Monday, September 18, 2023

Midnight Terror Haunted House creates customized scare experiences in 2023

At a time when other commercial haunted attractions are cutting jobs and turning to mass-produced props to save money, Midnight Terror Haunted House in Oak Lawn is relying on a tried-and-true approach to satisfying its customers: Hiring more staff and putting greater personalization into its scare tactics.

In fact, Chicagoland’s favorite Halloween destination will feature over 100 costumed actors in 2023, breaking last year’s record. Plus, there will be plenty more new custom animatronics, props, masks, and costumes—all unique and created on-site by a talented squad of artists whose sole task year-round is to invent and perfect the numerous creatures and characters that populate Midnight Terror.

Haunt creator/owner Justin Cerniuk says all of these distinctive elements will combine to make this the best scare season yet for Midnight Terror.

“We’ve added more actors than ever before and specially trained them to terrify our visitors more effectively. We’re also allowing our performers greater flexibility in how and where they scare, empowering them to modify and creatively enhance their characters as they see fit so that our patrons get a more memorable fright experience,” he says. “Every new admission through Midnight Terror will be distinctive from your last visit. That’s because our actors are mixing things up this year—often rotating roles, stalking different areas, and using fresh voices, sounds, and movements. They’re working more collaboratively in teams, too.”

Cerniuk takes pride in emphasizing his haunt’s human talents, which is what brings the crowds back for more and has built Midnight Terror’s stellar reputation across Chicagoland since it opened in 2014.

“We’ve had very little turnover since last year. Most of the same actors from 2022 are back, eager and excited to scare again, and now there’s a wait list among applicants. Over 100 new people have competed this year for around 20 added positions we’ve now filled,” he adds. “The buzz around this site is intense.”

Your paid admission provides access to two uniquely themed but interconnected, maze-like haunted houses under one roof – Black Oak Grove, and the Factory of Malum. Every year, Midnight Terror’s intricate mythology and personalities expand: In 2023, the malignant overlord Malum and the wraithlike Willow encounter The Founders, an insidious subculture that covertly controls the forces of evil in this dark domain from which you must escape.

Visitors appreciate covered outdoor and indoor waiting as well as entertainment provided by a DJ and stilt walkers, photo opportunities before entering and departing, free Midnight Terror merch given away randomly on select nights, and online ticket discounts.

For example, you’ll only pay half price for general admission during opening weekend (September 29 and 30 and October 1) if you use promo code PRESS50. You can get details on other promotions and discounts by signing up for the haunt’s official email list, Nightmare Fuel, at

Ranked as one of the best haunted houses in Chicagoland by TimeOut, a top 10 haunted attraction by USA Today, a top 10 haunt by, and one of the 10 scariest haunted houses in America by, Midnight Terror has been featured numerous times on Fox 32 and comes highly recommended by Thrillist, NBC, the Chicago Tribune,, Haunted House Chicago, Illinois Haunted Houses, and others.

Midnight Terror Haunted House is located at 5520 W. 111th St., Oak Lawn, Ill., 60453, just east of the intersection of Central Avenue and 111th Street. General admission per person starts at $30 online and $35 at the onsite ticket booth; Fast Pass admission per person, which places you in a line that’s three times faster than the general admission line, is $50. Or you can purchase immediate access ($65 per person), which guarantees instant entry into the haunt.

Midnight Terror is wheelchair accessible and open, rain or shine, from:
7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays: Sept. 29 and 30, and Oct. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, and 28
7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays and select weekdays: Oct. 1, 8, 15, 19, 22, 26, 29, 30, and 31

But the season doesn’t end there: Brave a nightmare circus on November 3 and 4 (7 p.m. to 10 p.m., admission from $30), when Midnight Terror transitions to a Clown Takeover swarming with sinister red-nosed psychos. And experience Christmas Fear on December 15, 16, and 17 (7 p.m. to 10 p.m., admission from $30), an increasingly popular foray into Yuletide terror, complete with killer snowmen, savage Santas, and eerie elves.

Visitors can park for no charge on-site or take a free shuttle to Midnight Terror; the shuttle departs from 9525 Tulley Ave., Oak Lawn, regularly during hours of operation (on Oct. 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, and 31).

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