This was our first haunt of the 2017 season and we had such an awesome time!!! We visited this haunt 3 years ago and had a very different experience. In fact, it was a really bad one! What a difference 3 years makes! Nightmare Dungeon has made some serious upgrades. The old farmhouse has almost doubled in size, transforming into a creepy, abandoned barn. They have mastered the art of misdirection and surprise as well as assembled a cast of very committed actors that make it all work.
The inside of Nightmare Dungeon felt really raw and gritty... in the best way! It was dark and super fogged out making the space feel distorted and other-worldly. In addition, there were a lot of level changes and places where it was necessary to interact with the set. Like walking upstairs, uneven ground, and oddly-shaped passageways. These elements led to this feeling of being slightly unhinged throughout the entire haunt. Not to mention that we were constantly being bombarded on all sides by maniacs and creepy clowns that seriously got all up in our faces! The costuming and makeup fit the setting to a T. We could not tell you how many actors were in there because they seemed to be everywhere! Following us around, hidden in walls, materializing out of complete darkness... How the hell they found their way around in there is a complete mystery to us!
The sense of invasion and misdirection continued, as there were times when we thought we were looking at an animatronic, only for it to scream and come after us. Or when we would be expecting the scare but it would come completely out of left field and surprise-scare the hell out of us! Plus, there were chainsaws… REAL ONES! The kind where you can feel the heat and smell the gasoline. This just further enforced how authentic this haunt felt, so real! There were a few times when we were surrounded and trapped, feeling like prey with no hope of escape; it was like starring in our own slasher movie!
We were the only people going through at the time which may have something to do with the added attention. This was great for us, but it does make us wonder how they will manage to keep this up with a full house of patrons or if the inevitable haunt-crud takes a few actors down, but all in all, these guys were phenomenal!
To sum things up... Nightmare Dungeon is a back-to-basics, old-school style haunt that has figured out a formula that works and successfully runs it on repeat. The owner has a stellar vision and with all of the over-produced, Hollywood-style haunts out there, Nightmare Dungeon feels fresh and innovative. For those of you that aren't familiar, it is a MUST see!