THE TWISTED TALES OF AN AMERICAN HORROR STORY WILL BECOME YOUR NIGHTMARE AT HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 26
For the first time ever in one horrifying house.
Author: Michael Aiello
I’m still in relative shock on what we’ve been able to assemble for this year’s slate of content. The lineup for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26 is something special.
So this brings us to our last reveal and one our team has been excited about bringing to HHN for quite some time – FX’s American Horror Story. This all-new house will feature Season 1: Murder House, Season 4: Freak Show and Season 5: Hotel.Since this fantastic series began we’ve been watching and calculating how – if ever given the chance – we would translate it into a haunted experience. The most engaging aspect of American Horror Story is the fact that every season is a completely new storyline, with brand new environments and characters, not unlike Halloween Horror Nights.
First, we needed to decide how to capture all that content into a single house. The uber-maze or larger template we’ve adopted, most recently with our popular 25th Anniversary maze last year, was the most ideal format.
You’ll be confronted by the horrors that reside within the walls of the newly bought Harmon residence and evade the abominations that call it’s basement home.
You’ll witness the atrocities that befell many of the unfortunate souls of a roadside Freak Show and encounter Twisty, a maniacal and deformed clown performer.
Lastly, you will check into the Hotel Cortez and unlock the domain of The Countess, as she ensures your stay is anything but pleasant.
These three seasons will be vividly recreated in every detail – environments characters and moments. We’ve worked extremely close with the series creator, Ryan Murphy and 20th Century Fox, to insure it captures the series in every way possible.
This reveal rounds out the most eclectic slate of brands we’ve ever had. Combined with our original content houses and our scare zone and show slate, Halloween Horror Nights 26 is shaping up to be one for the books.
You won’t want to miss this year’s event so make sure to grab your tickets now and I’ll see you there!
IMMERSIVE PARANORMAL VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE COMING TO HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS
Step into the next dimension of horror
Author: TJ Mannarino
I am ecstatic to announce a cutting-edge, terrifying virtual reality experience is coming to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. “The Repository” seamlessly blends custom virtual reality technology with immersive real-life storytelling bringing guests into the next dimension of horror experiences.
This is one of the most electrifying Halloween Horror Nights’ project I’ve ever worked on – primarily because it is the culmination of 8 years of experimental story-telling, drawing on feedback from our vast HHN audience to learn what thrills and chills them the most.Throughout this heart-pounding, psychological journey, guests’ most personal and intimate fears will be tested as they encounter real-life characters in highly themed physical environments, while working together in teams of four to uncover a paranormal mystery told through the use of the cutting-edge technology.
All of this is set in a centuries old warehouse where paranormal and supernatural artifacts have been collected and stored for hundreds of years. Recently though, the secretive organization behind this practice has installed state-of-the-art technology that allows spectral transportation into paranormal realms.
Until now, the supernatural has infiltrated our world on occasions labeled “hauntings.” Now, and for the first time ever, we will send you across the SDP (spectral dark portal) directly into those terrifying environments. I wish you a safe journey because what happens to you on the other side is irreversible.
“The Repository” can be purchased as an upgrade from your Halloween Horror Nights admission for $49.95 plus tax. It will be available to guests during all Halloween Horror Nights events, beginning Sept. 29 and running through Oct. 31.
Universal Orlando Annual Passholders can purchase tickets beginning August 16. Check the Universal Orlando Annual Passholder Facebook page for details. Tickets for the general public will be on sale beginning August 23. Halloween Horror Nights admission is required.
Get ready for The Repository, because the door will soon be open to a mind-blowing paranormal experience like no other.
More details and booking information coming soon, check back on August 23!
HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 26
ORIGINAL HOUSES AND SCARE ZONES REVEALED
Tombs, ghosts and Chance’s playground of carnage. Oh my!
Author: Anthony Armenia
Being a hardcore fan of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights, I jumped at the chance to reveal all the sinister original content arising from the twisted minds of Universal’s Entertainment team. Here are all the details on the three terrifying houses, five killer scare zones and two outrageous live shows.
While Jack’s away, Chance has unleashed the horrors of her imagination. Her twisted delusions and reality are continuously blurred in a 3D playground of carnage. When the music box plays, the world shifts to her sinister theatre of the mind. But when the alarm starts ringing, Chance is thrown back into the brutal reality of her incarceration.Ghost Town – The Curse of Lightning Gulch
When lightning strikes, the curse of Lightning Gulch comes to life and this ghostly town appears. These doomed souls—who once went searching for gold—found death and destruction. And now they seek others to join them. As thunder cracks, flashes of lightning will lead your way through this treacherous wild west nightmare. Good luck!
Tomb of the Ancients
An ancient evil has surfaced and immortal beings from the past have returned to rule mankind. It was only a matter of time until “The Ancient Ones” were unearthed. Now these makers of chaos are loose from the pits of hell—and the whole world will pay.
• Survive or Die – A global catastrophe has ruined Earth’s atmosphere. One group of survivors secured a machine that provides clean air. The two other surviving groups are on the hunt to gain control of the machine and are recruiting new members to help them. You can either join them or feed their staving ranks. Which will you choose?
• Banshee’s Lair – Travel deep into the forest where evil spirits and horrific creatures of the ancient world roam free. Mother Nature’s magical barrier of vines has been torn away and the modern world has found the entrance to this corrupted grave.
• Dead Man’s Wharf – When a fishing vessel named Annabel Lee never returned to the harbor and was lost forever, the wharf was left uninhabited as a memorial to her. Now, a strange fog has rolled into the village. And the long-lost fishermen’s spirits seek to punish the town that left them.
• Vamp 1955 – Welcome to Hollywood High School’s 1955 Homecoming Parade. Everything is in place, until the greasers roll into town with fangs instead of switchblades. It’s a procession of chaos with vampires ready to take a bite out of anyone in sight.
• A Chance In Hell – Get ready for the audition of a lifetime. Chance may be locked away, but that hasn’t stopped her. As the alarms ring and the bloody remains of those who tried to stop her lie around, she’s busy recruiting cellmates to join her biggest act yet. (I hope I get chosen!)
And we can’t forget about the two spine-chilling shows this year:
• Academy of Villains: House of Fear – Join this high energy performance troupe of inmates in an explosion of insanity that will thrust you into a realm of mayhem and maniacal terror featuring dance and specialty acts. The Show Must Go On!
• Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure – No Halloween Horror Nights would be complete with these “excellent” dudes! The Wyld Stallyns return with an all-new Halloween adventure.
I was able to lurk around the dark alleys of Universal Studios Florida to get a peek at a few of this year’s houses with Show Director, Charles Gray and streets with Blake Braswell to pick their brains about this year’s original content.
What are some of your favorite parts of this year’s original houses?
I really like them all. For Tomb of the Ancients, we’ve taken it to the next level, adding a claustrophobic feel with tight corridors and some really cool scenic and decor. For Ghost Town – The Curse of Lightning Gulch, it’s the kind of place I would wanna play in if I was a little kid. It’s authentic! From the store fronts to the piano in the bar everything has a really unique look. Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance is my favorite story, where you go from the real world to the 3D theatre of her mind. We are setting up the stage for her story through the facade starting from where last year’s “Carnage Returns” ended to where her story picks up.
And what about some highlights from the scare zones as well?
Banshee’s Lair really has that traditional Halloween feel with a Celtic influence. There is a nice nod to Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee” in Dead Man’s Wharf and some really cool 1950’s music in Vamp 1955. The costumes are really unique in A Chance in Hell, where Chance’s inmates that worship her take whatever they can find and use those things to look like her.
How has Chance’s split personality led to her first stand-alone house, Lunactics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance?
With this house, we’re taking the opportunity to tell the story of Chance. Everything that is happening in her mind is happening in the real world, we’re just seeing it all through her eyes. For example, Chance and her band of misfits have killed victims by chopping them up and tying them back together to look like marionettes. We’ll see that reality, but we’ll also see what it looks like in her head. The duel realities of Chance are really highlighted in this house.
The house that really tickled my fancy this year was the Tomb of the Ancients. Can you tell me about the mythology inspiration and what ancient evils have arose?
We’re all very much history buffs here. From South American, Asian and Egyptian cultures, we’ve created a world that mixes of a lot of different cultural mythologies. My favorite creature that guests will encounter is the Amut, which has the face of a crocodile with the mane and front paws of a lion.
For fans of Chance, where will guests be able to see her at this year’s event?
Chance’s story will pick up right where last year left off. In the Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance house, she breaks out and then the madness will carry over to A Chance In Hell!
When did you guys start developing the original content for this year’s event?
Actually, we started during the event last year. We tossed a lot of ideas around and then formed a lot of the houses directly afterwards.
This year’s killer line up is not complete. There is one more house yet to be unveiled and it’s just HORRIFIC! Till then, grab your tickets and start the countdown for opening night. Hope to see each and every one of you out there.
KRAMPUS IS COMING TO TOWN FOR HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 26
Deck the halls with bells and screams.
Author: Charles Gray
This year, we’re bringing to life the terrifying Christmas legend Krampus at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 26. We’ve collaborated closely with filmmaker Michael Dougherty, Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures to bring authenticity to each terrifying encounter.
The Engel home is decked out for the holidays and all of you are invited to join them. From the myriad of dark elves, gingerbread men wielding nail guns, and the engorged Jack-in-the-Box, to my favorite… the Teddy Bear, each room is full of its own horrifying moments pulled from the film.You’ll not only try and dodge the invading dark elves around every corner, but will also have to keep your holiday spirits up, while sneaking past the looming presence of Krampus himself. Each encounter with Krampus holds its own unique perspective, as he gathers more souls for his sinister workshop.
The excitement for this property, and what it adds to this year’s event, is the same excitement as waiting to see what Santa has left under the tree. Mixing two cups of horror with humor, a tablespoon of trick, with a dash of treat, and you’ll receive the most gruesome holiday gift ever.
Remember, it’s better to give than receive… unless you’re Krampus. He only takes.
You won’t want to miss out on the horrifying cheer Krampus is bringing to Halloween Horror Nights. Grab your tickets now and become a part of the legend this fall.
MICHAEL MYERS RETURNS TO HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS
Author: Michael Aiello
The original Halloween maze we created for Halloween Horror Nights 24 was a massive success. For fans of the original film, it was an opportunity to walk through the scenes of a revered horror film and be pursued by horror icon Michael Myers.
Just like the movies, we’ve been inspired to continue the story. You’ll experience the final scene of the 2014 maze and immediately walk in-between the homes of Haddonfield. You’ll be attacked by Myers the entire way before seeking refuge within the hospital. We’re recreating all the iconic events from the story, including Myers’ fiery “end.”Growing up with the original Halloween, I always loved and appreciated that its sequel was simply titled, Halloween II. It literally picked up the events within seconds from where the previous ended. I found this so cool. What I thought was the end was merely the first half of a horrific story!
The sequel continued Myers’ terror on the town of Haddonfield. And instead of a sleepy neighborhood, we were placed into the confines of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. It’s a cold, stark setting, but also—just like the original—very familiar.
And just like in 2014, we couldn’t be happier to be collaborating with Malek Akkad, producer of so many installments of the Halloween franchise.
Hell has indeed returned to Haddonfield. And Halloween Horror Nights.
EXPERIENCE THE WALKING DEAD LIKE NEVER BEFORE AT HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 26
All six seasons packed into one terrifying maze.
Author: Charles Gray
The bloodthirsty hordes of AMC’s The Walking Dead return to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights in a whole new way. For this year’s maze, we’re taking fan favorite moments and iconic Walkers from all six seasons and packing them into one terrifying maze.
The Walking Dead mazes we’ve created these past four years had guests screaming with terror as they found themselves in the most iconic horrifying scenes from the show.This year, you’ll struggle to escape from Hershel’s barn, get reacquainted with the Governor’s macabre Walker collection, race through Terminus and end up in the sewers of Alexandria. We’re pulling all of the creepiest environments from our past mazes—like the horde of Walkers in the forest during a lighting storm, which always had guests running and screaming!
Lastly, we tackle this past season, which upped the ante for all survivors. You’ll enter Alexandria from the nasty sewers and find yourself in the middle of the chaotic battle against the ferocious Wolves. And… don’t be surprised if the sounds of whistling Saviors follow you into the night.
THE EXORCIST COMES TO HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 26 FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
Author: Michael Aiello
Haunting. Shocking. Indelible.
These are words that describe my feelings when I first saw The Exorcist.
The film is a benchmark in so many ways. It was the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture. It helped lead the charge in a sequence of “demonic child” storylines. And it has often been replicated in many horror films today, irrefutably placing it among the kings of influential horror pop culture.And now that influence has found its way to Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights in an all-new haunted maze. As with any horror property we collaborate with, our job is to create an attraction that adapts that property into a fully realized experience. That adaptation is a creative challenge in every case.
But translating The Exorcist presented us with many unique tests and questions. One big question was, “How do you adapt a film where most of the story takes place in a single bedroom?”
The answer we landed on was first to break down and assess all the visuals and moments from the film. Piece together every moment within that bedroom and examine why it was intense, scary or even vile. What textures can we reconstruct differently, sometimes in an incredibly abstract way?
The famous “pea soup” scene for instance. What if we were surrounded in the materials of the retch-covered bed? What if those layers of mattress padding literally enveloped us? And let’s be honest, traversing through a vomit-covered bed is pretty horrifying and disgusting by itself. Now add a possessed girl into the mix!
LEATHERFACE INVADES HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS 26 IN AN ALL-NEW HAUNTED MAZE
Author: Michael Aiello
The entire creative team of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights has a library of films that have permanently etched their initials in our collective psyche. Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is certainly one of those films and this year, we’re bringing the original 1974 classic to life in an all-new haunted maze.
It’s a film that if made identically today, it wouldn’t compare to the original. Yes, today’s version would be gorier and with artistic camera moves and edits. But the 1974 original’s grit and journalistic style is what makes it so terrifying; it’s what makes it feel so real.And I’d be willing to bet this film is the reason a chainsaw’s iconic roar is frightening to so many people.
The film features very little gore, instead focusing on the psychological nature of this warped family. I’ll never forget watching it over at my buddy’s house in middle school. Sally’s ordeal of being captured by this maniacal family is never more pungent than when the family’s near-dead, corpse-like grandfather is attempting to limply bash Sally in head. The family’s sheer joy at this sickening display was indelible.
But nothing can equate to the late, great Gunnar Hansen’s portrayal of the killer, Leatherface. You can see the maniac but also the layers of innocence deep down, that this chainsaw-wielding murderer is a product of his upbringing. Leatherface is a feral character with hints of sadness and humanity. Gunnar brought this to the role and no one has yet to duplicate his performance.
As creators of Halloween Horror Nights, we have the privilege of bringing to life many popular horror films. Every now and then, we are able to replicate one that forged the reason horror has become such a factor in many of our lives. The original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is undoubtedly on that short list.
Like all of you, the horror fan in me is looking forward to reliving this story and entering that dilapidated Texas farmhouse. The anticipation of coming face-to-face with a horror legend and having my screams drowned by that saw blade is just as prevalent now as when I first witnessed this amazing horror film decades ago.