USS Nightmare 2023 Review

USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)
“An Ohio River Ghost Boat”
By Noah Wullkotte:

USS Nightmare takes place in a haunted Steamboat known as the William S. Mitchell. The restless spirits are waiting for your arrival. Will you survive the Death Dredge or will you parish like so many others that haunt the boat? This is City Blood’s review of USS Nightmare in Newport, KY. Get ready to have the ship scared out of you.

USS Nightmare has been scaring haunt goers since 1991. They do an incredible job showcasing their props. The Impaler is a 13 foot monster with a thunderous roar. The crew calls him fluffy and you better watch out or you’ll be his next snack. You’ll meet this behemoth twice throughout your journey. A classic prop I’ve only seen at USS Nightmare features a psycho spinning on a disk as he goes around and around. It’s simply called Psychovision.

Other props include a flying grim reaper, a corpse rising from a casket, a howling werewolf, a two headed Frankenstein style monster, a CGI poltergeist, and lots of scary set pieces and props that are sure to put a chill down your spine. USS Nightmare has introduced many new props this season. My favorite is the woman who has her blood drained out of her body. It’s a nasty sight indeed. The psychopath in a straight jacket was also a great prop. Distortion Unlimited’s 7 foot tall Mutant animatronic debuted last season and it’s perfectly displayed at USS Nightmare. Their vortex tunnel is one of the best around as well. Be careful that you don’t puke from being dizzy.

USS Nightmare has many scenes that will make you jump. The Mitchell museum has haunted portraits that come alive. The crash simulator is one of a kind. Hear the twisted history of USS Nightmare as the boat rocks back and forth. The lady in red can be seen in the sleeping quarters. She swears that she didn’t crash the boat. Other scenes you’ll experience include a forest with a wind storm, Anna’s playroom, an insane asylum, a grotesque bathroom, a kitchen with tasty treats and so much more. The laboratory is one of my favorite scenes and USS Nightmare’s Swamp is pretty unique. It features metal bars you must navigate around. You never know what’s hiding in the dense fog. USS Nightmare utilizes much of the boats interior and doesn’t overdo it with the set design. The rusty old boat can be quite scary at night.

USS Nightmare has always been known for its great acting and makeup. This year is no different. There are many unique characters you’ll come across and you’ll need to visit to find out. The curious clowns do a great job pointing you in the wrong direction. We are notoriously bad at mazes and we went around in circles at least once. The freak inside of the bathroom contorts her body in every which way. She was so damn creepy.

Total tour time was 26 minutes with little to no dead spots. There’s always something going bump in the night at USS Nightmare and some type of character interacting with you. USS Nightmare has what’s called the RIP Experience. Just imagine an interactive horror story combined with elements of an Escape Room and you’ve got yourself the RIP Experience.

Customers who wear a flashing necklace will get access to secret rooms and it’s a much more up close and personal experience. You’ll be touched, separated from your group, perform certain tasks and more. I was forced to drink blood as I was sacrificed and I was even placed in a decontamination chamber that was filled with fog. I was grabbed multiple times and turned into a clown as I wore colorful makeup. It’s a fun adventure that’s unlike anything out there. We were inside USS Nightmare for nearly an hour for the Rip Experience.

There’s concessions when you exit the boat. There are snacks, T-Shirts and more. You can also pick up your photo that was taken before you got in line. Admission varies greatly depending on the night and month you visit. Tickets start at $25 and you can see all the pricing by visiting Captain’s Extreme tour takes place on November 3rd and 4th. Lights on Matinee is on Sunday, October 22nd from 4-6 PM. Ticket prices vary. USS Nightmare has become a staple in the haunt industry. There’s just something about touring the haunted William S. Mitchell that makes me excited for Halloween.

Length-9 Design-9 Props-9 Acting-9 Scare Effect-9

Final Stab: 9.0