display that we just posted. It's the 2014 (10th anniversary edition) official Spirits on Sproat video, ready to be watched by clicking below. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Spook spotlight: Norman Bates

Here's a Norman who's far from normal. I mean, just look at the getup. And that wig. And that cleaver. He's about to shower you with attention of the terrifying kind. Still don't recognize him? If you haven't seen the greatest horror movie ever made, "Psycho," then Norman Bates may not be a household name in your mental Rolodex. But it should be. Get cultured up – without getting cut up – by seeing the classic film posthaste. Meanwhile, study up on what makes Norman tick:

Favorite holiday: Mother’s Day
Pet peeve: Motel guests who leave soap scum on the shower walls
Little-known fact: Gets his hair done at the beauty parlor on senior discount Thursdays
Title of his autobiography: It’s a Wonderful Knife

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Another area paper features Spirits on Sproat

Our 10th anniversary continues to get a lot of attention from neighborhood publications. This time, The Reporter weekly newspaper teased our display on the cover and then gave Spirits on Sproat a prominent write-up on page 4. To read the article, click here.

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