Guidelines for HHN Newcomers

Each year Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) grows bigger and pulls in more fans then before. If this will be your first year attending an HHN event, then here are some guidelines to make sure you get the most out of the event as possible.

1. Get to the Park Early

HHN  is an incredibly popular event and gets more crowded the closer date is to Halloween. So, get to the event at 6:00 p.m. and enjoy as much as possible before the rest of the crowd gets there around 8:00 p.m. When the park is packed with people wait times in the normal queue lines can get up to two hours for the popular Intellectual Property (IP) houses.  So, the sooner you get in line, the quicker you can experience the house.  Not to mention, that all the waiting adds up and takes away from the other things you can do at the event like: watch the Academy of Villains dance show, checkout the scarezones throughout the park, and enjoy the food and beverages at the concession stands.

2. Upgrade your ticket

Halloween Horror Nights has become such a popular event that is nearly impossible to view all the haunted houses any night with just the standard admission ticket, so you will have to purchase some form of an upgrade if you want to see everything.  Most people purchase a multi night ticket and bare the normal queue lines to knockout three or four houses per night. Some people purchase an express pass which puts you ahead of the normal line once per house. The wait times using the express usually max out at an hour. The nice thing about the express pass is that it also allows you to jump the line once on all the rides as well.  Then there is the top dog of the update, which is known as the R.I.P Tour. The R.I.P Tour gives you a guided tour of each of the houses and puts you ahead of all lines. The most you wait for any house during the R.I.P Tour is ten minutes, so this upgrade is a godsend on those crazy busy nights where it is nearly impossible to traverse the streets of Universal.  Although, the R.I.P. Tour is a little more expensive it does provide you with a buffet meal, quick access to the bars, VIP access to one show, VIP parking, VIP access to one ride and express pass for all rides once. If you are worried about spending extra money, I recommend going during the first three weeks of the event when prices are cheaper.  The savings of going early makes the R.I.P Tour a potential choice of anyone.

3. Be respectful of the scareactors

Like it or not social media is ingrained into our society and everyone wants to show off what they are doing at all times. Please remember that just because you want to put a selfie of you and the actor in the scary costume on the social media does not mean the scareactor has to oblige you. The scareactors are there for one reason and that is to scary you.  That being said, Universal has done a great job over the last couple of years to allow everyone to have a chance to take selfies in the scarezones. Photos are not allowed in any of the haunted houses to protect everyone’s safety. Also, flash photography is prohibited at all times.  Taking photos with your flash on or in any house will result in you being asked to leave the park immediately.

4. Try not to over do it

Halloween Horror Nights is an event that allows you the opportunity to unwind and enjoy some adult beverages. Have fun enjoy your time at the park and make some new memories with your friends, but please do not act like you are at a college frat party. If you get wasted and cause a sense then you will be asked to leave the park or possibly even worse. Nobody likes being around an obnoxious drunk and it ruins the event for everyone involved. Please keep in the mind that the brave men and women of the Orlando Police department provide security for this event, and are willing to haul away anyone who is acting out to jail for disorderly conduct.  So, keep your drinking at a level you can control and help keep the event enjoyable for everyone.

5. Show no fear

This is a mature event and some very graphical scenes will be presented to you. If you are the type that closes their eyes during a horror movie then this event is properly not for you. For example, my sister-in-law has had panic attacks after walking through a couple of HHN houses. Universal’s creative team does an incredible job designing these houses.  Walking through a Horror Nights house feels like being in the movie. It is ok to get caught off guard once in awhile, but if you are walking in the streets with you head down avoiding eye contract with the scareactors then you will have a long night ahead of you. I have seen scareactors prey on scared young college aged kids plenty of times. Trying to avoid the actors only makes them want to play with you even more. It is quite common place for scareactors to follow scared people around in the dark streets messing them until the person runs away in fear.

What are your rules?  Should we add anything to these?

The Connection Between A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday 13th and The Evil Dead

Halloween Horror Nights has given us several memorable haunted houses based off of intellectual proprieties (IPs) over the last twenty-seven years.  The list of IPs has grown to include A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and The Evil Dead.  Each of these films are considered classics from the 1980’s and have immense cult-like devotion from their fans.  That being said, most people do not realize that these movies are connected due to a few cleverly placed props.

It all began with a poster

While watching, “The Hill Have Eyes,” Sam Raimi noticed a scene with a half ripped poster from,”Jaws.” Raimi interpreted this as the movie’s director Wes Craven saying the movie was scarier then, “Jaws.” So, once Raimi finally got his shot to direct he decided to reference the half ripped poster in his movie, “The Evil Dead.” During the scene were Ash and Scott explore the cabin’s basement a half ripped poster from, “The Hills Have Eyes,” can be clearly seen on the wall.  So, Raimi is trying to say that, “The Hill Have Eyes,” is only as half as scary as ,”The Evil Dead.”

Wes plays along

Once, Wes Crave saw, “The Evil Dead,” and heard why Sam Raimi placed  a, “Hills Have Eyes,” poster in the film he decided to play along.  Craven winked back at Raimi by including a scene in ,”A Nightmare on Elm Street,” where lead character Nancy is watching, “The Evil Dead,” on her television while trying to stay up.

If the glove fits

Loving the fact that Wes Craven referenced his film in, “A Nightmare on Elm Street,”  he decided to take it to the next level in the sequel, “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.”  This time around Raimi referenced, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” by including two scenes where Freddy’s glove is clearly seen hanging in the background. The first scene is when Ash goes into the woodshed and Freddy’s glove can be seen hanging over the door frame.  The final reference can be seen when Ash in wondering in the basement looking for the missing pages of the Necronomicon Ex-Moris, or the Book of the Dead.

A Book is only worth what it is printed on

After the dismal box-office results of, “Friday the 13th part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan,” Paramount Pictures sold the franchise rights to New Line Cinemas in 1990.  This lead to one of the weirdest entries in the Friday the 13th series, “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday.”   In this film, Creighton Duke reads a spell from the Necronomicon, while another character stabs Jason with the Kandarian dagger.

The Ending or the Beginning everyone wanted

By now, everyone knows how, “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday,” ends. Freddy’s glove comes out of the ground and crushes Jason’s mask. This was the ending that every fanboy wanted and it lead to the film, “Freddy vs. Jason.” However, with the inclusion of the Necronomicon and Kandarian dagger many fans wanted a sequel called, “Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash.” The fanboys never did get this movie, but they instead got a limited six issue comic series published by Wildstorm and Dynamite Entertainment. This series ran from November 2007 until March 2008.

This could be the greatest house ever built…

This leads me to wonder why Halloween Horror Nights have not created a Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash house yet?  I believe this would be an incredible house and the billing alone would draw in the fans.  Please Universal give us a mega house that combines scenes from all three franchises and climaxes with Ash breaking out his boom stick and  chainsaw to send Freddy and Jason back to Hell!

So, did you know all these facts? Are you still hoping for a Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash movie? Do you think this would make a great HHN House?  Let us know!

My Top Five HHN Houses

My love for Halloween Horror Nights began almost four short years ago when I was lucky enough to attend HHN 25.  That year’s event showcased nine incredible haunted houses, five scarezones and brought back everyone’s favorite icon Jack the clown.  I was hooked the second I walked into one of the haunted houses and have been back every year since. Here are my top five favorite HHN houses from the last three Halloween Horror Nights.

1. Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem

This was the very first HHN house I ever dared to walk into and it set the bar for the rest. I was completely blown away with all the amount of detail that each scene contained. It was literally like being in all the monster movies I grew up watching. This house still has the honor of being the only one to actually make me jump from a scare. This was all due to the perfect timing of the scareactors and a well built false wall.

2. American Horror Story (Murder House/Freak Show/Hotel)

2016’s American Horror Story uber maze was the star of Halloween Horror Nights 26.  The Universal creative team did an incredible job combining the three seasons of: Murder House, Freak Show and Hotel into one house of pure adrenaline.  Even if you are not a fan of this show the house featured Twisty the clown, who is down right creepy and the actors that portrayed the character were on point.

3. Scarecrow The Reaping

Scarecrow The Reaping was the best house of Halloween Horror Nights 27 and some believe it may be the best house ever. This original concept maze had you walk through a farm during the 1930’s dust bowl, while being attacked by a pack of scarecrows.  What made this so memorable were the narrow halls that made everything feel claustrophobic.  Plus, it seemed that the actors were jumping at you from every corner possible.  Another bonus for this house was the facade, which included actual rows of corn that only helped you believe you were actually on a farm.

4. Insidious

HHN 25’s Insidious house took users through the further as shown in the first two chapters of the movie series.  You could tell who ever designed this house was a fan of the movies series, because every scare from the movies were included into this house. What I remember the most from this house was waking into a room and seeing the lipstick demon jump at the person in front of me. Trying to act all bad ass I looked the actor in the eyes as they slowly went backwards into a false wall only to see the actor’s eyes look past me as if something was hidden out of my sight. I figured go with it, so I turned around to find another lipstick demon right behind me looking over my shoulder.

5. The Exorcist 

The Exorcist was HHN 26’s most anticipated house and it lived up to all the hype. First, I would like to point out that the movie is considered one of the scariest movies of all time and Universal took on a huge challenge trying to create many of its memorable scenes.  What I remember most about this house was the smell of pea soup as you walked past vomit stained sheets.  This house scared my sister-in-law so bad that she refused to do anymore houses that night.

So, what are your favorite Halloween Horror Nights houses? Let us know!

Would A Quiet Place Make a Good HHN House?

“A Quiet Place,” tells the story of the Abbott family trying to live in complete silence to hide from creatures that hunt by sound.  In no way is this movie scary, but it definitely has some incredibly suspenseful moments.  The amount of details each character puts into trying to remain silent is beyond brilliant.  Such details include speaking in sign language, sound proofing rooms, and even painting walking paths on the home’s floor to prevent the children from walking on squeaky floorboards.

Personally, I would have to say this one of the smartest horror films I have seen in quite awhile. There are some many details in this film that I would recommend watching it a few times, so that you may pick-up on them all. This film takes scenes of children playing and turns them their ears when you realize later that the kids where not playing at all, but instead practicing their role in a planned family escape plan. The only complaint I could see anyone having with this movie would the ending. I personally liked how the movie end, but it is definitely one of those sudden cuts to black, hear the sound of a cash register ring and roll credits.  To me this leaves the audience wanting more and thirsty to see a sequel.

Now, the most important question could this story line work as a Halloween Horror Nights house.  I think this would make an incredible maze if it was built in the fashion of last year’s ,”Scarecrow: The Reaping.”  You could even keep the facade, since the Abbott family lives on a farm with cornfields. The rest would be simple, just have sudden loud audible cues and then have a monster jump out at you.

Come on Universal make this happen please!  Have you seen it and do you think this would be a good house?

Farewell to the King Baby!!!

For those of you that may not know STARZ has put the series, “Ash vs, Evil Dead,” to rest after airing the season finale for the show’s lackluster season three.  Season three has been very hit and miss to say the least, relying on a very convoluted plot and recycling old gags  from the original trilogy of movies. Some of the recycled gags included Ash battling an evil version of himself and the series ending with the original planned finale for, “The Army of Darkness.”  I will not give any spoilers away for those of you that still have not seen this finale, but I will say the only way it could have been worse would be by having Ash sit next to the Ghostbeaters and eat onion rings while listening to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Furthermore, Bruce Campbell has now come out and announced that he will no longer act as the character Ashley J. Williams, thus putting a final nail in the ,”Evil Dead,” coffin.  I would like to thank Mr. Campbell for his thirty plus years of dedication to the character of Ash Williams and making sure he always appeared as a every man that anyone could identify with.  Mr. Campbell, I am sure you have many awesome projects on your radar, but I secretly hope you or your agent get Budweiser on the phone and make you the new king of beers. That way we can go from, “Dilly, Dilly!” to ,”Hail to the King of Beers Baby!!!”  Not to mention there is a Budweiser brewery in your character Ash J. Williams’s favorite vacation spot Jacksonville, Florida.

It is hard to imagine that just last year Ash vs. Evil Dead was a house at Halloween Horror Nights 27.  Rest in peace Ashley J. Williams a.k.a Ashley Slashy.

Gone but NEVER forgotten!  Thank you for an awesome HHN house.

Top Ten Intellectual Properties I would love to see at Halloween Horror Nights

1. Return of the Living Dead

Return of the Living Dead is by far my favorite horror movie of time. This one of the few horror films where the characters make logical decisions, but still seem to get themselves in dire situations. The film is non-stop action, great special effects and still has moments of comedy allowing the viewer to catch their breath.

This movie would make an incredible Halloween Horror Nights maze. First, you have an unlimited of zombies to jump at you from every corner.  This film has several memorable scenes that Universal’s creative team could knock out of the park. Such as the scenes where the goo-zombie is attacking in the basement, or when Ernie is dissecting a body in the morgue. Not to mention if Universal made this one of their smaller mazes the action would be non-stop and give the users a scare around every corner.

2. Psycho/Bates Motel

Of all the great stories Mr. Alfred Hitchcock put on film, nothing is more suspenseful then that of one Norman Bates.  Halloween Horror Nights would be able to give us a great maze no matter if they choose to use the murderous version of Norman in, “Psycho,”  or the younger version of the character that is struggling with mental illness in, “Bates Motel.”

Either choice gives Universal plenty of material to make the maze memorable. If Universal chooses the adult version of Bates then they can simply recreate all famous scenes for the movie, like Norman attacking with a knife from behind the shower curtain or the discovery of Ms. Bates’s decaying body in the basement.  However, if Universal chooses the younger version of Norman then they may be able to do something more creative with the maze. I for one can see a maze that is designed around young Norman’s troubled mind. The further you go into this maze, the further you lose the ability to tell what is real and what is a construct of the mind. Thus, showing you the horrors of the victims and the killer himself.

3. Fright Night

First of all I want to make it know that we  are only talking about the original 1985 version of this film.  This movie is not only great story, but it was also one of the first horror films to present a lead character who is film savvy and knows how to follow the paint by numbers approach in order to survive.  This character approach would later give us another horror classic in, “Scream.”

The real reason I only see the 1985 version of the movie as a maze, is that you could do some really cheesy Peter Vincent, “Fright Night,” TV show monologues cue videos just like Universal did for the now classic maze, “HR Bloodengutz.”  This would get the crowd pumped up and excited for the maze. Finally, Universal should have plenty of vampire supplies left over from 2017’s “The Hive,” to recreate some of the film’s more famous scenes.

4. Suspiria 3-D

Suspiria is an incredible viewing experience, that challenges all of your senses.  First, the scenery is all vibrant red and violet colors that gives the viewer a sense of being in an desolate dream. Next, you have the incredibly bloodcurdling soundtrack by the band Goblin.

Taking in account of all the visual and audio aspects of this movie I fill this would make an incredible 3-D. All the vibrant colors of the movie could be recreated using the glow-in-the dark neon colors that Universal loves to use in 3-D houses. As for music, just blast the Suspiria theme song and let the mindf@### begin!

5. The Howling/Dog Soldiers

Either one of these houses would be easy to create. Just give us incredibly intimidating tall werewolves in very confined spaces. Give us a claustrophobic feeling of no where to run or hide. Makes feel that we are being hunted down one by one and the screams are certain to happen.

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3

Where to begin on such a classic film that saved a movie franchise. Freddy is a horror icon, so you can never go wrong including him at a Halloween Horror Nights.  I would be happy if Universal just recreated all the classic kills from the films. If anything, Universal would have to give us the Freddy worm trying to swallow Kirsten and the, “Welcome to Prime Time,” TV scenes to make this maze legit. It would allow be incredible to see Universal recreate the winding stairs to Hell, right before you face off against Kruger in the boiler room.

7. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Every year at Horror Nights there is a comedic house, so why not have ,”Killer Klowns from Outer Space.”  This movie has a cult following, so it would guarantee to sell tickets to the event.  Not to mention that a lot of people are direly afraid of clowns. So, this intellectual property is a no brainer to me.

8. Hellraiser

Count this one on the why hasn’t this already been a maze at Halloween Horror Nights list.  There are so many creepy scenes that the creative team could recreate for this maze.  I could even see Universal making the maze be the puzzle box itself.  You solve the riddle to the box, and begin to travel those the various chambers until you face off against Pinhead.

9. Five Nights at Freddy’s (VR Experience)

Five Nights at Freddy’s has been a pretty popular property the last four years, and the HHN fans have been asking for it.  If we ever do see this one at Horror Nights, I hope Universal does something really creative with it like making it a virtual reality experience.

For those of you that experienced 2016’s ,”The Repository,” remember wearing the VR headset and carrying the optic wand. I can see this working with the whole FNAF game play. The VR headset could be used like the mask in Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 and the optic wand would be your virtual flashlight.  As you walk around the dark maze you would hear footsteps or breathing at that point you pull down you VR headset then flash your flashlight to make sure you are save.

10. Poltergeist

This is another classic film that would great to see as a Horror Nights maze.  Just recreate the special effects from the film and let the users wander through the maze while trying to avoid the light.

There you have it, there is my TOP 10 I’d love to see at HHN but what are your top 10s? Let us know!

Strange Things in the Code…

Our tech corresponent The Web Master is at it again and he seems to have found some interesting things in the code…

Looking at Universal Orlando’s website code we have spotted a marker for a possible seventeen video clips!  Yes seventeen!

See the code below:

// for video
var video = $(‘#hero-vid’).get(0);

$(‘.ipvid1’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(1); // Stranger Things

$(‘.ipvid2’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(2); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid3’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(3); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid4’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(4); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid5’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(5); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid6’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(6); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid7’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(7); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid8’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(8); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid9’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(9); // Coming Soon
$(‘.ipvid10’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(10); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid11’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(11); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid12’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(12); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid13’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(13); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid14’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(14); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid15’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(15); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid16’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(16); // Coming Soon

$(‘.ipvid17’).on(‘click’, function (e) {
playVid(17); // Coming Soon

$(‘#vidClose’).on(‘click’, function (e) {

Last year Universal Orlando had seven total videos spots in their code. This included the five intellectual properties houses and two promotional videos. The rumored leaked house list contained six IP houses and three originals.  Universal could very well do one to two quick teaser videos and one full promotional videos. So, with house and promotional videos it be reasonable to see Universal doing 10-11 videos total. This brings up the question what is Universal doing for the other extra six to seven video spots? This is very weird!

There have been a few rumors already to a Universal Orlando having a tenth house. This very well could point to why Universal plans to shoot so many videos. This tenth house has also bee rumored to be an add ticket like HHN 26’s ‘The Repository’.  If this rumor is true Universal will have plenty of opportunities to market this new add-on house with six to seven potential videos.  Or could the “shows” referred to in the Stranger Things marketing actually be for more than two?  Whatever is planned, it sure looks like Universal has plenty up their sleeves right now!

Let us know in the comments what you think these extra videos could be for…

Universal’s Code Pointing to No Icon and One More IP

It is common knowledge that Universal announced Ash vs. Evil Dead last Thursday, but what you might not have realized is that they commented out the code pointing to the soul collector picture. This may unfortunately mean that rumors are true and HHN 27 will not have an icon, which is a real bummer.

Upon further probing of Universal’s code I was able to find the script they are using to call video clips. That code is provided below:

var vid;

//for autoplay, default is TO AUTO PLAY
ap = typeof ap !== ‘undefined’ ? ap : 1;

case 1:
vid = “JO3bMivablE”; // AHS
case 2:
vid = “e3s6hfAVrYE”; // TS
case 3:
vid = “yiXQszZlg-U”; // SC
case 4:
vid = “6xVMENghE-U”; // AvED
case 5:
vid = “JO3bMivablE”; // TBD
vid = “JO3bMivablE”; // AHS


For those you that do not know how to read source code the // represents a segment of code where the programmer is leaving a comment for future reference. The // makes the text after it on that line rendered as a comment and will not be seen on the visual display of the website that the user sees. Since, the commented lines of code will not be seen by the users programmers tend to use this on old lines of code that are no longer needed, which is referred to as commenting out a line of code. An example of commenting out code was given previous in this article referring to the soul collector picture. Just for complete clarification there are three ways to comment out lines of code: 1)) \\ This comments out one line of code, 2) this allows the programmer to comment out multiple lines and 3)/* */ which also knocks out multiple lines.

Now that everyone understands how to program a comment on a website lets break down what Universal’s code is saying. First, there is case 1 with it’s comment of AHS which stands for American Horror Story. Next, we see TS for The Shining. Then we see case 3 with the comment of SC, which stands for Soul Collector. Case 4 has a comment of AvED, so this clearly means Ash vs. Evil Dead. Finally, case 5 has TBD, which stands for To Be Determined. This means that Universal have one more IP that remains unnamed. This final IP could be either Saw or Blumhouse, both of which have been rumored to be at the event. Hopefully, Universal will answer this final question on August 3rd at 10:00 A.M. when their counter hits zero.

So what do you think, no icon and one more IP?  How do you feel about this?  Let us know!

Another Easter Egg in Universal’s Code

If you look into the source code of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights website you can see another hidden gem. Whoever is coding the site has commented out the following text image.

When you paste the text into word or notepad you can read the phrase, “Sacrifice your soul.” Well played Universal. This could have been placed in the website’s code as a joke or it could represent a site update to come.

Maybe they know we’re reading their coding!  Of course they do…

Horror Nights Fan from the Moment I Entered the Gates.

Growing up in Georgia I was always aware of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, but never had an opportunity to attend the event until HHN 25.  My experience at that year’s event was so incredible that I instantly became a fan determined to attend every HHN to follow.

Once I entered Universal’s gates I was encompassed in everything that was the Carnival of Carnage. For being chased around by chainsaw wielding maniacs and steampunk versions of Disney characters to hearing the constant background noises of Jack’s maniacal laughter.

The first house I entered was Jack Presents 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem. It is almost impossible to explain in words the sheer bliss I experienced in this house.  This house was an incredible hodgepodge of classic horror films.  Each film’s scene was replicated to the minute detail. It was literally like I was in the movies.

Next, I moved on the house that brought me to the event Freddy vs. Jason.  Growing up in the 1980’s Freddy and Jason were two of the three major horror icons.  Walking from room to room, I revived  movie memories from my childhood.  This house showed how truly heart-stopping it would be to have Jason Voorhees hunt you down.  The scare actors dressed as Jason were unbelievably massive and needless to say menacing.  Now for the main man Krueger, the originator of my nightmares. The Freddy actors were so realistic with their movements and strikes that you thought that they were going to abduct people to the boiler room.

Finally, the house that stole the show for me was Insidious. I have to admit the films did not scary me to say the least, so I had low expectations going into this house. However, Universal did such a great job with this house that it seemed as you were truly wandering through the further. The dark atmosphere and creepy background music surrounded you making it feel as everyone in the house was a prisoner in this spirit world with no hope of escape.