Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon

Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon
Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon.jpg
The ride's facade
The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdoms
Location Queensbury, New York, USA
Status Defunct
Operated 1999 to 2006
Six Flags Darien Lake
Name Nightmare at Phantom Cave
Location Darien Center, New York, USA
Operated 1996 to 1998
Kentucky Kingdom
Name Starchaser
Location Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Operated 1987 to 1995
Noble Park Funland
Name Jet Star
Location Paducah, Kentucky, USA
Operated 1985 to 1985 - 1986
Beech Bend
Name Jet Star
Location Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA
Operated 1972 or earlier to 1984
Manufacturer Schwarzkopf
Type Steel - Enclosed
Product Jet Star
Area 88.6 feet × 144.3 feet
Height 44.3 feet
Top speed 31.1 mph
Length 1765.1 feet
Inversions 0

Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon was an enclosed steel roller coaster that operated at four different amusement parks in the United States.


Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon existed as Starchaser at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, and as Nightmare at Phantom Cave at Darien Lake. The ride was placed in the Ghostown section of the park, in an isolated location. A warehouse-like building enclosed the ride in the dark to provide a sense of disorientation. Oftentimes, the waiting times for the ride were unbearably long, due to the low capacity of four riders per car. Sometimes the wait time reached up to two and a half hours; uncommon for such a brief ride. This wasn't remedied until 2006, when Six Flags introduced the Flash pass system. The system was slightly different for this ride, however. Riders arriving at the line were given a ticket and asked to return at a certain time, causing lines to be significantly shorter.

The attraction opened at Beech Bend in 1972 or earlier, and was called Jet Star.[1] In February 1985, it was purchased by the manager of Noble Park Funland for $118,000, and opened later that year.[2] The attraction subsequently operated at Kentucky Kingdom from the opening of the park in 1987. It was known as Starchaser and was enclosed for the first time.[3] In 1996, the attraction opened at Darien Lake as Nightmare at Phantom Cave, representing an investment of $2 million.[4] In 1999, Great Escape announced that the attraction would open there in 1999 following an investment of $1.9 million.[5] During construction, its name was changed to Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon.[6]

2006 was Nightmare's last season. Without any prior announcement, the ride was found to be closed for all of the 2007 season and all future seasons. Today, the building still stands eerily in the Ghostown section of the park, easily seen from rides such as Canyon Blaster.


On 30 August 1975, a 17-year-old boy was killed while working on the Jet Star. He was removing blocks underneath the coaster with three other employees when a car began moving and struck his head.[7]

In 1994, two cars collided resulting in multiple injuries.[8]


  1. "Beech Bend advert", The Messenger (July 5, 1972), pp. 12. Retrieved on January 21, 2021.
  2. "Rollin' and tumblin'", The Paducah Sun (4 July 1985), pp. 1. Retrieved on January 21, 2021.
  3. "Louisville theme park may boost conventions", The Indianapolis Star (May 12, 1987), pp. 36. Retrieved on January 21, 2021.
  4. "Darien Lake will be 'Nightmare' new indoor roller coaster features eight-story plunge in total darkness". The Buffalo News. February 25, 1996. Archived from the original on January 21, 2021. Retrieved January 21, 2021. 
  5. Moore, Deborah (March 1, 1999). "The Great Escape adding indoor roller coaster". Albany Business Review. Retrieved January 21, 2021. 
  6. "New Great Escape coaster may not be ready in time", The Post-Star (27 May 1999), pp. 9. Retrieved on January 21, 2021.
  7. "Accident kills worker at Beech Bend park", The Courier-Journal (August 31, 1975), pp. 218. Retrieved on January 21, 2021.
  8. "$3 million verdict over station's story on roller coaster reversed". Reporters Committee. 

External links