Please note: this review is for the 2017 season rather than the current season.

Phantoms: Matinee of Nightmares

by dubstyle_2k (Senior Review Crew Member) after attending on Friday, October 20, 2017 at about 8:30 p.m.

Fun Factor: Medium Fear Factor: Medium


Let me preface this review by saying I admire Phantoms: Matinee of Nightmares, it's a small operation, it's presumably put together by a small group, if not just one man, and it's proceeds benefit the Historic Downtown Theater in West Bend.

Not being familiar with West Bend, Apple Maps was my navigator, and I found the area no problem. Matinee of Nightmares is located in the downtown area, so don't expect much more than a sign on a storefront (a live actor was behind the glass as we left, which would have been helpful when we were looking for the spot!).

Upon entering the location you have to descend a flight of stairs to the ticket area, please be advised, this is a cash only operation, but I was informed that tickets can be purchased online at:, From there we were ushered into a room where the proprietor welcomed us and gave us a little backstory. I was very happy to hear that after a few years of moving around, Phantoms was back to where it started in West Bend. Hopefully they can remain in one location and can continue grow a great following!

The haunt itself is interesting. At first I was a little confused due to the lack of blaring crunchy industrial guitar that we've come to expect while walking through a haunt, but for the most part Matinee of Nightmares scrapped that idea and piped in little to no noise, which at times added to the creepiness of the whole thing. Walking down hallways hearing nothing but the shuffling of your own feet adds an element that we don't experience often enough in these haunts The live actors were few and far between, but the ones that were in there were pretty good at what they do.. The biggest jump came from a little girl actor, which I think is great. I was fortunate enough to meet that little girl after, and she was so polite and genuinely seemed to enjoy spooking patrons! Matinee of Nightmares will not blow you away with gore or extreme jumps, but it does fill a void for haunt fans that aren't looking to be uncomfortably terrorized. Matinee of Nightmares was a nice, easy haunt that you are safe to bring the whole family to!

Signage / Visibility / Location

Located in downtown West Bend, it's not easy to get lost trying to find it. Pay attention to the address because the physical signage isn't super eye catching.

Wait Area / Line Entertainment

We were the only ones in the haunt, or at lease in the waiting line. There were no actors roaming the area, possibly is it were more busy they would have had entertainment.

Actors' Performance

As stated above, there wasn't an abundance of actors in the haunt, but the few that there was were very dedicated to their craft!

Sets Scenes / Props / FX

The sets and effects were pretty elementary. A lot of the rooms were simple props laid out with no interactions. They had their share of light up props, abut nothing amazing.


In their description they wrote, "Tour takes about 10-20 minutes, depending how fast you run!", which is a stretch. It was a short haunt, lasting less than 10 minutes from start to finish (I most certainly don't run through haunts!)

Crowd Control

There was no crows at the time of my tour

Most Memorable Moment

The little girl I mentioned in my review. Good spook!


I definitely love a haunt with a purpose! Anytime I go to a haunt that donates at least some of the proceeds to a cause is alright by me. Matinee of Nightmares wasn't the scariest haunt I've been to, far from it, but it's a small operation and small fee justifies that. If your looking for a nice starter haunt to kick off your season, this is a good option, for a good cause!

View all Phantoms: Matinee of Nightmares reviews

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April 24th, 2024 8:01 a.m. CDT 24.05