Universal Studios does something at their theme parks on select nights in September and October called Halloween Horror Nights. I had never attended this event before until 2014, their 24th year doing the event. It’s basically where they set up eight houses and, last year, four scare zones. The houses last year were Halloween, Alien vs Predator, The Walking Dead: End of the Line, Dracula Untold, and From Dusk Till Dawn. There were also three houses that were not based on a movie or television series: Dollhouse of the Damned, Giggles & Gore Inc., and Roanoke Cannibal Colony. The scare zones included Bayou of Blood, MASKerade: Unstitched, Face Off: In the Flesh, and The Purge: Anarchy. They also have a few shows special for the night: Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.
I was lucky enough to have a VIP pass to get into three of last years houses before the event itself for photos. The houses I visited: Halloween, Dollhouse of the Damned, and From Dusk Till Dawn.
Halloween: This is, indeed, based off oh John Carpenter’s horror movie, Halloween, about Michael Myers. It’s specifically focused on the first film, though there are nods to the other movies in the series – including Halloween 3, surprisingly enough.
This seems like a random weird image, but it’s from a section of the house that makes you feel like you’re in the closet being attacked by Myers, and there are two shirts hanging in the closet paying homage to two former Halloween Horror Nights houses: Freddy Krueger’s sweater, and to the right of that, Leatherface’s white shirt.
I was having a horror-movie-junkie fan girl moment in the entire Halloween house, but the next house – Dollhouse of the Damned – was probably my favorite house, because it was so visually stimulating. This house was a concept house rather than a house based off of a film.
Also: enjoy Universal’s trash cans.
This is probably my favorite picture I took on the entire trip.
I should probably take a moment to acknowledge my awesome guides through the houses: Alex (left) and Kyle (right). I adored these two, and it was such a blast to wander around behind the scenes with them. I wanna write their bosses and tell them they did a fabulous job.
Alex and Kyle demonstrating a scare.
There was another special guest from a former Halloween Horror Nights house hidden in Dollhouse of the Damned. Chucky from Child’s Play.
The last house we visited behind-the-scenes that day was From Dusk Till Dawn, based off of both the original movie, but also very heavily inspired by the newer TV series. While it was a very cool house, it was probably my least favorite of the three.
Obviously, the bar was a bit censored from the original name.
I have less blurry pictures of her, but for some reason I really like the slightly blurry feel of this.
Someone isn’t having a good birthday.
So, that night, after all the house photo-taking goodness, my mother and I got to attend Halloween Horror Nights 24. There are two shows, one is a Bill & Ted Halloween show, which we didn’t attend. But I did go to the Rocky Horror Picture Show live, and it was AMAZING. I love RHPS and the show was incredible. Probably one of my all time favorites I’ve seen.
Not the most incredible shot on my part, but I was way too distracted by the awesome.
There were also the four scare zones set up in the streets:
The Purge: Anarchy
The Purge zone
The Bayou of Blood:
FACE OFF: In The Flesh (Make-up looks from the show, recreated by some of the artists from the show!)
One of my favorite parts of Halloween Horror Nights was the MASKerade: Unstitched zone.
I think it’s super underrated, because a lot of people were claiming it was boring. But I loved it. Yeah, I wasn’t shaking in my Stormtrooper Vans over people in gowns, on stilts, wearing masks. BUT it was so beautiful and eerie at night in such a fantastic way. It sent my artsy brain into overdrive. I was sketching a day or two later when I was doing laundry:
This will eventually be a super awesome spooky painting.
I’ll have more pictures up on my Flikr account eventually if you want to check them out! I can’t WAIT to attend this year, if everything aligns just right. Have you ever been to Halloween Horror Nights?