Thursday, October 31, 2013


At this time every year we announce our next year's theme. This year is no different. We will not be doing KILLERS3. The killers will be put to rest after this season. If you haven't seen KILLERS2 yet you still have November 1st and 2nd to see it before it goes away forever.

As for 2014, most of our fans know, we often open up the shaping of the next year to you guys. We need you to participate and give us ideas for the elements you'd like to see! So without further hesitation, Nightmare in its 11th horrific season will be doing....


 A horrifying journey through the urban legends, folklore and mythology of this great city of ours. So now we open it up to you. What are some if your favorite macabre stories for NYC's stories history? Comment below.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Nightmare: Killers2 Testimonial Video

I couldn't be more proud of this year's house.  We followed up KILLERS with a bang. I am especially proud of the level of talent in actors.  Not taking any credit for that, it is all them.  They are the strongest group of performers we have ever had, and they maker this year's haunt exceptional.  See what others have to say about it:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How Different is KILLERS2? And Did I have to See the First One?

How different is KILLERS2 to last year's haunted attraction? Answer: Almost completely.  Don't be fooled by the familiar theme, this is a completely different beast.  We only have two Killers returning from last year's event, and even those have been changed pretty dramatically.  Otherwise, It's all new everything. We've got Slenderman, Manson, Richard Ramirez, Aileen Wournos and many, many more that are all new in completely new environments.  True to form, Nightmare has made a completely new house and you will not be dissatisfied in the least.  If you went to last year's KILLERS it will be like going to a totally different haunted house this year. 12 different subjects than last year.

What if I didn't go last year, will I understand what is happening this year? If this is a serious question, than I will answer respectfully - duh. Of course you didn't need to go to the first one to understand this one. It's a g-d haunted house for crissakes. We are just trying to create environments to scare the sh*t out of you.  Although we do have a theatrical bent, it's not like there was some story that ended in a cliffhanger that we are picking up again with this house.  The only thing we are picking up again is scaring and thrilling you.  It makes no difference if you went to last year's haunted house or not.  This haunted house will clearly stand on its own, and I am confident you will have never seen anything like it.

Happy Halloween

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I have always taken great pride in the fact  that Nightmare does a different theme every year. A different theme means a different house. As artists, all we want is to keep creating. To just modify our house or "update it" as most do, it would not be enough. Not only to myself and my team, but to discerning New Yorkers who have come to depend on a new event every year.

I say this as we are embarking on KILLERS2; what appears to be a sequel to last years's critical and popular hit KILLERS. Kinda talking out of both side of my mouth it might seem, but allow me to dispel you of this notion. You see, serial killers are an incredibly dense subject, and an incredibly dark, terrifying and compelling one as well. When I designed the house last year it was 25 killers/ 30 rooms. In other words, It was entirely too big to present in just one year. We couldn't do the whole thing. So this year is the second half of last year. It's not a sequel, but a continuation. Sometimes a story cannot be told in one sitting. Not unlike Tarantino's Kill Bill, initially conceived as a single film, KILLERS2 is intended to complete the story that was started last year.

But I would be lying if I didn't add that the response to last year's attraction didn't help me come to this decision. It was a very strong haunt, and there were so many ideas generated by researching these monsters that I wasn't able to do that I needed to see staged this year.

The long and short if it is, this is a very different house. You will see a few things from last year that will help tie it all together, but we are continuing our tradition of presenting an entirely new house every year. We are doing the same theme, but a different house. But another  tradition we will maintain this year is announcing next year's theme before the conclusion of this one. And it will be a different theme. And it will be cool as hell. For now, enjoy the conclusion of KILLERS. You're gonna frickin' love it!

Oh, and by the way, we go on sale Wednesday, September 4th!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sublime Horror Marketing - Home Invasion texting

Some marketers are incredibly creative and innovative.  This is amazing.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Last Day Camp Nightmare

Today is the last day to buy tickets to Camp Nightmare.  Absolute and final.  And we need to sell a lot today, I'll say that:

Has anyone seen World War Z?  I wanna see that

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Fangoria Interview about Camp Nightmare

This is the recent Fangoria interview done with me about Camp Nightmare.  I think it captures just about everything you will need to know about what is going to happen at the event:

"It’s the beginning of Memorial Day weekend and summer, however unofficially, is here. A season with special ties to horror, it is where the youthful inclination of exploration and reckless abandon meets undeserved punishment, and when you close your eyes it’s envisioned as converging in one place: Camp. Endlessly revisited through FRIDAY THE 13TH sequels, THE BURNING and what have you, camp is a kind of mythical space whose forest getaway is recognizable to audiences and conceivably not very far from their own cabin experiences, minus the kills. Well, until now.
A seeming logical and wish-fulfilling next step in the haunt business, Manhattan’s annual and always experimental Nightmare is staging an overnight horror camping experience in upstate Lexington, NY this July. Aimed at being an ambitious, atmospheric and terrifyingly immersive event, creator Timothy Haskell tells Fango, “I think any haunter’s dream is to do a sort of HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL kind of experience where twelve people show up and one person gets out alive… metaphorically.”

“Obviously, we’re not really killing people, but in the way that we’re setting up our ‘game,’ there is one, lone survivor at the end when the sun rises. So, it’s fulfilling to focus on a smaller group of people and make it a longer event so that it can build. That’s exciting. You don’t want to be, ‘here it is, here it is, here it is, now get out.’ As storytellers—which I think most haunters would like to be, and I certainly am as a theater director—I would really like for it to develop and play out and this gives me the opportunity over the course of seventeen hours to make it a slow burn with a climax and then a denouement, and then you get back on the bus and go home. It’s artistically, incredibly satisfying and I think for the audience, even more satisfying. I wish I could make it twelve people, but it is the smallest that I think we could have.”
Naturally a setting such as this—and the incredible one Haskell goes on to describe— leaves visions of slashers stalking through fans and prospective attendees’ heads, and Haskell admits this contemporary horror folklore is most readily drawn upon. “It’s tricky, because as much as I want people to chase people through the woods, there’s still a great deal of liability in that. I don’t get that trope as much as I would like, but in terms of every other iconic, slasher moment, I am trying to fulfill. We’ve got characters that you’re told about and then the mythology of it builds, and you’re met by that character and they’re responsible for a character’s demise, they pop out… I do want it to be more cerebral, though. I want it to be part slasher, but also part independent horror film where what’s scary is how unnerving and how there’s so much pressure on you and how you have to do something before this thing gets you. So, it’s a level of suspense and something you internalize.”
CampOuthouse“And I want it to be extremely dark,” he continues. “The space is incredible, the woods that we’re in. They’re the whole reason I decided to pull the trigger on it. It has a wide open space, flat land, where I can put the tents. It has hills with paths built into it. It’s got areas where there are just canopies of trees, so it gets extremely dark. There are creeks you have to go over. On top of the hill, there’s another landing, so you can do things up there. There is from 150 years ago, a cabin. There’s an old outhouse [seen right, from a recent trip to the location] left there from a bygone era. Everything about this is just so perfect for what I need to do. That’s the set. For me to try and transcend the set with my own set pieces would be foolish. So what it’s really going to be is idea heavy, very character driven. Ambience, which is not a luxury you get with a haunted house because there’s always a group and you’re pushing through, I can now actually create. There’s no electricity, so I don’t want powerful generators powering things. A) They’re really loud and B) if I did get a relatively quiet one, I don’t want it to feel artificial in any way. I want everything to feel like it comes from the space. The things that we do have that are electronic will be battery operated, so they don’t have an overly electronic feel to them. I’m just really looking for something that feels very organic to the environment.”

This environment allows a limited number of patrons tasked with objectives to invite frights until deep into the night (2:30 a.m.), while allowing Haskell to break out of a haunted house comfort zone and instead of a herd, focus on each and every one of his victims. “What I’ve discovered—I do have a script for it, like I do for the haunted house—is that this is a totally different animal. The logistical side of it is every bit a part of the story. With the haunted house, I know if I build a maze-like structure and you start here and exit here, I know how it begins and I know how it ends and the audience knows when they’re supposed to go and when they’re supposed to leave. But, with something like this where I have to feed them, they have to go to the bathroom, they have to sleep, they have to clean up, they have to sign in—there’s so much that I am responsible for helping make part of the experience. Logistical things, perfunctory things have to become part of the experience. That doesn’t mean that everything we do is wildly entertaining, it’s just that it has to be included into the script because I need them to go from here to here to here; I need them to be in this place, I need them to be in that place. It’s much, much more involved because the creative part doesn’t change that much, although I need to expand it. The logistical part about where to put people, what they do next, how do I keep them safe, how do I keep it from being chaotic and disorganized, is every bit a part of the process as the entertainment itself.”

“As far as the entertainment is concerned, I have 80 acres,” he says. “That is a ton of space, but at the same time if I have 100 people, I still can’t have them going off walking as a mob. It’s still space. So, me and my team, what our job is, is to figure out how to make the experience individualized and have [people] accomplish things on their own. It’s not about ‘you have to do this alone’ like certain other haunted houses. It’s almost like a scavenger hunt in the sense that you are responsible for achieving certain goals, collecting certain talisman… You start off with 100 points and through the night you get points deducted if you don’t accomplish things. Because you are being judged as an individual throughout the night, I believe it will make people voluntarily make the experience more personal. But, even though I’m providing entertainment that’s individualized, you can still grab on to your friends and say, ‘we’re all going together.’”

As I go ahead and start making plans for a perfect flannel/short shorts ensemble, Haskell beaming with anticipation says, “I’m really excited about. I mean I’m not going to say it’s going to be the most amazing thing that any horror fan’s ever experienced, but I want it to be.”
CAMP NIGHTMARE will take place this July 12th and 13th and in addition to intense thrills, will also features s’mores. For much more, including ticket and tent info, visit the official site.

Friday, May 10, 2013

So Why Is Camp Nightmare So Gosh Darn Expensive?

Well, it isn't actually.  Relatively speaking. I realize it's a lot of money for many of you (and it would be for me as well), but for what you are getting and what it takes to put this event on, it is actually as low as we can make it and what we believe to be a very fair price.  So here's a mash-up of the question I keep hearing:

"The haunted house every fall is only $30 in advance, so why isn't Camp Nightmare?  I mean, we understand it being a little more because it is a longer event, but 5 times as much? really?" -

Well, yeah, it should be 7 or 8 times as much.  In fact, our ability to make money on this for this year is very low.  We are doing it to see if it is something we can roll out to more weekends in the future.  You see, at the haunted house, the ceiling for how many people we can let in is really only set by how late it is into the night.  At some point we have to go home and go to bed.  On a busy night we have thousands of people go through the door.  At Camp Nightmare there is a set number of people we can allow to participate.  We want the entertainment to be worth it.  This is not a typical "walk-through" per se.  Their can't be too many people or it will start to feel very "safe".  It has to remain intimate in order for you to get the thrills you are paying for.  There are many elements of Camp Nightmare.  Your campsite is where everyone who is participating will call home base.  This will feel relatively full and comfortable. What happens here will be the basics like eating, sleeping, fraternizing, etc. Then there is the trip through the woods.  You will have to hike the trails in the pitch dark, finding objects and accomplishing tasks only to be given a new set of instructions when you find your destination.  There are different destinations for everyone. This is a very elaborate "game", and as we have said in our promotional materials, there will be only one "survivor" who will take home the grand prize.  This can't be teeming with thousands of people.  You have to feel alone in the woods at times, you have to have no help finding your way around.  We need to keep the patrons to a minimum.

Keeping the crowd small doesn't lower production costs.  We still have to build it all out whether we are entertaining 1000 people or 100. The cost is the same. The number of actors are the same.  None of that changes, and there are considerable costs associated with that.  Not to mention this is going on for 17 Hours! We are feeding you dinner, breakfast and dessert.  We are providing your tent (we have to because everything needs to be set-up before you get there), and providing for your safety.  These things are not inexpensive.  To give you perspective, if you decided to go away one weekend night to a bed and breakfast on a day trip, between the B&B, the meals and whatever it is you are doing for the two of you, you are spending way over $300 (or $500 for 4) and in that example the most fun you are having is antiquing for 4 hours and walking up and down the strip of whatever small town you went to.  Here at least we are scaring the shit out of you for at least 12 of the 17 hours (we might let you sleep a little) and you are getting an adrenaline rush, leaving a changed person.

in the end, this is not a "Haunted House".  We are not asking you to go 2.5 hours upstate so that you can visit the haunted house we built in the Catskills. We are asking you to go to the middle of the nowhere to virgin woods, and make what mother nature gave us as your haunted house and make it come to life. If you want this event to be what you want it to be, it has a cost to it. And I don't mean a "supply and demand" kind of cost, but actual honest to goodness hard costs.  We want to provide the scariest 17 hours of your life, and this is how to do it.  Get a group of 4 of you together and it is only $125 a person.  You'll have a blast, and you will pee on each other when you go to sleep.  Okay, that part was gross.  Sorry. Go to Camp Nightmare.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Camp Nightmare Press Release

NYC Haunt Holdings, LLC
An Overnight-In-The-Woods Horror Camping Experience 
July 12th and 13th, 2013

Lexington, NY 12468, Approximately 2.5 hours Outside of NYC
(At the End of County Road 3)

(New York, NY) – NYC Haunt Holdings, Producers of NYC’s haunted house institution NIGHTMARE (last year’s overwhelmingly successful KILLERS) will present CAMP NIGHTMARE - a horrifying, immersive haunted woods camping experience.  CAMP NIGHTMARE runs for 17 hours, 5pm – 10 am, on two different nights: July 12th through 13th, and July 13th through the morning of the 14th.

The intrepid campers staying at CAMP NIGHTMARE will experience a non-stop adrenaline rush from dusk till dawn, with only a brief reprieve for few hours of sleep.  The 80 acres of land in Upstate New York contains heavy woods, open fields, trails, creeks, marshes, and about the creepiest most decrepit cabin in the woods you’ll ever see!  The event starts at 5 pm and ends at 10 am the next day.  Campers will be provided tents and two meals (dinner and breakfast, as well as s’mores for dessert!) There is limited space available each evening to make the event as intimate as possible.
CAMP NIGHTMARE is a battle for survival (to stay in the game). Each camper will begin with a score that throughout the evening will be deducted incrementally by the failure to complete certain tasks and conquer certain horrors. Instead of “winning” with the highest score, you try to survive and be the last remaining camper “alive” with any score remaining in your lifeline. Tasks ranging from setting up camp, winning a terrifying scavenger hunt, reaching hidden destinations while being chased, and enduring a number of trials that will test your limits of repulsion will all “kill-off” campers throughout the night to leave one person standing come morning.  The lone survivor will win a special prize pack for their heroic effort.

Tickets for CAMP NIGHTMARE are $300 for a two-person tent and $500 for a 4-person tent and are only available in advance.  Tickets will go on sale to the public ONLY IF the private reservations have not sold the tickets out before then on April 26th. They must be purchased by June 28th to be included in the event.

NYC Haunt Holdings, LLC consists of Creator/ Co-Director/ Producer Timothy Haskell, Producer Steve Kopelman, Co-Director John Harlacher, Production Designer Paul Smithyman, Art Direction by Justin Haskell and David Hinkle, et al

The event is located in Lexington, NY and can be found on Google Maps by typing in the zipcode 12468 and Co Rd 3 and going to where the road runs out.  It is very remote and secluded.  There is no electricity and cell phone reception is very limited.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Reservations for Camp Nightmare!

So we have decided that it is a good idea to take pre-sale reservations for Camp Nightmare happening July 12th and 13th.  The reason being, there are a lot of super excited people who are eager to get tickets now, but we are not on sale yet. I know vendors always say, "limited supply!!!" and "get your tickets now before they're gone!!!" but we sincerely mean it.  Especially the first one.  When we run the haunted house we can get in as many as 3000 people a night. This is not a haunted house.  This is scary and the woods certainly are "haunted", but we need to keep this small to make the experience work. It won't be intimate per se, but it will be a long way away from 3000 people.  AND it is only 2 separate nights. So, truly, not that many people will be able to go this year.  If it is a success we will do it again for much, much longer next summer.  The first year if Nightmare we did for 7 days to see what we had.  Now we do it for over 6 weeks.

We want this experience to be worth it to you.  It's a decent amount of money, and we want you to have a great time.  This has been a dream project of mine for years, and I am finally getting a chance to do it.  An overnight "haunt." My team and I are busy figuring out all the different ways to add to the adventure as we speak.  That said, here's the skinny on reservations.  Basically, there are two different types of reservations - 2 person tent ($300) and a 4 person tent ($500) obviously per person we are talking about $150 and $125 per perso if you fill it with the allowable number of people.  You are more than welcome to buy any tent for yourself, but we are only selling a certain amount of tents, so if Daddy Warbucks wants to buy all the tents for himself, well then i guess we are doing this for one guy.  For the price you get dinner, dessert and breakfast as well as a t-shirt.  For an extra $50 per person you can buy a seat on our charter bus from Manhattan. This cost is not being marked up. Charter buses cost a ton and we will book it if enough people sign up for it to pay for it. It's apples to apples on that one.  There will be add-ons that you can purchase at the location or perhaps in advance (still working on this), but generally you will have to bring your own bedding, bug spray, water bottles, flashlights, lamps, etc.  As I have said in the past, there will be a "winner" declared by the end of the night (and this will be decided by a number of factors that you will learn about when you get there, but I will tell you now there will only be one "survivor").

Okay, so here is what you need to do.  E-mail us at and tell us that you would like to reserve a spot in Camp Nightmare; tell us which date (July 12th or the 13th.  The 12th goes from 5 pm- app. 10 am on the 13th, and the 13th goes from the same times to the 14th); which size tent, and whether you would like to book a spot on the charter bus that will take you to and from Manhattan.  We will respond confirming your reservation and then about a week before we go on sale to the public, we will send you private access to buy them before everyone else.  If we have enough reservations and all of the reservations follow up with a purchase, we might not even go on sale to the public at all.  So that's the advantage of making a reservation.  We may just sellout in pre-sales.  BUT, and this is an important "but", just because you make a reservation doesn't mean you are obligated to purchase the tickets once we send you that exclusive access, but we would very much prefer that you were pretty sure you were. 

Does this make sense?  I hope so, this is pretty darn comprehensive I think.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


So we are adding a new event to our canon of creepy happenings.  At least for now.  We are going to try this out and see what the response is like.  I am convinced that this is a winner and that it will continue for many years to come.  But we are going to start out small.  Only two dates, July 12th and 13th, we will present CAMP NIGHTMARE! a 15-hour overnight scary camping experience.  The event starts around 5 pm and will include a gourmet campfire dinner, s'mores dessert and breakfast the next day.  You will also be provided tents and facilities, and of course thrills and chills throughout the night. You probably won't sleep much. The venue is a woods about two hours from the city in a town called Lexington.  There is no electricity nor cell reception.  No one will be able to hear you scream!!! That kind of thing.  Anyway, we may also provide charter bus service if enough people sign up for it (of course there will be an additional charge which is why there MAY be charter bus service).

Many, many, many more details on the way, but the there will be scary campfire stories, individual missions into the woods, things that come out when the campfire goes out, and there will only be one "survivor" who will win a big prize. And everyone will get a CAMP NIGHTMARE t-shirt. Just mark down either July 12th or 13th on your calendars.  This will be an amazing summertime thing to do, and I am super excited to create it, build it, and scare the snot out of you at 2 am in the woods.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One of my favorite rooms in "Killers".  Does anyone remember this one?  Not your typical haunted house room. This one was sad.  Few knew who the killer was that was being represented.  It was the first room, and it represented Albert Fish.  This woman was the mother of one of his victims.  I thought it created a strong dramatic arc for the house if it started with the perspective of one the victims.  I post all of the photos from the house, as well as sketches and other creepy things I see on a daily basis, on my Instagram account: @iscareyou

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Scary Summer Camping

Trying to put a package together that would be a scary summer camping experience. It would be an overnighter upstate. Meals, accommodations and frights would be provided by Nightmare. Only a very limited number of people could participate a night (say, maybe, 40) so the ticket cost could be pretty high. But it would be so worth it. Is this something you'd be interested in?

Friday, January 11, 2013

So Much to Reflect Upon

I must admit, and for anyone who "follows" my blog clearly knows already, that I have definitely shirked on my duties of giving you the inside scoop of the ins and outs of Nightmare Haunted House.  I hope to remedy some of that here, and then get on with the business of posting scary stuff about other things on a more regular basis.  It's just that INSTAGRAM has sort of taken over my posting of creepy images because it is just so darn easy! (follow me on IG @iscareyou)

But let me take this moment to reflect on what was an amazing season for Nightmare KILLERS.  Starting off with a great deal of ridiculous and meaningless controversy, it quickly quelled and we got on with the business of presenting the most taut haunted house we have ever presented.  The closest thing to the perfect synergy between theatricality and classic haunted house that we've done yet.  That is not to say that it was perfect (we still need to solved noise-bleed issues, and of course, nothing is perfect), but Nightmare finally started to feel like what I have been hoping to achieve in the 9 years I have been doing this. Onwards and upwards, there is always more room to grow.  Trying to achieve haunted house nirvana some day.  We will always be a long way away.

The thing about Killers, and one of the many reasons why I posted so little this whole time, is that it was the largest house we have done in some time (incorporating the outside for the first time went a long way towards that), and also the most character specific.  It was very difficult to just throw any actor into any room when each character and role was so much more rich then they have been in the past.  Aside from a handful of traditional "Boo" characters, if you were cast in a role you were the one to do that role.  They were much more nuanced than usual with lines that were specific to their scene.  Each room was a little playlet. Sometimes you watched the event unfold in front of you as it  happened to someone else.  Sometimes it happened to you.  Often, both.

But Sandy killed us.  we were having an amazing run.  Whatever audience we may have lost with Fairy Tales we regained and then some with Killers.  We got up to what was going to be the 6 busiest days of our run...and then we never opened again.  It was awful.  Luckily the writing was on the wall.  This thing was still NYC's Most Horrifying Haunted House!  So we will be back.  we will do a part II of our Killers theme.  It is just way too dense of a theme, and too many people didn't get a chance to see it the first time around, although this will be A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT HOUSE  as always.  Just because we are repeating the theme doesn't mean that it won't be different.  So, if you went to last year's house, who do you think should be in this year's?  And if you didn't, who do you think should be featured for your first time?