History 101: The Legions of Horror

Who or what are the Legions of Horror? This faction first appeared At Halloween Horror Nights 22 as a parkwide “street experience.” It was also the first parkwide scarezone at Halloween Horror Nights since Midway of the Bizarre in 2007. These Legions were also part of the Legendary Truth online game “Horror Unearthed.”

Well onto the history of all six legions. First I’ll start with the Morphans; their history starts with Richard III of England (October 2 1452 – August 22 1485) and Edward Teach aka Blackbeard (circa 1680 – November 22 1718) going down the tree with Cindy Caine, Jack Schmidt, and last year’s Icon Chance. Even lesser known Morphans are added to the tree like: H.R. Bloodengutz, Chucky, Rosie the Foxgirl, and The Skoolhouse Students. Morphans are tricksters to their trade and use the art of misdirect but be careful they can turn vengeful. Overall they love a good party and having fun.

Next Legion is the Strengoit, also my Legion: their history starts with Vlad Tepes III aka Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia (1428/31 – December 1476/77) , famous Strengoits are as follows: Lucrezia Borgia and (April 18 1480 – June 24 1519) Countess Elizabeth Bathory (August 7 1560 – August 21 1614). Horror Nights Strengoits are: Paulo Ravinski “The Director”, Lady Luck, and The Cantina Demon. Strengoits’ thirst is unquenchable. Strengoits are often seductive in both genders and are known to transform those that meet their line.

Legion Cerebin: This Legion’s famous history only has one: Attila the Hun (circa 406 – March 453). There are so many famous Horror Nights Cerebin’s: Darkness, Eyegore, The Rat Lady, Nightingales, and The Wolfman. This Legion has extraordinary sensory abilities. Disciplined, dedicated, and loyal, they stealthly stalk the night without detection hunting their prey.

Legion Kerezan: Once again this Legion only has one famous individual: Ramesses II (circa 1303 BC – July or August 1213 BC). Famous Horror Nights: Julian Browning “The Usher”, Charlie MacPherson, and those creepy smiling faces known as the Body Collectors. Pretty much the Kerezan’s appetite is for human flesh, and they’ll stop at nothing to achieve their goal, and that is THE NEED TO FEED!

Legion Maschorian: There are a total of five famous people in this Legion: Marquis De Sade (June 2 1740 – December 2 1814), Lizzie Borden (July 19 1860 – June 1 1927), Ivan The Terrible (August 25 1530 – March 28 1584), Julius Caesar (July 13 100 BC – March 15 44 BC) and lastly Augustus Germanicus aka Caligula (August 31 12 AD – January 24 41 AD). As for Horror Nights: Terra Queen, Elsa Strict “The Storyteller”, Eddie Schmidt, and the Chainsaw Drill Team. You had better run or these chainsaws will kill you, this group is strong, physically superior, and loves state-of-the-art hardware. Keep running Horror Nights fans, they’ll get you!!!!

The last Legion Baccanoid: Edgar Allan Poe (January 19 1809 – October 7 1849), Jack the Ripper (birth and death date unknown), Empress Jia Nanfeng (257 AD – 300 AD), Confucius (September 28 551 BC – 479 BC). Horror Nights: Albert Caine “The Caretaker”, Dr. Mary Agana, Boris Shuster, and Dr. Richard M. Steerington. Also a little shoutout to my friend, Doctor Jimmy who is also a Baccanoid. Baccanoid’s love puzzles and are extremely competitive. They also like to change their appearance, so be careful.

I’m wondering if maybe we’ll see the Legions again this year or in a future year, you really never know.

Who or what are the Legions of Horror? This faction first appeared At Halloween Horror Nights 22 as a parkwide “street experience.” It was also the first parkwide scarezone at Halloween Horror Nights since Midway of the Bizarre in 2007. These Legions were also part of the Legendary Truth online game “Horror Unearthed.”

Well onto the history of all six legions. First I’ll start with the Morphans; their history starts with Richard III of England (October 2 1452 – August 22 1485) and Edward Teach aka Blackbeard (circa 1680 – November 22 1718) going down the tree with Cindy Caine, Jack Schmidt, and last year’s Icon Chance. Even lesser known Morphans are added to the tree like: H.R. Bloodengutz, Chucky, Rosie the Foxgirl, and The Skoolhouse Students. Morphans are tricksters to their trade and use the art of misdirect but be careful they can turn vengeful. Overall they love a good party and having fun.

Next Legion is the Strengoit, also my Legion: their history starts with Vlad Tepes III aka Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia (1428/31 – December 1476/77) , famous Strengoits are as follows: Lucrezia Borgia and (April 18 1480 – June 24 1519) Countess Elizabeth Bathory (August 7 1560 – August 21 1614). Horror Nights Strengoits are: Paulo Ravinski “The Director”, Lady Luck, and The Cantina Demon. Strengoits’ thirst is unquenchable. Strengoits are often seductive in both genders and are known to transform those that meet their line.

Legion Cerebin: This Legion’s famous history only has one: Attila the Hun (circa 406 – March 453). There are so many famous Horror Nights Cerebin’s: Darkness, Eyegore, The Rat Lady, Nightingales, and The Wolfman. This Legion has extraordinary sensory abilities. Disciplined, dedicated, and loyal, they stealthly stalk the night without detection hunting their prey.

Legion Kerezan: Once again this Legion only has one famous individual: Ramesses II (circa 1303 BC – July or August 1213 BC). Famous Horror Nights: Julian Browning “The Usher”, Charlie MacPherson, and those creepy smiling faces known as the Body Collectors. Pretty much the Kerezan’s appetite is for human flesh, and they’ll stop at nothing to achieve their goal, and that is THE NEED TO FEED!

Legion Maschorian: There are a total of five famous people in this Legion: Marquis De Sade (June 2 1740 – December 2 1814), Lizzie Borden (July 19 1860 – June 1 1927), Ivan The Terrible (August 25 1530 – March 28 1584), Julius Caesar (July 13 100 BC – March 15 44 BC) and lastly Augustus Germanicus aka Caligula (August 31 12 AD – January 24 41 AD). As for Horror Nights: Terra Queen, Elsa Strict “The Storyteller”, Eddie Schmidt, and the Chainsaw Drill Team. You had better run or these chainsaws will kill you, this group is strong, physically superior, and loves state-of-the-art hardware. Keep running Horror Nights fans, they’ll get you!!!!

The last Legion Baccanoid: Edgar Allan Poe (January 19 1809 – October 7 1849), Jack the Ripper (birth and death date unknown), Empress Jia Nanfeng (257 AD – 300 AD), Confucius (September 28 551 BC – 479 BC). Horror Nights: Albert Caine “The Caretaker”, Dr. Mary Agana, Boris Shuster, and Dr. Richard M. Steerington. Also a little shoutout to my friend, Doctor Jimmy who is also a Baccanoid. Baccanoid’s love puzzles and are extremely competitive. They also like to change their appearance, so be careful.

I’m wondering if maybe we’ll see the Legions again this year or in a future year, you really never know.

Would you be excited to see them return?  Let us know!dark-legions.jpg

My Favorite: American Gothic

Lizzie Borden took an axe

And gave her mother forty whacks.

When she saw what she had done,

She gave her father forty-one.

 

We all know the story of Lizzie Andrew Borden, she was born July 19th, 1860 in Fall River, Massachusetts to Andrew Jackson Borden and Sarah Anthony Borden.  We also know how Lizzie lost her marbles and killed her Father and Step-Mother.  But wouldn’t be great to see a scarezone based on this real life horror?  She has cameoed at the event many times, including in 2008’s American Gothic.

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After Lizzie’s trial, she and her sister, Emma moved in a very spacious house, in the more quaint neighborhood titled “The Hill” Lizzie changed her name to Lizbeth A. Borden and even gave her home a name “Maplecroft.”

Bloody Mary gave us a glimpse into this woman’s life through the mirror, albeit the more twisted insane version of Lizzie, who didn’t want to stop killing.  There have been various pop culture references to Lizzie in the form of TV and movies to name an example.  There is also a name tied to American Gothic, her name was, Eileen Harrell, her occupation was an illustrator and co-owner of an ad agency.  Eileen’s phobia was Mythophobia, meaning she completely freaked at images related to myth stories an example of this was The Headless Horseman.  Dr. Mary Agana tried to cure her of her affliction by showing her a severed head, well the results were severe catatonia along with hospitalization and medication.

Lizzie also starred at HHN at the very start of the event, being in a number of roaming scarezones back in the mid 1990s.

Would you like to see Lizzie return to HHN?  Let us know!

HHN Hollywood History: Maze Locations

HHN Hollywood has been around for quite some time now. 2017 will be Murdy’s 12th Year designing HHN. Hollywood like Orlando has Maze Locations, however, Hollywood has a lot more Tents than Orlando does. We have been having 6 to 7 Mazes recently and we are rumored this year to be going to 8 Mazes. There is a lot of history behind some of the Locations at Hollywood and their History of the Mazes that have been there. So this Blog Post is for Orlando Users who don’t know the Locations and it will include Mazes that have been in that Area within the last 6 years that are currently gonna keep being used. Ready? Let’s Go!

We will be starting with the Upper Lot, then going to talk about the Lower Lot, and finally the Backlot.

UPPER LOT:

HOH QUEUE: 

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This Queue was previously home to the Infamous House of Horrors which featured infamous Universal Monsters. It then in 2016 was announced to become home to The Walking Dead during the Summer of that year. It became a Reality and it recreated scenes from the hit tv show. It’s been very infamous to be holding Mazes relating to the Universal Monsters and that is where the name HOH (House of Horrors) comes from. It’s a interesting location as it holds either Universal Monsters Remix or a Promotional Film.

HISTORY: 

2010: Vampyr Castle of the Undead

2011: The Wolfman The Curse of Talbot Hall

2012: Universal Monsters Remix

2013: Universal Monsters Remix: Resurrection

2014: Face Off: In the Flesh

2016: The Walking Dead

WATERWORLD QUEUE:

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One of the newest Locations that was discovered and used is the Waterworld Queue. Which is home to the hit show Waterworld. In 2016 it was used for the first time for the Maze The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers and judging off that Maze, the Waterworld Queue seems like a Pretty Great Place for Mazes. It’s a very long queue so it’s easy to see why it’s great for Horror Nights as it allows Murdy to make some pretty long Mazes.

HISTORY:

2016: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Blood Brothers

PERSIAN COURTYARD: 

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One of the more odd Locations is the Persian Courtyard. It hasn’t had too many mazes but it has had some pretty bizarre ones. Some Really Good and some really… Odd. It’s not really the greatest Place for Mazes as it isn’t very long and it’s a pretty tight Area. It was not used in 2016 for any mazes but has been rumored (By the Leaked Lineup) to return to HHN this year. Fingers Crossed!

HISTORY:

2013: El Cucuy: The Boogeyman

2014: Dracula Untold: Reign of Blood

2015: Halloween Michael Myers Comes Home

LOWER LOT: 

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It started being used in 2011 and has been used ever since. The JP Queue is possibly the Best Maze Location at HHN. It always holds a Great Maze in the venue that usually is a Favorite. It excels at being the Perfect Length for a Maze and all of the Mazes that have been in this Queue have had Great Scares. It is located next to Jurassic Park hence JP Queue. The JP Queue is incredible as a Maze Location and every year it holds one of the Best Mazes of the Year.

HISTORY:

2011: Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare

2012: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Saw Is The Law

2013: Insidious: Into the Further

2014: An American Werewolf in London

2015: Insidious: Return to the Further 

2016: Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield  

MUMMY QUEUE:

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Also one of the longest running Maze Locations at HHN. The Mummy Queue is also right next to the Revenge of The Mummy hence the Mummy Queue. It’s been known to hold Good Mazes for most of the time. It was good until 2014 it didn’t get back to normal until The Exorcist happened. It’s another really bizarre Queue in the Park. The Mazes in this Queue are also very short. It’s definitely Infamous and Famous for Sure. It also is the first Maze to start Construction in 2017 and is rumored to have Stanley Kubrick’s Classic The Shining.

HISTORY:

2010: Saw: Game On

2011: Eli Roth’s Hostel: Hunting Season

2012: Welcome to Silent Hill

2013: Evil Dead: Book of the Dead

2014: Clowns 3D: Music By Slash

2015: This Is The End 3D

2016: The Exorcist 

BACKLOT: 

METRO SETS:

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It wasn’t used until 2013 for the first time by The Walking Dead. It’s a pretty Famous and Great Maze Location. It’s pretty Famous for holding some of the Most Beautifully Designed Mazes at HHN. There’s not really too much to say about it. It doesn’t usually get the Longest Waits even though it has had some fantastic Mazes.

HISTORY: 

2013: The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven

2014: The Walking Dead: End of The Line

2015: Crimson Peak: Maze of Madness

2016: Krampus

747 AREA:

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Again it was used for the first time in 2013 for a Maze called Black Sabbath 13 3D. While it wasn’t off to a great start it was used again in 2014 for one of Hollywood’s Most Complex Mazes (And Most Expensive). That Maze was AVP: Alien Vs Predator and it was so expensive that they brought it back in 2015 the exact same! In 2016 they took it out of the Soundstage and brought it outside as a Tented Maze. Murdy has stated that he probably won’t able to do it in the Soundstage this year and have to do in a tent outside of the Soundstage.

HISTORY:

2013: Black Sabbath 13-3D

2014: AVP: Alien Vs Predator

2015: AVP: Alien Vs Predator

2016: Freddy Vs Jason

FDTD AREA:

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This is also sort of one of the most recent Maze Locations. It started being used in 2014 with it’s first Maze being From Dusk Till Dawn hence the name FDTD and it’s a pretty interesting area. It’s only had two mazes and both have of them have been Tv Shows. Both were pretty good. I think this Queue will become a Favorite in the near future.

HISTORY:

2014: From Dusk Till Dawn

2016: American Horror Story

That’s it! The History of Hollywood’s Maze Locations at HHN. Tell us in the Comments what’s your Favorite Maze Location And Whether You’re Going to HHN Hollywood This year?

My Favorite Year At Halloween Horror Nights

My favorite year at Halloween Horror Nights would have to be Twenty Years of Fear, because it was my first ever event that I attended. I remember the event like it was yesterday, my Mother went with me since I had no one else to go with. The first night I experienced the Esqueleto Muerte scarezone, everything was all neon and I felt like I wanted to party. Whilst walking to the next scarezone The Coven I felt like I was transported in time to the Salem Witch Trials, off topic I did my Senior Class Project on that.

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My next task was to experience a house for the first time, so I got in the queue for Catacombs: Black Death Rising. I was in front of this couple and all I could hear was sounds of people dying and coughing, the highlight of the house was this scareactor who was on the top of the house and he reached down and pretended to grab me. I jumped, screamed, then proceeded to laugh, cause I love being scared. The next house I went into was Horror Nights: The Hallow’d Past while standing in the queue for that one, saw a cast change for the first time. Finally entered the house and there were relics of Horror Nights’ past all around me. As I went through each scene some were houses of former events, the one that stood out the most were these creepy smiles that reminded me of the episode “Hush” on “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.” Found out years later they’re called “The Body Collectors,” and they are creepy.

My next venture was to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure sat down and watched the show as they made fun of pop culture of that year, I recommend the show to anyone, very funny. I wanted to go through all the houses but due to time constraints that night it was really difficult.

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The next night my one friend and I went through all the scarezones, my favorite one was Fear Revealed and the reason why is because I got to see all the past icons, got to even sit in a chair on the Director’s set. My friend and I went over to the “Men in Black” ride and low and behold in front of me was this photo op area with Jack, he was wearing the vintage clown suit from 2000. I got in the queue and while waiting, Jack proceeded to scare people that approached the area, I smiled with glee as he did that. My turn was next and went up to Jack a little nervous, smiled for four photos and was very happy afterwards. As the night was coming to an end, before leaving went through the “Fear Revealed” scarezone once more, and saw Ringmaster Jack, asked him if I can please get a photo with him, he obliged then scared me out of the Fortune Tellers tent.
I enjoyed the event and went back in 2013 for a second time, I will be returning in 2020 for Halloween Horror Nights 30, gotta say I’m proud to be obsessed with this event.

What was your favorite year?  Let us know in the comments!

Why “Survive or Die: Apocalypse” Should Return in Future Events

Last year’s Halloween Horror Nights event brought to fans five all new scare zones featuring almost entirely new content. With the exception of Chance, every zone was an entirely new world and story for hardcore fans of the event to explore. And those fans did just that; several of the scare zones from the event managed to develop its own unique subgroup of fans. While MANY people loved the kitschy aesthetic of Vamp 55 (some of whom even dressed entirely in vintage attire themselves), there were also many fans who loved the originality and heavy effects of Dead Man’s Wharf. However, I think one of the most overlooked scare zones of the event was Survive or Die: Apocalypse.

Post-apocalyptic themes for scare zones or houses at Halloween Horror Nights is nothing new. Many zones or houses that came before Survive or Die were set in a similar world and I’m sure many zones and houses will continue to be in the future. Famously, of course, is the event’s multiple Walking Dead themed houses, all of which are set in the post-zombie-apocalypse world from the famed television show. In HHN19 we were presented with another, similar, scare zone called “Apocalypse: City of Cannibals.” So these end of the world type settings are nothing unfamiliar to fans of the event. But what made Survive or Die unique to these predecessors was that this was an original content area with a diverse world of people within the lore of this zone.

Survive or Die was actually very story heavy in the most discreetly detailed way. If you only went through this zone once or twice, or went through it too quickly, it would be very easy to miss the full story of this zone. After a world-altering event has ruined the atmosphere of the earth and ended life as we know it, what’s left of humanity has divided into three communities to survive. The Dominion, a group with values strength of it’s members above all, has a machine that creates oxygen and is led by one man called the Overseer. The remaining two factions both want control of this machine for their people. One of these factions is Artifice, which believes itself to be smarter than the rest and enlightened as they follow their Mother, a prophet-like woman. The last group is called the Hound: a group of wild men and women armed with chainsaws and vehicles, and who have a Mad Max-like worship of machines. Each group has it’s own flag, symbol, and even color, and tries it’s best to recruit newcomers to their territory. Join a group or face death.

If you stayed put in this zone, one of the most interesting things to watch was how the three warring groups interacted with one another. From Mother and the Artifice coming into Dominion territory occasionally to demand the Overseer hand over his oxygen machine, to the Hound playing what was essentially an intense match of Capture the Flag with the other factions, there was a lot of story to be told. With so much lore and source material to this scare zone, it’s only natural that it developed so over the course of the event. But it leads to beg the question: how much further could the story of this zone develop if allowed to come back in a future event?

While original content zones returning in some capacity is limited to just a few, some of the most beloved recurring zones and houses for fans are those of original content. Notably on that list are Psychoscareapy and Body Snatcher, both of which have been featured at many HHN events (both in houses AND in scare zones) and are tied very heavily into the lore of Horror Nights’ most beloved icons. But a zone doesn’t have to be tied into the lore of the icons to be repeated. Scary Tales was featured as a house alone no less than three times and it came back to us in the form of a scare zone in year 25. Similarly, Asylum in Wonderland started out as just a scare zone during Reflections of Fear and later returned as a house in year 25. While certainly not all original content zones and houses get the opportunity to scare us again, it’s definitely not unheard of.

Survive or Die: Apocalypse blended the perfect amount of deep story with scares to allow it to become a prime candidate to return in future events. The mix of types of scares (from the creepy maniacal stares of the Artifice, to the intimidation of Dominion, and even to the classic chainsaws of the Hound) really meant that this zone had something to scare anyone and everyone who walked through it. But to the fans who slowed down and took in their surroundings, it became a very immersive world that I think Horror Nights fans would love to relive and get the opportunity to explore again.

Did you enjoy this scarezone?  Let us know in the comments!

Why Jack NEEDS A Movie!

Horror fans from around the globe look forward to the months of September and October. Those who travel to or who live in Orlando look forward to it even more because it means as the sun goes down the maniacs come out to play. The most maniacal of the maniacs is Jack the Clown. Anyone who is anyone know Jack and its about time that he gets his own movie.

 

He’s Scary as Hell

Jack Schmidt is the official name of the clown that was created by Universal Studios as a fictional character especially for HHN. He’s a former circus clown, yet he is completely insane. He is scarier than hell, and it’s because of his appearance as well as his actions. He has a twisted sense of humor and murders his victims based upon this.

His general appearance is based upon what you would expect out of a typical clown. However, the green makeup on his white face is done up in such a way that it is anything but friendly. His fingernails are long, his costume is stained with blood, and there are gnarly yellow teeth seen from under his big red nose.

Without him saying or doing anything, he’s a scary character. This incites much more fear than Freddy Krueger or any of the other scary movie characters. Universal Studios could make a killing based upon Jack the Clown.

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Jack meets Britney & Justin (Photo courtesy of Orlando Sentinel)

 

He’s a Known Serial Killer

It’s understandable that Universal Studios wants to create a plot-driven movie. With Jack the Clown being a serial killer, it automatically creates an easy plot that can be followed. We can learn more about the history of Jack Schmidt and how he became insane from performing as a circus clown.

Universal Studios has already done all of the hard work. They have created the character and created some of the back story. People already know his personality, and therefore they will know what to expect out of the movie.  A ready made audience from the millions of people that attend HHN every year could catapult a low budget picture into being very profitable for Universal!

 

He Has Gained Quite the Reputation

HHN has a different theme year after year. Jack the Clown was originally created for the 10th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights. However, he became so popular that he has made appearances time and again.

The moment people see Jack the Clown, at least those who have been to HHN, are well aware of who he is. This means he has instant name recognition, which is a big deal, especially when you’re talking about a movie.

With this kind of reputation already established, imagine how easy it would be to get people to go and see a movie that stars Jack the Clown. It suddenly makes him more accessible. People don’t have to travel all the way to Orlando. Plus, the cost of a movie ticket is going to be considerably less than the cost of admission to the theme park, even if you consider what you will spend at the concessions counter.

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He Haunts People’s Dreams

Twitter, Facebook, and blogs across the internet light up during Halloween Horror Nights with talks about Jack the Clown and how he has been haunting people’s dreams. Even before Jack Schmidt, however, plenty of people had a fear of clowns. Universal Studios used this to their advantage. What better iconic character to represent HHN than simply bringing a clown into the picture who is not only a former circus performer but who is now a serial killer?

The nameless clown in people’s nightmares now has a name: Jack the Clown. Universal was smart to play upon people’s fears and it’s Mr. Schmidt that is in the nightmares.

Many people jump at the opportunity to get scared. Year after year, horror movies do well at the box office. This means that the fact that Jack the Clown haunts people’s dreams will actually work to Universal’s advantage.

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It Could Mean an Entire Series of Films

Jack has already been popular enough to warrant re-appearing theme after theme. This means that there’s obviously a call to see more of him. Universal Studios knows a good thing when they see it, which is why he is allowed to return.

Freddy Krueger got a total of eight movies. The series is still well-known, even though a new movie hasn’t been released in years. Friday the 13th has even more at a total of 12 films.

Just think what Jack Schmidt could do at the box office. An entire series of films could be written about him, based upon the many themes of just past HHN alone could fill a franchise!  They could also attach a possible film to their new Universal Monsters franchise that begins this year with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy.

Universal Studios needs to give Jack the Clown his own movie. People have already decided that they love him as a scary character. Plus, Universal has already given him a look, a name, and a full backstory. Now all they have to do is bring him to Hollywood so that everyone can see him in action up on the big screen. It could be the biggest scary movie to ever be released.

Let us know what you think – could this be an excellent idea?

HHN’s Worst Smells Ever!

Halloween Horror Nights have been using smells within their houses for years.  These pungent and peculiar scents are manufactured off-site and installed within the houses to give us guests that extra sensory level punch to our guts when visiting these hyper detailed sets.

Aiello and Co use an office out back that is rarely used to select their pongs of choice, whereas Murdy at Hollywood likes to use an empty soundstage when selecting what fowl odors he likes to place strategically throughout the mazes of the West coast.  So we at HHNU thought we’d open the HHN Archives and have a look at what we think are the 5 best  worst  most disgusting HHN smells ever!

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  1. “Soured Pine”

Back in 2013 we had a house created from the rebooted version of the Evil Dead. It came complete with the long running/tracking shot to the house’s door, just like in the movie, the scene featured faux pine trees in a forest section with strobe lights and oodles of fog.  The smell may have been familiar to many as it featured Amanda aka Boston White from Dis After Dark’s favorite scent, that of the pine smell from the park’s only original attraction E.T.’s queue area but with a “soured” hint to enforce the horror of the scene.

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2. “Pea Soup & Vomit”

Our editor Chris Ripley was interviewed by Fox News last year where he told the news channel his most dreaded smell ever was the vomit scent from inside The Exorcist house.  He told Fox:

“…You walk through the recreated house shown in the film and into the scene where the possessed girl is vomiting. The walls are covered in pea soup, mattresses are hanging from the ceiling with vomit covering everything. A barf smell is even infused into the air while hearing a convulsing sound. It’s absolutely terrifying…I loved it!”

HHNU’s Senior Writer Scott covered the Hollywood event for HHNU last year and said that the vomit smell was like Orlando’s… just 100 times stronger – ugh gross!!

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3. “Feces” (yep!)

For this heinous crime against noses (and eyes too for this one!) we have to go waaaay back to 2003’s event at Islands of Adventure for the debut of an iconic HHN franchise: ‘PsychoScareapy’.

The house would feature a now infamous scene set in a bathroom area which had a scareactor painting faux feces onto the tiled walls with a similar smell pumped into the room (the poor actor!).  The smell and visually demonstration worked well to send guests running from the house and probably heaving too.  The scene has been recreated since but not to the same toxicity as the original scent.  Damn, I think I can still smell this!

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4. “Burning Flesh”

For our next installment we hop over to 2007’s PsychoScareapy: Home for the Holidays, which was one of the many sequels to 2003’s house and it also featured a now legendary smell of epic proportions.

Disney all year round will pump cotton candy or popcorn scents into the air to make you comfortable or to spur you into buying some of their sugary snacks – Universal doesn’t.  So instead of gingerbread and chestnuts roasting on a open fire we got burning human flesh at 2007’s Home for the Holidays.

An escaped inmate from Shadybrook had broken into a house and placed some of the home’s mother into the oven.  Gingerbread shapes had been taken from her back, cooked in the oven and were being eaten by the inmates.  How festive!

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5. Clowns 3D: Music by Slash

Over on the West coast John Murdy used a great trick to lure guests in with a clever trick using smells.  At the opening of the twisted Clowns 3D maze, musician Slash created a soundtrack that complemented the smells.  Guests would enter into an ice-cream factory and would be soothed by the smells of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate before a key-change on the soundtrack and plumes of vomit smell would be pumped in to coincide with the arrival of the maniacal hosts of the maze.  Afterwards guests would never have the urge to eat ice-cream ever again!

So there you have it, our top 5 worst/best/most gross smells ever!  Do you agree with us?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

History: Harry Potter and the Forbidden HHN Code Names

Why does Universal use code names for HHN, have you ever wondered?  The truth is, up until 2008 they never used code names at all but the story behind how they were created them is a fascinating insight into how the event is created.  So pull up a comfy chair and allow us once again to delve into the history of the world’s greatest Halloween event…

Firstly, we need to separate Universal from Disney to show how these two theme park giants are setup in Florida.  When dear old Uncle Walt decided to build what we know today as Walt Disney World in a quiet area of Florida he went to the State and got a whole bunch of unique abilities and permissions, that to this day have never been bettered by any other organization.

It was the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District that enabled Disney to effectively do what they wanted within their vast property without having to go through the same channels as other businesses. They could then wholly control within their boundaries the waterways, power, utilities, personnel, zoning, airspace etc.  And in return Disney would drive employment opportunities for all and substantially increase tourism. And although that is a vast simplification of the process, it does allow Disney to build what they want, where they want, with some limitations but without the requirement to get the City of Orlando to sign-off on absolutely everything.  Universal on the other hand, did not have this luxury.

So when Universal wants to build anything it has to go to the City and get full permission to do so, just like every other business in Florida.  And it was 2008 where this became an issue. It had been known to the then small HHN fan community that the permits for these houses would be put onto the internet by the City, with the reference of houses being “temporary haunt themed buildings for the purposes of seasonal entertainment.”  It wouldn’t name the houses but it would list any approvals and inspections occurring by the City (fire checks, disabled access etc); this was the limit of the information that was provided online.

However, it was soon found out by a number of fans that if you visited the City’s offices in person as a regular citizen you could go and look at the physical plans being approved.  I remember speaking to the City’s officer in charge of the approval process back in 2006 and she would readily go through the plans providing every last details, which at the time would have been by about late spring.

The first issue of this process arose in August of 2008, when plans for the event were leaked all over the internet, including the house names, house locations, layouts and facade plans. This led to five of the eight houses having their actual titles known, with three open for speculation.

Universal were livid that the City would allow this situation to occur as the fan (who shall remain nameless) had taken photos of the blueprints using his mobile phone and had posted them on various online forums.  Universal who unbeknownst to the world at the time had just signed a huge master licensing agreement with JK Rowling and Warner Bros (in a huge coup against Disney) back in May 2007 and were gearing up to agree themed lands and attractions with their new partners.  Universal’s level of annoyance at this issue would only intensify if they were to submit these plans to the City only for them to be leaked by the fan communities or agents of Disney (conspiracy theory? Nah, just kidding on that last one).  How would this affect their new Harry Potter agreement and all future HHNs if everything they did would be leaked?  Universal proposed a solution.

Universal petitioned the City to make a local change to the way in which themed entertainment building processes could be handled.  In many ways Disney had it far easier as they not only had their own law making district but also at the time they only used their own properties.  Universal had to get full approval for everything they did plus they used largely third party IPs – all of which put Universal in a precarious position. The City agreed to Universal petition (a petition that was supported by the other local non-Disney theme parks) and from then on, the City would never release drawings of proposed themed entertainment projects to the press or public without prior permission. This swift step change from the City would be nicknamed by the HHN fan community as “Potter’s Law”.

And although it was too late for 2008’s HHN, the law would come into effect for every Universal project including all the Harry Potter additions and every HHN since late 2008.  So in the following year that it was decided that HHN houses would be given code names as Universal needed a formal process of referring to their properties with the City.  They initially used a numbering system but this was complicated by the many third party vendors who confused drawings and issues.  The City also did not like the numbering system, so it was agreed that code names  would be used for all within the production process and would simplify matters. The City could say the house named “Flashlight” had it’s disabled access approved and everyone from the technician to the Universal CEO would know what “Flashlight” was and how the construction of that house was progressing.

“Flashlight” by the way, was the code name for the Usher’s house of that year.  The very first HHN code names were:

Soundstage 22 – Brute – Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned
Soundstage 23 – Agana – Dracula: Legacy in Blood
Soundstage 23 – Big Boy – The Wolfman
Sprung One – Geppetto – Chucky: Friends ’til the End
Sprung Two – Civic Duty – The Spawning
Parade Building – Flashlight – Silver Screams
Disaster Overflow Queue – Pleasant Vielle – Leave it to Cleaver
Jaws Queue – Hammer – SAW

You can see above how the Orlando code names are used as mental triggers and connect to their houses, making them essentially guessable for guests but not without some serious detective work (that’s what us at HHNU are for!).  So whereas Murdy from Hollywood’s HHN will use code names can be weird and wonderful, the Orlando ones are far more technical and practical – which is why they are not as forthcoming with releasing their code names as what Hollywood are.  Indeed, the only way we all learned of the code names for 2009’s HHN were to speak to the City as that was the only information they could tell the public following Potter’s law (not with Twitter as it is done now).

So there you have it, the history of the Orlando code name and why they are used.

If you found this article interesting and love to read about the history of our beloved event then you can read more in our 2016 HHN guide, or you can wait and our soon to be released 2017 edition will be out crammed full with more behind the scenes stories and facts about the world’s greatest Halloween event.

And let us know in the comments what you think the code names for this year refer to…