Nightmare Factory – Full Review

Nightmare Factory is a Haunted Attraction located in Havelock, NC.

29 Park Lane, Havelock, NC 28532
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsHaunted House


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Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You may be touched, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction, Family Friendly

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This attraction was reviewed on October 23, 2021 by Team Jefferson Starship.

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Final Score: 8.69

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Nightmare Factory (NF) in Havelock, NC, is the center of a remarkable show filled with a variety of talented performers. The crew at NF not only has an elaborately decorated haunt inside but they bring so much of their show outside of their walls that the entire street becomes an extension of the haunt itself. With everything on hand from fire-breathers to sideshow glass-eaters, NF provides a whole host of entertainment lasting all evening long. It’s definitely somewhere that a group of friends or a family could visit and spend a long time without feeling like it was a waste of their night. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Nightmare Factory; our only regret is that we hadn’t visited them earlier.

Cast: 8.32

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The cast of Nightmare Factory does an excellent job of staying in character throughout the night, even during the hourly ‘monster rushes’ where most if not all the costumed staff rush from the haunt to terrorize the queue area for a brief time. During these monster rushes, not only are the various costumed staff on full display in the bright light of the waiting area on the street, but they also get up close and personal with waiting guests.

SCUD the Zombie did a great job hosting the sideshow events out front as well as making sure that those waiting for their turn in the queue were both entertained and made aware of the haunt’s schedule and what to expect. His outgoing personality helps keep both the cast and the guests excited and ready for the next thing to come.

There are a variety of these nightmarish ghouls ‘ zombies, asylum patients, crazy clowns, and more ‘ enough to tickle the fears of nearly everyone. We would have liked to have had more conversations or seen more of these delightfully creepy creatures.

Costuming: 9.28

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Because of the hourly monster rushes, all the inhabitants of NF have very elaborate and complete costumes and makeup. Masks are seldom seen here, but everything is amazingly detailed. We were able to see most of the crew close up and in the bright exterior lights. Inside the haunt, all of this detail is displayed with great effect with a variety of lighting. All of the costumes fit their respective various locations within the Factory ‘ the morgue, the clown house, the psych ward ‘ as well as the Chainsaw Zombie run outside. Too, they all bear a unified appearance despite their different roles that mark them out as inhabitants of the Nightmare Factory. It’s not uncommon to see some of their non-cast employees also dressed up, and just like the cast the attention to detail is spot on.

Customer Service: 9.79

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Though the haunt’s waiting area spills out into the street in front of NF, the area is well lit and a lot of care and caution has gone into making sure that the crowds and the occasional slow-moving vehicle are at a safe distance from one another.

NF has a digital queue that is joined by scanning a QR code. That helps guests enjoy the atmosphere that they’ve set up as well as letting people social distance, eat and drink, and even sit and rest if their feet are tired, all without having to worry about missing their spot in the line.

The monster rushes every hour are used by the non-costumed staff to clean frequently traversed areas inside the haunt as a health and safety precaution. During the middle of each hour, a sideshow act takes place out front ‘ giving most of the costumed staff a brief respite for a break.

It was clear to us that the management of Nightmare Factory is concerned not only with the safety of their guests, but their workers as well. That dedication is paid back not only with some loyal fans but with a growling, screeching cast that does everything it can to provide scares. Early in the night, the show is family-friendly, with the more extreme sideshow acts (and a slightly more vulgar dialogue from the cast) happening after 9 pm.

Atmosphere: 8.88

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Despite the relatively mundane setting of a city street outside a strip mall, the Nightmare Factory does a great job of transforming the area around the haunt into something slightly otherworldly. From the looming fa������ade of Club Casket where some of the sideshow acts occur and a much closer audience to the spectacle of the sideshow acts themselves ‘ performed by some of the costumed cast of Nightmare Factory ‘ there can be little doubt that visitors have found themselves at an attraction mingling horrific creations with a carnival-like show.

Special Effects: 8.52

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In addition to some fairly detailed sets and creative use of lighting, there were a number of great practical effects spread throughout Nightmare Factory. We enjoyed the NF take on a 3-D maze, constructed with some unique takes on lighting, mirrors, and laser light. Small little touches like the sounds of water bubbling as we entered a laser swamp or a roof that popped up and down as if it were about to rip off in a storm were nice touches that blew us away. There is a little bit of sound bleed throughout NF’s interior space ‘ something that can hardly be avoided in such a small space ‘ but most of that works to add an extra layer of ambiance to the walk-through.

Theme: N/A

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There is not a central theme to the Nightmare Factory. Instead, there are a variety of different extended scenes spread through the show: Chainsaw Zombies, The Factory, Clown House, and The Psych Ward. The crew has done a great job of working on the costuming and makeup of the cast so that all of these different scenes have a similar feel that screams Nightmare Factory just as much as the fans outside do.

Scare Factor: 8.1

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Past visitors to the Nightmare Factory will notice that, like last year during the pandemic, the path through the haunt has been reversed ‘ starting with the Chainsaw Zombies and ending up inside the old lobby. This inversion of the haunt’s path ‘ as well as the traditional chainsaw ending flipping to the front ‘ still manages to work. Starting off with chainsaw-wielding zombies really gets the heart pumping before venturing into the Factory itself.

Entertainment & Value: 8.38

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Nightmare Factory ticket prices vary depending on the night or weekend. Be sure to check their website for exact prices before your visit. Tickets can also be purchased online before arriving. The haunt itself is very short ‘ though the quarter-mile walk is a crazy amount of fun, we would really love to see what the crew of NF could do with space to grow. However, they have definitely squeezed terror out of every conceivable inch of space that they do have.

Too, there is almost always something going on outside. From the hourly monster rush when spooky-themed music turns to pounding rock as the denizens rush from the factory through the crowd to a variety of side-show acts, we definitely found ourselves entertained. In fact, we easily spent two hours on-site taking in everything that we could. We were sad that we had to leave for our long drive home, but we are absolutely planning a return to the Nightmare Factory.

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 8.54 out of 10

Tammy – 10/10November 4, 2022
They blew me away on 10/12 with the Halloween scare but they really topped it tonight with the …show more haunted Christmas!! This a must see!! All characters props and makeup outstanding!! But really loved jack!!!

Charles – 10/10October 8, 2022
Wow! This place is great. From the outside shows to the inside haunt, we really felt like we got our …show more moneys worth! And it’s actually scary! We jumped and screamed more times than we could count. Definitely coming back here again.

Angel – 10/10October 10, 2020
OMG. What a Thrill. Spent 25.00 for 4 attractions. Drove 45 minutes to get here and got scared out …show more of my white. First time we to it. It was awesome. Thank you

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Past Awards

2022 Awards

Best Makeup (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

Skeevy the Sideshow Psycho - Damien Duggan (Given by: Team Jefferson Starship)

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