With the everyday hustle for the perfect feed, Halloween has drastically changed its sinister air. Made for Instagrammers, the Nightmare Machine is altering the definition of horror in the wake of trendy, photogenic “experiences.” These experiences are recognized by their immense focus on unique backdrops and props for guests to pose with.

Have museums and pop-up’s devoted their artistic space to one purpose: the most Instagrammable picture? Will this trend carry us into a new movement concerning art and social media’s relationship?

Museums or Photoshoots?

The Instagrammable museum trend is steadily rising. The Nightmare Machine is a haunted playground for social media photographers. Taking a darker twist on the trend, guests are able to pose with horror movie material.

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???? kill, rinse, and repeat ????(@salvadordummy)

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Aren't you going to say hello? ???? ???? (@megchasehair)

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With online-only reservations (starting at $30), guests are encouraged to dress up as they would at any Halloween party. Their site calculates an estimated 45-minute walkthrough. The creators of Nightmare Machine also did a similar, less spooky installation known as the Dream Machine. There, guests are able to pose with pre-made photoshoot installations and walk through laundry room filled with cotton candy.

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???? ITS GIVEAWAY TIME! ???? We have teamed up with NYC Plugged @nycplugged (again ????) to GIVEAWAY 2 PAIRS OF TICKETS (a pair from each account) for Nightmare Machine! (which ends October 31st btw!) In order to be entered to win, you must: 1. Like this photo  2. Follow @NYCPlugged AND @inthedreammachine  3. ????For an extra entry???? Tag two friends who love horror movies 4. For an extra extra entry, head to @nycplugged’s IG page, like their giveaway photo and tag two friends! GUIDELINES You MUST like this photo AND follow @nycplugged and @inthedreammachine to be entered Giveaway ends Tuesday October 23rd 11:59EST Winner will be announced on the morning of Wednesday October 24th Account must by public This giveaway is in no way sponsored, administered or affiliated with Instagram. Entrant must release Instagram of responsibility and agree to Instagram's terms of use. (???? @paigalaaa)

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Most Trending: Social Media Experiences

If you’ve seen any “Top Five Ways To Get Followers” articles, you’ll notice that they all collectively tend to emphasize uniqueness. Many influencers and social media users alike will stand four or more hours in line to capture these prolific, installation-focused experiences.

More notable, Yayoi Kusama, piloted this trend from the 90’s. She resurged during 2017 with her Infinity Mirror work, paintings, and sculpture at various museums and gallery spaces. This was immediately duplicated by galleries around the world to attract visitors that were not able to stand in her incredibly long gallery lines.


Now, you’ll see Ice Cream museums, Color experiences, animal cafes, and various different experience-based spaces tailored for your photo-taking desires from both businesses and smaller art studios. In addition, the Museum of Selfies in Los Angeles wins most straightforward at joining the trend. They are not fooling around.

The Nightmare Machine isn’t the only haunted experience in the selfie market though. Others are fighting to keep the horror in their horror experiences like This Is Real which blindfolds you so you aren’t even given the option to light up the room with your flash camera.