Midway of Madness serves up frights to the C-U area

Photo by Greg Gancarz |  Patrons wait in line for tickets to gain entry to the Midway of Madness Haunted Attraction at the Champaign County Fairgrounds.

Photo by Greg Gancarz | 18Patrons wait in line for tickets to gain entry to the Midway of Madness Haunted Attraction at the Champaign County Fairgrounds.

Greg Gancarz


The Midway of Madness Haunted Attraction, featuring a carnival theme, has returned to the Champaign County Fairgrounds for its sixth year this season to frighten and thrill patrons.

The haunted house, which began as little more than a decorated private residence years ago, has since won multiple awards as a top rated Halloween attraction in recent years.

“This is our sixth season here. We did it at home before that for several years at my parents’ house in Champaign. My parents actually moved into their house on Halloween night like 47 years ago and they started decorating,” said Chad Swim, Midway of Madness’ owner and operator. “It just kind of graduated from there and I just kind of got hooked.”

The carnival-themed attractions utilize more than fifty workers each night, who fill various roles within the attraction. Many of those working the house are volunteers. Those interested in serving as volunteers are encouraged to contact the Midway of Madness Haunted Attraction for more information.

“It’s a carnival-themed haunted house; carnival scenes [and] carnival games. There’s a few clowns in there—a lot of people don’t like to hear that, but there are a few clowns in there. There’s lots of dark hallways, [and] lots of narrow passages.”

Swim says while he personally finds it difficult to decide on a favorite section or fright from throughout the attraction, many patrons are smitten with a particular villain.

“I would say a lot of people that are leaving like Jake the Alligator Boy,” he says.

While there is no official age requirement to enter the haunted carnival, it’s recommended that those under the age of 12 do not attend. Groups are generally limited to four to six people.

Should the weather prove to be as dreadful as what awaits inside the attraction, patrons will be sheltered inside the attraction’s covered waiting area. Several food vendors are also available on site.

The haunt has been in operation since Oct. 6 and will continue to operate every weekend until the end of the month. It will also be open on Halloween night, on Tuesday, Oct. 31. Scheduled hours run from 7–11 p.m.

The haunted house costs $15 per person, with special pricing available for groups.

For additional information, those interested can dial Midway of Madness’ contact number at (217) 202-4729 or find them online at midwayofmadness.com.