USS Nightmare-“Journey Into Fear”
The USS Nightmare has been in business for 17 years and hasn’t missed a beat yet. There’s nothing like touring a mysterious boat infested by ghouls and creatures of the night. Are you ready to experience one of the nation’s most unique haunts? This is the review of USS Nightmare.
Length-10: Your journey on the rustic old steam boat will take around 25 minutes to complete. There is always something or someone lurking around the corner waiting to jump out and startle you. There are very few dead spots, but a few areas where you venture outside to get a breather before you enter the next area of the boat.
Design-9: This year much of the boat’s interior has been exposed and rooms that have always been wide open have become tight and confining. This gives you an up close view of the monster known as William S. Mitchell. It’s amazing how complex the boat is when you’re able to view the rusting pipes, large wheels and machinery that was used in a time when this boat was state of the art. But without great lighting you wouldn’t be able to see all of its glory.
This year mini strobes have been perfectly concealed within scenes while high intensity LED lights bring new scenes to life. Many of the rooms used this year elaborate on the history of the boat and show the sick and twisted dynamic of the captain and his family. No longer has Anna been locked away in a room off to the side since her bed room has been connected to the brand new dining room. This scene is elaborate with expensive curtains, dynamic lighting and many body parts to feast on. Classic rooms returning this year are the laboratory, boiler room, the choose your scare station and much more.
While the rooms are creative and frightening a few scenes seem a bit out of place at USS Nightmare. The clown room and haunted forest just don’t have the same effect as they once did and need to be altered or replaced to keep USS Nightmare fresh and new. Instead of 75% of the rooms revolving around the history of the boat, the entire haunt should tell a story from scene to scene. This would overall create a more realistic experience. There are many new surprises this year at USS Nightmare, but I don’t dare give away secrets or I may become the captain’s next lunch.
Props/Animatronics-9: USS Nightmare has always been known for having impressive props and this year is no exception. One thing you’ll notice right away is that many of the high end animatronics in the boat are unique and very quiet. Many haunts use extremely high powered air compressors that over power the sound effects used in animatronics.
This isn’t the case here since the majority of props are as quiet as a mouse. But while USS Nightmare has a wide variety of props many of them are losing their effect since they’ve been used year after year. Some of the classic props and animatronics need to be replaced with some new impressive eye candy.
A massive animatronic similar to the 13 foot Impaler used would be a great addition to this haunt. While you’re touring the haunt make sure and pay attention to the little details added to scenes. You’ll find animal skeletons, old documents and an array of antiques that play off the history of the boat.
Acting-9: This year USS Nightmare has had to say by to a few of its staff members that have been vital to the success of the haunt over the years. The person that immediately comes to mind is Jason Ervin. He was great at detailing scenes and really bringing them to life. But even though some people left, new blood took their place.
Many of the make up artists used on the boat have moved to Hollywood to work on different projects, but this year USS Nightmare has been blessed with 10 makeup artists with many of them being new. You’ll notice right away that the attention to detail in makeup and prosthetics has been bumped up a notch and the realism has been taken to another level. Overall the acting has been spot on with a few actors stealing the show.
The most memorable actor/actress of the night goes to the creepy pale skinned beauty who played Anna. Her creepy laugh and bone chilling threats will make anyone’s hair stand on end. Every year USS Nightmare stays spot on with their acting while adding a few new characters here and there.
Scare Effect-9: No other haunt can duplicate the atmosphere that USS Nightmare creates. There’s nothing like touring an old haunted boat docked on the Ohio river. It’s creepy, mysterious and down right bone chilling. And the haunted tour you experience once entering the boat is unlike any in the tri state or United States for that matter. There’s a reason why USS Nightmare has stood the test of time for nearly 20 years. It’s a haunt with history and mystique that plays on your fears the moment you arrive.
Fright Value: USS Nightmare is one of the most expensive haunts in the Greater Cincinnati area and the price of admission has been increased by a dollar. You would be a fool to not take advantage of the many discounts available at www.ussnightmare.com. $16 is too much for a single person, but if you have a large group or family you’re paying for, it starts to add up in a hurry.
Final Stab-9.2: The annual classic returns for another year of scaring the ship out of you. The changes that the staff has implemented into the haunt have created a fresh and new haunting experience. Tell your friends and tell your family to come on down to the frightening foggy boat known as USS Nightmare.