Exclusive Preview: Tears for Fear City

By Danny Thompson

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As you walk into Fear City, you are immediately struck by the pulsating music and terrifying actors moving all around you. As you get in line, a sort of nervously excited energy starts to build in your stomach as you move towards the front. Next thing you know, you’ve been ushered inside a small chapel. One of the pastors performs a reading on a member of your group, and upon declaring that said person is a sinner, sends you all into Fear City.

Your trip begins as a hunchbacked man emerges from a car crash screaming about the fact that his dog has been run down. The makeup and setting are outstanding. As you continue along to the sound of shouts, crashes, and the crackling of electrical wire, creatures of all shapes and sizes do their best to catch you just as you let your guard down. Many of them will follow you for a part of the city. You eventually reach a hospital and are treated to all the gory surgical experiments you could want. There is even a nurse drilling into a man’s head right in front of you.

The most amusing part of the entire experience is the mental institution. You are quickly ushered into a closed padded cell with two of the inmates who are looking for their lost dog. A member of your group soon takes the place of their dog. A grown man being petted by a mental patient is certainly something to see. The actors in this scene are terrific.

Once you work your way out of the hospital, you come to a Mexican Day of the Dead celebration and are handed 3D glasses. Neon paint begins to pop out of every corner of your eye as you move down a hallway. If it seems like the ceiling is getting lower, that’s because it is. (Don’t whack your head like I did.) Dancers and ghostly mariachis are everywhere, and the 3D effect creates a truly disorienting and exciting experience. As you stumble out of the fiesta, a hidden actor takes your glasses without you even realizing what has happened.

Many more ghostly scenes await you on the trip, including a subway car and a voodoo lady. Each scene is more detailed and unexpected than the last. The detail in the scenery is unbelievable, almost as outstanding as the makeup and actors themselves. All of the magic was created by Emmy winning set director Jim Lichon of Big City Sets and Peter Tomezcko of Fables Studios.

Fear city will be partnering with District 219 this year in order to benefit the D219 Foundation, which gives to families in need around the district. On the weekends of October 4 and 11, those who purchase their tickets with the online code “D219” will receive five dollars off their ticket, and four dollars will be donated to the foundation.  Fear City is also looking for student volunteers to dress up as creatures for the haunted house.

Fear City is located at 8240 N. Austin Ave. in Morton Grove.