DEKALB, Illinois — “Amenti” is the Egyptian Goddess guarding the world of the dead. Within her gates lie the horrors of the Egyptian underworld. Terror after terror await those who dare to enter. But be careful, Amenti jealously guards her gates and assures that no one escapes.
2014 marks the ninth year the Amenti Haunted House will rise in the historic Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb, Illinois. This year will once again include more than 20 different scenes on six different levels going throughout the entire Egyptian Theatre. New for 2014 includes new rooms, new scares, and new surprises.
The Amenti Haunted House is a full-scale professional haunted house that has been featured in national haunted house magazines and is one of 12 haunted houses in the state of Illinois featured on the website www.hauntedillinois.com. Typically each year, more than 3,000 people bravely traverse the dark depths of the Amenti Haunted House, including visitors from as far away as Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Most haunted houses get constructed in two to six months. But the Amenti Haunted House has just under two weeks to get constructed because of the busy schedule the Egyptian Theatre has. This requires lots of advance planning that starts in January of each year and an extreme amount of coordination to get it all done in time for opening night.
There are two full semi-trailers that house all the panels during the year. These 600-plus panels must be carefully moved into the theater and constructed to make the path of the haunted house.
More than 100 volunteers typically put in more than 2,500 hours of service each October to make this event the success it has become. This event has become the largest annual fund-raiser for the Egyptian Theatre. All proceeds benefit the theater as they go toward the ongoing operations and maintenance of the historic landmark.
General admission tickets are $13. If you don’t want to wait in line, you can purchase priority pass tickets online in advance or at the door for $20. A priority pass gets you to the front of the line and allows you to skip the frequent hour or longer wait. New for 2014 is a combo priority pass available for $30 (a $10 savings) that gets you priority access to both the Amenti Haunted House at the Egyptian Theatre and the Haunted Corn Maze at the Jonamac Orchard in Malta; tickets can be purchased online at www.dekalbcountytickets.com.
Since the entire haunted house takes place indoors, it remains open rain or shine and provides convenient waiting indoors. Each night Amenti is open, there are typically 40 to 50 volunteers helping as actors and with ticket taking, security, costumes and makeup.
Because of the intense nature of this haunted attraction, it is not recommended for individuals younger than 13. However, the Amenti Haunted House does participate in Spooktacular, the family-friendly trick-or-treating event that takes place throughout downtown DeKalb from 1 to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 25. A small portion of Amenti will be open during this free event, with all the scares removed so kids can enjoy this annual haunted attraction as well.
Amenti will run Friday-Sunday, Oct. 17-19; Friday-Sunday, Oct. 24-26; and Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, starting at 7 p.m. each night. End times vary depending on the night, so visit www.amenti.info for more information and to purchase tickets.
The Egyptian Theatre is one of six Egyptian Theatres left in the United States and will be celebrating its 85th anniversary Dec. 10. The Amenti Haunted House is the only one of its kind in the United States to take place inside of a historic theater that is still open and operating. Making this haunted house even more unique are the numerous reports of ongoing paranormal activity inside the theater year round.
The Egyptian Theatre is owned and operated by P.E.T. (Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre, Inc.) a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, since 1978. The historic Egyptian Theatre is at 135 N. Second St., in downtown DeKalb. For more information, visit www.egyptiantheatre.org.
Posted Oct. 15, 2014