USS Nightmare

101 Riverboat Row, Newport

Oct 21, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Being the only haunted house that floats has its advantages. The USS Nightmare is a B&B Riverboat that’s docked just below Newport on the Levee and takes on a decidedly waterborne theme, complete with crazy captain and some whacked crewmembers who apparently killed some of their passengers. Sounds like some rather unpleasant cruises reported on Dateline NBC. But I survived this one and was thoroughly impressed with the acting, makeup and special effects.

There’s a pathway/catwalk that goes over the flowing, deep Ohio River (twice) and the overall creepiness of walking through a nearly completely dark sea vessel with no real guidance other than to follow the screams and the occasional pointing arrow. My girlfriend and I were literally dripping with sweat and ripped the skin off our forearms as we tried to stay close to the wall and have eyes on all sides of our head as we made our way through the nearly 30-minute haunted boat.

Lines, thanks to the centralized location and good publicity, can be long with no pay-extra option available. But for the price it’s one of the better crap-your-pants bargains in the genre. 7-11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sundays and 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday through Nov. 1. (Reviewed by Joe Wessels)

101 Riverboat Row, Newport on the Levee, 859-392-7568,

What’s Unique: It’s the area’s only floating haunt.

The Damage: $16, $13 with a $3 off coupon on their Web site

CityBeat Rating: PG-13