USS Nightmare 2016 Review

USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)

“Designed For Death”

By Noah Wullkotte:

A storm is brewing in Newport, Kentucky and the restless souls of USS Nightmare are calling out your name. This classic haunt has returned for another year of fear. Enter the belly of the beast which is the William S. Mitchell or what some call the “Death Dredge”. This rusty steam boat is home to unspeakable horror and you’ll soon discover the dark secrets of its past.

There’s been a power outage and a zombie can been seen behind a window as he crushes the skull of an innocent man. 2014 was the first year this prop was used at USS Nightmare and it’s quite impressive. You ‘re definitely in for a surprise. There are a lot of new and exciting special effects that have been added to this year’s USS Nightmare. The most impressive is the one of a kind “Crash Simulator”. The room violently shakes and simulates the boat rocking back and forth as the lights flicker. You’ll discover the dark and tragic history of the boat as you hold on for dear life.

USS Nightmare has a lot of props you’re not going to see at many haunts. One of my favorites is called Psychovision. It features a psychopath in a straight jacket that spins around and around on a disk as he insanely laughs. You’ll also witness an animated electric chair, a corpse that rises from a casket, a grim reaper that busts out of a portrait and so much more. The classic vortex tunnel has been enhanced and it’s better than ever.

USS Nightmare is a haunt that plays off your fears. You’ll come face to face with snakes, rats, clowns and you’ll need to navigate through tight spaces. The 13 Foot Impaler monster returns, but he’s now up close and personal. There are two clown mazes with one that resembles a circus tent. Music from the movie “It” was a nice touch. The sound has been improved greatly this season and there are sound clips that have been added to scenes. “It’s Alive!” from the movie Frankenstein made the laboratory scene more dramatic. I also distinctly remember hearing Johnny and Santo’s  song “Sleep Walk” as I walked through the haunted boat.

There are a plethora of scenes that are sure to put chills down your spine. Captain Mitchell’s dinning room is serving up some delicious treats and so is the kitchen where a pig nosed creature loves her sweet bread. The cage maze has been flooded with bubbles which was pretty amusing. Explore different parts of the boat like the boiler room, sleeping quarters, cargo area, bathroom and the laundry room. The Mitchell Museum has been expanded and there are plenty of evil crew members that you’ll meet along the way as you try to escape USS Nightmare.

You’ll notice little things here and there that add to the overall experience. The body bag freezer has dropped in temperature and the laboratory features a two headed Frankenstein monster. There are a lot of entertaining characters you’ll meet. The insane doctor was one of my favorites. He cut into a patient’s jaw and was pulling out the intestines of another. The sick freak wearing a bath towel was weird to say the least. To say that he had butt crack cleavage is an understatement.

The captain’s daughter Anna is hiding and you better pray that she doesn’t find you. This is a classic haunt with spooky characters. We have few complaints when it comes to USS Nightmare. We do recommend that you visit them on a Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday when it’s not as crowded and there’s less chance that you’ll catch up with another group.

Total Tour time is around 28 minutes, but could be longer depending on how fast you walk. This is an action packed haunt with very few dead spots and there are a lot of new additions this season. General admission is $20 Thursday through Sunday. Tickets are $17 on Wednesday. Rip Express tickets are $28 online and $30 at the door. Get a season pass for $40 online and $45 at the door.

The Captain’s Extreme Tour takes place on October 21st, 22nd, 28th and 29th. Tickets are $28 online and $30 at the door. Click here for a page with various coupons. Please visit for information on the lights on matinee, group pricing and private parties.There are concessions available such as T-Shirts, snacks, drinks and more. There’s even a Web Glow machine selling novelty toys and a machine where you can control scares inside of the boat. USS Nightmare has one of the best photo-op stations around and don’t forget to pick up your photo.

USS Nightmare has always been one of our favorite haunts. A haunted steamboat is a perfect setting for a night of scares. We recommend that you experience the one and only Death Dredge and get the ship scared out of you this Halloween season. USS Nightmare is designed for death!

Length-9  Design-9  Props/Animatronics-9  Acting-9  Scare Effect-9
Final Stab: 9.0