Christopher Ripley & Shelby Denham Release New Haunting Collection of Tales

PRESS RELEASE: Released this week, award winning author Christopher Ripley and HHN fan artist and illustrator Shelby Denham have released a new book, Halloween Horror Stories.  A collection of ghoulish and terrifying tales that have been expertly curated to show the genesis of many horror ideas and how these have feed into the world’s greatest Halloween event.

Ripley has assembled some of the best pieces of old and new horror literature, with two stories being completely new and specifically written for this book.  Denham has taken the stories and completely nailed some classic horror illustrations with her unique and beautifully modern style.

The book is described as:

A selection of some of the scariest, weirdest and downright crazy horror writers have been collected together by award winning author Christopher Ripley to form an assortment of twisted tales that have inspired the greatest Halloween event on earth. An anthology put together with the sole purpose of exploring how the genesis of these stories began and where perhaps they are heading. A mixture of classic and new tales that will fill your cold nights with terror. The works have also been terrifyingly illustrated and captured by renowned horror artist Shelby Denham. So lock the door, start the fire and sit back as we share our horror filled tales with you…

Christopher Ripley said, “We had a lot of fun putting this book together, digging into the origins of some of the world’s greatest horror stories.  I even learned that Dickens could be petrifying and that some of these tales are nearly as old as the Bible!  It’s been a great adventure and we just absolutely adore Shelby’s work, as ever, she totally knocked it out the park with illustrating this book.”

The book also marks a first for author Ripley who debuts his first piece of fictional work, writing his own Sherlock Holmes story, he said, “Well Conan-Doyle is big shoes to fill and although my story is no where as a great as his classic works (not even in the same league!), I had a lot of fun in producing a brand new Sherlock Holmes story for the 21st Century!”

The book is released today (May 9th 2019) and is available via Amazon for US and UK readers only.

US Readers:

UK Readers:

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Confirmed: HHN Hollywood to Announce Maze Tomorrow

John Murdy confirmed today via his personal twitter page that tomorrow Sunday April 14 at the HHN Panel at Monsterpalooza they will announce a maze.  The event is being held this weekend at the Pasadena Convention Center and the panel is at 2pm.

Tickets and info are here.

Exciting times are ahead!  Be sure to check back when we have more official info!

 

Rumor: Is Universal Orlando Finally Opening a Year-round Haunt?

Full credit to this rumor goes to our pal Alicia Stella the ace crack theme park reporter who has been the first in the know on Potter and Jurassic Park extensions.  A link to her website and podcast are here.

As we have reported previously it would appear that the Classic Universal Monsters are making something of a return from the doldrums of their aborted Dark Universe concept and are being proposed as a new ‘world’ within the new theme park that Universal Orlando are apparently building.

Yesterday Dan at HHNU reported on rumors he had received where Universal are keen to maximise the use of their own properties without wanting to buy-in too many other IPs from the outside companies; so, the classic monsters, wholly owned by Universal, would fit this model perfectly.

Alicia points within her latest article that at a recent shareholder/stakeholder meeting it might have shown text that read, “Dracula’s Castle and the Worlds of Universal Classic Monsters, concept art for one of the many attractions in the Universal Classic Monsters.”

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She also points out that rumors are spreading around the internet of “everything from a show of some type or walk-through maze attraction, to a high-tech dark ride and even a boat ride based on the Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

As you can appreciate that is just rumor but the leak of the concept art for the Castle does apparently show that they are considering building some kind of haunted looking attraction, with the best guess being that it could be a maze of some kind just like the Castle Dracula, later renamed The House of Horrors walkthrough maze that graced the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood for many years.

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What with Blumhouse confirmed to be revitalizing the classic monsters and a new mural appearing on the backlot at Hollywood, there definitely seems to be increased interest in this use and what better way to celebrate the films that literally saved Universal from financial ruin in the 1930s than by giving these creepy creatures their own ‘world within a world’ at their new park.

So could Orlando be finally recieving a year-round haunt?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

And remember, nothing is confirmed or fact until Universal confirms it, just RUMORS!

Why JAWS Could Be An Excellent House For HHN29…

Everybody loves JAWS, period.  It has to be one of those absolutely perfect movies that doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from, you all universally love it (pun intended!).  From people tweeting Universal daily for a new JAWS ride (yes that happens and there’s even a dedicated Twitter account for it too), to people reminiscing on the old ride and how with all the new land Universal is currently developing they could build a new one.

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Indeed we can thank the original JAWS ride for bringing HHN to Orlando, as if it wasn’t for this amazing attraction breaking-down and subsequently having to be rebuilt we might not have ever gotten HHN!  Read more about that story here.

And everyone’s favorite popular culture merchandiser Funko have even announced today that they are developing a range of JAWS figures; so there’s a ready made merchandise line ready to go!

So that’s why we NEED a JAWS house at HHN.  It would be killer to step into the scenes from the movie using a combination of practical effects and even screens, yes screens can be scary too, as demonstrated by the video below.

And life can even imitate art when a YouTube Urban Explorer recently found more than he bargained for when exploring an old abandoned theme park he came face-to-face with a real giant Great White Shark in a tank!  It was dead and half decomposed but zombie sharks are just as scary!  The original story was reported a few days ago by a number of major outlets and can be read here.  Another view of the tank is below, but note due to vandals, Zombie JAWS has now been destroyed.

 


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Cracking open a cold Mountain Dew with the boys

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So there you have it.  Universal needs to dust-off all the props from their old ride and redeploy them into making a new kick-ass JAWS house.  If they can make an elevator bleed waves of blood for The Shining or have a possessed doll walk like a backwards crab down a flight of stairs for The Exorcist then they can definitely find a way to make this house happen!

Do you agree with this?  Would you love to see a JAWS house?  Let us know in the comments!

HHN Ruins TV Show Shooting Schedule

NBC Universal’s new sitcom, about a woman who runs a bar in her backyard, will likely garner comparisons to another famous drinking sitcom (Cheers) but due to the filming location being on the backlot at Universal Studios Hollywood it would appear filmmakers were not too pleased with the nightly goings on around the lot.

Abby’s which was being shot around the Hollywood lot this past October and supposedly had to reschedule it’s production due to the screams from the nearby mazes.

One of the USP’s of the new sitcom is the fact it is set outside in the titular characters backyard, “which isn’t a great idea to be shooting at night outdoors on Universal’s backlot in October” one insider told us, he continued, “they were trying to make a fun and upbeat sitcom but with the screams from HHN combined with sirens and traffic noise it must have given them some production challenges!”

The show’s star Natalie Morales told rottentomatoes about the production change up, “But a fun fact is we shot this on Tuesday nights, as opposed to many multi-cams who shoot on a Friday night, because we shot on the Universal Lot, and Halloween Horror Nights was going on, and you would have heard the screaming. So we avoided that, which was nice.

The Show is being co-produced by the team behind Parks and Rec and premieres on NBC on March 28.

HHN Helps Excellent Results at ComCast

The third quarter earnings report was released today for global giant ComCast who owns and operates a number of media businesses throughout the world, most notably the Universal theme parks. And for the first time in this reporter’s memory ComCast’s CEO personally mentioned how successful HHN28 had been, saying that it broke all records! The below is a copy of the shareholder presentation.

For HHN to be specially mentioned in this earnings call shows just how HUGE last year’s event was for not just Orlando but also for Hollywood. Fans of the event know better than the CEO as to how amazing the event was this past year and how the numbers lining up to get in where mammoth in size!

In other news, there was one interesting tidbit of slippage in the report. It’s said Jurassic World attractionS we’re coming to their domestic US parks. Could this be a grammatical error or do they mean the land sectioned-off in Islands of Adventure is for a Jurassic World expansion? Time will surely tell…

So there you have it! Another great record breaking year has come and gone, but what will HHN29 have in store for us? Keep your eyes on HHNU and we’ll be sure to pass on all the best news and rumors as it happens!

My Top Five Best ScareZone Episodes So Far

The ScareZone Podcast, HHNUnofficial’s sister podcast show has put out some great shows out over the last few years and some of the most highly downloaded episodes have been the interview shows.  With this in mind, I wanted to share with you my favorite shows for you to enjoy!  To listen to these shows now simply visit the Apple Podcast/iTunes app or listen now from the plugin below:

 

Here’s my list:

  1. Eileen Dietz

Eileen popped into the ScareZone Studio a couple of years ago to talk about her Hollywood career but to also discuss her roles in movie The Exorcist which had been a house presented at HHN26.  It was interesting hearing how she played both the Pazuzu (the main demon) and stand-in for Linda Blair.

  1. Leigh Whannell

The creator of SAW and many other iconic horror movies chatted to ScareZone in Episode 46.  He cited how he was literally thrown out of his own maze at HHN Hollywood and was humbled to hear that Chris Ripley thought his movie Dead Silence had made the greatest house ever at Orlando’s HHN.

  1. Gianni Garofalo (The Director)

Gianni was interviewed over a special two-part show (episodes 28 and 29) where he discussed becoming the iconic HHN icon The Director.  The other tales he told about the misadventures he and Dean Karr (the HHN commercials director) were also legendary and so funny; think Weekend at Bernie’s meets American Pie and they even featured a young Jennifer Aniston!

  1. James Keaton (Jack the Clown)

Our buddy James headed to the ScareZone Studio to recount his decades of service at Universal Studios Orlando bringing to life some of the most famous characters and monsters to ever grace the silver screen.  From Beetlejuice to The Grinch he’s played them all, but not forgetting everyone’s favorite icon Jack the Clown!

  1. Julie Zimmerman

Julie is to Halloween Horror Nights what Walt Disney is to Disneyland.  Right back in our very first full-length episode Julie came on to tell us all how it ‘all started with a rat!’

 

What’s your favorite episode of ScareZone?  Let us know in the comments!

 

HHN Secures First IP for HHN29

News came last night that Universal have apparently just locked in their first IP property for the 2019 edition of HHN.

Obviously, we’re not told yet what it is yet but it was teased via Universal’s John Murdy on the official Hollywood HHN handle on Twitter:

A nice and early property in the bag is great as now the idea can be worked on and developed in time for HHN29 / HHN2019.

But what could this property be? Rumors are swirling at the moment and many are speculating that after last year’s absence of Warner Bros and Fox properties at HHN that this trend could continue.

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Horror Made Here exclusively used properties from Warner Bros, New Line Cinema and DC to fill their streets and mazes

Why are these properties supposedly not in contention? Well it’s only speculation but last year Warner Bros held their own event, Horror Made Here in Burbank, California. Many commentators said at the time that perhaps they wanted to hold onto their own properties for exclusive use to really kick their new event off in style, plus HHN Hollywood is only a short car ride away. And as for Fox, well who knows what’s happening there, Disney are buying Fox and I’m sure they’d love their Central Florida competitors using their newly acquired properties…

So if we assume Warner Bros and Fox are off-the-table, what properties could be coming to HHN? There is one property that’s been speculated about for years and we know HHN takes years to secure the best properties!  We also know that the gentleman behind this franchise has a long association with HHN (read more here and here) and he

That property is rumored to be HellraiserHHNU first broke the rumors back in 2017 when a number of factors pointed to possible meetings being held to discuss the potential use of the franchise at HHN. To read our original article from Chris Ripley click HERE.

But there’s more clues… On the latest edition of Universal After Dark Chris Ripley, Boston White and the team discussed these clues and what it could mean for HHN29. Click HERE to listen now.

One of these clues we’ll share with you now…

Look closely at this recently posted photo by HHN’s Mike Aiello. Those DVDs are all in alphabetical order, except the ones at the end where we can assume are all ones that have been recently watched or maybe newly acquired (the tweet refers to this)… there sure are a few Hellraiser ones there! But surely this is just a coincidence right? Remember, everything is just a speculative rumor until Universal confirms the line-up next year!

But if you want to know the true identity of the property that’s just been secured you then need to watch this video!!  😆 😆 😆

So there you have it, a nice bit of early speculation to kick-off the beginning of the HHN rumor season. Are we right though? Let’s us know your thoughts and let us know which properties you’d love to see at HHN29!

Scooby-Doo Goes All Horror!

We all remember as kids watching Scooby-Doo and how each week some comedic caper would ensue but what would happen if Scoob’ and the gang instead of unmasking disgruntled fair ground owners and instead came face to face with some of horror’s greatest foes?  Well Travis Falligant has the answer!  Since 2014 he has been producing a series of mashups featuring the classic artwork of these beloved classic cartoons but with a modern horror twist.  And this year he has expanded his work to include many more horror icons, many of which featured at HHN28.

If you’re interested in his work he sells a number of different items via his official site HERE.

Below we have selected some of the best works that feature connections to HHN:

 

Why you need to be a UOAP (Annual Passholder) for HHN29!

We get a lot of people ask us at HHNU what are the top tips for HHN or how to pre-plan for the next HHN. And the list is vast but one of the best tips surely has to now be, to become an annual passholder. Here’s why we think this:

  • Exclusive access and early entries

For HHN28, UOAPers got early access on four select event nights and a specially dedicated entrance just for this (note: all of which had to be pre-booked).

  • Free nights

Premier Passholders got one night of Halloween Horror Nights included with their Annual Passes. Nights had to be specially chosen prior to the event but getting one free night is super awesome.

  • Exclusive deals on hotel stays

UOAPs get special deals with the onsite hotels that aren’t available to the general public.

  • Parking!!!

According to research we have undertaken, the average UOAPer goes to HHN some 12 nights. If you have the Preferred or Premier passes and drive to the event and want to park in the preferred spaces some 12 times that’s a total saving of $360! That’s a huge saving!

  • Even more discounts!!

Discounted HHN Tickets: Passholders saved up to $58 on select nights for 1-night tickets or Frequent Fear Passes, some 23 nights, for less than the price of one when you bought online.

R.I.P. Tour Discounts for Premier and Preferred Passholders saved 10%, and Power Passholders saved 5%; which is a lot as these tours can be expensive!

Preferred, Power and Seasonal Passholders got a 10% discount, while Premier Passholders enjoy a 15% discount on all food items on select nights at HHN28.

  • Free buttons

Okay, so this one is a bit tenuous but if you collect the UOAP buttons there was one released for HHN28 that was just for UOAPers. Likewise, there was a number of shirts and pins that were for passholders only.

Now these perks are always subject to change, and they might be totally different for HHN29 but we think it’s a good tip to be a passholder at Universal Orlando.

So it makes total sense! The best way to prep for HHN29 is to become a Universal Orlando Passholder! Click here to join now!

Are you a UOAPer? Did you manage to get big savings on HHN28? Let us know!