USS Nightmare 2015 Review

USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)

“The Captain Is Waiting!”

By Noah Wullkotte:

USS Nightmare has been haunting the Ohio River for over 2 decades. It’s one of the few floating haunts in the United States and one of the best attractions around. This is City Blood’s review of USS Nightmare. The former dredging vessel has a deep, dark past.

We arrived at USS Nightmare on a Thursday night. The weather was perfect. A large skull could be seen sitting on top of an old steamboat as its eyes flashed on and off. They had a good crowd for a Thursday night. We were pretty amped up to see what this year’s haunt had in store for us.

USS Nightmare has some of the best lighting you’ll see at any haunt. Many of the scenes use old lamps to illuminate props and to highlight detail. This is a very detailed haunt with many rooms that could be found in an old rusty boat.  You’ll explore a bathroom with toilets that explode, a kitchen/buffet with some disgusting delicacies, the machine shop, a freezer full of body bags and much more.

USS Nightmare features iconic scenes people have come to expect from this classic haunt. No one and I mean on one does a better job at displaying the 13 foot Impaler monster animatronic. You’ll come face to face with this frightening creature multiple times. He’s been trapped behind large netting as if he was King Kong. Be careful or you might become his next meal.

The rat lady returns and has green lighting shining on her as she bonds with her fury friends. The captain can be seen in his grotesque dinning room ready to make minced meat out of you. His lovely daughter Anna had an accident. Her face has been peeled off and her flesh and bone has been exposed. She loves to hang out in her play room. She’s ready to make you her play thing.

USS Nightmare has lots of startling animatronics you won’t see at many haunts. A skeleton rises from a casket, a psychopath spins around and around on a large disk, a grim reaper flies out of a portrait and there’s even a CGI animatronic that sprays water. There are unique smells throughout the haunt and you’ll get wet numerous times. This is a haunt that’s dark and sinister. Is there really anything creepier than a haunted steamboat?

The haunted forest is a small area of the haunt, but it’s also one I enjoy the most. There’s been a rain storm with strong wind and you might even meet a ghoul that wants to grab a hold of you. USS Nightmare has some brand new scenes and effects. My personal favorite is the fog that shoots down on customers in the chain maze.

The costumes and makeup are better than ever and you won’t see a single actor break character. This is what you want in a great haunt. A top rated haunt has you escape into a fantasy world that’s been taken over by your deepest and darkest fears. You’re unsure of what’s hiding in the darkness and you’re ready to stare fear straight in eye.

USS Nightmare has just about any type of room you could imagine. Everything from a vampire’s crypt to a clown house can be found in this one of a kind haunt. Their vortex tunnel is one of the best around. Bone chilling music plays throughout many of the scenes and quite a few of the props feature great sound effects.

USS Nightmare has always been one of our favorite haunts. It has incredible lighting, convincing characters, great animatronics and unique effects. It’s also very creepy and will have you on the edge of your seat. We highly recommend that you visit them on a Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday night when it’s not as crowded. You’re less likely to run into a group of people and the actors seem to be more energized. You can really take your time to admire the scenes.

The total tour time is around 25 minutes, but could be longer depending on how fast you walk and how long the actors interact with you. Tickets are $20 Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $17 on Wednesday. Rip Express tickets are $25. The Captain’s Season Pass is $45 at the door and $40 online. Captain’s Extreme Tour is October 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st.  Tickets are $25 online and $27 at the door. Please visit for information on group rates, private party events and more. There are concessions available such as food, drinks and T-Shirts. You can also purchase your photo that was taken before you entered the haunt.

USS Nightmare is a one of a kind haunt that adds something new and exciting every year. It wouldn’t be the haunt season without heading out to this haunted steamboat. We highly recommend that you tour the one and only USS Nightmare. The captain is waiting!

Length-9  Design-9  Props/Animatronics-9  Acting-10  Scare Effect-9
Final Stab: 9.2