Morgan Manufacturing Shines on Halloween

Thu. October 22, 2020 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

A new pop-up experience at Morgan MFG, 401 N Morgan St, has arrived in Chicago and it is geniunely frightening. The 3,200 square space venue has been transformed into the stuff of nightmares. After many events and red carpets over the years, Morgan Manufacturing is a modern place with enough room to make this endeavor really shine. 

Based on the Stanley Kubrick 1980 horror film The Shining, the characters and haunting storyline has stuck with Stephen King fans over the years with good reason. For those that don't know, the Torrance family travels to a historic hotel called the Overlook in the dead of winter. Ghosts haunt the family and the young son Danny has psychic abilities called "the shining" that just make things worse. The father Jack loses his mind in the process and things go off the rails. 

Opening on October 15, Room 237, named after a particular haunted room in the Overlook Hotel, is a multi-room experience that guests can wander about while socially distanced before heading into a lounge atmosphere. 

Upon entering the venue on Hubbard Street, one will immediately notice photo opportunities ripe for the taking. Make sure to bring a photo ID and mask to be checked at the front.  

Complimentary beverages are offered in a tub at the beginning to ease a person's nerves as they wander through the course. 

Large projections on the walls run throughout this experience to remind guests of the classic film. Don't miss the REDRUM room where you can bust through the wall just like Jack did. Following that, a Wendy Torrance dressed actress lip synchs for her life while reenacting a scene with Jack Torrance as he terrorizes her on the stairs of the building. 

A side room with the bathroom monsters is dark and scare right beside the staircase scene. After that prepare yourself for the snow maze that will drum up the anxiety. Snowfall and a frozen Jack is all part of the fun of this particular section. I would have liked more time in maze if only it had more twists and turns, although visually it succeeds in giving spectators some chills.  

The maze empties out to a host stand where patrons can be seated in the lounge for $12 cocktails named after points of The Shining's plot. Try the Redrum with port, pomegranate juice, honey and syrup or the Apollo 11 with rock candy, edible glitter and bubbly. There also other specialty cocktails to calm your nerves along with beer and wine. The bathroom downstairs even keeps with the theme to have multiple doors and elegant couches.

Overall, Room 237 is a well executed experience in a time where people are craving a haunted house. These beautifully rendered rooms harken back to a movie that has left a lasting impression with viewers that can now see it up close and personal. 

Make sure your check-in to the hotel is smooth and visit to purchase tickets ahead of time. Remember all work and no play makes you dull, so take some time off to immerse yourself in a world that might induce nightmares this Halloween!


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