Please note: this review is for the 2011 season rather than the current season.

A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt

by HocusPocus (Newbie Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 21, 2011 at about 3:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Low Fear Factor: Medium


I’ll admit to this upfront, my experience at Nightmare factory was more of an unfortunate nightmare than a frightfully fun time.  As a result my review of this haunt may be a little unfair to a haunt that many have reviewed favorably.  (Although honestly of the 6 haunts I’ve been to this year I don’t think I would have placed this one in the top 5.)  Here’s what went wrong with my experience…it’s probably unlikely that you may experience the same misfortune as me but for what it’s worth….

Nightmare #1…the waiting line incident.  It’s mostly outside and unfortunately while I was waiting a car driving by decided to hurl an egg into the crowd.  My guess is that they were trying to hit BoBo the Clown who was nearby but they missed…and hit my friend standing next to me.  With no local law enforcement patrolling the area and numerous parked cars along the street obstructing you from getting a clear view of the street (including a large snack wagon) there appears to nothing in place at this haunt to discourage incidents such as this.

Nightmare #2…the dark hallway incident.  This haunt, like a few others, features a few really dark hallways.  Typically you don’t find ghouls dashing through these hallways but at this haunt there was.  Have you ever wondered if the ghouls in these dark hallways can see you when you don’t see them?  I’ll admit, I have always been a bit curious.  Unfortunately for me, I found at the hard way when a little ghoul ran right into me in the middle of a dark hallway.  OUCH!  The incident knocked the wind out of me but at least the little ghoul was nice enough to apologize and turn on a flashlight to show me the way through the rest of the maze.

Nightmare #3…not every ghoul may know you’re in the room.  As a result of Nightmare #2 I arrived in the next room a few seconds after my group.  The ghoul in the room had already jumped out and was waving an object with a long wooden handle…not exactly sure what the object was but as he spun around in a move that I originally thought was meant to scare me the long end of the handle caught me square in the stomach.  In hind sight the ghoul obviously had no idea I was there as he was just as surprised to see me as I was at being struck.  No apologies from this ghoul though…just a surprised look and then he continued to carry on with the show.

Nightmare #4…when these ghouls smell blood, look out!  I’ve never seen this before at a haunt.  There were a few ghouls at this haunt who were perfectly positioned to scare those stuck in the back of the group.  In every instance these ghouls actually intentionally walked right past those in the back just to scare the group members in the front.  Admittedly the girl in the front of our group was really scared and it was fun watching her get freaked out but on the other hand everyone else in the group paid to be scared as well.  As a result of this and being stuck in the back of our group there wasn’t a single instance at this haunt where anything made me jump.

Other than these misfortunate instances The Nightmare Factory is a decent haunt.  The 3D section is pretty cool visually and features a trick or two but it doesn’t have much in terms of scare factor.  The non 3D section does contain a little gore and has a few cool concepts but it lacked the oomph to make me jump.

Signage / Visibility / Location

It’s really hard to miss this location as your drive by.  Strobe lights flashing in the windows, search beams illuminating the sky and a great big snack wagon parked just outside of the entrance.  Street parking was plentiful and I heard rumors that there was a parking lot nearby.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment

Bobo was VERY entertaining…by far the best actor I’ve come across this year.  Wait area REALLY stinks.  The waiting line is mostly outside which appeared to be totally unnecessary.  The line moved every 15 minutes and only about 25 people were taken from this line at a time.  Once you finally reach the front of this outside line you are taken into another waiting area inside.  Not sure why this haunt needs two different waiting lines where other haunts get by with one.  Also, waiting in line is totally old school…many other haunts have incorporated a ticket numbering system so you don’t have to stand in one place for an hour.

Actors' Performance

Outside of Bobo the remaining performances were brief but adequate.  The sets at this haunt are not ‘skit’ style so not much theatrical acting was required.

Sets Scenes / Props / FX

The 3D rooms were sharp but this haunt lacks the jaw dropping and eye popping special effects found at other haunts.


At the onset of this haunt we were informed at the pre-haunt instructional that the haunt would last about 45 minutes.  After touring the entire facility my watch read 24 minutes.  Approximately 16 minutes for the upstairs haunt and 8 for the 3D haunt.

Crowd Control

Outside of a roped line and one costumed actor there was nothing else present in terms of crowd control.  Patrons were left on their honor to respect the line and those around them.

Most Memorable Moment

Bobo and his antics.  Definitely the MVG (Most Valuable Ghoul) of this haunt!!


My experience at Nightmare factory was more of an unfortunate nightmare than a frightfully fun time. The Nightmare Factory is a decent haunt but lacks the oomph to really put a good scare into you.  The 3D section is visually entertaining and features a trick or two but it doesn’t have much in terms of scare factor. 

View all A Theater Of Lost Souls Presents: Nightmare Factory Haunt reviews

Comments: (2)



Oct. 26, 2011, 9:05 a.m.

I am sorry your vist to our haunt was not enjoyable. It might have gotten off to a bad start with the egg incident and taht put you ina bad mood for the rest of the night, but really, how are we suposed to control what happen in that situation? There is NOTHING we could have done to prevent someone in a speeding car from being a jerk. If you have any ideas on this, let me know. Regarding the other things you mentioned, it sounds like you just had one bad thing after another, but I am sure that if you read or talk to ANY of your other people from your review crew, you will see THEY had a great time and loved our haunt. Too, our average tour time according to the other members of the review crew is closer to 40 minuets. Tour times do vary greatly depending on the individual pace of the groups. We have had one group enter and basically power walk the entire haunt cause they were so scared. Lastly, we do have a LOT more indoor waiting than MOST of the haunts out there. Most of them have NONE and people stand out in the elements. We are only allowed, by the fire dept, to have so many people in the loading dock area at a time.
Anyway, I do hope you contact some of the other reviewers and see what a great time they had. Ron


Oct. 30, 2011, 7:56 a.m.

Thanks for the reply Ron! For what it's worth here are some suggestion that may help you address my items of concern:

1) The waiting line...perhaps if your line went from the east along the quieter street that's just a few steps to the east cars & hoodlums wouldn't have any opportunity to zip by as there's a stop sign on the corner. Also, several other haunts (Terror on Rural, Hubertus House, Mars...etc.) have local law enforcement and security staff patrolling the area. In my hour+ long wait at Nightmare Factory I saw none.

2) Indoor Waiting...most of the haunts I attended this year (Terror on Rural, Hubertus House, Splatterhaus, Monster Mayhem, Hartford Jaycees...) all contain sizable indoor waiting areas. I think haunts that make you wait in the elements are more the exception than the norm.

3) Dark Hallways...I know being run over by a ghoul in a dark hallway was completely unintentionalbut it also is completely avoidable. A lot of other haunts that I've attended ahve opted to have ghouls scare you through windows in the wall than risk collisions in the hallway.

4) touring time...I don't think anyone in our group was rushing but then again the duration of the tour can be controlled by the ghouls as they can prevent you from exiting a room or encourage you to leave quickly by ushering/directing you out of the room. Haunts like Terror on Rural, Hubertus House. House of Bathery, Hartford Jaycees and Mars do a masterful job of this.

Hope this advice helps your haunt next year. I've attended your Haunt a few times when it was in Oshkosh (...see my review from 2009...) and in all honesty I don't think my lack of excitement this year with your haunt had anything to do with being egged. The quality & thrill factor of your haunt this year just didn't match that of many of the other haunts I've attended.


June 6th, 2020 2:21 a.m. CDT 11.11d