Midway of Madness provides haunting experience near campus

By Roxana Madani, Contributing writer

On Friday night at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, a group of University students exited the Midway of Madness Haunted Attraction screaming.

One of these was Shayla Mille, sophomore in LAS, who said she was more than delighted to finish the exhilarating, yet terrifying, experience.

Midway of Madness is a carnival-themed haunted house. The spookiness begins as you enter the line to wait with the creepiest clown twins walking up and down the line. Not only were the twins terrifyingly silent, but also their stares would make you want to turn around and leave.

Mille said she and her friends first went to the haunted house doubting they would truly get scared.

“I knew that there would be frightening aspects, but it didn’t really hit me how scary it would be until I heard people screaming while I was waiting in line to enter,” Mille said.

Tammy Jeon, sophomore in ACES, had her first-ever haunted house experience at Midway of Madness.

She said the theme of the haunted house and the realistic features of the characters inside created an exhilarating first-time experience.

“I did not expect anything really scary; I thought it would be people dressing up and jumping out occasionally to scare you,” Jeon said. “I did not expect how well-planned and realistic the haunted house would actually be.”

Jeon and Mille both explained how terrified they were of the unknown when they entered the building. The students said the music and the tight spaces inside the haunted house began to get quite haunting after the first few seconds of walking through the doors.

“The first thing I see when I think about my experience with the haunted house was the complete darkness,” Jeon said. “When you went inside, it becomes pitch black and you are completely unaware of your surroundings … until something pops up out of nowhere.”

Attendees must walk in a single file line without any light through the maze. With every second, you move further into the house and are waiting for something to come out of the darkness.

“Towards the end of the haunted house, you think that you’re safe and it is calm for about a minute … and then all of the sudden, you’re running for your life from a man with a chainsaw,” Jeon said.

Jeon said the haunted house made her realize how unprepared she is for situations where someone could be chasing after her with weapons like chainsaws.

Midway of Madness is an affiliate of the “Don’t Be A Monster” program — a nonprofit organization that offers unique and entertaining anti-bullying assemblies for students from fourth to 10th grade.

The mission of the organization is to encourage younger generations to become leaders in their communities and help their friends and peers stand up for what they believe in.

In 2016, Midway of Madness Haunted Attraction was voted “HauntedIllinois. com Visitors’ Favorite Haunted House.”

“The scariest moments for me were when the people would jump out and follow you. You couldn’t turn back and you were too scared to keep moving forward,” said Nicholas Sabri, sophomore in LAS.

In many cases, turning back in the haunted house was quite impossible. Some of the characters inside would follow behind groups in order to make sure they were not retreating.

Students, such as Sabri, said that was one of the most frightening aspects of the haunted house.

“I’ve been to a few different haunted houses before, but I definitely believe this was the scariest one yet. My friend and I were so scared that we decided to leave through an emergency exit,” Sabri said.

Event details

7–11 p.m., open to the public every Friday and Saturday from Oct. 6–28

1302 N. Coler Ave, Urbana, IL

$15 per person; however, groups of 10 people or more get a discount.


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