Nightmare Mansion – Full Review

Nightmare Mansion is a Haunted Attraction located in Virginia Beach, VA.

2008 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
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This attraction was reviewed on September 22, 2019 by Team Hellhounds.

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Final Score: 7.92

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Nightmare Mansion is located one block from the boardwalk at Virginia Beach and is a lot more intense than what one would believe. It is open not only during the Halloween season, but during the summer as well. It is quite the spot for tourist to hit and get a good fright, especially when not expecting it. They have been in the same location for 30 years and have become a staple. It would be hard to miss walking down the street with so much space on the second story dedicated to making you believe it is a mansion. Not to mention, the iconic skull on the corner bellowing down at you.

For the guests who are not sure if they should dare enter, you can watch live streaming of other guests in the haunt on the TV at the entrance. It will give you somewhat of a heads up before you choose your fate. Our team, recommends you pull up your pants, tighten your belt, relieve your bladder, and run headfirst inside to experience their thrills for yourself. Are you brave enough to make it through Nightmare Mansion?

Cast: 7.1

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This haunt is designed to where it can practically be ran by one or two members who can scare you in quite a few places. Just because you may not see many characters, does not mean you should let your guard down. Trust us, they will take advantage of the fact and we are not sure you would enjoy it, or would you? The few characters we saw were high energy, in-your-face (or on your back), over-the-top thrilling. They were extremely dedicated to their job, and their job is to scare! We do wish we could have seen more actors for a bit of a change up throughout the haunt, but boy were the ones we saw very believable and convincing.

If you like haunts that are high in interactivity, you will love this one. No dialogue or script is used, just pure improv and they are masters of it! They are very creative with their ‘comebacks’ as we tried joking our way through it with them. No matter what we said or questions we asked, their witty response took us by surprise!

Costuming: 7.5

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Here’s the thing about this haunt, it is extremely dark. It will most certainly play on your fears of the unknown. You may find it hard to know where to go, where to turn, and what corner to look around for monsters of the night. For us, it added a great thrill to the experience. However, the drawback to this was that we could not really see any detail of the costumes on the actors. It’s possible they just might have been a master of camouflage and we were too worried about finding the exit. None the less, being able to tell who the actors are supposed to be could have added an element of disbelief to our journey.

Customer Service: 9.38

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The owner and workers here take pride in what they do and the haunt they have created. Everyone is very courteous, kind, and caring. They were more than willing to take the time to answer any questions you may have regarding anything. The employees here may be the friendliest we have seen at a haunt and added a great level of joy to our trip.

The location of the haunt is very easy to find. You could spot it blocks away walking down the street. I guess with the amount of tourism in this area, quite a few people looked shocked to see this place as they walked by and many of them started waiting in line to go through. Our team had the luxury of getting to watch them grow in fear and become distressed before going in. The best part, we already knew what was waiting for them inside.

Unfortunately, this attraction is not handicap accessible as you must be able to walk up and down stairs. Other than that, this is a very safe haunt! Well, apart from not knowing where to walk, where to turn, and how far you need/can������run before the next…sorry, can’t give it away! You’ll find it exhilarating in a sense, I’m sure. There is a plethora of information available on this attraction if you just Google it. Their Facebook page is a great place to learn a lot, as well as their website. You can answer just about every question you might have using these two resources.������

Atmosphere: 8

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Most bystanders would get the sense it is a haunt right away. Even though you may not see a lot of scary ‘things’ at eye level. But since when in a haunt is everything right in front of you? Look up and you will not believe you are in the heart of Virginia Beach. It will transport you to a mansion of your nightmares.

What is that you hear? The sounds of creepy music heightening your anticipation and the possible cause of all the goosebumps down your arm. You will know that you have arrived at a haunted attraction. The outside atmosphere generally had all of us prepared and excited to go in. You will find a few creatures to take ‘selfies’ with as you wait. The most fun part is watching everyone in front of you go through on the TV. There’s nothing like getting freaked out and worked up by seeing the reactions of the ones who decided to seal their fate and face the mansion before you!

Special Effects: 8.42

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While we would not consider this an old-school haunt, we can’t exactly call it high-tech either. It is a good medium of both and something we are not used to. It made it hard for us to discern what was coming next. A prop flying at you at what seems to be the speed of light, or an actor ready to pop up on you at any minute. One thing is for sure, you won’t be able to see either one until your right up on it! The sound here at this haunt is on par to that of other major attractions. The owner has invested a lot of time in the sound and technology inside.

With not being able to see, if was hard for us to believe anything. There’s nothing scarier than your own subconscious concocting a what-if scenario for something that you can’t see coming. That’s just part of what makes this haunt special and why it was able to scare us.

Theme: N/A

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While Nightmare Mansion did not have a particular theme to follow, scenes and props were in abundance. They had a jail scene which, mind you, startled the beejeebers out of us! A long list of animatronic props were also present, many of which were accompanied with jump scares. Don’t try to anticipate when they will come; you’ll never get it. Also, one last note, listen to the speech at the very beginning and heed their warning. Stay close to one another, separation of the group is a realistic possibility and no one wants to be left alone with the undead characters in this mansion!!

Scare Factor: 8.41

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In the grand scheme of things, this haunt is much scarier than we anticipated. Before visiting, we all thought this was just another tourist attraction wanting money from pedestrians walking down the street. We were wrong! The attraction is ran by an intelligent and dedicated family. They want to scare you, they want you to puke on the floor (okay, they probably don’t, but it has happened several times), and most importantly, they want you to have a good time and tell all your friends and family about them. It provided scares to everyone in my group. No one wanted to walk first but no one wanted to be in the back either. With not being able to see much at all, the scares were not very predictable and that is why we were so startled. The ending had us running for our lives. It also had me in a yelling match with the actor, in a sadistically loving way. I will never forget that moment!

Entertainment & Value: 7.1

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The Nightmare Mansion was very entertaining to say the least and we enjoyed every minute of our 10 minutes inside!

Now, we highly recommend ‘giving’ your head a try at their escape room. It is by appointment only and can be booked on their website. It is in the same building as the haunted mansion but opens before the haunt. It is a very interactive and immersive experience not for the faint of heart. It is not included in the admission price of the mansion and must be paid for separately. It is a lot of fun to do right before you go through the haunted attraction itself. Go ahead and cough up your pride, sell your soul (it probably won’t help you anyway), and give it a whirl.

We wish there would have been some other entertainment while we were waiting, but we also went during the middle of changeover and before they opened. Later in the season and going at dusk/dark, there just might be a little more to keep you company. Muahahaha! We got approximately .91 minutes per dollar of walk-through time as it took us about 10 minutes to run through and the tickets cost $11. To us, it is well worth the price for the experience you have!

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

David – 10/10February 28, 2021
Ive never done escape rooms before and was really nervous going into it. This one was amazing, very …show more well done, scared me senseless but thats half the fun!

Amanda G. – 10/10July 3, 2018
I went through Nightmare Mansion many times years ago and I always enjoyed it but I just went back …show more this summer AND OH MY GOD. I LOVE haunted houses but I’ve never been more scared. The actors chase you down now and trap you in corners and can keep you as long as they want. They changed a lot of the scenes and walkways and have cameras outside so you can see people going through live. My bf and I spent 45 mins outside just watching groups go through. SO COOL! BEST haunted house I’ve ever been too.

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