NYC’s latest Halloween pop-up: the Nightmare Machine

With roughly two weeks until trick-or-treaters scurry about the city, there’s ample time to cross off everything on your Halloween to-do list – and for Halloween lovers, one of those items might just be entering the Nightmare Machine.

Embracing the Halloween aesthetic, Nightmare Machine is an immersive nine-room experience geared to the social media savvy looking for a good fright. Each room features aspects that may frequent your nightmares, such as frightening clowns, aliens… or, if you’re a New Yorker, a room swarming with cockroaches(!).


Walking through the Nightmare Machine takes between 30 to 45 minutes – depending on how many photos you plan on snapping within each room. Though certain rooms of the Nightmare Machine are designed to resemble a haunted house (one room contains a bunch of “bodies” clad in garbage bags, another is completely blood splattered), Nightmare Machine isn’t a haunted house, nor is it particularly scary. Perhaps the scariest part of the entire experience was an epitaph crested with “L Train”, which beckoned a chuckle from visitors most likely not relying on the L.

RIP indeed

Those familiar with Williamsburg might recognize this to be the same location as the stomping grounds for Dream Machine – which is taking a temporary hiatus in lieu of the Nightmare Machine. Open between 5 pm to 10 pm, Nightmare Machine stretches out until Halloween, and will then revert back to the Dream Machine. But stay tuned, as it appears that the pop-up is going mobile according to their website.

The $38 experience is somewhat charming, but if you’re not an aspiring Instagram influencer or keen on social media, then this might be worth swapping out for some Hocus Pocus-themed trivia instead.

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