It should come as no surprise that a fellow who enjoys dressing up in a 9′ tall monster costume would enjoy haunted attractions. I do, and indeed I have since I was a small child. There’s something just incredibly fun about them, whether it be the thrills of being scared or even simply the props or music.
Over the past 25 years, I’ve made it a point to visit every haunted house, hay-ride, or theme-park that I could manage to find. Of all of these, Nightmares Fear Factory stands well above the rest.
Nightmares Fear Factory is located in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Just minutes from the Falls, Nightmares is a true gem. It lies just a short walk from Casino Niagara and Clifton Hill. Unlike the overwhelming majority of haunted attractions, Nightmares is open 365 day a year.
The premise of the haunt is that it occupies the site of the former Cataract Coffin Factory. As the story goes the proprietor, Abraham Mortimer, was constantly hounded by young vandals and pranksters. One night, while chasing off a band of teens, a rope came loose and Mortimer was crushed under a large stack of solid oak coffins.
Having had no heirs, Mortimer’s factory went out of business and soon fell into disrepair. Shortly after his burial, Mortimer’s coffin turned up unearthed and empty. Ever since that day there have been rumors of strange happenings at the old factory. Some even claim that Mortimer’s ghost walks the halls, seeking revenge on those who dare trespass on his beloved factory.
What makes Nightmares Fear Factory so entertaining to me is what they do different. When someone thinks of a haunted attraction, the first things that typically come to mind are spooky background music and a creepy set & props. You’ll find none of these here! Nightmares is a horrifying journey through complete darkness and silence.
It hits you the moment you enter. Immediately upon hearing the doors slam shut, you are immersed into an environment that is pitch black and so quiet that you can hear yourself breathe. It also becomes apparent that you are not alone.
Unlike many cheesy haunts in touristy areas, Nightmares does employ live actors (or perhaps the place is really haunted). Yes, while you grope your way through the darkness, the denizens of Nightmares are well aware of your progress and can hear your every whisper.
With twisting paths and shifting walls, Nightmares is not for the faint of heart. As such, there is a system in place for those poor souls who get a little too scared. Yelling out “nightmares!” while inside the attraction will cause someone to come fetch you and lead you back to safety. I’m sure this sounds a bit laughable while sitting at a computer desk. However, the attraction boasts a “chicken list” of 110,616 people at the time of this writing. Don’t assume for a minute that these were young children.
For more information about Nightmares Fear Factory, I’ve included some useful links below. If any of you have ever attended the haunt or are a fan of haunted attractions in general, I’d love to hear your experiences.
Nightmares Fear Factory Website: http://www.nightmaresfearfactory.com/
Nightmares Fear Factory YouTube Page: http://www.youtube.com/user/NightmaresFear
Finally, being a big Frankenstein fan, I had to slip in this one last picture. This Burger King is located just around the corner from Nightmares Fear Factory and is worth a peek if you’re in the area.