WE WILL BE OPEN FOR 2020 with significant Covid-19 safety measures in place. FearFest is now in its 18th year of terror and features 4 amazing attractions at one location! Hawthorn State Asylum and The Mortuary, Terror in the Woods and Necropolis Haunted House!
Hawthorne State Asylum
Built in 1856, Hawthorn State Asylum was designed to house the most disturbed and dangerous patients from around the midwest. It was the last stop for persons too violent for other facilities. Conditions inside the Asylum became horrible due to overcrowding and loss of funding. The facility's extreme use of lobotomies, electric shock treatment and torture contributed to its eventual closure. However, it was a horrific event that finally closed its doors forever.
Under a full moon on August 23rd, 1948, a riot erupted throughout the complex. A small group of especially devious patients had finally had enough of the treatment and managed to set several fires and free the other patients during the mayhem. After police were able to regain control and the smoke cleared, the full horror of the massacre was revealed. 53 dead: 31 patients and 22 staff. The doors were locked, windows boarded over, and Hawthorn State was left to rot in the hopes that all could be forgotten. Rumors quickly began of ghosts, strange happenings and the screams of all those who burned to death inside.
In the late 1970's, a new urban legend swirled around the now dilapidated and crumbling building. Stories of a strange man living inside. Stories of a man with a hook for a hand. Stories of a man who kidnapped, tortured and killed. Stories of a disfigured man who carried away his victims in a large, bloody burlap bag. And after the police finally recovered several sacks full of the body parts of missing persons, he became forever known as The Bagman. He was never found, but even to this day, it is said he still roams the halls of the old Asylum, waiting for his next victims.
A century ago, an odd man named Ezekiel Helmsley established a mortuary on the grounds of the old Hawthorn State Asylum. Rumors quickly began of improper burials and forbidden experimentation. After decades of dealing with death, Ezekiel became obsessed with preventing his own. Through some corrupt combination of science and dark arts, the creepy mortician managed to prolong his life. Legend says that Ezekiel had a family he kept hidden due to their twisted appearances and odd eating habits. A family he kept alive by switching out body parts piece by piece. Some even say Ezekiel is still working to this day, always looking for fresh specimens.
Necropolis Haunted House
The world is dead. Society has collapsed. Order has been replaced with chaos and confusion. The government and military thought they could contain the zombie outbreak but the compound has been overtaken. Rumors quickly spread of possible government experimentation as the cause of the virus. Can you survive long enough to learn the truth?
Terror in the WOods
In the fall of 1941, the Happy Time Circus was ready for their biggest performance to date just outside of Columbia. However, due to horribly unsafe conditions, a tragic accident involving several large circus animals led to panic and chaos. The resulting stampede caused the deaths of dozens of customers and the clowns who were performing nearby. Fearing legal action, the circus promoter hastily hid the bodies deep in the woods behind a nearby asylum. With the chill of Fall in the air, the clowns have risen from their shallow graves and roam the dark woods, seeking revenge for their untimely demise.