ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Camp Fear is a campground offering a variety of haunted attractions that are currently operating out of RiverWest Park near Waterloo, Nebraska.
“What we’ve got here is a campground in the summer, but we make it go evil in the fall,” said Bill Novak, the director of operations at Camp Fear.
Near Camp Fear’s entrance lies the Nightmare Theater. Every night of operation, horror films from throughout the years are played on an outdoor movie screen.
The field in front of the outdoor screen has fire pits available for rent during the screenings.
One of the unique aspects of Camp Fear is its alcohol policy. For those who are 21 years old or older, the park allows them to bring in their own drinks to consume while either watching films or participating in other attractions.
Z-Bunker is a new addition to Camp Fear, offering participants a new take at a classic haunted house.
The idea behind Z-Bunker is to create an interactive haunted house experience. Participants are taken through a zombie-themed horror attraction, but at certain points they will be given a chance to take a shot at the oncoming hordes.
Using paintball guns, the attraction will have patrons shoot at both zombie props and zombie actors.
“Nearly everyone who’s come out of here has said its been the scariest thing they’ve ever done,” Novak said.
Tom Buder, co-owner and actor of Z-Bunker, said the inspiration for the attraction came from a desire to do something new in the scare industry.
“I’ve been going to haunted houses since I was a kid here in Omaha,” Buder said. “I felt like it was just the same old thing.”
Buder emphasized that the attraction is still a haunted house first. Visitors won’t be armed with paintball guns throughout the house for safety reasons and won’t be getting shot at by any of the actors.
Finishing out the lineup of main attractions at Camp Fear is Bloodrush: Forest of Terror and the Fright Overnight.
Those familiar with Nightmare on Q Street haunted attraction in years past may recognize its similarity and actors now in Bloodrush. They have relocated their operations to Bloodrush in Camp Fear to keep up their legacy of terrifying experiences.
“I basically had them take over the whole forest area and I’m glad I did,” Novak said.
The haunted attraction begins by taking visitors into a classic haunted house. After a quick trip through its dark halls they will find themselves on a sprawling path through the woods behind the building.
Several different sections make up the journey through Bloodrush, each filled with its own actors and jump scares.
According to Novak, the haunt is the longest in the state, taking nearly a half hour to complete.
What really makes Camp Fear stand out from the haunted attractions in Omaha is its offer to allow people to stay the night in the campground. Fright Overnight is when the actors of Bloodrush come out at night to scare campers that have decided to stay overnight.
“People try to sleep and we don’t let them,” one actor dressed up as clown said.