Just because haunt season is over doesn’t mean the scares have to cease. There are, in fact, several places around the country where you can be terrified year-round. Throughout the year, Scare Zone will be profiling these haunts (and, we hope, visiting some of them).
Today, we’re featuring Raven’s Grin Inn, located in Mount Carroll, Illinois, about 140 miles east of Chicago.
Raven’s Grin is open year-round, but if you want to visit, you have to make a reservation. The personal tours take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, and at only $12, it seems like a great bargain.
So what is the Raven’s Grin Inn? The owner (Jim Warfield) has turned his 19th-century house into a weird and crazy attraction that’s half haunt and half art museum. Here’s a brief description from a profile in Time magazine:
Warfield saved the house from demolition 20 years ago, and has filled it with a crazy hodge-podge of his freaky old art projects, like “the last Elvis impersonator” who sits decaying in a wheelchair; relics like the “Poe-Lease” car, a black-and-white 1950s-era Hudson car protruding out of the second floor (three other autos also stick out of the house); and plenty of creaky, spooky secret passages. Oh, and then there are the slides: The four-story Bad Dream Bed-Slide takes you screaming from the second floor all the way to the wine cellar in the haunted basement, where sightings of the Lady in White have been reported.
Yes that’s right: this haunted house has slides. According to one reviewer, Warfield wraps you up in a bed sheet as you lay on a bed, and then he tips the bed upright, shooting you down the slide into the basement. In addition, at Ravens Grin, you’ll find walls that open to reveal passageways and hearses that you’re required to crawl through.
Raven’s Grin Inn is a truly unique haunt that blends scares and comedy, fun house and fright house. If you’re in the area–or if you’re in the mood for a road trip–make a reservation for Raven’s Grin.
For more, check out this story of the house’s inception by the owner himself.
Here’s the Raven’s Grin feature from Wild Chicago in 2009: