Halloween Horror Nights 26 SPOILER Review – Yet Another Take


2016 marks my tenth consecutive year attending Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. I’m happy to report that after a decade, I am just as thrilled and chilled by the results of this year’s showcase as I was after 2007’s Carnival of Carnage. Please note I won’t be reviewing the scare zones, as I didn’t spend a great amount of time in either of them to really form a cohesive opinion. Dead Man’s Wharf was definitely the most visually interesting, but as someone who can only go to the event once, and even with added benefit of an Express Pass, it’s tough to get everything done in one night without rushing.

Now, as if the title wasn’t enough warning, there be SPOILERS ahead…

Top 3 Houses:


1) The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – In the weeks leading up to HHN 26, whenever I was asked which houses would be featured in this year’s event, I’d just about always forget to include this one. Not for any particular reason. Among heavy-hitters like The Exorcist and American Horror Story, it would just slip my mind. Color me surprised to find that my favorite house this year would be the very one I just about forgot existed. Although perhaps the shortest in length, this house was densely packed with a barrage of scares. The set dressing, sound design, and overall precise attention to detail were all top-notch. From the couch made of bones to the dark room lit only by the light of a camera flash, and accompanied by the sound of the film’s familiar screeching, sight and sound worked in perfect harmony to bring to life all of the film’s most memorable moments. The familiar sliding door kill from the film is presented in all it’s gruesome glory, and just when you think you’ve made it through the exit and out into the night sky, no less than two more Leatherfaces are ready to give you an extra rush.

Best Moment: Approximately three-quarters of the way through, I was already sure this would be my favorite house of the year. Then, amidst a cacophony of chainsaw whirs coming from all directions, a performer playing the role of the film’s protagonist, Sally, leaps through a window, followed closely by Leatherface in pursuit, dramatizing the movie’s climactic chase scene. A genuinely impressive stunt cemented 2016’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre house as not only my favorite of the year, but one of my absolute favorites of all-time.


2) American Horror Story – If American Horror Story is going to be a recurring staple for years to come, then the creative team at HHN has made a great first impression. As a greatest hits from the first, fourth, and fifth seasons of the popular FX series, this house gave us all the scenes and characters we wanted to see, mostly to very satisfying results. The red room with the rubber suit figures was a little too small and rushed, but the inclusion of just about every memorable character from the show was a delight. We got a heavy dose of Twisty, a few versions of Lady Gaga’s Countess, the Murder House maid, and Jessica Lange’s Elsa from Freak Show with David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” echoing through the room. The inclusion of actual dialog from the show helped give the house a look and feel that was very authentic.

Best Moment: The bed scene from the Hotel season was the most terrifying and well-realized moment in the house. As the faceless creature comes out of the bed, the room’s flickering lights give the monster’s movements a more otherworldly and jarring effect.


3) The Walking Dead – With the popularity of the show only growing, I don’t expect this year to be the last time we see a Walking Dead house, but if it is, this would be one hell of a swan song. I’ve never been a huge fan of the TWD houses, but I’ve also never been against having them included in the event, as they’re genuinely decent enough experiences. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this haunt. Perhaps the longest house at the event, this year’s iteration of The Walking Dead at HHN played as a greatest hits of the show’s first six seasons. We got the famous “Don’t Enter Dead Inside” hospital scene, Dale’s trailer, the bloated zombie at the bottom of the well in Hershel’s farm, and countless other scenes all fully-realized in gory detail. If I have one main criticism, it’s in the use of masks versus makeup. I felt the zombie scareactors were more effective and terrifying than the actors in covered in rubber masks, which were very limiting and seemed to add extra bulk, giving the actor a bigger head that just doesn’t compare to good old-fashioned prosthetics and natural facial performances.

Best Moment: The bathtub throat slit room in Terminus was perhaps the most effective, not least of all because you not only see and hear it happen, but if you happen to be in front of the victim as I was, you might just feel a spray of blood on your shirt

Middle 3 Houses:


4) Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield – This house, based on Halloween II, faithfully followed the film’s chronology from start to finish. The house opens, as the film does, with the ending of the John Carpenter original. We walk through the closet and hear Michael Myer’s struggle with Laurie Strode. We’re then brought quite literally into the middle of the battle between Michael and Dr. Loomis with the dialog from the film echoing around us. Hearing Loomis shout “I shot him six times!” was a particular treat. We’re then transported into the rest of the movie, through the suburban backyards of the homes of Haddonfield, and into the film’s main set piece: the hospital. We see a projection (an effect used in a number of this year’s houses) of a nurse undressing and getting ready for a bath before moving into the next room and finding Michael Myers dunking her head in boiling water, a very effective mix of animatronic (nurse) and scareactor (Michael). While the majority of the house was a real treat to behold, I was a little underwhelmed by the ending, which recreated the film’s explosive climax. Granted, I wasn’t expecting to see any explosions or pyrotechnics, but I thought we’d have more fire effects showing the hospital in flames rather than just the aftermath showing the scorched walls and burned Michael. Still, a great house nonetheless and a worthy follow-up to 2014’s popular Halloween house.

Best Moment: As a fan of the Halloween II movie, the moment that brought me the most joy is one that may go completely unnoticed by most. As you are exiting the house, you can hear the song “Mr. Sandman” being played. The song was also used in Back to the Future when Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly first wanders Hill Valley in 1955, but in Halloween II, the song is played during the film’s ending credits. Although not a major moment in the house by any stretch, it’s a very nice touch for fans of the movie, and a testament to the love and dedication that goes into creating one of these houses.


5) The Exorcist – Although suffering from a slow start and an overabundance of empty white hallways, the much-anticipated house based on the William Friedkin classic gets a lot of things absolutely right. How do you make a haunt with multiple set pieces when the majority of the best moments in the film all take place in the same room? HHN’s answer isn’t to just simply repeat the same room – although that is done numerous times – but to also include manifestations of Regan’s demonic possessions in the form of hellish settings of pure terror and macabre. Yes, we get the famous spider-walk and head spin, both brought to life by excellent animatronics, but between those classic moments are scenes of caves of red and brown rock with depictions of the movie’s terrifying demon face projected onto the cavernous walls. And speaking of projections, like the Halloween II house, The Exorcist features a very impressive projection effect where an entire wall seemingly disappears and reveals the Iraq setting from the film’s opening.

Best Moment: The “power of Christ” room was a real standout. This was a great blend of voiceover, scareactor, and prop that blended seamlessly to create a memorable room inspired by a classic moment from the film.


6) Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch – This house was enjoyable, but I can’t exactly say it’s very memorable. I’m a sucker for a good western, and I will say that the place where Ghost Town shines brightest is in its set design and atmosphere. Unfortunately, not much else from this house really stood out to me as unique, including the scares and character designs. On a recent episode of the Scare Zone podcast hosted by Logan Sekulow and HHNU’s own Chris Ripley, I recall hearing that each time you saw a corpse in Ghost Town, the subsequent scareactor would be the ghost of that dead person. Knowing this information, I still had a difficult time identifying which actors were supposed to be ghosts and which ones were living townsfolk.

Best Moment: In the saloon scene, there’s a corpse sitting on a stool at the bar. While my attention was captured by the body, I was given my best scare of the house when suddenly a woman appeared from behind the counter with two handguns and fired them directly at me. Of course, I played along and reacted to the shots accordingly.

Bottom 3 Houses:


7) Tomb of the Ancients – Like Ghost Town, the scenes in this house seemed to blend together into a haze. I know many have pointed to Tomb of the Ancients as their favorite house of the event, but unfortunately, this was one of three houses that just didn’t work for me. I can’t say there’s anything this house does particularly wrong. In fact, it does a lot of right: a great forested entrance, a claustrophobic setting, good animatronics. It may’ve been the hype and the early buzz for this house that got my hopes up, which ultimately places Tomb of the Ancients in my bottom three of the year. One last note: I will always give credit where credit’s due. One scareactor was particularly good at his job and scared me sober twice. This gentleman popped out of a wall, reached out with a gloved hand, and gave me a good audible expletive-filled jolt. Then, as I turned the corner and completed a U-turn into the next room, the guy pops out the other side of the wall and was the recipient of another few good F-bombs.

Best Moment: The giant alligator animatronic at the end. ‘Nuff said.


8) Lunatics Playground 3D – This house had the makings of a great double act, but one side was ultimately favored over the other. The scenes in Chance’s house are divided into the asylum setting of the “real” world and the bright neon fever dream of our icon’s lunacy and fractured mind. I was most intrigued by the asylum sets because they featured a darker tone and a truly terrifying harlequin that seemed to find real pleasure in the pain and suffering of her victims. However, these scenes of the straightjacket-wearing Chance were few and far between and by the midway point of the house, ultimately scrapped in favor of the more colorful 3D scenes. These scenes did nothing to distinguish themselves stylistically or tonally from previous 3D houses, and instead relied on an overuse of flickering strobe lights, which actually got a little nauseating by the time I reached the exit. Like previous icon houses (Bloody Mary’s house in Reflections of Fear or Jack’s 3D house in The Carnival of Carnage) I hoped chance would get her own unique iconic house (pun intended) with a great story, but ultimately, character and story suffered in favor of flair and spectacle.

Best Moment: My favorite thing about this house wasn’t exactly in the house itself per se, but rather in the queue. The music played while in line is a fun mash-up by a band called The Black Sweden featuring the melody to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and the vocals from Abba’s “Take a Chance on Me”. You wouldn’t think it’d work, but it does.


9) Krampus – The biggest disappointment of the year. This house had the potential to be the sleeper hit of the year, but ultimately felt like a house of missed opportunities. Where to begin? The opening exterior of the house would’ve been the perfect place to include the creepy snowmen from the film. In fact, they could’ve been used as hiding places for a scareactor or two. Instead, we get repetitive scares from elves throughout the entire house even though they only appear in the film’s climax. Speaking of the elves, their masks were underwhelming and too big. Picture the elves from the film, but with a “Big Head” filter like in NBA Jam. Yeah, I went there. Additionally, I don’t recall seeing the winged fairy doll from the film, which is probably the creepiest creature design in the whole feature. I hate to be so negative, but with the exception of the kitchen scene (see below), each room seemed to produce a response of “That’s it?” I loved breathing in the smell of gingerbread in Krampus’ lair, and anxiously awaited one final confrontation with the title character, only to see an exit sign and an open door signaling the end of the haunt.

Best Moment: While re-watching the film the night before going to HHN, the scene I was most hoping to scene recreated in the house was the kitchen scene with the horrifically adorable killer gingerbread men. Although, the most of the house was a letdown, this particular room was a diamond in the rough. Rest in pieces to the little gingerbread man spiraling in the kitchen sink.

Well, that’s my review of this year’s Halloween Horror Nights’ nine horrific haunts. But that’s not all. Come back very soon for my full review of Halloween Horror Nights’ new VR experience, The Repository. That’s right, I paid the $50. But was it worth it? Visit us here at HHNUnofficial.com soon to find out.



Halloween Horror Nights was cancelled on October 6th and 7th for Hurricane Matthew to keep the team and cast safe. A rumor has been floating around lately that two dates would be added to the calendar, and we are happy to announce that it has officially been confirmed!

Universal Orlando Kept Their Promise!

Upon initial announcement of HHN26, UO gave a promise of 30 nights of terror for guests, as well as 30 nights of work for its staff, house attendants, and performers. Upon cancellation of October 6th and 7th, that promise was essentially broken, leaving Fear Pass holders with two lost opportunities to attend, and all cast and team with two days without work or pay.

UO Resort was kind enough to validate Frequent Fear and Frequent Fear Plus passholders for that following Saturday, 10/8, to make up for the two lost days. However, an issue arose when Ultimate Fear Pass holders (valid for all 30 event nights) began complaining that they weren’t being compensated for their two lost nights, yet the lower rung passholders received an extra day to attend that they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

The Official Announcement

Today Universal Orlando let the cat out of the bag and announced the two extra nights being added to the HHN event calendar.


This may not come as surprise to some, as the rumor of this has been making its rounds since last Wednesday October 12.



Possible Resulting Issues

Many performers and team members assigned to Halloween Horror Nights planned to be over and done with the event after Oct 31, and have already planned to return to their normal sleep schedules, work routines, or even hometowns. This essentially means that November 4th and 5th will be missing a few actors here and there. If you have a favorite scene in a house or a favorite character in a scarezone, the actors unfortunately may not be there for you to enjoy one last time.

Food and merchandise may be affected as well, in a few possible ways. The supply of the popular “blood sucker” Jell-O booze beverage may run thin, and the dates in which the merchandise is discounted may move to the last two dates rather than what was previously the last weekend of October. Merchandise is typically discounted on the last day or so of the event, an effort by UO to get rid of the remaining supply. Those planning to attend Oct 31 in hopes of going on shopping spree may be in for paying more than they anticipated if this is the case.

Despite these potential set backs, there’s no reason not to rejoice! Our favorite Halloween event is sticking with us for longer than we anticipated! These new dates being after Halloween, it may not be too crowded, either!

Will you be attending the two new dates? Let us know in the comments!


Photo by Travis Terrell

Unmasking the Horror Tour; Our Form of Easter


An Easter tradition for kids around the world (and some adults) is hunting for Easter eggs, but there’s another kind of Easter Egg that we are much more interested in, and they are hidden inside HHN haunted houses….

An HHN Die Hard’s Paradise

Some writers on our page have been on the Unmasking the Horror Tour before, and they know that it’s the definitive way to see all that Halloween Horror Nights has to offer. The Unmasking the Horror Tour, for those who don’t know, is a separately ticketed tour offered by the VIP department of Universal Orlando that takes guests into the HHN haunted houses during the day with the lights on and no scareactors.

The tour guides provide fantastic insights into the creation of the houses, how the special effects work, and point out special things hidden inside the houses (Easter Eggs), that you otherwise would not see during a typical walkthrough of the haunt during normal event operation.

What’s an Easter Egg Anyway?

In terms of Halloween Horror Nights, an Easter Egg is essentially a hidden object that nods to either a previous house at HHN, or a television show or movie. Some great examples of past Easter Eggs have been baby Jack and Eddie inside a dungeon cell in Body Collectors: Recollections, beer bottles branded as 20 Penny Circus Malt (named after a specialty act that used to perform in early Horror Nights years) and a dead body wearing a Woody the Woodpecker shirt in American Werewolf in London, a music box that played the theme to the movie “The Godfather” when opened in Asylum in Wonderland 3D, Jack hiding in the rafters in Cabin tin the Woods, or even a photograph of Mike Aiello in Resident Evil.

HHN26 Hidden Gems

We’re not going to tell you every single Easter Egg that’s hidden this year, but we can tell you there’s a great deal of them in every house. A great example of a large amount of them are in just the first scene of this year’s “Tomb of the Ancients.” There are so many things hidden in just this first scene alone. From references to the Legendary Truth on the sign out front, to the Usher’s flashlight, art and design really had a field day with this one! Check out the photos and find out what all is hidden below!

As you can see in the photos, they have hidden Indiana Jones’ hat as well as the ancient relic he steals from the first film, the Usher’s flashlight, a large baby doll face from HHN24’s Dollhouse of the Damned, a lantern from the Insidious house, and if you read the last sentence of the sign out front, “L.T.” stands for Legendary Truth, which is a fictional investigation team of HHN lore. Just this one room alone gives you an idea of how many hidden Easter Eggs have been placed in the houses this year at HHN26.

There is also a photo of the former HHN icon “The Storyteller” inside this year’s Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch. Have you noticed it?

Other Benefits of the UTH Tours

Other than finding all the awesome hidden references to other movies, shows, and past horror nights houses, the tour also provides great fun facts about the movies the houses represent, and insight into the making of the houses themselves. Seeing the houses with the lights on and no scares is likely awesome enough for some, though. You are able to roam the house at relatively your own pace, so long as you don’t stray too far away from the tour guide and group. Unlike event nights during operation, you aren’t rushed through the house and you really get the time to appreciate every detail in every nook and cranny. We highly reccomend the Unmasking the Horror Tour to basically everyone, young and old, no matter how into Horror Nights they are. But, if you consider yourself a die hard HHN fan, this is something you absolutely do not want to miss out on!

Experience the Tour for Yourself!

Tours are still available for this year’s Horror Nights while supplies last but bear in mind, those intending to take part, there is a photo ban that applies to all intellectual property houses seen during the tour. In our humble opinion, this does not take away from the worth of the tour, as you are still seeing the houses in a way in which you wouldn’t possibly be able to see otherwise and get loads of fanatic facts and trivia from your tour guide.

The tours come in three different packages: Morning, afternoon, or combination. If you choose to go only on a morning or afternoon tour, you will be guided through three houses in a 3-4 hour tour. The combination is both the morning and afternoon tour with a lunch break in the middle that takes about 6 hours including lunch. Combination tour guests will see 6 and a half houses, the half being the first two or last two scenes of an additional house, depending on which houses aren’t being worked on that day. This additional 7th house is ONLY available to guests taking the combination tour.

To book your tour, click here!

Did Universal Just Secretly Announce A House for #HHN27!?

Did Universal Just Secretly Announce A House for #HHN27!?

Okay we admit, it is SUPER early to be talking HHN27 – especially as this year’s event hasn’t even finished yet!  But we have good reason, promise.  It seems Universal’s A&D department might have been playing a game with us HHN fans, a game that seems to be going back a long way!  Allow us to explain…

Halloween Horror Nights back when it started in the early 90s was an event that took a few months to organize.  Often, the crews who planned the event would look to start forming their ideas and designs around the late summer. Into the late 90s as the event grew in size it started to need far longer to plan, so 6 months was taken to get everything done.  Into the early 2000s and the event was planned from around 9 months ahead and in recent years the planning is anywhere from 12 months to 2 years – depending on the IP or technical ability to pull off the scares.


Some IPs, such as The Exorcist for example, have been in negotiation and development for far longer (though the norm is 12 to 24 months).  This being said, A&D probably have 3 or 4 houses that are locked in and in development already for #HHN27.  Yes, these guys are the true undead as they never rest sleep!

So knowing how the event is planned – could A&D be teasing us with clues for the coming year inside the houses of this year?  If true, this could add a whole new level of excitement to the current slate of houses…

We have it from a variety of sources that Universal has an actual track record of hiding clues to the coming year’s houses inside the current year’s houses.  Clues have been hidden, where they can, in select houses pointing to the houses that would be coming for the following year.  So here’s a few of the past clues that we knew about (we’re sure there are many more):

  • In 2013’s Urban Legends: La Llorona there was a copy of the original Dracula novel placed on a shelf in the church scene, then in the following year of 2014 Universal presented Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood.
  • In 2014’s AVP: Alien vs. Predator located on one of the shelves in the scene with the first alien was a very Jason-esque looking hockey mask.  Skip forward to 2015 and Universal presented Freddy vs. Jason for the first time.
  • In 2015’s The Walking Dead house during the early scene within the house at the prison, there was a Sheriff’s hat placed at high level which for many, they expected this hat to belong to Rick Grimes (it was reasonably prominent within the scene).  However, on closer inspection the badge on the front was inscribed ‘Lightning Gulch’.  Skip forward to this year and Lightening Gulch returned for Ghost Town. [CONFIRMED FACT AS THIS IS CURRENTLY MENTIONED ON MOST BEHIND THE SCREAMS TOURS]

So these are just the clues that we have noted in previous years, we’re sure there are many more!  So this brings us onto this year…  Every year Universal places tonnes of Easter Eggs or cameos into the houses, it’s near impossible to find them all and indeed most of them are random or based on props at hand like Indiana Jones’ temple idol which has been in every house in the last 5 years or the bunny slippers in The Walking Dead that have been present for last 4 years – there’s scores of Easter Eggs!

So the ones we must be concerned about are the ones that are displayed within a reasonable location to see for the diehard fan and the ones that do not reference past or current houses (or any that reference non-horror related franchises, we’re looking at you Dr. Who’s Tardis!)  We also need to discount the amount of recycling of props and sets that Universal needs to do.  But right now there’s only one Easter Egg that stands out from the crowd…

HHN Hollywood’s Krampus House


In the Krampus house towards the end of the house there’s a variety of model houses that are displayed within a number of snow globes.  This references the movie where the homes he has visited are displayed within a snow globe in his lair.  They houses are all made by the highly creative Ray Keim who is currently a consultant with Universal’s Art and Design Team.  Ray has worked on HHN for years and in his many years he has made a number of designs for house facades that you can download and make for yourself.  Click here to go to his site.  Literally most of the buildings inside these snow globes can be yours to make at home right now (including a few Disney ones too!).  Seriously, go check out his site, it’s awesome.

So which buildings are located in the snow globes?  They are:

  • Freddy’s house from Nightmare on Elm Street (seen in 2007 and 2015).
  • Halloween house (seen in 2014 and 2016)
  • Shadybrook Asylum (used a number of times)
  • The Skool House (2008)
  • Legendary Truth house (2010)
  • Caretaker’s house (2002 and 2003)
  • Boris Shuster’s Office (2008)
  • Psycho house (1993, 1994, 1999 and 2006)

There’s one more and this one has never been seen at Halloween Horror Nights before and that final building within one of the snow globes is…. The Amityville Horror. Could this franchise be coming to HHN27?  It surely stands out from the others placed within this room!


Here’s a few reasons why this could be the case:

The franchise has a new sequel coming out in 2017 entitled Amityville: The Awakening which is being produced by Jason Blum who is the same guy that Universal worked with to create the past number of Purge and Insidious houses and scarezones on both coasts from last year and before.  He has also just worked with Universal on their latest horror offering Ouija: Origin of Evil which is currently being cross-promoted at HHN in Hollywood.  The snow globe can be seen below (photo taken on the tour before the photography ban was issued in week 2).


And above all else, as Universal Orlando steamrolls into using more and more IPs at their event, they have never used this franchise for a single house, ever.  And for a franchise that has been going since 1979 and has 18 movies worth of materials to mine, it could be a safe bet that the franchise would sooner or later cross paths at HHN.

Whatever the answer, this sure brings a whole new dynamic to the event for the remaining nights!

So what do you think?  A cool fan theory or maybe something for #HHN27? Have you ever seen any past clues for future houses too?  We’d love to know on both!  So let us know in the comments…


Unofficial: HHN to Extend. Where’s our confirmation!?


A rumor is flying around that HHN will extend its event to add two dates to its calendar to make up for the Hurricane Matthew cancellations of October 6th and 7th….

Our Inbox is Flooding!

The rumor of event extension has been around since Wednesday October 12th. Since that night, a large handful of HHN event staff and HHNU readers alike have been chiming in to confirm that additional dates are being posted on their bulletin boards, requesting performers and staff to sign up to work additional nights. There is no photographic proof of this, though, as photographs of these bulletin boards are strictly prohibited.

Whether it is true remains to be seen, but it seems we may be very close to receiving some kind of confirmation from UO that HHN26 will be extending into the first week of November, specifically November 4th and 5th.

So Where’s the Official Confirmation From UO?!

From what it seems, Universal Orlando may be waiting for enough event staff and performers to sign up for these additional nights to make additional dates a possibility. You have to keep in mind that Halloween Horror Nights depends on its performers and staff team to make each night possible.


It takes a lot of people to make a haunted house or scarezone operate properly

A night of HHN with half the performers and staff would make for a bad experience and awkward haunted house walkthroughs with actors missing everywhere, not to mention empty looking scarezones.

Why Universal is Considering Extending

This year was the first year for the “Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass” which is a pass that included all 30 nights of the event. When those two nights were cancelled, holders of this Pass missed out on two nights. When UO took the initiative to validate all Frequent Fear passes for that following Saturday, even the ones that don’t permit Saturday entrances, Ultimate Fear Passholders had a field trip and began complaining to guest services left and right, claiming “where’s our compensation?” and the like. Universal Orlando does a very good job at listening to the gripings of their guests and could be initiating this extension as the best way to answer to these complaints

Although a number of the team aren’t Orlando locals and have homes to return to after the 31st, a larger amount of them do indeed live here and wouldn’t mind signing up for these extra dates and getting their 29th and 30th night of scares.

For Now, The Waiting Must Continue

Until enough staff sign up for the additional dates, this will remain as a rumor. We have our fingers crossed as much as you guys do that they become official and are announced by Universal Orlando over all platforms of social media and on the official Halloween Horrror Nights website.

For now though, we are eagerly waiting and hoping it’s true. The anticipation and suspense is truly killing us as we eagerly await to tell you guys it’s for real! Until then, keep your eyes peeled here and on our Facebook page, as we are ready for the announcement the minute it comes.

A Marvel Avenger Plus Others at #HHN26

Every year HHN gets bigger and better with people travelling from all over the world just to experience our humble halloween event and celebrities are no different (they’re people right?).  Hollywood gets their own massive influx of celebrities whom all work and live locally whereas you’d be forgiven for thinking that Orlando just pulls in Professional footballer players, golfers and the odd WWE Wrestler (like our buddy Scotty on ScareZone).

But you’d be wrong along with these living locally celebrities there’s also a bunch of Hollywood actors etc who regularly make their own HHN pilgrimage to the humid climbs of Orlando to experience our very special event, so here’s our top 7 celebrity spottings at Universal Orlando during HHN.

Photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

1. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake

Years before he was rocking out with Can’t Stop The Feeling and she was lighting up the Vegas skyline the pop powerhouses were a couple (man I feel old saying that).  Spears and Timberlake had both been linked since they were kids on  Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club and into the late 1990s, when Timberlake had taken over the world with N Sync and Spears was arguably one of the most famous pop performers on the planet. They started dating way back in 1999 but it was 2001 when HHN’s Eddie was the main icon (though was actually replaced by Jack), that the pop duo flew to Orlando to experience the thrills and chills of millennial HHN.  If this had been today I’m sure social media would have imploded…

Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

2. Richard Gere

Gere has been spotted by plucky HHN goers for many of the last few events and has been rumored to be visiting the event for much longer.  Gere who is no stranger to the Central Florida theme parks was also on hand during the opening weeks of Diagon Alley.  He is rumored to be a HUGE Universal Orlando fanboy.

Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

3. Ariana Grande

This native floridian and mega pop sensation has been visiting our Orlando event since she was a kid, and although she now resides in the City of Angels (where she has been visiting Hollywood’s event in the last couple of years), she always takes time out of her busy schedule to visit her home state and enjoy some Floridian horror (no not the humidity).

Photo courtesy of mynews13.com

4. John Landis

What many of you will know is that John Landis has visited Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando for the opening night of his movie, An American Werewolf in London’s house in 2013 (and the subsequent re-run of the house in 2015). What many of you won’t know is that prior and since this house running in 2013 he has visited the event with his family for a great number of years.  He had a great hand in the creating of this house and an even bigger role which was rather contentious on the 2015 house (read more here). Landis, who not only has made iconic horror but has literally wrote the book on the genre, loves HHN at Orlando and will surely be a regular visitor for years to come.

Tippi Hedren visits Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights
Photo by Matt Stroshane/Universal Orlando

5. Tippi Hedren

Okay so I wager some of you have just looked at your screens and said “who?”.  Well before we throw the internet at you let us inform for those that don’t know, Miss Hedren is THE Hitchcock blonde.  Not only is she one of only a few surviving actresses to work with the great master of suspense but she was also discovered and tutored personally by the man himself.  Only starring in two of his movies, though arguable her performance in The Birds is still one of the most iconic additions to the horror zeitgeist, she has (as far as we know) only visited Halloween Horror Nights once back in 2009.  The year that saw the likes of Chucky, The Wolfman, Jigsaw, Dracula (and the debut of The Usher) saw a vast number of Hollywood stars crossing the country to experience the horrors for themselves.  Which only leaves us with one final query, Mike – we know you read this so can we PLEASE have our Hitchcock house for #HHN27!🙂  He Universal trolled us all below on this back in May this year…

Photo courtesy of Universal Hollywood

6. The near WHOLE Walking Dead Cast

So we all know that The Walking Dead have been at HHN Orlando EVERY year since 2012 (though rumors we reported on say that this year is the final year to that run).  And every year and before during initial production, a number of the cast have been coming to the event to help promote it and to relax into the iconic HHN Orlando fog. The reason that vast numbers of the cast and crew (including TWD creator Greg Nicotero) have been visiting our event is due to the proximity of sets to Orlando.  Shot mostly over the state boarder in Georgia, the event is a nearby attraction that is very popular with this show’s company.  Our good friend and former HHN Creative Director James-Michael Roddy even guest starred on the show as a decomposed walker!  He has also wrote the introduction to our brand new book that can be found HERE.

Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando

 7. Penn & Teller

The magical duo have been involved with HHN since the very beginning of event (they appeared in Hollywood’s first year); they’re also rumored to be HUGE HHN fans of both coasts! But it wasn’t until 2012’s Penn & Teller: New(kd) Las Vegas 3-D that the duo not only designed their own house but starred within it as scareactors for select nights. We rumored heavily back in February that the duo were in talks for #HHN26, which never came to fruition, but could they be back for #HHN27 or for some other attraction at Universal Orlando?  The talks are supposedly still happening…

Photo mockup

**Bonus addition** Scarlett Johansson

Though no photographic evidence exists, we have heard from a number of sources that the Black Widow herself visited HHN Orlando for the first time this year. Johansson like thousands of other guests experienced HHN for the first time this year and are sure to be regular future visitors.  Johansson visited in the first week of the event this year on an exclusive RIP tour.  She was in a group of 7 friends that visited under Universal’s radar and not for publicity reasons.  She supposedly posed for no photos and wore a grey hoodie the whole time.  She visited every house and many of the rides but did not catch any of the shows.  She was rumored to have said on the night that The Mummy ride and the Halloween 2 house were her favorite parts of the trip.

So have you spotted any celebrities at HHN Orlando? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your stories!

If you’d love to see more stories from Halloween Horror Nights, then why not pickup the latest edition of the HHN Survivor’s Guide available from all good bookstore or right here at Amazon.com

Why staying onsite is a MUST for #HHN26

We wanted to run down the top 5 reasons to stay onsite at Universal Orlando during #HHN26 for whether you’re an international guest, out-of-stater or even a local, there’s always plenty of fun to be had staying just minutes from the horror nights action…



1. Location

Universal onsite resorts consist of Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Loews Sapphire Falls Resort.  Some as with the Hard Rock are a mere 5 minutes stroll from the front gates, whereas others are just a shuttle or boat ride away.  Hard Rock for example, often gets filled up at this time of year for weary HHN guests whom after walking and queuing at the event all night need a place to stay which is literally within falling distance.  Others such as Cabana Bay are just that little bit further but can be very cost effective for a night’s stay.



2. Traffic

So with or without express passes it seems that HHN will involve an element of queuing.  Queuing for security, lining up to get in, waiting to get into the houses, waiting in line to buy food or drink, shuffling out of Bill and Ted’s etc.  So the last thing you need is to be queuing either before or after on the I4 or the immediate roads around Universal Orlando.  Staying onsite relieves the pressure of getting their early through the rush hour and it relieves the hassle of battling the cars to get out of the parking garage after the event.  More time seeing the horrors and less time stuck in traffic is always a good thing!


Photo by Travis Terrell

3. Your own entrance!

Onsite hotel guests get the chance to walk through their own dedicated entrance to the event.  It is located just to the right of the main entrance arches and is signposted.  A dedicated security team and turnstiles enable onsite hotel guests the chance to experience the horrors right as the event opens!


Photo by Travis Terrell

4. Express for the day-time.

Depending on which hotel you book you can also get an express pass for you and any of your in-room guests to use in the theme parks during the day or the day after (note: the resort guests resort passes only work during the day and not at HHN).


5. The fun continues at the resort…

Forget Disney’s resorts, Universal’s impressive and ever expanding portfolio of hotels are some of the best in the area.  The newly opened Sapphire Falls is a must stay for any Universal junkie, along with the ultra cool and conveniently located Hard Rock, or take a dip in the relatively new Cabana Bay lazy river – there’s plenty to choose from.  The hotels also get in the mood with creepy seasonal decorations, games for the kids and seasonal menu items that are all HHN inspired!

So there’s our top 5 reasons for staying onsite when visiting HHN – do you stay onsite and if so where?  Let us know in the comments!

For more information or to book HHN specific packages please contact Universal directly.