Now entering its 20th season, the Nightmare is celebrating by opening up new areas of the 288-foot-long former river dredge William S. Mitchell. This season a crushed section of the first deck was reclaimed and features the Machinist and his biomechanical crew, punching up the event’s “ending scare.” Also new is the Laundry Room, featuring the macabre sight of a crew member dancing with a half-corpse — those spilling entrails can make the old box step a bit treacherous. Longtime favorites such as the Impaler (a 13-foot-tall thrashing creature), Captain Mitchell, his daughter Anna and the Dredge Master return. The unique superstructure and cyclopean machinery of the ship add multiple layers of haunting to the event, meaning that you could be assaulted from atop a beam, from a passage under a catwalk or at any point in between.
This season the Nightmare is increasing the intensity of the show on weekends as the night gets later.
Sounds and lighting are changed and the actors become more aggressive. For the very brave, there’s a special extreme show Oct. 29. Ranked as the No. 6 Scariest Location for a Haunt by Hauntworld, the Nightmare is a visual feast and a must see attraction.
THE WAIT: Lines last 20 minutes in the early evening and are much longer at peak times. Wednesdays and Thursdays are much shorter. It takes 25-30 minutes to tour the ship.
DETAILS: Boarding time is 7-11 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31. Newport on the Levee, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, 859-740-2293, www.ussnightmare.com.
THE DAMAGE: $16, $13 with a coupon on their website; $20 RIP Fast Pass admission; $6 for the lights-on kids matinee 4-6 p.m. Oct. 23; $20 ($18 online) for the Unrated Extreme Captain’s Tour (must be 17 years and older) midnight-2 a.m. Oct. 29. Other group rates, promotions (including a Laser Rage/Nightmare combo ticket for $17) and a Nightmare Season’s Pass available online. “Dark Combo” deal online offers $20 dual admission to the Nightmare and St. Rita’s Haunted House. Additional discounts and group rates available online.
CITYBEAT RATING: R