WNY News Now – A new Halloween attraction has caused the City of Jamestown excitement as many are planning to visit this spooky experience which begs the question, is it worth it?
I visited the Nightmare Castle hosted in Jamestown’s Spire Theater on Saturday to provide a full review. Here’s what to expect…
When you first enter the small and unorganized waiting room, you’re met with nothing short of chaos. There are no actual lines, so it’s impossible to tell who’s waiting to be checked in, and who’s waiting to enter the attraction itself. After eventually forcing your way through the sardine can of a waiting room to the front, you flash the attendee your phone so they can verify your tickets. However, as someone who went as a group of five, I only had to present tickets for two and no questions were asked despite each individual in said group spending the money for a ticket. Then, you’re whisked to a smaller table to the side of the check-in area where you’re asked to sign a waiver on behalf of your party that states the basics such as, you agree to not damage any of the props, and you will not touch the actors, in turn they won’t touch you. Rather, they’re not supposed to. In the very first room I was grabbed on the shoulder by one of the actors.
After signing, you’re asked to make your way to the back, but there is no actual line, so you migrate to the very back of the waiting room once more to wait for further instruction that will never come. Here, you should expect to wait at least a half an hour. My party waited about 50 minutes as the mob of eager Halloween enthusiasts inched closer to the front. It appears that the larger your group, the longer you will wait regardless of how close you are to the front of the room.
Once you’ve made your way to the doorway that leads to the actual attraction, you’re led inside a large minimally decorated room and sat in front of a large screen that plays an informative video that reiterates the rules that you agreed to nearly an hour prior, just in case you forgot them.
Now, you’re ready to be scared! You’ll follow glowing arrows on the floor that will direct you throughout the entire ‘castle’. The first room you’ll come to is about the size of a generous shoe box, I felt very sorry for the group that was sent in with mine as all of us could not fit inside so they had to stand in the hallway next to my group. You’re stopped here in this room for about five minutes to listen to the lore behind this attraction while a teenager in a hockey mask makes awkward eye contact with you. Admittedly, myself and later my group agreed that the lore playing from a radio illuminated by a very bright blue light droned on for a bit too long and we all inevitably lost interest in the story.
When the story ended, the masked actor opened the door and led us into the next room, a small auditorium area with strobe lights and two jump scares which you’ll be able to move through relatively quickly. Following the glowing arrows will bring you to a small outdoor area. Two actors reminiscent of Leatherface with a little bit of Pennywise mixed in shake chainsaws and yell at you, and that’s about it. You’ll go back inside to another lore-based area that seems to be completely different from the story you heard just a few minutes ago. Then, after another jump scare, you go into an even bigger auditorium where you are met with what looks like the same scare actors from before. One will tell you to slow down so you don’t “miss the show”, so that’s exactly what I did. No show ever came, and my group is still confused about it.
Continuing onwards, we take a stroll through a darkened corridor where we are expecting another room but instead we are met with the front of the building. My group and the other exchanged confused glances and a few “Is that it” questions that were answered by an attraction worker standing outside. Our confusion was cleared up with a “thank you for coming”.
Overall, the attraction took maybe 15 minutes max to walk though and for reference, the one leading my group was using crutches, had maybe 20 scare actors total, and was very disappointing for a haunted house claiming to be “Western New York’s Most Terrifying New Haunted Attraction”.