The William S Mitchell was once a working dredge ship. A history of horror led to its destruction and to it’s rightful destiny as the USS Nightmare, a popular Greater Cincinnati Halloween attraction. Many of its crew members never made it home, but those fortunate enough to survive a tour of duty told tales of 75 years of gloom, doom and tragedy.
Has Anyone Ever Seen the Ship Arrive?
USS Nightmare’s rusted out hull appears this time of year as if freshly risen from the depths of the Ohio river. Does it travel down the Ohio or simply materialize in the water…. like a ghost? Who knows; but long before its doors open for the business of haunting, the ship comes to rest in the Ohio River and floats quietly as though it’s been there forever. Once in place, a single glimpse of the broken ship, even in daylight, and its haunting spirits chill and tingle your spine.
The USS Nightmare’s upper deck and cabin are a wreck of dirty fallen beams, faded paint and crushed, corroded metal. It’s the perfect backdrop for an undead crew and a night of Halloween fun. Even if you don’t believe in doomed spirits and ghostly hauntings, you’ll feel the horror of its past. Even if you don’t believe, beware of the Captain Mitchell and his daughter. And look out for the Ship’s Doctor…… that is if you dare to come aboard.
A Haunted Beginning for the “Death Dredge”
Tales passed on by original USS Nightmare crew members speak of construction workers dying before the ship was finished and injuries during its launching ceremonies. They tell tales of he ship’s bad beginning. During their maiden voyage, the ship desecrated an ancient Indian burial ground while dredging the river bottom. Any land bound horror movie fan knows you just don’t do that.
Later dredging operations unearthed sunken ships from their riverbed resting place, disturbing more underwater ghosts. Legend says these long dead spirits caused shipboard tragedies for decades to come, earning the ship the nickname “Death Dredge.”
The crew were plagued by missing belongings, mechanical problems that “repaired themselves,” death and the Massacre on the Mitchell, a late night shipping mishap that damaged the ship and cost crew member’s lives. In all, 112 crew members died over the ship’s 75 year history, adding to the trail of souls doomed to haunt the ship forever.
Not for the Young or the “Chicken Hearted”
The USS Nightmare is one of Greater Cincinnati’s most popular Halloween Haunted attractions. In addition to an undead crew, the U. S. S. Nightmare boasts a torture chamber, the Rat Lady’s Quarters, the Dredge Engine Pit, Mortuary and many other exhibits not for the squeamish, the young, nor the faint at heart.
This shipboard haunting may not be right for small children. Adults, as well, may shy away from the angry spirits and psychotic ghosts. For the “chicken-hearted” among you, USS Nightmare provides a “Chicken Coop,” with entertainment for the mild mannered while the more daring among your group have their fill of horror.
For a fun diversion, the Family Fun Center next door is a floating play land that includes Lazer Rage, the area’s only floating laser tag game.
Where is Nightmare Landing?
One of Greater Cincinnati’s most popular Halloween attractions is actually a quick drive across the river to Newport, Kentucky. Head to the Public Landing at Riverboat Row (known for a few weeks as Nightmare Landing.) Follow the crowd…. or the screams to the USS Nightmare. It will be docked and waiting for you in the Ohio River’s darkest water.
Dates and Tickets
– Labor Day Weekend Riverfest special preview -September 5, 2010 — 10.00 – Online tickets before event day – 8.50
– Grand Opening Weekend – September 17 and 18, 2010 – Admission $16
– Regular Hours – Wednesday through Sunday September 24, to October 31, 2010
-General Admission – $16 – RIP Pass (Skip the line) $20
The Mess Hall will be available for private parties of 20 or more. Family packages, Laser Tag combo and matinees tickets are also available. Call 859-802-5826 for more information.
To purchase tickets online or print a 30% discount coupon visit the USS Nightmare web site.
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