‘Midnight Terror’ continues to provide chills at new Oak Lawn location

  • Written by Dermot Connolly


The Midnight Terror haunted house, a popular Halloween attraction in Oak Lawn for the past two years, has moved to a new and bigger location in the village, with more ghouls and goblins than ever before.

Oak Lawn resident Justin Cerniuk, with his uncle Robert Page and friend Maciek Kulawiak, is still operating the haunted house in its new, permanent location at 5520 W. 111th St., just east of Central Avenue and opposite Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Some parking is available in nearby lots, and free shuttle buses will also be run from the Metra parking lot at 95th Street and Tulley Avenue.

The original location in the 4,000-square-foot Beatty Lumber property at 9531 S. 52nd Ave., was demolished earlier this year, but “we outgrew it anyway,” said Cerniuk. He pointed out that the new site, a former fabrics factory, is 26,000 square feet.

“This is now my full-time job. We’ve been spending 24 hours a day for the past two months working on this,” he said, as he gave a tour of the new site just before it opened on Sept. 29. “But I really enjoy doing it.”

Cerniuk credits his uncle with getting him interested in creating Halloween displays, which he used to arrange on his driveway on Massasoit Avenue in the village until he outgrew that.

The new location now has two haunted houses inside the building.

“We hit the mother lode when we found this warehouse, which offers so much more room than our previous site,” said Cerniuk, a Marine veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

This year, Midnight Terror includes The Factory of Malum, populated by shrieking and wailing employees driven insane by an unseen force. But first, visitors must pass through the equally haunted village of Black Oak Grove.

“We called it Black Oak Grove because that is the original name of Oak Lawn,” Cerniuk explained.

According to the storyline, which visitors can read on monitors as they make what could be a 30-minute trek through Midnight Terror, Black Oak Grove has turned into a hellish landscape populated by monstrosities lurking around every corner. To get through, visitors must follow the mark of Willow, a wraithlike female searching for her father, a factory owner named Sledge. The Factory of Malum is named after the demonic overlord who has enslaved Sledge and his employees within an industrial labyrinth with equally gruesome creatures.

Visitors of all ages are welcome, but the operators said they would rate the haunted house PG-13.

It will be open Thursdays through Sundays, with its last day of operation on Saturday, Nov. 5. It will also be open from 7 to 10 p.m. on Halloween, Oct. 31.

It will be open from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, and 7 to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

It will also be open on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 4 and 5.

General admission tickets are $23 online at and $25 at the door. VIP admission (to bypass lines) is $31 online and $35 at the door. A “fear package,” which comes with a T-shirt, is $33 online and $35 at the door.