13th Floor Chicago rises to the ghoulish occasion

Sat. October 1, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

A classic horror pop-up returns to Illinois with 13th Floor Chicago and it has improved on the original. What is scarier than a suburbanite calling their area Chicago when it is really in Schiller Park? Not much, but it does allow the exhibit to move around and doesn't have the same ring as 13th Floor Schiller Park possibly would. 

Located at 5050 River Road, this spot has some awkward parking in the surrounding glen so VIP is suggested. Beware of the Rosemont Theatre concert happening at the same time on the weekends as this can cause major traffic jams on the way to visit the Floor. 

Once guests arrive expect a metal detector with security as well as a few monsters near the entrance. Leave those vape pens at home as it was noticeable that some people were partaking in cannabis to calm their nerves as they entered this haunting at a recent pop-in.  

Jump-the-line tickets become invaluable as Satan's holiday swiftly approaches and the crowds will certainly pile in to be scared. It's only going to get scarier with wait times, folks, so have patience and pay more if you can. 

An experience awaits outside the main gate with food, drinks and portapotties for bathrooms right in front. You will be glad you emptied that bladder before heading inside for spine-chilling pop-outs! 

A photo opportunity slows things down a bit but is a worthy souvenir at the end for purchase and flash photography is not permitted once inside to not blind the ghosts. No spoilers for some of the big monsters, but look for a Poltergeist moment, prepare to be off balance at times and immerse yourself in a green swamp on the path. 

The cast is strong this year and the actors don't just scream at people through the maze. They are talented at standing still, so that leaves patrons guessing if it's a prop or a real person at times for full effect. The performers make all the difference in a setting such as this and in 2022 these hard workers have their characters down without overdoing it. It is also important that they pace themselves to not use all of their energy before Halloween night and they are right on track so far. The choice to not have a chainsaw-wielding monstrosity not chase spectators out was smart this year with problematic reactions in the past. It was an accident waiting to happen and a welcome change to the experience.  

The merchandise store as horror fans exit offers a variety of items to choose from including many nifty t-shirts and my favorite was an orange stuffed plushy named Blarg for $30. Minigames are nearby that are for $5 a pop and continue your fright night out on the town by visiting the festive Short Fuse Brewing Company just steps in front of the haunted house. 

13th Floor Chicago is open from now on select nights through November 5, 2022, so view the online calendar beforhand. Check out ticket options and start planning your hair-raising adventure today at, boo!