Nightmare at Gravity Hill – Full Review

Nightmare at Gravity Hill is a Haunted Attraction located in Jackson, NJ.

1005 Farmingdale Road, Jackson, NJ 08527
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Haunt Type(s):

Haunted HouseHaunted MazeHaunted Trail


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, You will NOT be touched, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on September 22, 2018 by Team Old Crow Hollow.

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Final Score: 7.22

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Nightmare at Gravity Hill is a single attraction walkthrough Haunt with about 14 diverse scenes and themes connected by walkways. Some of the sets were fairly impressive and well-detailed, but overall they were only linked by a Nightmare-type theme.

The opening facade and ghost town sets which began the walk were particularly impressive, but we wished they had done more with them. Essentially, this also sums up my general feeling about this attraction.

Some parts were good, but could have been better, although there is definite room for improvement.

Cast: 6.85

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The cast was mostly grouped in threes for each scene, which was a fine amount, but there weren’t enough strategic spots for them to attack from. You could see them coming and there just wasn’t enough there for them to do or be scary enough. The characters were also too generic to be memorable or really add to the scenes they were in.

Costuming: 6.85

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Costumes were also fairly generic. Nothing really stood out or looked cool. This is definitely a spot where if they take it to the next level and really get detailed or focused on how the costumes match the scenes it will help to improve the whole experience.

Makeup and masks are on the same level, and if the characters, costume, makeup, masks, and scenes are all tied in sharper it will make each one more memorable.

Customer Service: 8.25

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The staff and management were all pretty spot-on, so no complaints there. This attraction ran and looked like a professional haunt.

There were no safety issues that concerned me, and it was very easy to find the attraction as it was right off the road. The facade displaying the name of the attraction was large and bright and the parking was right there as well. The parking lot was nice and flat which is appreciated if there is rainy weather. It was a nice, short walk over to the ticket window and common area.

They had a place to takes photos with some props but we didn’t have time to take advantage of those.

Atmosphere: 8.6

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The atmosphere was pretty good. The structure that carried the haunt’s name looked ominous. I wish the rest of the haunt had the look and detail of the village area in the beginning. It just gave more of a sense of immersion and being in a different world. It looked realistic and creepy. Add in the lingering fog and you had a really creepy atmosphere!

While I get the concept of the diverse scenes including a mental hospital, Egyptian tomb, vampires, etc. I just wish there was some way to tie them all together better. What really brought this down were the transitions between them as they took us out of the immersion and suspension of disbelief completely. Even if the walkway was enclosed, made into a cave, or something that would prepare you for the next scene that would have been helpful. I would recommend that if these areas could be developed further with the scenes being fairly solid that the overall experience would be improved immensely.

Special Effects: 7.6

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The effects here were not super creative but what they had was effective. I think they need to add even more special effects to create a few more “wow” moments, especially considering they are a smaller, single-attraction Haunt. Either that, or if the whole place was one connected theme you could reprise some of the sound effects and tie all special effects into the theme of each scene. They do use some sound here, but nothing that stands out. Still rooting for a carnival theme with some Midnight Syndicate perhaps?

There were some claustrophobia tunnels and the trendy laser swamp fog room. Personally, when it comes to the swamps, I don’t care if everyone has one, it’s cool and a very great way to hide actors! They also had a huge Reaper animatronic that was placed and used perfectly for where it was in the maze. Plus you could see the silhouette from all over the place, and it looked creepy looming over the place with the cloudy moonlight above.

Theme: 7

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The theme here was as loosely connected as the scenes themselves. It’s a series of nightmares so there wasn’t just one cohesive theme. Instead, it included all themes that could be considered bad dreams. That being said, some of them were stronger and more memorable like the Mental Hospital and the Haunted Movie theater. It would have been nice if all of them were more distinct and memorable in this environment. It also felt like the haunt was just a series of scenes that popped up in a good spot like a traveling carnival rather than taking place at a real place that is haunted or authentic.

Now that I say it though, a haunted, traveling carnival would have been a great theme for this location.

Scare Factor: 6.15

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The scares here were really affected by the design of the sets. There wasn’t enough going on for the actors to unsettle us and they were in sight rather than seemingly coming from nowhere which would have been more effective.

The biggest complaint I had with Nightmare on Gravity Hill was the transition spaces between scenes. What would happen over and over was that we were immersed in the scenes somewhat, but then any tension or apprehension that had built up was just dissipated as we got to the black material walkways that were not very high and completely lacked any detail or character. Even when they switched to higher black wooden walls, it just took away from the overall effect. If they were to work to develop these transitions and actually make them into something related to the next scene, it would improve the Haunt tremendously and make the whole place feel bigger.

The other thing I noticed was that even though I could see what they were trying to set up with this big open area for a chainsaw guy to chase you around a bit, when you exited, the audible reaction was the worst thing you would want to hear, “That’s it?” followed by a long walk down a dark stretch of nothing to get back to the main area. It would be better to use all of that space somehow, or make sure that last spot is so good you leave thinking thank God you and your group got out of there.

Again, this is an area that can be improved fairly easily which would greatly improve the experience.

Entertainment & Value: 7

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The entertainment inside was okay but not quite strong enough to knock your socks off. Perhaps more special effects would counter that by creating some memorable, “That was cool” moments. It doesn’t even need to be totally scary all the time either. If it was really well detailed and fun to go through, that would absolutely work too.

The entertainment outside was decent for the small space. They had music playing while you waited to help pass the time. We didn’t notice any queue entertainers. In fairness, we did arrive towards the end of the night so perhaps there were some actors out in the line earlier, but giving the limited amount of actors available they probably couldn’t spare them. They did have a huge screen showing a movie right above the line so that was a cool touch.

The ticket price was decent as well at $25.99 per person. Total tour time was 35 minutes. I’m not sure if I would recommend upgrading to VIP admission unless it’s really crowded. We got there at the end of the night so we didn’t get to see what the regular crowd is like.

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