Climbing in Elk Grove Village

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Though the haunted alleys, crumbling subway tunnels, and blood-stained storefronts of Fear City are creepy enough, they aren't the reason why visitors tend to leave screaming. This ghastly municipality has more than 100 citizens?including deranged nurses and blood-covered asylum inmates.

These are just some of the scares that await within Fear City's 40,000-square-foot sprawl. The indoor attraction consistently places on hauntedhousechicago.com's top 13 rankings, and the city's always looking for new recruits: visitors are encouraged to dress up, join the madness, and take home whichever crazed clown they think would make a good roommate.

Curious about what else might lie in store? Click here to see videos that delve deeper into the city's secrets.

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A Haunted House Actor Explains the Scares

A Fear City "fright actor" talks the art of haunted-house acting and the psychology of scares.
8240 N Austin Ave.
Morton Grove,
IL
US

Adrenaline rushes often lead to addiction. Having developed a tolerance through many a marathon and obstacle course, the elite athletic team of Adrenaline Games wanted to capture the thrill of the first rush. To that end, they crafted a treacherous trail that gets the pulses of even the most hardened adrenaline junkies pumping. The details of the course are kept top secret as not to spoil the element of surprise, but it can be revealed that elements of mud, foam, and water play their part in keeping competitors adrenalized and dirty as they vie for the top Junkie prize. After the finish line has been slathered in mud, participants can catch their breath while celebrating their victories with food, drinks, and live music.

24 Rolling Hills Drive
Barrington,
IL
US

Founder Rick Sweitzer started the adventure travel company in 1983 before leading one of the first amateur dogsled expeditions to North Pole. Driven by his vision, the guides and instructors of The Northwest Passage lead travelers of all skill and fitness levels to some of the most dramatic terrain on the planet. Locally, the team leads outings around the Chicago area, ranging from stand-up paddleboarding classes on Lake Michigan to kayaking and camping trips in Door County, Wisconsin. As for the rest of the world, Northwest Passage sends it adventurers to conquer it locale by stunning locale during programs that include hiking across Europe, trekking to remote Polar regions, and dressing up like scientists to infiltrate Area 51.

1130 Greenleaf Ave
Wilmette,
IL
US

As the original location of the many Chicago Athletic Clubs, Evanston Athletic Club set the standard for many other health clubs across Chicago that would eventually follow suit. Though it was founded in 1980, the 55,500-square-foot facility has no lack of modern amenities, from its cardio equipment lines to the rock wall and bouldering cave. Beautiful new hardwood flooring lines the space where more than 100 group classes occur weekly, and smaller sections still have plenty of space for free weights, stretching, and flex-offs. The gym also features an indoor pool, basketball court, and locker rooms complete with saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs.

1723 Benson Ave
Evanston,
IL
US

Darkhouse Entertainment's Murder Mansion, one of the largest haunted houses in the suburban Chicagoland area, scares visitors witless in "Blood Feast," an unsettling tale of cannibalism set in the Victorian era. After skipping the line with their R.I.P. passes, thrill seekers form bonds with other guests during fear-induced embraces as they find their way through the mansion's darkness, fog, strobe lights, banjo duels, and professional special effects to discover where the show's turn-of-the-century restaurant gets its supply of human flesh. The convincing costumes, makeup, imaginative lighting, elaborate sets, blood, and gore create intensely real scenes of violence designed for mature audiences. Hydrophobes and wicked witches may wish to wear raincoats, as the show promises wet surprises. Consult a list of frequently screamed questions to prepare for the bloodbath.

5734 West Cermak Road
Cicero,
IL
US

Ticket Reserve rewards football fanatics of all collegiate allegiances with the opportunity to reserve plaza-level tickets to witness the hard-hitting action of the 2012 Sugar Bowl game. Pigskin fanciers can reserve big-game tickets with the hope that their favorite team of chin-guarded play practitioners gets invited to play January football amid the arctic-like conditions of a New Orleans winter. Fans can choose their favorite team, alma mater, or imaginary alma mater and then sit on a chair made of pins and needles until the team selections are announced on December 5, 2011. If the team they picked gets chosen to play, reservations will transform from a fancied fantasy into a fancied reality that will take the shape of two tickets and be delivered straight to their mailboxes or beckoning hands.

840 S Waukegan Rd
Lake Forest,
IL
US

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