TERROR By the Dashboard light


What's the Story Behind Terror in the Timbers and the
All New Trail of Terror Haunted Hike?

Over a century ago, the Chicagoland area suffered one of its greatest disasters. No, we’re not talking about the great Chicago fire. We are talking about the man who killed nearly as many people as the fire, but with his own two hands, and the instruments of his trade.

America’s first Serial Killer was the infamous, the evil, the satanic, Dr. Henry Howard Holmes. Dr. Holmes’ hobbies included constructing “murder castles” with soundproof rooms, trap doors and chutes leading to vats of acid, luring young women and children to their grisly deaths, and dismembering bodies. 

A mere 9 of Dr. Holmes’ atrocities in the Chicago area were ever solved. A few bodies were dissolved in acid, one boy’s teeth and bones were found in his chimney, and his daughters’ bones were found buried in his basement after being locked in a trunk and gassed.  This left hundreds of bodies unaccounted for. Until now…

It is now known that the evil doctor, after dismembering his victims at his surgical table, discarded their tortured remains at a location deep in the woods west of the city, near what we know today as Elgin. These unhappy souls have been seen hovering over their buried bones, creating Terror in the Timbers, where no man should ever tread. And what of Dr. Holmes himself? His coffin was sealed in cement and buried 10 feet underground. This should have been the end…

Unfortunately, evil never really dies…it waits in the darkness to rise again. Four years ago, Dr. Holmes’ body was exhumed.  Due to being sealed in cement, he was found not decomposed, even his hair and mustache remained perfect. When they cracked the cement, his spirit, freed from the underground prison, made its way back to the grounds of his favorite burial site in …in ELGIN, Illinois.

So once again, Holmes wanders the grounds, hiding in plain sight, taking on as many aliases as he did in his lifetime. Are you talking to a friendly Park Ranger…or a notorious serial killer? Should you decide to venture into the timbers this October, be warned… you’re not nearly as safe as you think inside your car…H.H. Holmes aka  Dr. Dismember, could be lurking behind any of those trees on Camp Big Timber.


 Terror in the Timbers

You will enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside with stops along the way that will showcase some of Chicago's darker historical moments brought to you by HH Holmes.


Terror in the Timbers wants to put your mind at ease while entertaining you and your family & friends so we came up with a safe and fun alternative. Welcome to Terror in the Timbers.

It’s simple, you purchase the appropriate ticket for the available time slot that fits your plans. 


Upon your arrival at our event, you will be required to produce:

1. A valid ticket.

2. A valid driver’s license

Guests will never have to leave the safety of the vehicle.

First, you will turn off your headlights and tune your radio to a predetermined station.  

Next, you will proceed down a marked path to the first of many horrific stops. NEVER exceeding 5 miles per hour.

When you enter the scene, a red light will signal the driver who will then be required to put the car in park.

Then take a deep breath and leave the rest to our demented Minions of Terror.


Trail of Terror - Haunted Hike Add-On

For a limited time, don't let the scares end after the your ride comes to the end of the road.  New in 2021, we're offering the Trail of Terror Haunted Hike for just $25 per carload.  You've survived from the safety of your car but can you survive being exposed to the elements?  Purchase this add-on now to experience the outdoor Trail of Terror Haunted hike while space is available.


Also new in 2021 is our Midway area that includes:

1. Food & general concessions

2. The Silly String Asylum

3. Fun games and additional attractions

The Trail of Terror is a haunted attraction that takes your group on a half-mile hike over uneven terrain through a wooded environment.  This is an add-on ticket to our Terror in the Timbers and cannot be purchased individually or separately.  All purchases are final.  No refunds or exchanges.

FAMILY Trick or Treat Event TBD for 2021!

Hey Mom! We see you over there..you too, Dad. Does the Pandemic have you worried about taking the little ones out for trick-or-treat this year? Could it be that Social Distancing has you fighting frustrations? Maybe you’re just worried about the weather? Well, rain or shine we have just what you’re looking for.


On select days in October, Terror in the Timbers transforms from “Frightful” to “Friendly” so your kids don’t have to miss out on the fun…and of course the candy…and you won’t miss out on the memory.

All you need to do is purchase your day & time block, get the kids ready and in the car and you’re all set…it’s just that easy.

When you arrive at our location, your ticket will be scanned by our courteous staff and then your adventure begins.


Take in the beauty of the 3 Fire Council Campgrounds as you and your children navigate the more than 1.6 mile course stopping in designated areas where you will be greeted by our volunteers (wearing the appropriate PPE), you can opt to “pop” the trunk and our staff will ensure that every child in the vehicle receives some individually-wrapped, delicious treats…


Fun memories will be made and portions of the proceeds will be donated to a local charity. 


Now aren’t you glad you read this? Smash that share button and let your friends and family know…Halloween is not canceled! Get a group together and head on over.


COVID Safety

The safety of our patrons and staff ALWAYS will be our #1 priority while providing frightful entertainment at Terror in the Timbers. 

We care deeply about our family of staff, patrons and the community surrounding us. We recognize that patrons and staff place their trust in us to provide a scary, fun and entertaining experience; however, they trust that we have also taken many measures to ensure their absolute safety. Our commitment has not changed due to the unfortunate result of COVID-19.  Terror in the Timbers will comply with and/or exceed federal and local government guidelines. 

We will continue to closely monitor government policy changes, recommendations by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), state mandates and local guidance. Our approach has been developed with research and consultation from local, national, and international personnel and other similar attraction operators at theme parks and large public venues. We will make any changes/modifications as needed. 


Terror In the Timbers & The New Trail of Terror Owners