Now that the nightmare that was North Avenue construction is over, it’s time to take that local highway headlong into the hell of Illinois # 1 rated haunted house for three years running. That would be the foreboding Dream Reapers located at 1945 Cornell in west suburban Melrose Park.
The Dream Reapers website alone is enough to give you the heebie jeebies complete with a terrifying video shot with a hand held camera tracking a ghoulish killer on a tear. The Dream Reapers Photostream is equally scream inducing and features four-color stills of the more than 40 actors who seem to relish portraying frightful characters ranging from saw-toting hillbillies and cannibalistic couples to sinister creatures of unknown origin. Thoroughly into character, the actors are spread out through 22 themed rooms spanning 14,000 terrifying square feet.
According to Haunted House Chicago, Dream Reapers represents a “new genre of haunt” that combines the old-school style of “dark, misdirecting and actor based scares” merged with the high-tech special effects and state-of-the art animatronics which is the new buzzword for the technology employing electronics to animate motorized puppets. Whether it’s new technology or old-style scares, visitors to Dream Reapers are strongly advised to “stand back and let the real psychos show you how it’s done!”
For those not-so-hearty souls that don’t want to wait in line, Dream Reapers offers VIP admission that allows visitors to get freaked out in record time. Get more details via the Dream Reapers website. General admission tickets are $16 on Sunday through Thursday and $20 for Friday and Saturday nights. The $20 admission fee is also in effect on Sunday, October 30th as well as Halloween night.
If you still have an appetite after your Dream Reapers excursion, then a visit to nearby Danny’s Deli is in order. This local establishment has been garnering a lot of buzz via raves from Sun-Times Food Critic Pat Bruno and commendations from reviewers on the PBS show “Check Please!” Located at 1419 N. 15th Avenue on Melrose Park, Danny’s serves up the best of “Italian Peasant Food” and is noted for its “gravy” with pork neck bones, stuffed artichokes, and the fried meatball sandwiches. Elmhurst’s Mike Murphy enthusiastically recommends Danny’s stuffed meatballs.
With Halloween fast approaching, both popular “haunts” in Melrose Park are worth the jaunt. There’s Dream Reapers for bold, brave, and intrepid souls. The more faint of heart can enjoy stuffed artichokes and other fall “comfort food” at Danny’s Deli on Division Street and 15th Avenues.