As I close out week 3 of the Red Tie haunt tour. I find myself back in Georgia. I make my return to Nightmare’s Gate in Douglasville. It’s been 5 years since I last experienced this haunt and it was long overdue for me to come back. I didn’t realize that they moved locations and once we arrived to the new spot. I realized it was literally right down the road. It was easy to find prior to the move and it’s still easy to find. Plenty of parking as you pull into a bowling alley parking lot. Yes, I said bowling alley. Don’t rush to judgement just yet. This haunt will chew you up and spit you out if you go in with that kind of mindset.
Don’t judge a book by its cover! I can’t stress that enough. If you’ve never been to this haunt, I promise that when you arrive you will say to yourself, “Its attached to a bowling alley and there’s not much outside.” Don’t let that fool you. Yes, not much going on outside other than a small que-line, one of those 12-foot skeletons that everyone except me bought, (mainly because they sold out of them) and a playlist of music. We did notice a few actors roaming around keeping patrons on their toes, especially the evil nurse with her “boomstick” ... Trust me when I say this, don’t let the bowling alley throw you off. Nightmare’s Gate is like that gas station that sells BBQ in Mississippi. If you’ve ever been through Mississippi and had gas station BBQ... You know exactly what I’m saying! It’s the best damn BBQ you’ll ever have. I hope you can connect the dots on what I’m trying to say.
We encountered a lot of characters who wore detailed/quality costumes and masks. Some masks seemed to be very unique and original. Others had minimal makeup and costuming, but it fit the scenes like they were supposed to. Nightmare’s Gate did a wonderful job with keeping you at arm's length within their reality when it came to their characters. I enjoy the character in the first scene banging on the side and bottom of the walkway. When the fog hit just right, he knew how to blend in and the way his costume was looked very creepy within the fog. All around, great job with the costuming and makeup.
Other than the detail and visuals, which you will read below. The walk-through experience was one of the best, most fun one’s I’ve had in 2020. Each scene is like its own horror adventure. You never know what to expect and mostly because you are so fixated on all the detail. There is so much going on you can’t help but to let your guard down. I absolutely loved the transitions to each scene and it flowed to almost perfection. We were lucky enough to experience this trail twice and, on the 2nd go around, we started noticing a few hints to what was coming next. So, when you’re walking through, keep your eyes peeled.
Some of the best I’ve ever experienced. The eye candy throughout the entire experience was simply mesmerizing. We couldn’t stop gawking at all the detail within the scenes and how certain scenes were setup. From the light placement, the detail on the walls, props, scenery to the sounds, smells. Even the temperature change in a certain scene all the way to something I never thought I’d ever see or experience in a haunt. No spoilers, but there is blood in the water... It truly was a full course meal when it comes to SFX and visuals. Huge kudos to that entire crew on making this haunt one of the best experiences I’ve had in 2020.
Is it scary?
If a haunt can achieve a few startles out of me, they typically would get a yes. Nightmare’s Gate achieved 6 to 8 quality startles out of me and my crew. We went through twice and both times they were able to change up their attack on us so we didn’t expect it in certain areas. So, to answer the question, absolutely it is!
Did I feel comfortable?
Absolutely! Masks are required and they make sure all guests are wearing them prior to entry. Employees are following their own rules and guidelines. Signs are very visible throughout letting everyone know about keeping their distance from others.
Bang for your buck
Our experience time for both trips lasted us around 15-minutes each time. During that 15-minutes we were on our toes every step of the way. There was only one scene we went through that did not have an actor in it, but we did however enjoy the visuals and cool air in that scene. Other than that empty scene we were greeted around every corner by an actor. Nightmare’s Gate is absolutely worth the price of admission. Actually, it’s worth doing multiple times. It’s one of those that you need to go through twice because I guarantee you’ll see something that you missed on the first time. They also offer a merch area at the end of the experience with some shirts and other things and some off the wall items. Like the cool metal shield that I bought. Even though it had a sign on it saying “Last one, needs to go” ... I bought it and then went back in for something and they put another up with the same sign on it... It’s okay though, I’m digging that I have something cool to go on my wall at home.
Nightmare’s Gate offers many top-quality props and visuals throughout the experience. Some you may see at other haunts, but where they separate themselves at is the fact on how they utilize everything. From the very first scene all the way to the end, they are able to utilize certain well know props and visuals in such a creative way to make you think you’ve never seen it before. In most cases, it’s a Nightmare’s Gate original. I do want to give a nod to the diner scene. Reminded me a lot of the scene from A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 4. “Rick, you little meatball”
Overall, the actors were great! Full of energy and spot on with their timing. We did encounter a few who just sat against the wall and stared at us and never moved. Not sure if they just froze up as we came in or caught them by surprise. But, aside from that, Nightmare’s Gate offers some top-quality actors who knows what they are doing. As mentioned above, the actor in the beginning knows how to set you up as you make your way down and has blending in with the fog to perfection. The actress in the cage got us both times and we even knew she was there the 2nd time. The way she comes alive and just attacks the cage will get you every time. The actor interacting with us as we made our way through the room where they drain the blood from bodies, he gave us some good laughs and kept us entertained as we weaved through the slabs. But the actor of the night to us was the guy in the room where stuffed bodies hanging from chains. He was intense and relentless. He came at us like a spider monkey jacked up on 14 jolt colas. He was saying all kinds of crazy off the wall things and he terrified a member of our crew. He never stopped until we were out of his sight and that is what it’s all about!
All in all, I absolutely loved the energy and intensity of the actors at Nightmare’s Gate.
This was my first trip back to Nightmare’s Gate since 2015. Since my last visit they moved locations and even though the 2015 show was great. This one blows it out of the water.
This haunt hits a grand slam when it comes to getting what you want out of a haunt experience. With the amazing scene details, actors and quality scares that you will receive, Nightmare’s Gate is absolutely a Must-See Haunt.