Woodward, Okla. —
Woodward's haunted trail "Nightmare in the Country" has been named as one of America's Top 31 "Must See" Haunted Houses in 2013.
According to HauntedHouseRatings.com, Nightmare in the Country (NITC) has been ranked No. 28 out of hundreds of haunted houses, trails and other attractions across the nation. The website lists the ranking as part of their "Victim's Choice Awards," since the top 31 sites are chosen based on reviews from those visiting the haunted houses.
In addition to this national honor, NITC has also been ranked as the No. 1 haunted house in the state according to Oklahoma Haunted House Reviews (OHHR), on the group's Facebook page www.facebook.com/OHHReviews. That ranking is based on the opinions of the OHHR team which visits and reviews haunted attractions all over Oklahoma.
If you want to see what all the hype is about, the Nightmare's 5th season will begin with shows this weekend.
NITC creator and organizer Kenton Baird said that there are several new additions to this year's show. But perhaps the most exciting addition, he said, is the free pre-show.
Baird said the pre-show will be performed to open each evening's show and then at periodic intervals approximately every hour and a half during the night.
"It's a 10 to 15 minute show that will be part video, part live action," he said.
He said the pre-show will serve many purposes, including getting those waiting in line excited about the haunt, giving actors a bit of a break from scaring, and explaining the story behind this year's show, which features a new character known as Dr. Merrifield Puzzledust.
Baird, who actually plays Puzzledust himself, said that the new story line was a development from last year's "ZI: Zombie Infestation" theme.
"Last year people got the idea that the Zombie Infestation was the result of some sort of chemical train derailment or a plant explosion," he said. "But this year they find out it's not from any train or plant disaster, but all because 3 meddling girls unleashed Dr. Puzzledust. Puzzledust did something bad in 1887 and again in 1957 and this October all hell breaks loose when he returns."
But ZI wasn't the only attraction from the 2012 show that NITC staff pulled from when adding to this year's show. Based on the popularity of last year's 3-D Pagani Moratorium, where "clowns do die, but never go away," Nightmare has added another 3-D area, known as the 3-D Swamp.
Painted in bright neon colors with special optical illusion creating paint, visitors may find themselves jumping out of their skin as all sorts of swamp creatures appear to jump out at them from the walls in this psychedelic swamp.
All of NITC's traditional areas still remain including the Haunted Barn, Grim Woods, Miser's Mine, Killinger's Complex, Cemetery of Chills, Petrifying Forrest and Weepingville.
The show dates for this year's Nightmare include Oct. 4-5, Oct. 11-12, Oct. 17-19, Oct. 24-26, Oct. 31, and Nov. 1-2.
The show will open at 8 p.m. each evening. However, closing time will vary depending on the day of the week. The ticket booth will close at 10 p.m. on Thursdays, and at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with an exception for Oct. 19 and Oct 26, when it will close at midnight.
In addition to purchasing them at the site, Baird said tickets are also available at The Gazebo, Sam's CDs and Big Dan's Steakhouse.
Or you can purchase tickets online on the NITC website, www.nightmareinthecountry.com. The website also has more information about the haunted trail, including a map to the Nightmare's location, which is north of the West Woodward Airport on N/S 195.