What is Ash vs. Evil Dead?

The Halloween Horror Nights fan community has been trembling in their boots awaiting another house announcement. The wait is finally over…..at least for now

Ash vs. Evil Dead

Bruce Campbell, cult classic comedy-horror star, is at last making his mark on Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. Ash vs. Evil Dead is a TV series that ran on the Starz television network, and currently boasts 2 seasons with a total of 20 episodes. Bruce Campbell reprises his role of Ash from the ever popular Evil Dead franchise, as well as Army of Darkness, and wields his infamous chainsaw hand.

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After returning from 1300AD at the end of Army of Darkness, Ash now works at a convenience store and….yadda yadda yadda the Evil Dead are back to seek their revenge on him and finish him off once and for all. It’s up to Ash and his friends Pablo and Kelly to fend off the dead and save the world!

The House: What to Expect

Amongst other things, the obvious thing to expect here is lots of blood, gore, and white eyed demonically possessed zombies and menacing creatures. Universal creative can also use this house as an opportunity to take us into the previous movie incarnations of the franchise that the television series is based off. There will likely be some humorous elements placed here and there throughout the house due to the show’s dark comedic nature.

 

Those Halloween Horror Nights fans that have yet to see this television series ought to fire up those streaming devices and get to binging, because this haunted house has a lot of material to play with!

 

The Shining: Look-a-Likes or Masks?

The Shining. Talk about an icon movie. Everybody knows what Jack Torrance looks like. Without Jack Torrance there is no film, or even book for that matter. Seeing as he’s such a recognizable horror character, it begs the question: Will Universal Studios cast Jack Nicholson look-a-likes, or have their scareactors don hyper-realistic masks? The Orlando event is specifically in question here, as Hollywood for the most part always uses masks for highly recognizable characters (last year, Hollywood used masks for both Regan and the priests in the Exorcist, as well as Twisty The Clown. They admittedly weren’t too great, either! Check them out below)

Orlando used actor’s actual faces for these same characters, making for a much more realistic and immersive experience, not to mention the Hollywood masks were laughable if we’re being honest.
The Modern World of Mask Fabrication

Mask making has made huge advances in recent years. So much so that the average joe can buy hyper-realistic masks online, so long as they have the monetary means, such as Immortal Masks.

And who can forget those amazing masks of Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump that trended on the internet after their appearance at a convention?!

Hyper-realistic masks of Jack Torrance have already been made previously, certainly Universal Studios can contact the manufacturer and get their hands on a decent sized lot of them.

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Why Does This Matter?

There’s some picky people out there, and little things can seriously irk them, even downright piss them off if it bothers them enough. The Shining being such an iconic horror film with many calling it a classic, a little slip up like dudes who look nothing like Jack Nicholson could really put a dent in the experience and immersion of the haunted attraction. Universal does indeed have a track record for finding and casting great celebrity look a likes in the past, but there’s a possibility to have to cast up to 15 Jack Torrance actors per coast. That’s quite a few, definitely room for error. Granted, with strategic lighting you can make someone look like someone else, but one will notice The Shining is a pretty brightly lit movie throughout. Of course, we can’t do much but wait until opening night to find out what they’re going to do.

Would you rather see look-a-like actors or super realistic masks in The Shining haunted house? Let us know in the comments!

Further Icon Speculation

A few days ago, we brought forth speculation into this year’s icon. HHNU writer Scott thinks that’s all fine and dandy, but he has a different idea, and the evidence to back it up….

Who is Lady Death?

Last year, HHN 6 in Singapore brought a new, original icon to the HHN scene. Her name was Lady Death, and her and her minions so to speak were decorated in the Mexican “Dia de Los Muertos” aesthetics. Their faces were painted like sugar skulls, and Lady Death herself had a headdress with red roses and a single human skull. Lady Death was basically a character who was essentially a bringer of death to those whose time has come. She could also bring the dead back to life, and those she did bring back to life would follow her loyally. It was very much inspired by the traditional Mexican “day of the dead” celebration where the dead would come back to life and parade the streets with music and dance, they even had a parade! I for one am really excited if this turns out to be true, because then we can finally get a parade again!!

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Look at the website, slogan, and imagery.

Yes, when the Caretaker was first introduced, the slogan was very similar to what it is this year. But consider this, “Your time has come” also refers to death itself when your time is up. Considering Lady Death would come to those whose time is up, this could very well be referring to her.

Let’s also compare the imagery on the website, official Facebook page, and this year’s logo details.

Her Headdress

It’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that Lady Death’s headdress looks a lot like the GIF floating around on the official website and Facebook page (pun intended), depicting a skull and roses floating on the surface of water.

The Details in the Logo

The top of this year’s logo has a skull. Taking a closer look at this skull, you will notice that it has some fine detail that looks very similar to what you would see on a sugar skull, which is classic imagery from Dia De Los Muertos, as well as what the actors wore on their face in Singapore.

Bonus Clues

Consider this: Last year, Jack went to Singapore, and left Chance in charge of the Orlando event.

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This was also during Lady Death’s reign over Singapore, where Jack had his own stage show: Jack’s Nightmare Circus. If Orlando can bring Singapore an icon, certainly Singapore can bring one to Orlando!

Could Jack bring Lady Death back with him? Jack could have seen her and enjoyed what she brought to Singapore’s event, and liked it so much that he could invite her to take over HHN27, just as Chance took over HHN26!

As much as we would like to see the Caretaker come back, we would like to see something new even more so, especially if it involves a parade!

Do you think Lady Death is coming for us? Would you like to see the return of nightly parades? Let us know in the comments!

TICKETS AND FEAR PASSES NOW ON SALE! BUY BUY BUY!!

A quick update for you all, as a lot of you have been asking us in eager anticipation……the wait is over!

What’s up with this year?!

Everything seems to be going slower this year for HHN announcements and ticket sales. By this point last year we already knew three houses and tickets had been on sale for weeks! This year we only know one house, and tickets JUST NOW went up for grabs? Taking this slow moving season of announcements, we take it Universal may have some HIGE things in store we may not even thought of! Only time will tell!

THE INFORMATION YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

Tickets, including Frequent Fear Passes, are finally on sale on HHN’s official website here.

The ticket prices and descriptions are as follows:

  • Monday/Wednesday event night $59.99
  • Sunday/Thursday event night $59.99
  • Friday event nights $63.99*
  • Saturday event nights $69.99*
  • Rush of Fear pass (first three weekends, 10 nights of admission) $91.99*
  • Rush of Fear +Express (express passes for haunted attractions with one time use per house per night) $299.99
  • Frequent Fear Pass (21 nights of admission, no Friday or Saturday admission with execption of opening weekend and the last Friday of the event) $102.99*
  • Frequent Fear +Express $319.99*
  • Frequent Fear Plus (28 nights of admission, includes all Friday event nights and the last night of the event that lands on a Saturday) $118.99*
  • Frequent Fear Plus +Express $399.99
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass (all 34 event nights) $199.99*
  • Ultimate Frequent Fear +Express $599.99*
*advanced online price

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!

At: www.universalorlando.com

The Mummy, The Dark Universe, and You!

Being a Universal Studios annual passholder has its merits, including exclusive screenings of new movies before they’re released in theaters everywhere. HHNU team members Scott and Christine got the privilege of seeing the new Mummy movie last night, and it was a doozy!

The idea here with this piece today isn’t exactly to review the movie or spoil it in any way, but more over, to tell you what it means for the future of Universal movies and their possible involvement at Halloween Horror Nights.

As we have told you a bit back, Universal Studios announced it’s new film franchise “The Dark Universe,” and The Mummy is the first in the line up. The movie industry in its current state is constantly throwing out drab, predictable, formulaic cash cows with the likes of numerous Marvel and D.C. universe movies that mainly provide 90 minutes of explosions and nothing to write home about. The Dark Universe, however, sets out to cut through this bland trend sweeping the nation by revamping its classic monsters with new, original and incredibly fresh takes on them.

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Without saying much regarding plot, “The Mummy” was an exciting, funny, and scary new take on the classic tale that breathed new life into Universal’s original creature feature that started it all. The film is packed with stunning horror visuals, action that’s never too over the top, surprising wit, and a plot that holds up and keeps you entertained and involved. In a landscape full of one note films that go together in a “universe,” this first installment of the Dark Universe series gives us incredible hope for the next, and we can’t wait to see it. Within the film itself lies a couple Easter eggs of other classic Universal monsters, cluing us into the movies to come; The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Dracula, and Frankenstein, to name a few. But blink and you’ll miss them. The film even paid homage to the original Mummy series starring Brendan Fraser, which by the way, this new movie has nothing to do with (I did say it was fresh, didn’t I?)

But I know what our readers want to know; will we see any of the Dark Universe series at HHN? The short answer; likely. Though it’s hard to tell with The Mummy, as it doesn’t rely solely on scares and horror, but the tone and atmosphere of this movie tells us that the other movies could very well be scarier and considered members of the horror genre. Although The Mummy didn’t scream “house material” to us, upcoming Dark Universe monster flicks such as Dracula or Creature From The Black Lagoon could very well provide the scares and scenes that would lend themselves into haunted house attractions. We all know HHN has hosted the classic Universal monsters before, so we can’t rule out the possibility of bringing to life their new takes on the films that made them what they are today.

In summary, reader, we urge you to go see The Mummy (in IMAX 3D if possible), in theaters June 9th, even if you have doubts about it. It was a surprisingly fantastic thrill, and an astounding start to the series of movies to come. Just so you know, though, unfortunately nothing happens after the credits to clue us into what monster is coming next, so we will just have to wait for a teaser in the coming year.

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Do you plan on seeing The Mummy? Which Universal classic monster do you want to see brought to life at horror nights? Let us know in the comments!

 

Guest Post: My First HHN Experience

We asked our great friend and HHN fanatic Austin Proctor of Theme Park Conqerors to tell us about his first visit to HHN, his first impressions of it all, and what has kept him coming back all these years since. Grab a delicious snack and journey with us into his first night of terror and delight! Maybe it will remind you of your first visit!

As a kid who grew up in Orlando, I was no stranger to always hearing about HHN throughout the years. You’d probably assume I would’ve attended every year I could have since its in my hometown, but I never actually went until 2014. For some reason I resented the fact of paying money to be scared, but I have no idea where that came from. Maybe its because I don’t scare easily and thought it wouldn’t be worth the time and money. Boy, was I wrong. One of my friends who frequented the event went begged me to come in 2014, and I finally caved. I bought a one night pass to the event in October and, even though I only did 3 houses, I was instantly hooked! I realized upon entering that I should’ve gone years ago and knew this would forever be a yearly ritual.

We arrived later than we should have, so the lines were already insane when we got there. The first house we did was Giggles and Gore, Inc since it had the shortest wait. After nearly an hour of waiting and hopping out of line to pee twice thanks to the beverages at the in-queue bars, it was finally time to see what the hype was all about.

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Clowns have never scared me in the slightest, but I’m not too fond of them after this house. I remember the first clown who get me good after the second corner and I screamed like a little girl. I was shocked that I could actually be scared and still have a fantastic time. Then we entered the strobe mirror maze scene and I couldn’t decipher which clowns were real! Needless to say I went through that room as fast as I could because those strobes were messing me up big time! Overall that house was very well done and I was thirsty for more scares (and booze!)

After nearly crapping my pants in Giggles and Gore we moved on to TWD: End of The Line. This was the third installment of the TWD houses, but it was new to me. The queue line was super long as expected halfway through October, but at least I could admire the prison while I waited. I was super into the Walking Dead at this point in time so I was amazed at this house. Upon entering through the prison facade I encountered my first walker and my jaw dropped straight to the floor. Between the astonishing make up and detailed set I felt like I was right in the middle of a TWD episode. I was astounded at the production value of this particular house and wondered how much it must’ve cost. Everything was spot on and it made for a spooky experience. That was the longest house ever done at HHN at that time and I loved every second. As I drew closer to the end of the house I could see an insane amount of strobes. Great, just what I needed; more blinding light surrounded by things trying to eat me!

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With chain link fences on both sides of me and crazy light effects, I was disoriented to say the least. I exited the house with a stupid grin on my face, and I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

Being spooked all night takes a toll on you, so we took a minute to get a couple drinks and just wander around the park. First up on the menu: The Dead Walker! This was the only signature cocktail this particular year, which included some Full Throttle in the mix. It was loaded with alcohol and quite tasty I must say. With drink in hand we set off around the park to explore the scare zones in depth. The first scare zone you came across was the MASKerade scare zone, which was decent. I wasn’t too huge on the theme but the scare actors were great, especially the stilt walkers. As we continued on we hit the Purge: Anarchy scare zone which made me feel like I was apart of the annual massacre.

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Everything about that scare zone was perfect. From the masks, to the sign, to the scare actors. Overall it was a very well done scare zone. After the Purge we made our way to the Bayou of Blood which was my personal favorite. It was so eerie with all the smoke and the Louisiana voodoo vibe. That section of scare zone (Central Park) is always my favorite because its short but sweet. I don’t feel like its a forced scare like most open zones are. This zone is up close and personal, always full of fog, and one of the reasons I love HHN to this day! Moving on, the fourth and final scare zone was that of Face Off!

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This was an interesting one for sure. I loved the idea behind it, but with so much open space it wasn’t as frightening as some of the others. Overall I did enjoy all the scare zones, but ranking them I’d have to go; Bayou of Blood, The Purge: Anarchy, Face Off and MASKerade. Once we saw all the scare zones and were feeling quite spooky, we had time for one more house and settled on AVP since the wait the lowest.

As a fan of both the Alien and Predator movies I was sure this house would be well done, but not sure how scary it would be. This house was inside one of the sound stages, so getting a feel for the house was impossible without an external facade. The second I entered the sound stage, screams filled the air and my blood started pumping. Usually screams aren’t a good thing to hear, but when you’re at HHN, nothing pleases the ears more than frightening screams echoing throughout. The house was masterfully done with great animatronics and puppets, I might add. Every corner had me gasping, jumping or screaming and it made for a very exhilarating yet pleasant experience.

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As you came to the last corner of this house there was a man waving you to a small air vent, demanding you to crawl through in order to get out alive. Being a 6’6” dude, I was very hesitant to enter at first, but the line needed to keep moving so I hastily crouched down. As I bent over to fit into the narrow corridor, I heard loud noises and felt stuff hanging from the ceiling. As I was in front of a friend with a decent gap between the person in front, I decided to run. Naturally I was a little frightened being in a compromised position and legitimately felt fear. As I got closer to the exit I felt a whoosh of air hit my back and it raised every hair on my body. I finally booked it as fast as I could to get outside and I felt instant relief when I did. As I mentioned before I really don’t scare easily but that house had me sweating! It was indeed a great way to end my night, although I do wish I got to do more houses or even bought a FFP that year. I’m not sure why I didn’t go back and try to do the other 5 houses that year. I guess you can say I learned my lesson and decided buy a FFP for every season afterwards.

I’m still in shock that it took me so long to attend what is now my favorite event of the year. After attending only 3 HHN events I can say I will go until they decide to stop doing it. It’s something I look forward to all year round and get overjoyed the closer it gets. I can’t wait to see what the upcoming years bring to HHN and how they plan to continuously give me great scares. I’m very excited and hopeful for the future of HHN and can’t wait to see what they have in store for us over the coming years. Stay spooky everyone 🙂

Written by Austin Proctor of Theme Park Conquerors

Insta – Theme.Park.Conquerors

It’s Official: AHS is returning for HHN27

Our first announcement has finally been bestowed upon us, and it’s a doozy!

Last year, we had to wait until the very last minutes for Universal Orlando to finally reveal that American Horror Story was indeed coming to Halloween Horror Nights, even though it has been rumored for many years prior.

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Well, wait no more. In what is now the earliest house reveal in HHN history, American Horror Story has been announced as a haunted house attraction at this year’s HHN27. The house will take visitors through three more fear filled seasons of AHS: Asylum, Coven, and My Roanoke Nightmare! Guests will encounter Bloody Face, Marie LaVeau, Scathach, the Butcher, and many other characters in what promises to be another extra long uber house experience. Check out the announcement video on the official HHN Facebook here

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The first house reveal is not usually the most anticipated by guests, or most crowd drawing. Given that this is the first announcement of the year, this tells us that HHN Orlando may have some crazy things in store for us this year! This makes us really excited for what else is in store for us this year at HHN27!

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Loyal followers of HHNU know that we actually told our readers this was coming last year before HHN26 even opened its gates for it’s first night. Stick with us at HHN Unofficial and you will always hear everything first!

Haunts Around The US: Gatlinburg, TN

HHNU writer Scott has recently returned from a week long road trip with friends and other writers. Stops included various roadside attractions and amusement parks, but along the way they made it a point to stop while passing through Gatlinburg to visit the two year round haunted houses there: Mysterious Mansion and Ripley’s Haunted Adventure.

Mysterious Mansion

The day we chose to go here was perfect, as it was a rainy, ominous day. The attraction itself was eerily lit with purple and blue lights and there was creepy music playing, as to be expected.

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Rainy, cold, wet, and spooky. A perfect night for a good scare!

Unfortunately, cameras and video recording devices were not allowed within the house so we can’t share any photos of the interior and the experience, but this was DEFINITELY worth every penny, take our word for it. Incredibly, the place is only operated by as little as three people, but they’re so effective at their job it would seem like there are more. The scareactors themselves are practically acrobats, as they are constantly behind you AND in front of you at all times. They climb the walls and roofs above you like spiders, bang on the walls, and are constantly everywhere. There was even a point where we looked over a ledge within the mansion and saw one of them across the way pounding his fist on the banister in front of him, waiting for us to move along, even though he was JUST BEHIND US.

The backstage areas that the actors use is practically a jungle gym, and they use it to full advantage to quickly go everywhere inside the attraction. There were only two of them, but they were SO GOOD at what they were doing that it seemed like there were 8.

We went through the haunted house with 5 people in our group, and it was just us 5, not a conga line like HHN houses. We were free to take the walk through as fast or as slow as we wanted, in fact the attraction only has one group go through at a time. Altogether the experience took 18 minutes.

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The first scene was more like an escape room where we had to find the secret passageway to proceed after listening to a message on the old fashioned radio by the fireplace. There was a well established ominous, creepy atmosphere throughout thanks to smells and music, although some scenes were in complete, piercing silence.

It was indeed quite scary as we walked through various creepy rooms, attics, bedrooms, studies, dark hallways, libraries, etc throughout the mansion. There were about two or three pitch black hallways that made you have to feel your way through and hold onto the shoulders of those in front of you so your group doesn’t split up. Of course, our group did eventually split up, though we did find each other again.

Our entire group, including the two haunted house first timers we entered with, all had an incredible time and not one of us wasn’t terrified by the end. This year round haunt gets a well deserved rating of five stars!

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Daytime shot for good measure!

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure

Built by the company behind Ripley’s Believe It or Not, this one was a bit iffy, we were unsure about it from the get go after reading lots of reviews online. It begins with a short inclined train ride up to the first few scenes. There weren’t many actors, and when there were it was apparent that they had set spots to be at and scare in. Similar to Mysterious Mansion, there was one completely dark hallway that you had to feel your way through.

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This house had lots of static mannequins (both dead and alive, some covered in blood) and some pretty generic creepy music throughout. The scarcity of actors was a bit of a let down, but some of the set decorations were pretty decent. There’s a constant threat of a man with a chainsaw who you see on some screens throughout the attraction that were made to look like windows into rooms. When he finally chased us at the end that was fun and exciting. The surprise in the elevator was also a highlight.

Overall this haunted attraction would be for those who aren’t too used to the haunted house experience. We could basically say this was designed with kids in mind, so it lacked extremely intense scares and jumps. Being used to quite scary haunted attractions, this felt pretty cheesy and lame, but that’s due our experience, you may have a different experience with your friends, the potential is there! We could safely rate this at 3 stars.

Keep following us here and on our Facebook page for more articles on year round haunts as we get the chances to visit them during our travels!

HHN27 DATES OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED!

At 3:30 PM today, Universal Orlando has finally officially announced this year’s HHN dates!

Breaking the Record……again!

This year, Halloween Horror Nights will run for an unprecedented 34 nights from Sept 15- Nov 4. The first Wednesday event night of HHN27 will land on October 4th, the earliest Wednesday night so far in the events history!

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There’s even an event night on a Tuesday! (October 31)

The waiting game now begins before we receive our first house announcement. Remember last year our first announcement was TCM (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) on April 14 so keep your socks on until we’re at least close to then!

Check out the official announcement video:

Are These The Dates for HHN27?!

A quick HHN27 update for you guys, the first of many to come from here on….

Very Sneaky, UO, but you can’t hide from HHNU!

A visit to planner.universalorlando.com is one way to plan your trip to Universal Studios Florida and see what they have going on during your intended dates of stay. By choosing your stay between September and November, one would notice that there is an extra event in the information panel: Halloween Horror Nights.

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Hey what’s this doing here?!

Out of curiosity, we clicked on the photo for additional details to see what hidden gems may be awaiting us, and we were shocked and delighted to discover the possible dates of HHN27!!

 

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What a pleasant surprise. And Sept 20 is our senior writer’s birthday!!

So are these the official dates? Was this placed here by accident or intentionally? Time will tell, but we are happy to discover this nonetheless.

Wait what?!? Opening Night on a Wednesday night?!

That’s right. If you looked at your calendar as we did, you will see that Sept 20 falls on a Wednesday, which is strange, as Horror Nights has always started on a Friday, and Wednesdays don’t appear as event nights until halfway through October. This does seem very out of the norm, but considering that Sept 20 is actually a late start compared to previous years by at least a few days, maybe they’re testing out some new changes this year for HHN27. Opening weekend is usually slow compared to the whole of October, but if this is indeed true, opening night may be nice and leisurely without a huge crowd and long lines with it being on a weeknight.

Whether these are the official dates or not, UO’s marketing team will likely announce HHN27 event dates within the next month or so anyhow, so keep your eyes open on social media pages. Halloween Horror Nights announcement patterns are unpredictable, and they basically release intellect whenever they feel like it. If these dates are legit, then you heard it from us first once again, but if these turn out to be wrong, than somebody seemingly made a boo-boo on the vacation planning page! Whoopsie!!