What, exactly, IS a ghost run?

A ghost run is an adventure style game you play with your friends or family. The object of the game is to work together with those in your vehicle to solve a series of rhyming, entertaining, and often funny clues. These clues will reveal the next turn or sequence of turns you will make in your attempt to follow the winding path we have designed. Along the way, you will encounter and experience two of the Louisville area’s top haunted attractions.

The feeling of “adventure” of setting out with your crew, not knowing exactly where you are going or what you will find along the way is truly unique to a Ghost Run. Wondering if you’re lost, only to discover with the next clue that your last choice was correct after all, is both euphoric and addictive. You will build memories have stories to tell, that simply are not possible with other forms of entertainment.

Everything is included for one low price (even lower than the regular price of the haunts alone), making Nightmare Run the best value imaginable for your time and money.

What if I get lost? HELP ME!

This is another aspect of Nightmare Run being a Retro Throwback Ghost Run! With your clues, you will receive an Emergency Rescue Envelope. The envelope will contain the SAME clues that you receive to do Nightmare Run BUT the clues in the envelope will have the answers to “some” of the clues so that you can find your way to a spot that an answered clue ends and pick right back up on the route to the haunts.

REMEMBER, opening the envelope disqualifies you from prizes, BUT allows you to still enjoy a full evening of fun solving the Nightmare Run Clues with your friends/family. We want you to be able to get back on track regardless of where you are and continue to enjoy the event we have produced.

What is the history of Ghost Run?

Ghost Run was the term given to events like Nightmare Run that began over 40 years ago right here in Louisville, KY. They are events where you gather friends and family and follow rhyming clues in your car not knowing where you are going or what cool adventures you might encounter along the way. The goal is to follow the rhyming clues to make the correct turns which will lead you to Haunted Houses.

The routes are NOT designed to take you the “direct” route or “fastest” route. They are intentionally designed to give you a tour of roads you’ve probably never been on even though they may be right in your own area of town. The Game and Haunted Attractions on Nightmare Run are all INCLUDED in your ticket price and by following the rhyming clues you are able to turn what would be a quick evening attending haunts into an interactive full night of fun for you and your family/friends.

Nightmare Run’s origins came under the conglomerate in the late 1990’s that was called Nightmare Network. That group included legendary haunted attractions including Nightmare Run, Industrial Nightmare, Nightmare Forest and Haunted Hotel! Nightmare Run was briefly brought back in 2005 and has not been a local event since that time. Some other names besides Nightmare Run that might ring a bell for Ghost Run fans would include The Spirit Chase, The Buechel Fern Creek Jaycees Ghost Run and The Danger Run. All of these events were fun events for family and friends to participate in.

Fast forward to 2023 when a couple of lifetime Halloween fanatics with over 40 Years of Halloween Entertainment experience (Jeff Howlett of Nightmare Forest & Trail Of Terror and Mike Kimzey of The Danger Run (25 YEARS) & Nightmare Run) decided to bring back a RETRO style Ghost Run! What better way to do that than to bring back Nightmare Run? We are excited that you are here to check us out and can’t wait for you to experience Nightmare Run.

How much time should I plan on to complete the run?

Nightmare Run is designed to be enjoyed YOUR way. It’s technically possible to complete a route in under an hour (but we wouldn’t recommend doing it that way). Also, your ticket includes admission to two of the area’s best haunted attractions, which can be enjoyed on the night you do the routes OR any other! For most groups, 2-3 hours is sufficient to experience the whole event in one night without being rushed.

Pro Tip… The earlier you start, the shorter the lines will be at each haunt.

How many miles should I plan on (ballpark, not meant to give away any course details)?

This is a tricky one… lol. How lost will you get? There are 4 different routes which are randomly distributed at the start gate (this prevents each car leaving the gate from just following the car in front). Mileage varies by route, and while we can’t give you the total, we can say that you will travel more than what your direct route to each location would be. We take great strides to make sure your drive is 45 minutes to an hour on each of your 2 routes you will follow.

Remember…. The object of the game is to follow the correct route, not the most direct or fastest route.

Do I stay in Kentucky for the entire run?

This can vary depending on the year you attend Nightmare Run. For 2023, you will have a haunt in both KY and IN. BUT, none of the routes use the toll bridge, so you won’t have any tolls on our routes.

How does the course start?

If you bring multiple carloads with you, and you want to participate together, make sure you request to have the same route. Otherwise, your check-in person will randomly place each car on whatever route they grab. We actually have large groups play each way. Some WANT the same route, whereas others prefer to compete against each other using separate routes.

Are there staggered departure times so we’re not all following the same line of cars?
Each car gets a random selected route from our 4 different routes. If you follow the car in front of you, you probably will start off lost as soon as you leave the start point.
If I don’t finish in one night, can I continue another night? What if I arrive too late to get through before closing time?

Although the haunts close at 1AM, that only means you have to be IN LINE by that time. As long as you are in line by that time you will be granted admission to either haunt. If you do not get to your final stop the first night, you will not be able to turn in your mileage and be eligible for prizes, BUT your haunt tickets are valid ANY night that haunt is open for the rest of the season.

If I can do the run in more than one evening, do I have to check back in before picking up where I left off?

You do not have to check back in with us if you decide to do the run in more than one evening. BUT, you are only eligible for prizes by completing the event the same night you start.

I’ve completed the Run, and found both haunted houses. Now what? Is just finding the two haunts the prize or takeaway from doing this?
At your final destination you will find a Nightmare Run Entry Box to insert your UNOPENED envelope into. Make sure to fill out the details on the envelope, completely and legibly.
Is there a prize or competition for finishing the run in the shortest amount of time?

Time has nothing to do with it. Your accuracy will be determined solely by distance traveled. You are eligible for prizes if you are within 3/10 of a mile of the ACTUAL mileage of the course AND you have NOT opened the included Emergency Rescue Envelope! We give this variance so that you have ample “extra mileage” to find parking at the haunts. Everyone who falls within this variance will be put into a drawing for 3 different prize packages! Each entry can only win 1 package.

What closes at 10pm for the listed hours of the run? Is that just the ticket sales availability time, or the check-in time?

The start location is the only thing that closes at 10PM. We chose an early closing time to give all players ample time to complete the event in one night (should they choose to do so).

Can I buy tickets at the starting point, or does that have to be done online?
EITHER…. You can buy tickets online right here on the website, OR you can buy tickets at the starting location. We will have an express lane for those who have bought tickets online.
Is there an age limit on the ticket requirement? What does it matter if my young kids are in the back seat?
Any child under 12 that will not be going inside the Haunted Attractions can ride along on your journey for free. Determining the age for children to go inside the haunts lies solely with the parent. If you want them to participate, you will be required to buy them a ticket.
Is there someone I can call during the Run to tell them there is an error with the directions/clues, or report a problem on the route?
You can call our Nighmare Run Hotline at (502) 576-6999 and select option 3 to leave a message. We will be notified immediately that we have a message. We won’t be able to guide you through deciphering clues, but if there is a road closure or something like that, we can get you back on track without having to open your Emergency Rescue Envelope.
Is there anyone monitoring the route/is there a need for anyone to monitor the route?

We monitor routes multiple times all season long to make sure the routes still work. It’s rare, but there have been surprises in the past with road closures or new stop signs or stop lights. When that happens, we close routes or we make changes to the clues. This is the exact reason that we have multiple routes for people to participate.