Sketched Oct. 11, 2019

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The door to the crypt shuts down and you are left in the dark surrounded by hanging skulls and skeletons. A ride to the 13th floor in the “fright elevator” malfunctions and you get stuck between floors.

The two escape rooms are recent additions to Nile Nightmares, a popular haunted house in Mountlake Terrace where the season of Halloween fun, er, horror, is well underway.

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I visited recently during off hours to make these sketches (I’m too scared for the live show!) but I’ve heard the buzz about Nile Nightmares for years. The haunted house is in its ninth season at Nile Shriners Golf Course on Lake Ballinger. It employs a “scream team” of about 60 actors and comes with all those theatrical “4D effects” of modern haunted houses: dizzying strobe lights, scary vibrations and stinky smells. Add amenities like food trucks and a beer garden and I’m not all that surprised that thousands of people visit every season.

Producer Peter Pawlicki said that aside from delivering the screams, people like the Halloween experience at Niles Nightmares because “you get the feel of the outdoors but without the cornfield and the mud.”


Nile Nightmares Haunted House, through Nov. 2; Fridays and Saturdays 7-11 p.m., Sundays 7-10 p.m., Halloween 7-10 p.m.; 6601 244th St. S.W., Mountlake Terrace; $22 general admission;