USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)
“Terror on the Ohio River”
By Noah Wullkotte:

Welcome to the William S. Mitchell where your worst fears become reality. This is City Blood’s 2021 review of the USS Nightmare. Prepare to have the ship scared out of you!

Enter the Mitchell Museum and look straight ahead at the window. A poor soul has his head squeezed by a zombie until it explodes. You will get wet. USS Nightmare is full of amazing props and special effects. The most impressive is the Crash Simulator. Enter and save yourself as you experience the boat rocking back and forth, shaking and ultimately crashing as you’re told the tragic story of the William S. Mitchell.

The 13 foot impaler monster called Fluffy will devour you whole. He holds the remains of one of his victims. A man is tied to the wall and ripped in half while he screams in terror. There are a plethora of eye catching props at USS Nightmare. This includes a vortex tunnel that tilts back and forth, a flying grim reaper, a corpse that rises out of a casket, animated port holes, an animated tentacle and much more.

There are plenty of colorful characters along the way. Anna wants to make you into her teddy bear or dolly. You better let her or else. Don’t let the captain see you bothering his daughter. The lady in Red can be found in the sleeping quarters. She promises that she didn’t crash the boat. The vampires are thirsty and your blood would be the perfect cocktail. The chef is cooking up some delicious delicacies in the disgusting kitchen and your fingers would be a great appetizer. The mad doctor can be seen messing around with one of his creations in his laboratory. It has two heads and won’t you lend him a hand or two. Be careful of the night watcher because he sees everything.

There are a plethora of immersive scenes at USS Nightmare. They have one of the best laser swamps around and their haunted forest has a vicious werewolf that wants to tear you apart. Other scenes include the body bag freezer, a clown maze, hospital, machine shop, bathroom and much more. USS Nightmare is a highly detailed haunt with old antiques that decorate various rooms. There were a few dead spots along the way, but that’s our only complaint really. The makeup and costumes are some of the best we’ve seen all season. The different music and sound effects were great as well. This is a world class haunt from start to finish.

Total tour time is around 20 minutes, but could be longer depending on how lost you get in the clown maze. We recommend that you visit USS Nightmare on a weekday or Sunday since it can get pretty crowded on Friday and Saturday. You’re more likely to run into another group on a Friday or Saturday. This is the case with quite a few haunts.

USS Nightmare has one of the most unique experiences around. It’s called the RIP Experience. It’s a more up close and personal version of USS Nightmare where you’ll participate in challenges, get touched and experience new scenes that the regular tour doesn’t include. You’ll be given a necklace with different effects that alerts staff that you’re participating in the RIP Experience. You’ll enter the decontamination room, an Escape Room, get locked in a cage and much more. We were in an out in 35 minutes, but it could be longer depending on your interaction with the various characters.

General admission is $18 on Wednesday, $22 on Thursday, $24 on Friday, $25 on Saturday and $22 on Sunday. Captain’s Season Pass is $100. Please visit for prices on General Admission Fast Pass, Front of the Line Admission and the Rip Experience. Lights on matinee takes place on Sunday, October 24th. Tickets are just $8. This is where you can learn the history of the boat and see all the glorious detail with the lights on. Captain’s Extreme Tour takes place on November 5th and 6th. There will be adult situations, harsh language, actors might be hands on and more. Tickets are $27, Fast Pass is $42 and front of the Line Admission is $62. Group photos are $10 a piece and there are concessions available such as hot dogs, candy, T-Shirts, hoodies and more.

USS Nightmare is one of the best haunts in the nation and one of our favorites. It doesn’t get more unique than a haunted steam boat on the Ohio River. This is a classic haunt.

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

Final Stab: 9.0