Timothy Haskell is no stranger to scaring folks: The Daily Beast considers his Nightmare series "one of the most frightening haunted-house productions in New York City." But when he teamed up with haunted-house vet Steve Kopelman, Timothy didn't want to keep populating creepy corridors with imaginary ghouls. At Nightmare: Killers, the duo tap into the true terror inspired by historical and contemporary serial killers to explore the monstrosity of their actions and the celebrity and cultural obsession surrounding them. The New York Times lauds the attraction as “a taut, assured production that knows exactly what it wants to do (scare the hell out of you) and performs its task with ruthless, coldblooded precision."
In the lobby, a gallery of artwork, memorabilia, and items from or about famous serial killers primes guests on the haunted attraction's theme and provides a glimpse into the warped minds of the killers in question. At the front of the line, personnel can mark any willing visitor’s forehead with an optional scarlet X, which will grant the actors permission to interact with those victims for the next petrifying 20–25 minutes. Inside the haunt, rooms depict scenes based on Ted Bundy and the Zodiac killer, with the occasional cameo from pop culture’s most fearsome fictional figures. To heighten heart rates even more, visitors will also have to navigate twists and turns, fog, and uneven footing as they desperately try to avoid becoming each psychopath’s latest victim.