Morton Grove haunted house fosters fear, philanthropy
Co-owners Chuck Grendys and Jim Lichon give a tour of Fear City in Morton Grove on Sept. 26, 2011, before the opening of the village's new haunted house. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 1, 2012 3:12PM
MORTON GROVE — Two of Chicagoland’s haunted houses, Fear City and Hades, are partnering with the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society the coming Halloween season to raise funds that will support research, programs and services that improve the lives of the more than 20,000 people affected by multiple sclerosis in Illinois, according to a news release.
Fear City will donate 3 percent of all ticket sales from both haunted houses to the Greater Illinois Chapter during its entire run. A combo VIP ticket, which can be redeemed at any time, and sneak-peek ticket for the show on Sept. 2,8 is available for $30. The combo ticket deal ends Sept. 15.
These haunted attractions, which are recommended for ages 12 and older, are at 8240 N. Austin Ave., amount to 20-30 minutes of entertainment per house, the release stated.
Fear City, which is enjoying its second year catering to the Chicago metro crowds, and Hades, a new addition to the team’s repertoire, are the product of a Chicago-based, Emmy award-winning set-design team.
“They’re not you’re standard slash-house type haunted houses; not an overwhelming amount of gore. We like to delve deeper into the art of the production — our rooms are suspense-driven and beautifully eerie,” said Joe Jensen, Fear City partner and Chicago-area haunted house purveyor, in the release. “Both houses, which offer completely different experiences, are located in a 40,000-square-foot warehouse that we’ve had a lot of creative fun building out; it’s really a dream to work with this team and actualize all of the scary ideas we’ve visualized so accurately. People are going to have a great time.”
Fear City will bring to life an apocalyptic Chicago as pop-culture meets the end of time in a deadly, realistic depiction filled with zombies, aliens and plagues, involving nearly 100 live actors and interactive displays, the release stated. Hades will anthropomorphize the mayhem of the mythological underworld as it melds a visual-art performance of a trip to Hell. The Seven Deadly Sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride, will all be personified as theatrical-magic-meets-technological-trickery to immerse audiences in a world of horror and fear, the release stated.
Both haunted attractions will open to the public for their “Bloody Red Carpet Opening Weekend” Oct. 5. The Greater Illinois Chapter’s special night is Oct. 11, or “10/11/12,” where both haunted houses will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the door beyond the first 600 people to enter. “Hades Retro Weekend” begins Oct. 12, followed by “Halloween Pre Scream Weekend” beginning Oct. 19. Fear City and Hades will be open each weekend in October, with the finale culminating in the “7 Days of the Apocalypse” beginning Oct. 25 and running through Halloween, Oct. 31.
Besides the Combo VIP tickets, other tickets to Fear City and Hades Haunted House are also on sale. Prices are $25 per haunted attraction or $35 for a ticket to both haunts on the same visit. There is also a $10 VIP Fast Pass option, which allows rush entry and is free with a valid U.S. military ID, the release stated.
Fear City is ADA accessible, 100-percent indoors (including the waiting area) and parking is free. Hours of operation are 7:30-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; and 7:30 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. A portion of all ticket sales from both Fear City and Hades will benefit the National MS Society, Greater Illinois Chapter.
Every hour in the United States someone is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, the release stated. MS interrupts the flow of information between the brain and body, and it stops people from moving — affecting more than 400,000 people in the United States and 2.5 million worldwide, the release stated.
“The Greater Illinois Chapter of the National MS Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS,” the release stated. “We envision a world free of MS and move toward that end by driving change through advocacy, facilitating education, collaborating with others and by providing helpful programs and services.”
For more information go to MSIllinois.org.