USS Nightmare 2022 Review

USS Nightmare (Newport, KY)
“A Floating Nightmare Full of Fear and Fun”
By Noah Wullkotte:

USS Nightmare is a Greater Cincinnati haunt tradition that’s aged like fine wine. Since 1993, they’ve been scaring haunt goers and fright seekers. This will make it their 30th season of scares which blows my mind. USS Nightmare is over 20,000 square feet of terror on the Ohio River and you’ll definitely have the ship scared out of you.

USS Nightmare features plenty of delicious eye candy. The brand new prop known as “The Mutant” is a show stopper and a must see animatronic. It looks like it’s straight out of a Sci-Fi movie. Other props include the 13 foot Impaler. USS Nightmare does an incredible job showcasing this massive monster. You’ll meet him several times throughout your adventure. He can be seen holding one of his victims that’s been torn in half. You’ll get a unique view of the Impaler as you look over the balcony. Don’t get too close or he’ll gobble you up. The crew call him fluffy and he’s a monster that would make King Kong shake in his boots.

You’ll experience a lot of eye catching props and special effects which include a spinning vortex tunnel, an electric chair, a two headed Frankenstein Monster, a flying grim reaper, a tank with a floating head, body bags, various CGI effects and much much more. Be prepared to see a ghost. The crash simulator is pretty impressive. Feel the boat rocking back and fourth as you hear the twisted history of USS Nightmare. An actor torments his victims while you’re inside.

The Mitchell Museum is better than ever. Portraits come alive in the officers gallery. A crazed fiend told us not to listen as he paced back and fourth. Scares come from every direction at USS Nightmare. The floor vibrates, sparks fly and a chainsaw maniac will cut you to shreds as you exit the boat. USS Nightmare is a quite detailed haunt. Antiques and spider webs decorate scenes and old boat equipment is exposed.

The lady in red has crashed the boat. You’ll meet her in the sleeping quarters and don’t let her tempt you. You better not look at the Captain’s Daughter or you’re dead meat. See Anna in her playroom. The bathroom is disgusting and includes a distressed woman and her baby. Do you want to hold her bundle of joy? I hope you saved room for supper in the kitchen that features some delicious delicacies. Pots and pans move by themselves. You might think that you’re safe at USS Nightmare, but you would be dead wrong. Even the forest isn’t a place to find peace. A howling werewolf gets close enough to take a bite.

The actors do a convincing job for the most part. The killer clowns in the curtain maze are great at misdirection. Never trust a clown or you’ll regret it. The laser swamp features a horrifying creature that wants to grab a hold of you. The new insane asylum houses a lunatic who wants to know if you can see the words on the wall. Well, do you? The actor who portrayed Captain Mitchell was quite intimidating and made us think twice about where we were going. Inside the small hospital, I was told that I needed to get a rectal exam and that made me laugh out loud. Makeup, masks and costumes are exceptional and so is the sound design.

USS Nightmare is a special haunt. It’s a spooktacular experience because of how unique it is. There’s just something creepy about a haunted steam boat on the Ohio River. The Rip Experience is a more in your face and interactive version of USS Nightmare. It’s an exciting horror movie brought to life. You’ll have to complete certain tasks, get separated from your group and enter new scenes that aren’t available on the regular tour. Total tour time for USS Nightmare was 22 minutes, but for the Rip Experience it was nearly 40. Each customer wears a glow necklace that alerts actors that you’re doing the RIP Experience. It’s an escape room and haunted attraction ruled into one. There’s nothing else like it. You might even win a prize if you’re lucky.

USS Nightmare has various concessions like hot dogs, chips, candy, soda, T-shirts, hoodies and more. There’s even a glow toy machine while you wait in line. Don’t forget to pick up your group photo that was taken before you entered the haunt. Prices vary. Also be sure to press the start button if you’re in the Fast Pass line. You’ll learn the history of Violet ”Unsinkable” Jessup.

General admission is $23-$30. Fast Pass Admission is $36-$50 and Front of the Line Admission is $50-$70. Captain’s Season Pass is $100. Rip General Admission is $36. Rip Fast Pass is $46-$60. RIP Front of the Line is $60-$80. Captain’s Extreme Tour is a no holds barred version of USS Nightmare with adult language and situations. It’s a darker and more intense version of USS Nightmare where you might get dirty and wet. Tickets are $30-$70. The Captain’s Extreme tour takes place on November 4th and 5th. Lights on Matinee is from 4pm-6pm on October 23rd. The lights are on, there are no actors and it’s a perfect way to see the details of the boat. Tickets are $10.

USS Nightmare has stood the test of time. The restless souls of the William S. Mitchell are waiting for your arrival. Please Note: The scoring is for the regular USS Nightmare tour and not the RIP Experience.

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

Final Stab: 9.0