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Three Haunted Houses to Hit Around Chicago

The unexpected may be an integral part of the haunted house experience, but nobody wants to be surprised by lameness. In that, er, spirit, here are the best ghost-filled residences for any need.

HellsGate Haunted House   Photo: Tiela Halpin

For jump-scare lovers

Fright fans return year after year to Basement of the Dead for good reason — it’s terrifying. After surviving its ceiling-strung corpses, mutilated torture victims, and deranged axemen, visitors are guided into Shattered 3D, a trippy fun house with clowns in black light. If that’s not scary enough, go on one of the “lights off” nights (November 1 and 2), with only a flashlight to guide you. Through Nov. 2. 42 W. New York St., Aurora. $28. basementofthedead.com

For the hard to impress

In terms of acting, makeup, and set design, HellsGate Haunted House is matchless. The premise is a mansion built on a cemetery that’s been “infected by darkness,” and visitors encounter a deranged turn-of-the-century German clown and a zombie cook who makes a bloody mess in the kitchen. Oct. 3–Nov 2. 1300 S. State St., Lockport. $30. hellsgate.com

For kids

The haunted house at Goebbert’s Farm & Garden Center is just part of the autumnal fun on this suburban farm that also features a corn maze, pig racing, and pumpkin tunnels. The creepy creatures are all animated and mechanical, with no actors — just the right amount of scary for the under-12 crowd. Through Oct 31. 40 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington. $6. goebbertsgardencenter.com

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