Spooky sites to get a final scare in before Halloween

By James Stein Oct 29, 2021

I despise haunted houses but I have terrible friends who drag me to them every year. In Bloomington-Normal there are many haunted houses, trails and mazes all over the cities. Here are some haunted attractions that are a must before the spooky season ends.

Constitution trail puts on a haunted trail the last two weeks of October. The weekend of Halloween consists of a scary trail and the weekend before Halloween has a family friendly, not-so scary trail. “My favorite part about this haunted trail was the fact it was completely dark, cold and outside. I have walked on this trail many times and during this experience I felt like I was in a horror film the entire time,” Junior Ellen Stephens said. 

Throughout this attraction on the scary nights there are strobe lights and terrifying characters opposed to the princess’ and superheroes on the family friendly night. 

Treats like candy and hot chocolate are passed out during the night. For this attraction the Constitution Trail only allows 1,600 people per night. Participants should line up behind the Normal City Hall Annex and the Halloween trails begin after crossing Vernon Avenue. 

The biggest piece of advice for this activity is to make sure you are aware what weekend you are going to. You can imagine my surprise when I was expecting spooky creatures to jump out of the woods and all I saw were different superheroes waving at me. 

Mindtrap Haunted Attraction is located at Urban Warfare in Bloomington. This attraction houses three events all in one. Within this attraction there is a haunted house, an escape room and a zombie hunt paintball experience. 

Owner Bob Bornder’s life has revolved around Halloween since he was young. Bornder was known for decorating his yard for Halloween incredibly well and was contacted by the owner of Urban Warfare to put on the haunted house and escape room part of the attraction. 

The main difference with Mindtrap is how it is not just a linear experience. “I wanted something different, within the haunt there are wrong answers and misleading doors you have to figure out,” Bornder said. 

Bornder has put in a lot of work to make this haunted house experience well known for being different. 

“I studied what happens when people see three doors and which door they are most likely to choose, and then throw them off to create an experience the people have to figure out,” Bornder said. 

Mindtrap will have three more nights of horror October 29-31 from 6-10 p.m. each night. Their exact address and cost of admission is located on their Facebook Page. Also on their social media page are different clues for a secret giveaway including keys which happen within the haunted attraction.

Ten minutes outside of Bloomington in the town of Downs is the home of the Downs Haunted House. The haunted house was established in 1992 and is still going on. The house will be open on Friday the 29th and Saturday 30th from 7-11 p.m. 

This is a traditional haunted house and there were many different rooms with completely different atmospheres. This small town haunted house was family friendly but still a spooky environment. There are 10 rooms in this attraction including a small outside portion. 

“My friends and I had a blast at Downs Haunted House and I would recommend it to beginners and people who want to have a fun night and not a horrifying one,” Junior Emily Thompson said.

With all the fun festivities occurring at IWU or off campus this weekend these haunted houses are an absolute must. They vary from horrifying at Mindtrap to casual fun at The Constitution trail or the Downs Haunted House. 

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