USS Nightmare 2014 Review

USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)

“A Haunted Journey You Won’t Forget”

By Noah Wullkotte:

Dark clouds gather over Newport, Kentucky where an old Steamboat lies restless. Evil spirits and souls from a time long ago are wanting to reach out and touch someone. Fog gathers around this rustic boat that beckons you to enter. A large skull sits at the top of a mysterious vessel that the locals fear and others adore. This is USS Nightmare, where haunted history is brought to life. You’re never safe around the restless souls of the past.

For 23 years, USS Nightmare has been the premier haunted steamboat in the United States and has become one of the top rated haunts in the nation. City Blood has been touring this classic haunt since the mid 90’s and we’ve seen it evolve over time. There’s been many changes made over the years, but one thing has remained the same. USS Nightmare has one of the best settings for a haunted attraction you’ll ever come across. There’s no way to replicate a haunted steamboat without having the real deal.

Captain Mitchell is one sick and twisted individual. Enter his museum where a zombie has crushed the head of an innocent man. You’ll definitely get wet as brain matter splatters all over your clothing. A grim reaper busts out of a portrait. He would love to take your life. You’ll come face to face with the giant Impaler who’s ready to gobble you up.

This 13 foot animatronic is best displayed at USS Nightmare since the designers know how to use just the right amount of lighting. You’ll also notice that the Impaler is behind netting as if he was a caged creature similar to King Kong. USS Nightmare incorporates old and new props. Many of the props you’ll see are classics that many haunts don’t have. This includes Psychovision. It’s essentially a crazed man strapped to a large disk. He screams hysterically as he spins around and around while a strobe light flashes.

USS Nightmare features custom made props from when they were featured on the TV Show Making Monsters. This includes a shipping crate with a floating head and a crate with an octopus tentacle sticking out. Every kind of prop you can imagine is on display at USS Nightmare. One of our favorites is the corpse that rises from its coffin as it laughs maniacally. We also enjoy the vomit inducing vortex tunnel. USS Nightmare uses mirrors at the the end of their tunnel for added effect.

USS Nightmare spares no expense when it comes to detail. Nearly the entire boat is utilized and there’s variety of scenes that should appeal to a broad audience. This includes a laboratory with Frankenstein’s Monster, sleeping quarters with rising corpses, Captain Mitchell’s dinning room, the Rat Lady’s room, a detailed clown house, Anna’s playroom and much more. Little touches here and there add to the experience. Water drips on your head as you walk across the catwalk. You’ll even feel air and experience other effects inside the haunted forest where a storm is brewing. Don’t mind the mess in the bathroom. Be careful not to step in feces.

I could go on and on for days about the rooms you’ll experience at USS Nightmare. But without great actors, a haunt will fall short. Actors are the bread and butter of any top rated haunt. USS Nightmare has plenty of unique characters and one of a kind creatures of the night. The actor of the night award goes to Jason Ervin who plays the crazed doctor. He wants you to be his next patient and isn’t very kind to those who resist his treatment. USS Nightmare has plenty of memorable characters from the Captain’s Daughter Anna to the killer clowns in the funhouse.

This year USS Nightmare is more intense than ever. The actors have been given more freedom and can let their creative juices flow. The makeup and costuming is superb.  There’s nothing else out there like USS Nightmare. It’s a one of a kind haunt that has thrived because of its great detail, spooky atmosphere and its diverse group of actors. Tickets are $15 on Wednesday and $18 on Thursday through Sunday. Click here for a $3 off coupon or a $20 Laser Rage, USS Nightmare Combo. You can skip the line by purchasing a RIP Pass which is $23 a piece. The Unrated Captain’s Tour will take place on October 24th and 25th. Tickets are $25 on-site and $23 online. You can even purchase a USS Nightmare season pass for only $40.

After you exit USS Nightmare, you’ll enter the Nightmare Landing. You can enjoy games, food, refreshments and more. The highlight is of course Laser Rage. It’s a unique laser tag experience where you’ll head into battle and hopefully become victorious. Prices vary for USS Nightmare. Please visit for all the details on various events and services.

We highly recommend that you tour USS Nightmare on a Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday when the crowds aren’t large and there’s no risk of catching up with another group. This 23 minute tour through the belly of the beast is worth the ticket price. USS Nightmare is one of our favorite haunts and has become a haunt tradition for many. Prepared to have the ship scared out of you.

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