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The USS Nightmare

By Stephen Carter-Novotni · October 13th, 2010 · Halloween List
Many board the Captain’s boat, and few leave unchanged. The USS Nightmare stands out as the region’s most original and bizarre attraction. A godawful crew of scum fill this antique tub, and every one of them is out for your blood. Elaborate and authentic, the tour includes a treks over two grated catwalks, circling the massive paddlewheels with the Ohio River visible below and an exploration of the Nightmare’s engine room. There are scores of pipes, conduits and hatches that set the scene here and make it impossible to discern what’s a prop and what’s actually part of the historic vessel.

Pursued by freaks and terrors, you’ll be assailed by monsters above and below. The standards are here, too: Vortex tunnels and a suffocation room, a chainlink maze and a ghastly dining hall all have to be crossed before you can leave.

The makeup is top-notch with unique, credible characters throughout. The Captain has been redone this year with great effect, and many scenes have been expanded and improved. The infirmary is creeptastic as is the hog faced ook.

New this year is the Captain’s Tour and Canptain’s Ball, a dockside Halloween party and a special lights-off tour in which visitors will be armed with only weak flashlights to guide them through a no-holds-barred night of terror. The Laser Rage laser tag arena makes a fun, adrenaline fueled finale to the night.

THE WAIT: Lines last 20 minutes in the early evening and are much longer at peak times. It takes another 25 minutes to tour the ship.
: Boarding time is 7-11 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays-Saturdays through Oct. 31. Newport on the Levee, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, 859-392-7568, www.ussnightmare.com
: $16, $13 with a coupon on their web site; add Laser Rage for $1 more when purchased online; $20 RIP Fast Pass admission; $6 for the lights-on kids matinee 4-6 p.m. Oct. 24; $20 for the Unrated Captain’s Tour (must be 17 years and older) midnight-2 a.m. Oct. 30; $28 for the Captain’s Tour and the Captain’s Ball, a dockside Halloween party aboard the River Queen at 11 p.m. Oct. 30.



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