Realm of Terror Haunted House - Rating and Review Near Chicago

Thu, April 18, 2019
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Haunted House Review Realm of Terror Haunted House – Round Lake Beach, Illinois

By Hauntworld Magazine
 
Illinois and Wisconsin are home to several of the most celebrated and terrifying Halloween attractions in the world, but there’s one most highly regarded as the scariest haunted house of them all and it lies directly between Chicago and Milwaukee in Round Lake Beach, IL… The Realm of  Terror Haunted House - Illinois’ Ultimate Halloween Experience.  This haunted attraction takes fear to new levels targeting some of the most primal senses and tapping into the deepest, darkest fears of its customers.
 
Since it’s inception in 2003, The Realm of Terror (www.IllinoisBestHauntedHouse.com) immediately caught the attention of haunt goers from all over the Chicagoland and Milwaukee markets.  The screams of Realm of Terror caught mass attention and was quickly being featured in newspapers, on television, and even recognized by national media outlets.  It certainly has earned a title as scariest haunted house in Illinois.

In more than 15 years of operation, The Realm of Terror haunted house has terrified hundreds of thousands of guests, including industry professionals, haunt review teams, the media, celebrities and more.  It doesn’t matter who’s in attendance, all customers seem to agree…There’s no haunt that out-delivers the quality and brand of terror that The Realm manages to produce year in and year out.

When asked about what makes The Realm of Terror unique in an industry flooded with every type of horror imaginable, creator Stephen Kristof remarks, “The Realm of Terror is everything a haunted house should be.  Simply put, what make Realm of Terror unique is that it is hands down one of the scariest shows you will ever step foot in. Every year, we somehow find ways to push the scares even harder.  2018 was the scariest haunt season yet, and 2019 will surely surpass that.  Why?  Because with every step of horrific design our incredible team never forgets that the show should be one thing…SCARY.  Our show is a non-stop sensory overload with scares around every turn. Every piece of scenery is placed to set you off balance and unsure of where the next deranged creature will attack from.”  

The Realm of Terror is known for its intense high level of fright and depth of immersion.  Both help to bring the scares to new levels. They will do anything and everything to keep guests on their toes. Ducking, crawling, moving floors, tight-claustrophobic areas…Nothing is off the table. “We approach our fear-first design in unique ways,” says Kristof. “Throughout the show, you will find large sections, broken up by in-your-face scenery that you must push through and navigate around. This constant interaction with the environment creates perfect opportunities for our incredibly talented actors to get the best scares and bring the sets to life.”  



 



 
The grotesque creatures found throughout The Realm are brought to life by Realm’s demented acting team made only more realistic through the talented efforts of an incredible makeup team led by Stevie Calabrese (Faceoff Season 9). The makeup team implements custom-created prosthetics, high-end masks and more to pull off the looks that make this haunt stand out among the rest. According to Stevie, “The actors really bring our art to life. Our team works incredibly well together, and the end result is astounding.

 

Then when the fog begins to fill the air, the lights go down and the music begins to pump through the halls, something in the air seems to change, and The Realm of Terror actors take their new forms. The suspense builds as the doors about to open. “We never open the haunt without a war-cry,” Kristof remarks. “We make it a point to pump up the actors, to start every night on a high note. Our opening speech is such a crucial part of who we are. This haunt lives and breathes because of those actors, and in that last moment before we open every night we are all together, crammed into one space ready to unleash and show the world what a haunted house is supposed to be. Upon the final chant, ROT - ROT - ROT, the actors get into their places and the chaos begins,” says Kristof as an almost cynical grin crosses his face.

If you have ever had the opportunity (misfortune?) to experience Realm of Terror, you know just the level of quality that goes into every experience. From the moment you leave your car to the moment you sprint back to it, the terror never lets go. As you approach the queue, flames shoot into the air with a concussive BOOM and actors in elaborate costumes roam, waiting for their next victim. As any good attraction does, the haunt focuses on being intensely SCARY, but ROT also implements a number of different tactics to create an entertaining and fun experience for everyone – well almost everyone. “We aren’t a show for kids, we never have been, and it doesn’t seem likely that we ever will be. The grotesque details in our show are enough for me to often question…What the hell is wrong with us?,” Kristof chuckles. “That said, we also recognize that you can’t scare everyone.  At our core we are here to entertain, make them laugh, scream, cry, it doesn’t matter. The goal is simple. We want everyone leaving our show to think…That was the best haunted house experience EVER!”



 


Interestingly, Realm of Terror is one of the few haunts in the country to feature a bar while you wait.  “Haunted Houses are mostly a weekend thing, and we want to provide our customers with every option for entertainment. Right in line we feature a bar that serves select beer and liquor as well as non-alcoholic beverages and snacks. We want our customers to have the best time possible and the ability to have a little liquid courage while they wait (a bloody-good specialty mixed drink served in a souvenir cup) is a great way to begin that experience, because once ROT grabs hold, it never lets go.”

The Realm of Terror takes great measures to ensure the safety of its guests while creating a terrifying experience. Cameras, computer-controlled lighting, education and more all play a part into creating a frighteningly safe seasonal attraction. “We are always trying to make ourselves the best we can be. Attending seminars at various trade shows, purchasing newer, safer equipment, working with our local and state inspectors and more are all things we do to continue to grow and evolve our attraction and to stay at the top.”

If you’ve never met Stephen Kristof, you may be surprised to learn his young age, especially considering he’s been running Realm of Terror since 2003. “I’ve been operating Realm of Terror for more than half of my life now,” Kristof says. “My family owns an entertainment complex, Kristof’s Entertainment Center (the long-running home of Realm of Terror), so I grew up around entertaining people. Back then, I was obsessed with the long-gone haunts of the old days. Even as a young kid, I knew it was something I wanted to do. When I was 12, I started calling haunted house owners asking if I could work for them. Naturally all of them told me I was just too young. Undeterred, I began planning my own haunt, researching and learning all I could. The Hauntworld.com Fright Forum was such an incredible tool for me. I was able to ask questions and learn from haunt industry leaders, without anyone knowing just how young I was. Eventually, I researched some used-equipment, drew up a business plan, and presented it to my family. They loved the idea and invested in my dream. The rest is history. I couldn’t have done it on my own, though. Throughout the years, haunters, friends and family alike have done so much to help continue to grow and develop ROT into what it is today.” Kristof even recalls sneaking into the Transworld Show back in 2004 or 2005 in Chicago. “Too young to register as a buyer, I actually snuck in through a kitchen. I don’t know if I am the industry’s youngest professional owner, but what I do know is this…If it weren’t for all of the people in the industry who I’ve had the fortune to develop friendships with over the years, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

As with many haunts, Realm of Terror’s management team is a close-knit group with a ton of experience and talent, so it’s not surprising the ever-humble Kristof changes the conversation, this time giving credit to his team. “The haunt has brought me together with the best people in the world. We are a group that works incredibly well together and never has a shortage of ideas. We are the best of friends both in and out of the haunt, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Our monsters are some of the most extreme actors in the industry. I believe our combined dynamic is what makes Realm of Terror the best it can be. The staff and actors are driven from our collective motivation. The show thrives on that energy and excels. It is always an honor, but never a surprise that we are named a top haunted house year after year.” Combine that talent with amazing sets, gruesome characters and all-around amazing experience, and you have a winning formula for haunting success.


 


 
As with many haunts, Realm of Terror’s management team is a close-knit group with a ton of experience and talent, so it’s not surprising the ever-humble Kristof changes the conversation, this time giving credit to his team. “The haunt has brought me together with the best people in the world. We are a group that works incredibly well together and never has a shortage of ideas. We are the best of friends both in and out of the haunt, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Our monsters are some of the most extreme actors in the industry. I believe our combined dynamic is what makes Realm of Terror the best it can be. The staff and actors are driven from our collective motivation. The show thrives on that energy and excels. It is always an honor, but never a surprise that we are named a top haunted house year after year.” Combine that talent with amazing sets, gruesome characters and all-around amazing experience, and you have a winning formula for haunting success.

The creative team at ROT is always evolving the show, changing as much as 50% of the attraction year after year. In a relatively small footprint compared to many attractions, Realm of Terror packs close to a half hour of non-stop terror into the halls of its attraction. ROT’s most-recent incarnation being that a portal has been opened into another mirror-dimension. Guests are plunged into this other dimension where extreme freaks and horrid creatures dwell and perch, ready to attack. The guests goal?...to SURVIVE. The show begins in the portal, surrounded by pure darkness that is only interrupted by the sudden attacks of the strange creatures that lurk in the void between the regular world and The Realm. Once through, guests are immediately plunged into a sacrificial chamber where they witness someone being brutally sacrificed. From there, the chaos continues as they avoid the terrifying creatures within The Realm, navigating some of the most creative and disorientating sets and mazes found anywhere in the country. As you make your way through you never know where the next attack will come from. Should you survive the experience, one thing will be sure - You will never be the same again.    

The Realm of Terror fans are always dying to learn of their next horrific incarnation, because the demented minds of ROT never disappoint, so we too will be waiting and watching to learn about their next grisly endeavor.


The Realm of Terror is Located in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. www.IllinoisBestHauntedHouse.com

The Team that Creates Realm of Terror is also the same minds behind Illinois Ultimate Escape Room Experiences - Sixty to Escape, www.SixtytoEscape.com


 

 
 
TO FIND MORE HAUNTED HOUSES IN ILLINOIS CLICK HERE ... https://www.hauntworld.com/illinois-haunted-houses
 
 

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