Rock Falls Travel Blog

Top 4 Reasons to Visit Rock Falls | Autumn 2016

4. Halloween is here!

Halloween Décor crept into our stores in August. Although we all dread the rush to sell holiday wares months before the actual season, Halloween is different. There is an anticipation that sets in when we see Scarecrows and pumpkins in our fields and on store shelves.  How many holidays are there that encourages us to eat sweets, dress in costume and to scare the living daylights out of each other? Awesome, right? Only in America.

3. Autumn in the Sauk Valley Area

There is a reason for our excitement of the season. First, if you live here, you know how amazing Fall is in Northwestern Illinois. Yes-I’m letting the cat out of the bag! For those not familiar with our area, step on in, I will share our story.  Autumn has a magical feel to delight the senses in our neck of the woods.  The days are cool, crisp and clear, bird's flying south, stop on the shores of the Rock River to visit, fish jump, Deer begin to poke their heads out of the thickets, Red Tailed Hawks are seen circling more as the squirrels are on a mission to stock up for winter, folks are getting in their last mowing of the year (fall fresh cut grass smells w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l) and brisk evening walks along the Hennepin Feeder Canal & the Sinnissippi Dam Walking Bridge are a must see for wildlife & nature enthusiasts. The woodsy smell of campfires amplifies the tranquil evenings and long conversations with good friends.  Moreover, the brilliant shades of yellow, orange & red leaves which embrace our cities will bring a nostalgia for the autumns of your youth. Quaint shops, unique restaurants and pubs make the Rock Falls/Sterling Area your urban crossroad where city life & nature meet.

2. Unmissable Events & Attractions in the Rock Falls/Sterling Area

Some of the best events are held in small towns. Our smalls towns offer double the amazing festivities! Separated only by the Rock River, the Twin Cities takes great pride in our parades, entertainment, food and great events. Come visit Rock Falls during the Autumn Season; the most popular time of year to hold events, have seasonal attractions, fairs, and farmers markets and to get married.  Check out our events calendar for more details.

1. Haunted Haven

Haunted Haven has truly come into its own. In October of 2006 Melissa and Jason Schultz of Rock Falls opened up their home to the kids of the community as a decorated haunted house attraction. Together Melissa and her husband took apart each room of their house, moving all their furniture around including their own beds, in order to turn every room into a spooktactular display that the neighborhood kids and adults alike could enjoy during the Halloween season. Supplying all the costumes, decorations and spooky affects from their own pockets, it was a labor of love. Word spread to visit Rock Falls and go through Haunted Haven. Soon they had neighbors volunteering to help dress up and scare. One volunteer (being their teenage neighbor) hid in the bushes with a leaf blower waiting to harness it’s loud noise to get a scare out of an unsuspecting patron. It worked well and Haunted Haven continued to grow in the community.


In 2009 the state of Illinois informed the Schultz’s that they were no longer allowed to use their Rock Falls home as a center for their haunt. They needed to relocate to a bigger building which could pass all necessary safety and fire codes that the state of Illinois required. Haunted Haven stayed in Rock Falls but moved to a big barn just outside of town. The entire barn was gutted, given a new roof, had electrical work done as well as the requested requirements by the state of Illinois. All so their labor of love and community supported haunted house could stay open. In 2010 they opened for the first time in the new location and things have gotten better and better every year. Melissa and Jason now have a crew of 40 to look after. The couple provides dinner nightly for the crew and as always, they supply all costumes, props and affects.


Teens and their families flood the attraction every year. Kids know the haunt characters by name, by attending the non-frightening annual Halloween dance put on by Haunted Haven for the younger generation. During October of every year, Haunted Haven does everything within its power to become a great event. It has been ranked as one of the top ten haunts in the state of Illinois by visitor polls. People have travelled from Chicago and beyond to visit Rock Falls and be entertained at Haunted Haven. All with rave reviews!



In 2016, Haunted Haven is looking to expand its resources and bring in more people than years past. Haunted Haven has booked R.A. Mihailoff, the actor who portrayed “Leatherface” in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 to come to the Haunted House and sign autographs as well as take pictures with the attendees. For anyone who loves Halloween, haunted houses or horror movies, this will be a huge for fans far and wide to visit Rock Falls and attend Opening Weekend with Leatherface. Even with the multiple events in the Chicago area that bring in horror icons with thousands of fans attending those events, Haunted Haven was able to secure the Leatherface! Mihailoff will be at Haunted Haven signing autographs and taking pictures with fans opening weekend (September 23-24) from 7-11pm. Don't miss your chance to meet the man behind the bloody flesh mask this haunt season right here at Haunted Haven

INCLUDES: PHOTO OP, AUTOGRAPH AND ADMISSION INTO HAUNTED HAVEN | ONLY $15 if you get your tickets now! They are $20 at the door!!! Click HERE to purchase advanced tickets.



Outdoor Screening @ HAUNTED HAVEN |Tuesday October 18th 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM

 Romantic Getaway Turns Murderous Mayhem!


Horror hits the road as #SLAUGHTERHOUSE brings its reign of psychotic terror to 15 cities during HALLOWEEN month. Enjoy an outdoor showing of #slaughterhouse then take a "special" trip through Haunted Haven with the characters from the movie! Tickets are $15 person for movie and haunt. It kicks off on October 14th and slashes its way through the Midwest, making its way down to Texas for a late night thriller at the Alamo Drafthouse on Halloween night.

Director-Dino Maglaris

Dino is an independent filmmaker living in Austin, Texas. #SLAUGHTERHOUSE is his second directorial effort. His first was Cabin Crew, a bank heist movie with heart, starring Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead). Cabin Crew can now be seen

Written by – Scott McGuire and David Pantano

Cast – Nick Saenz (American Crime), Shayla Bagir (Cabin Crew), David Harrod (Revolution) and Grace Marlow


“We’ve come a long way and we don’t plan on stopping. We’ve gone from leaf blower chainsaws to hiring a chainsaw wielding movie maniac to entertain our fans. R.A. Mihailoff is such a nice guy and he is honestly excited to come to our town. They (Leatherface & #slaughterhouse) are like nothing we’ve ever done before and I cannot wait to see the faces of the fans when they get to meet Mihailoff and the come out for the 15 city movie tour here in our little town.” –Melissa Schultz


Visit Rock Falls, meet Leatherface during Haunted Haven's opening weekend and an outdoor screening of #slaughterhouse on October 18th! 

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