Celebrating its 18th season, the USS Nightmare is officially all grown up and stands tall (technically it floats) as the most distinctive haunted attraction in Greater Cincinnati. This wrecked riverboat has been renovated into a living nightmare that takes fright-seekers close to 30 minutes to walk through. Docked just below Newport on the Levee, the USS Nightmare is centrally located and easy to find — just follow the screams.
Along the nautical-themed tour, passengers come face to face with mutated crew members, the disfigured captain, his deranged daughter and a slew of freaks, clowns, vampires and mad scientists, all of whom happen to be on the same boat by some hellish circumstance. Passengers will make their way through more than 40 incredibly elaborate scenes, including the pump room, the engine room and the captain’s quarters, all of which are so tastefully done it’s easy for passengers to feel as if they’re trapped in a Hollywood horror film … or an actual nightmare. New this year is a spooky laser tag arena. (Reviewed by Adam Sievering)
THE WAIT: Lines last 25 minutes in the early evening and are much longer at peek times. It takes another 25 minutes to tour the ship.
DETAILS: Boarding time is 7-11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday- Saturday through Nov. 1. Newport on the Levee, 101 Riverboat Row, Newport, 859-392-7568, www.ussnightmare.com
THE DAMAGE: $16 regular, $13 with a coupon on their Web site; $20 line jump admission; $6 kids matinee
CITYBEAT RATING: PG-13