Which character has been present at the event every single year but hiding in plain sight?
We posed the above question to our Twitter followers and we had people guessing everything from Fear himself to trash cans, the answer, might just possibly be the answer to who might be our icon this year…
“Forgotten are the ways of old, traditions blood black and cold.
Up through dirt roots grow and burst, evils’ return, you’ll see what came first.
When ravens and crows made the night black, pumpkins were carved to keep the evil back.
When the howl of the wind sent shivers down spines, graves of our dead covered in vines.
When black cats crossed paths and wolves howl, true witches did more than laugh and scowl.
Your time has come Nathaniel Crow, outside the box you’ll think, you’ll grow.
Terrors traditions in ways you will demand, Halloween’s true self is at hand.”
Backstory to this theory:
Scarecrows have been used at the event and in marketing for years. Notable examples include:
- Gog and Magog who first appeared at Fractured Tales scarezone in 2008. Those two are named after Biblical giants who are weirdly enough symbols of the city of London…
- These scarecrows have shown up again many times such as being part of the facade for the Hallow’d Past house in 2010 and were in Kidzone in 2012.
- Another notable example was the Scarecrow of Oz seen in Path of the Wicked and Scary Tales in 2008.
- Other scarecrows were seen in scarezones Field of Screams in 2004, Harvest of Souls in 2006 and Evil’s Roots in 2015.
- Face Off scarezone in 2014 had a highly detailed scarecrow, and last year we had roaming chainsaws with pumkinheads and scarecrows.
So as you can see, the story of the humble scarecrow is one that has been intrinsically linked to HHN and could easily say that a new potential icon has been lurking in plain sight ever since the beginning of HHN.
Original concept art for a pair of scarecrow characters
1. The Unused Icon
The idea of Nathaniel Crow was devised by Mike Aiello in or around 2008 following the smash hit that was the 2007 event. James-Michael Roddy who was the main director of the event that year centered the whole concept around ‘The Carnival of Carnage‘, they brought in a number of IPs (IPs hadn’t be used widely at the event for a long time) and used Jack as the central icon to drive the success of the event. Following the success of the event they started to look in-house at how to follow up this year with another all encompassing theme headed by an iconic character.
As we all know, that icon would eventually become Bloody Mary but she wasn’t the only character developed at the time. Aiello developed an original story based on this scarecrow character named Nathaniel Crow. For whatever reason, Crow was never used in 2008 and has never been used since. Roddy left to work at Disney and now Aiello is in the driving seat – could he bring back his masterfully created character?
As Walt Disney once said, “great ideas never die.”
Here is Mike talking about the character at a Spooky Empire convention:
One of the first codenames to be released officially by Universal was BRAINS. For which the fan community instantly speculated was in reference to brain eating zombies. We know that Universal uses codenames to aid the production staff and to ensure the codenames are instantly recognizable to all their staff (i.e. they can be worked out by the staff in-house). So could this codename be for the one thing that a very famous scarecrow once pined for? “If I only had a brain”. This theory also works as some members of the fan community have said that the BRAINS house is the main icon’s house.
3. Evolution of icons
The icons for the event have always evolved behind the scenes. The creative and collaborative process that the event goes through at the design stage ensures that ideas develop over time to become more than their initial thought. When Jack needed a girlfriend for an abortive concept in 2001, the designer initially came up with Jill – a rogue female clown that equaled Jack. Skip forward to 2007 and Chance was born.
Fate was an idea that was pitched in the early 00s, she was never used but would ultimately morph into Lady Luck who debuted in HHN21. So could Nathaniel have the same experience to become a new Scarecrow based icon? Or could he morph into this famous scarecrow too…. (side note: is there a sequel to this movie coming out this year?)
4. Leaked clue or fake clue?
HHNU was inundated by fans recently when a supposed member of the A&D Team posted a comment on the wildly popular HHN Fan Group on Facebook run in part by our own amazing Rob. This was the clue by one Suka Vayne-Flores:
We reached out to Suka and we can’t confirm whether they are connected to Universal, despite their profile saying they are. “Si” is yes in Portuguese but could it also be scythe as in a farm tool commonly associated with scarecrows? The jury is out on this one.
5. Official Site update
When the official site was updated earlier this year to replace all of the Chance theming, guess what, they replace her with Gog or Magog scarecrows. If you go there right now, there is a scarecrow on one of the rotating photos.
6. Blurry photo
We were sent a photo by an unknown source that had the filename SC.jpg. SC? Scarecrow maybe? We literally have no idea what SC could mean but it does fit this theory. It does look a little like the Creeper…
So what do you think? Possible icon? Will we even get an Icon? Giant hoax or legitimate possibility for this year? Let us know in the comments!
HHNU would like to thank Dr. Jimmy for his help in completing this article.