The Nightmare Factory was founded in 1987 by dorm counselor Ed Roberts as a fund raiser for the schools residential programs.
Ed went to then director, GI Wilson and asked for a small loan to get the event up and running. $400.00 was given, and after much blood, sweat and elbow grease, the Nightmare Factory opened its doors for a four night run.
That first year the haunt earned $4,000.00 and was an immediate success. A success both with the general public and with the students at OSD. The following year the Nightmare Factory relocated in the unfinished basement of the boy’s dormitory, this provided more room, the previous year the haunt was actually held in an unused wing of the same dorm, and a new permanent home for the event.
The original goal of the Nightmare Factory was not only to establish a fund raiser that would help provide for student needs and activities within the residential program, but to help give students a ‘can do’ attitude. Along with this also comes the philosophy of running a successful business. Students learn everything from how to move traffic through an event, to how to design and construct sets for the haunt, lighting design, sound effects, advertising, acting, make up and so much more.
Over the years the Nightmare Factory has only closed one year for a full remodel of the haunt. Even though they hadn’t advertised that year people still came hoping they might be open!
One of the reasons the Nightmare Factory has thrived in this very tough industry is its belief that they must constantly re-invent themselves, and give their guests new show elements every year, while keeping the best from the previous years. They want people to come away from the haunt saying how much fun they had, not thinking that it was a haunt held at a school. They always say, “We are not your typical school run haunted house”. They also try very hard not to borrow from films or TV that, in their opinion, is the easy way out!
The Nightmare Factory is also proud to note that they are only one of two schools for the Deaf that hold annual haunted houses, the other being St. Rita’s in Cincinnati Ohio.
Though the Haunt was founded by Ed, he’d be the first to tell you that without the haunts director, Kivo (KC) Phillips (OSD alumni now counselor and involved with the haunt since day one), the support of everyone and the hundreds of volunteers over the years, there would be no Nightmare Factory, it is truly a community event.
We hope to see you this year; we can’t wait to scare you.
What have we done with the money we've raised?
- New reading programs for the school
- Sent money to both the Louisiana and Mississippi schools for the deaf after hurricane Katrina hit
- Supported Christmas Angels program
- Books for both the residential and school programs
- New Kitchens for the residential halls
- Support the after school recreation program
- Sent students to space camp
- New equipment for the student union
- Support the fine arts program on campus
- Send students on educational field trips
- New Math programs for the school
- New AV equipment for the school and residential programs
- A rototiller for the school's tractor to support the schools community garden
- Upgrades to the Nightmare Factory
- Support the school's sports program - New gym floor, new team seats for the gym, new uniforms for the football and basketball teams
- Support the Student Health Service program
- sent students to a math competition in New York
- Supported the school's track team.
- Bought new equipment for the school's industrial arts program.
And so much more.
None of this would have been possible without your support over the past 23 years!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.