For Will County residents looking to celebrate the beginning of fall with a good scare or maybe a more bucolic stroll through a pumpkin patch, plenty of options abound.
Despite the warm weather, haunted houses and pumpkin farms are already in full swing welcoming vistitors from all over Chicagoland.
For those looking for a scare, the area boasts some of the premier scare facilties including the Statesville Haunted Prison in Cresthill which has been scaring the bejezus out of adults and teens for over 21 years.
Katy Siegel whose family operates Siegel Family Farms and Statesveille Haunted Prison said that people often times make a day of it first wandering through the pumpkin patch and corn mazes on the farm, breaking for dinner, and then heading to the haunted house to cap off their night. The family-owned business offers fun things to do for every age group she said including hay rides, pumpkin fests and paint ball.
The haunted house started out as a haunted hayride in 1995 and took its inspiration from the Stateville Correctional Facility across the street when they decided to move the attraction indoors.
“My dad thought, ‘well what’s scarier than being inside of a prison?,” said Siegel.
She said the attraction keeps the chills fresh changing up about 30% - 40% of the attraction each year so returning victims still have reason to be afraid with each visit. She said that people come from as far away as Indiana, Ohio and Michigan to go through the haunted house. She said that the haunted prison sets itself apart from other haunted thrill spots by also aiming to make the expeirence fun for guests.
“We’re not just a regular haunted house,” she said, “We want to scare you but our main focus is to entertain you from start to finish.”
Statesville Haunted Prison is located at 17250 Weber Rd. in Lockport. (www.statesvillehauntedprison.com.)
Other area haunted houses include:
• HellsGate Haunted House, 3101 Canal Street, Lockport
• Massacre Haunted House, 299 Montgomery Rd, Montgomery
• Basement of the Dead Haunted House, 42 W New York St., Auora
If scares aren’t your cup of dread, then a trip to an area farm to pick out a pumpkin or to wander through a corn maze might be in order. Now is the perfect time to plan a trip with the family to take in some autumn fun at one of several farms in throughout the region. Before heading out to any of the area farms, be sure to check their websites for online coupons, ticket information, admission prices (Some places offer discounts for purchasing tickets online), and refund policies in the event of inclement weather.
Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm 13341 W 151st St., Homer Glen
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
Bengston’s has a little bit of everything from rides, a petting zoo, to a haunted barn, a corn maze and pony rides. Kiddie rides are unlimited with paid admission.
More information is at http://www.pumpkinfarm.com.
Johansen Farms Petting Zoo
710 W Boughton Road, Bolingbrook