Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights: a scare you’ll never forget


Tribune News Service

A trick-or-treating scare actor pedals through Sweet Revenge, a scare zone at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. Courtesy of Patrick Connolly/TNS.

Lilly Citrin, Writer

An event only the fearless dare to venture: Halloween Horror Nights. From Sept. 2 to Oct. 31, Universal is holding their annual night of screams and scares. This year’s event will feature not only ten haunted houses but also scare zones, live shows, rides, food and some specialty merchandise.

Universal’s frightening event begins when the park opens at 6:30. Single-night tickets go for $73.99 and multi-night tickets are priced at $129.99. If a guest wishes to purchase an additional Express Pass they would need to cough up at least the starting price of $119.99. Express passes allow you to automatically reduce wait times by bypassing lines for houses and attractions. An RIP Tour for $299.99 per person allows for a private tour guide, special entrances to the houses, reserved spots at live shows, and a private trolley for transportation.

The haunted houses of Halloween Horror night change every year. Each year guests get to visit a new set of terrifying houses. One positive to the annual change in houses is some of the houses are created to relate to current events or popular topics. One of this year’s houses is designed to represent the artist The Weekend.

“The After Hours Nightmare” house is a terrifying take on The Weeknds most recent album, After Hours. This “other worldly rave,” said by Universal Studios, is bound to knock your socks off. As you make your way through the house, you will run into bandaged maniacs performing extreme plastic surgery. Plastic surgery is a huge theme in the After Hours album. The idea of manipulating your face for superficial reasons was a representation of Hollywood culture and the people’s need to be validated. Visitors of this haunted house will get to travel through the horrifying and prolific mind of The Weeknd.

All the Michael Myers fans absolutely have to try out the “Halloween Haunted House”. Visitors can travel through Haddonfield, Illinois and live within the Halloween movies as you move through this silently scary haunted house. The 1978 classic is brought to life as you experience Myers’ relentless and merciless killing spree.

In the next house, guests get to experience the best of both worlds. “The Horrors of Blumhouse” is a combination of the movies Freaky and The Black Phone. As you progress through this house visitors will experience the ruthless genius of a serial killer trapped in a teen girl body and the thrill and terror of The Grabber.

Three monsters equal triple the fright. “Universal Monster: Legends Collide” house brings together all of the frightening favorites. Enter this house and risk getting caught in a legendary battle between Dracula, The Mummy and The Wolf Man. On their mission to find the amulet that breaks their curse, they are willing to stop any one who gets in their way.

Journey into the 1920s and explore a speakeasy hosted by a coven of ghastly witches. The “They’re Bewitchingly Terrifying” house is full of spooky spirit. Do not let the bubbling cauldrons scare you away; it is all a part of the fun. Enjoy music, dancing and scares in this terrifyingly fun haunted house.

Watch your step, critters are everywhere in the “Bugs: Eaten Alive” house. The tables have turned in this 1950s house. This time, the bugs are after you. Be prepared for larger than life bugs and creepy crawlers.

In “Fiesta de Chupacabras,” you are given the opportunity to travel through a Latin American Village. The terrifying, dog-like creatures are out to get you. Make sure to have eyes on the back of your head because these monsters will make you wish you stayed home.

Stuck in a prison with inmates released from their cells, “The Hellblock Horror” house will lead through a tour of a prison’s scariest cell block. Try your best to make it through without running into the convicts out for blood.

The water can be a dangerous place, especially when undead fishermen are rising from their resting place and are trying to get you. Travel through a New England fishing village on “Dead Man’s Pierre.” Be sure to remember that in the water, you are a dead man.

In the final haunted house, enter an abandoned subway station. Mutants crawl from the deep, dark shadows of the New York subway station to attack. Be cautious in this haunting experience, you never know what to expect in the “Descendants of Destruction” house.

Along with the petrifying houses, Universal is also offering five sinister scare zones. So, if you think you are safe outside of the houses, you are dead wrong. In between your terrifying adventures, be sure to enjoy themed food and specialty drinks, some of which are exclusive to Halloween Horror Nights. Some of the specialty food and drinks are; Tamales de la Muertos, Roasted Sweet Potato & Mushroom Street Tacos, Fried Oreos & Twinkie; and drinks like Burning Skull and Save Your Tears.

Do not forget to pay attention to the live shows playing over the screams. The bands will provide you world-class entertainment while you look over your shoulder for the next scare. And most importantly visitors need something to remember their wicked night. Universal is offering limited edition merchandise. Horror themed shirts, mugs, backpacks, vinyls, hoodies, and more are all available for purchase.

This year’s Halloween Horror Night is an event full of monsters, screams, food and music. It is the place to be for lovers of horror and all things scary. Experiencing this is the ultimate Halloween adventure.