Let us tell you the story of how the HMUNCUT family came to meet the wonderful residents of Marquette Heights and their haunted attraction SPOOK HOLLOW. Sometimes what is viewed as a huge opportunity can lead to something far greater than the intent of the original goal. Last year we told you guys about a trip of a lifetime. That we were invited to be apart of reality television show involving horror conventions. While the show did not pan out for us we had the pleasure of standing in line behind Mike Mathias and his family. Well shall we say extended family as they spoiled us with the stories behind their blesseded haunt SPOOK HOLLOW. No way could we believe the story of a full community coming together for the past 35 years to host this event. Funding for things like road emergency vehicles, music equipment for the schools and more we were blown away by what we were being told but that was only the half of it. Then…they invited us.
Living in St. Louis we knew the drive to Marquette Heights would be no issue. We figured the best way to give these folk their proper coverage was to head out during the season and see this attraction for ourselves. So we loaded a truck with a cooler and cameras and made the little over 2 hour trek to Central Illinois. Right off of exit 9 you will find the entrance to the grounds of Marquette Heights and once you get past a few ball fields its there. On the back stop of one of the ball diamonds are the huge white letters SPOOK HOLLOW with a nice little entrance to the side. When we arrived we pulled up to a pavilion with some 100 teenagers decked out in monster garb who we assumed were actors of the haunt. Past them a bunch of firefighters and police officers were gathered in anticipation of the nights engagements. Thats when we ran into Bob Neuhaus who was the first friendly face to tell us which direction we could find the man in charge, Dale Little. These gentlemen are apart of the Marquette Heights Men’s Club and have been providing the area with the attraction for the last 30 years. After saying our hellos we were told the tales of the inception of the haunt that started as just something for the children of the town to do. Hell, the original trail can still be found during the updated haunt of SPOOK HOLLOW.
After finding out more on the lore of the area, the stories of the miners, the true paranormal activity of Marquette Heights we were told that there are paranormal investigators right there on hand by the admission lines.They told patrons in line the activity in the area and the charm that it brings to the actual haunt. We could have talked for hours with the guys but the clock was ticking and it was time to step inside.
The great thing about SPOOK HOLLOW is the passion these amazing folks have for their craft. They seriously want to scare the shit out of you. One of the questions they asked us (I know right?) was what we were afraid of? These are the types of things to motivate them to produce the best haunts and oh do they deliver. The amount of detail and creative use of common scrap parts to create the macabre beauty is unmatched. We literally shunned the existence of each of our hometown haunts just with the first corridor of SPOOK HOLLOW. From Victorian styled rooms, to hallways of despair the constant dread you feel while walking the first manor is overwhelming. Room after room is filled with torture and mayhem that became a smogashboard of horror imagery right before our eyes. Eli Roth would be proud to walk the halls of the first manor of SPOOK HOLLOW as each turn is more frightful than the other.
Not everything at SPOOK HOLLOW is located inside. The entire attraction takes around 45 mins to complete and has a few outside areas to enjoy as well. With over 200 actors that can found here you never know where someone may jump out at you and that includes the woods. The geriatric facility in the area also has their own spot outdoors and lets just say it takes you back. It really is hard to find words that truly encompass what we were shown at SPOOK HOLLOW you need to experience this for yourself. From the girl scouts selling cotton candy to the hundreds of volunteers, SPOOK HOLLOW is more than just a community effort it is the community.
To say we had any expectations of what we were going to see at SPOOK HOLLOW would be unfair. Truly we had no idea what was in store. But that Saturday in Springfield Illinois standing in line with Mike and the bunch brought the curiosity of our site to the footsteps of Marquette Heights. So while we were intentionally set to find our mark on television we actually found something better. Something more real and refined than any glance of a HMUNCUT shirt on a future video. We were invited to a hidden gem located not to far from us in Central Illinois, and they welcomed us with open arms. We hope you enjoy the little video we have and we appreciate Dale for allowing us to shoot it. It really is just a smidget of what we experienced at SPOOK HOLLOW. There is still one weekend left for the haunted attraction and we have some details below on how you can win 4 tickets! Better believe you have to get their early as the lines form fast and wait time can get pretty hectic. A little over two hours from St. Louis and around the same coming from Chicago if you are any of our readers in these areas you must see this place. If you can’t make it the final weekend no worries after 35 years they will be back. This is a experience that has been passed down from generation to generation. So we are sure there will be another 35 more!
The Horror Movies Uncut staff would sincerely like to thank Dale Little, Mike Mathias, The Marquette Men’s Club, all the volunteers. friends, families and members of the Marquette Heights Community for having us at SPOOK HOLLOW and we can’t wait to visit again.
If you would like to win 4 tickets to the final weekend of SPOOK HOLLOW just email us your name and contact information including a valid email address to email@example.com and we will notify you Friday morning if you win! Good luck enjoy the video and see you all at SPOOK HOLLOW!
BTW we will have another behind the scenes video posted soon so be on the look out for that on our youtube channel!