Travel to the northernmost region of New York, and past the chilly Canadian border, and they say you can hear their blood-curdling screams.
They’re coming from Nightmares Fear Factory in Niagara Falls. It’s a haunted house so scary that its website features a counter of the almost 162,000 people — dubbed the “chicken list” — it claims were too frightened to finish the tour.
The rest? Their panic has been forever immortalized with hilarious candid photos of their most spooked moments in the house. The images capture whole groups of grown men clutching one another in fear, among other petrified reactions.
The haunted house has a spooky history: The building itself was erected to be — what else? — a coffin plant. According to the haunted house’s website, the Cataract Coffin Factory, once owned by businessman Abraham Mortimer, was plagued by local hoodlums who would taunt Mortimer nightly — that is, until one fateful evening when the pine-box proprietor decided to confront the gang.
Unfortunately, his life’s work would would also be the cause of his demise. The lore goes that during Mortimer’s standoff with his tormentors, a stack of solid oak coffins fell and crushed the unlucky coffin-maker to death.
And they say he still roams the halls of the now-haunted house attraction, spooking all who dare enter his old stomping grounds.
Brave fright fans who go to the Fear Factory will experience about 10 to 15 minutes of terror in the pitch black, save the tiny red lights that guide their way back out. Ghoulish actors are present at every turn, whispering, grabbing and generally trying to scare the pants off all who come through. At the end, a camera flashes and captures you at your most terrified — with hilarious results.
Those who have the emotional fortitude can purchase discounted tickets online, with pricing tiers for children, adults and groups — so bring a friend for support (or maybe your crush). The house is located on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, so be sure to plan accordingly.
No passport? No problem. There are plenty of other petrifying pursuits for New York City’s horror buffs.