Halloween Horror Nights Orlando attraction


Image from the now defunct ioacentral.com.

Ghost Town
Attraction type Haunted House
Event Halloween Horror Nights XIV
Park Universal Studios Florida
Area Production Central
Year 2004
Housed in Soundstage 22
Based on Original
Followed by Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch (2016)

Ghost Town was one of the seven haunted houses that were featured during Halloween Horror Nights XIV. It was located in Soundstage 22. During Halloween Horror Nights 26, the house got a sequel, Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch.

History and Location[edit | edit source]

In 2004, Universal decided to have a haunted house based on a Wild West Ghost Town called Lightning Gulch. The house would be called Ghost Town and would feature the ghosts of the cowboys that inhabited Lightning Gulch.

The house would be located in Soundstage 22, which is one of the smaller soundstage facilities designed to be used as filming locations for movies and television shows.

The house would receive a sequel house in 2016 titled Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch.

Description[edit | edit source]

Strangled by gold fever, the violent town of Lightning Gulch disappeared in a fierce thunderstorm that swallowed up the settlement and all its ill-fated souls. Today there is no trace of the Gulch... except when vicious storms range, once again revealing all of the buildings and the tortured ghosts that lurk in its streets, saloons, and alleyways. Still desperate to protect long lost treasure, these wretched spirits remain blinded by the lust for gold and enraged by greed.

A strange electrical storm brings back the spirits of a dusty old frontier town.

Backstory[edit | edit source]

(From the Halloween Horror Nights XIV Website)

On August 13th, 1872, a telegram written by Scott Zellner, the sheriff of the town Lightning Gulch, was sent to all lawmen, government agencies, and the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, saying that the town of Lightning Gulch is in total chaos due to gold strikes. It goes on to say that there are no more lawmen left in the town, and that Scott will abandon his post, leaving the town without a police force. The telegram ends with Zellner saying that he highly advises that the town should be erased from all maps.

That same day, a newspaper was published in the nearby town of Thunder Canyon detailing the recent loss of communications with the town of Lightning Gulch. Articles mention Lightning Gulch's unnecessary hangings and violent gunfights, showing how the town was driven into chaos. The mayor of Thunder Canyon, Chadwick Cooper, sent deputy Will Daley to Lightning Gulch to investigate the situation, but he never returned. Cooper sent his wife Wendy out of town in fear that the chaos of Lightning Gulch may make its way to Thunder Canyon. Additionally, two men living in Thunder Canyon, Ethan F. Murray and Curtis "Roy" Hobbs were killed by a mob of people from Lightning Gulch because of a dispute over gold rights. The mob was described by a witness as vicious and greedy.

Parts of the Suicide Mine also caved in due to heavy storms. Near Lightning Gulch, there was a discovery of a large gold deposit stretching from Thunder Canyon Road to Superstition Hill (which overlooks Lightning Gulch) along the overflowing banks of Dead Man River and Black Shadow Stream. Finally, the newspaper mentions that many outlaws and gunslingers moved to Lightning Gulch, most likely to take advantage of the lack of law enforcement. This caused many business owners living in Thunder Canyon to relocate their businesses to Lightning Gulch.

Over a century later, an unknown man buys a rolltop desk at a sale. Inside he found the telegram and the newspaper mentioned above, as well as a map of the area near Lightning Gulch and Thunder Canyon. Because he loved discovering and researching sites, he decided to try and find the town of Lightning Gulch. By comparing the map he found to other maps, he eventually found the town of Lightning Gulch. The man took a journey of over six days trying to find the town, marking the locations he found on his map.

He arrived in the town during a fierce thunderstorm. When he arrived, he was surprised to see that the town looked untouched. He entered a nearby saloon where he found evidence that people were there recently in the form of playing cards on the table, lit cigars and unfinished drinks. He also discovered that there were gold coins all over the saloon. After taking some of the gold coins, he left the town. Ever since he did, he had been haunted by the voices of the residents of Lightning Gulch, driving him insane by constantly asking for their gold back. He decided to try to go back to town to return the coins, but when he returned he found that it was not there anymore. He deduced that he had to "find it again". In reality, the town can only be visible during a fierce thunderstorm. However, before he could return to the town he was admitted to a mental asylum (presumably Shadybrook). He took an interview with one of the psychiatrists there, detailing his experiences while growing more and more unhinged as the interview went on. The records of this experience were kept in a box in one of the rooms of the asylum.

In the Patient Records on the Halloween Horror Nights XIV website, visitors could see the contents of the box detailing the story of the Ghost Town Patient. They could click on and read the newspaper, telegram, and map to learn about the backstory. They could also click on a tape recorder to hear the interview between the man and his psychiatrist. Additionally, the website showed another map, a journal with a pen attached to it, a lock and key, a small pouch, and six gold coins. One of the gold coins had the Point of Evil symbol on it, and if one were to click on it, it would take them back to the main page of the Patient Records.

In the house, guests would get to explore the town of Lightning Gulch during a fierce thunderstorm, encountering the greedy and vengeful spirits that haunt the town.

References to the Number 13:

  • The newspaper was a part of volume 13.
  • The newspaper was written on August 13th.
  • The "vein line" that stretched from Thunder Canyon to Superstition Hill was over 1.3 miles long.
  • The telegram was received by Thunder Canyon on August 13th.
  • The psychiatrist suggested next Friday the 13th as the date of the next session.

Website Pictures[edit | edit source]

Website Audio[edit | edit source]

Audio that played on the House Page:

Patient Records Interview:

Experience (Mostly From IOACentral)[edit | edit source]

Queue and Facade[edit | edit source]

Guests would enter this house in the Seuss Backlot, right before reaching the Midway of the Bizarre scarezone. Outside, a large screen shows violent scenes occurring in the western town of Lightning Gulch. There are gunfights, hangings, and numerous other violent occurrences. A vicious lightning storm strikes the town of Lightning Gulch, and floods wash the town away, killing everybody in it. Then, you see newspaper clippings, which talk about strange happenings in the Gulch, such as figures being sighted in the supposedly abandoned ghost town. The queue started next to Soundstage 21, and would eventually lead to Soundstage 22, where guests would enter the house.

You then enter the town of Lightning Gulch. You find yourself on a ranch in the town. A lone ghost cowboy stands behind a low wooden fence on your left. In front of you, there is a saloon, with an old rocking chair, and bones hanging under the roof. The cowboy says "Welcome, idiots, to Lightning Gulch. This town is haunted, and if I were you, I'd turn around and go back where I came from. Don t touch anything here, or you'll be stuck here forever, like me". Then, when someone said it wouldn't be that bad to be stuck there, the ghost cowboy said "I'm not very pleasant to be around. I'll make you shovel my horse's poop every day". The ghost cowboy then follows you, leaning on his stick, giving you an ominous glare. He also says "You look scared, and you're not even in there yet. The real screaming will begin soon ".

Haunted House[edit | edit source]

You then enter the saloon. A lady jumps out at you from the right as you enter. The bartender, who is wiping off the bar, glares at you. He then follows you down the bar, and squirts you with some air and water from a beer tap. A ghost cowboy then runs out at you from behind a piano.

You escape from the saloon into a long, dimly it hallway, with many doors on both sides. You hear loud screaming, as well as loud bursts of lightning as you walk down this hallway. Residents of Lightning Gulch jump out at you from the doorways, shouting random things like "Stay the night!" .

You then turn right and enter the town's general store. A ghostly little girl, who is holding a teddy bear, jumps out at you from the left, and asks "Wanna play?" . As you walk further into the general store, there is a salesman on your left, and a cook on your right, who is hiding behind roach infested shelves of canned goods. The salesman catches your eye, and follows you through the store. When you reach the end of the counter, he reaches for you, and says "Your escape plan didn't work!" . The cook, who also followed you, reaches for you and says "Stay the night!" .

You then enter the town jail. The warden is sitting in a chair, shouting at prisoners and grinning menacingly at you. His face glows green. You then pass between two cells, where the criminals of Lightning Gulch, reach for and yell insults at you.

After turning another couple corners, you enter the room where the town's carpenter works. As you enter, he reaches for you from the left, saying "Burials, cremations, embalming!". There are a few upstanding wooden coffins on your right. A ghost cowboy jumps out from behind them, reaches for you, and says "This one looks just right for you!" You then leave the carpenter room. As you leave, the carpenter leans over, and whispers in your ear "Don't delay now".

You then enter the town's butcher shop. You hear loud chopping sounds, and push through large slabs of rotting cows to make your way through this room. The butcher reaches for you as you try to escape.

You then enter the barns, where you hear the sounds of horses neighing, and the smell of fresh horse manure hits your nose. You see a cowboy hanging in front of you. Another cowboy jumps out at you from a stable on your right.

You then enter the mine shaft, which has caved in. Ghostly miners on both sides reach for you, asking for help. The small light in the shaft suddenly goes out, and loud, strong burst of air hit you. The ground beneath you also starts to tremble and shake.

You rush out of the mine shaft, and enter a churchyard, where a few cowboys come after you from both sides. You then see an open coffin in front of you. A ghostly lady reaches at you from the left, and one last cowboy jumps at you from the right, in a finale attempt to keep you stuck in the town of Lightning Gulch forever. Luckily, you manage to escape out into the cool night air.

Pictures[edit | edit source]

Cast Pictures[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • According to this, the hanging dummy that appeared in this house was used in Project Evilution.
  • In the backstory, one of the businesses that moved from Thunder Canyon to Lightning Gulch was called Grommoll's Casket and Coffin Works. One of the creatives behind Halloween Horror Nights is named Grommoll.
Halloween Horror Nights XIV
Characters: The Asylum Patient (Event Icon)  • Eddie Schmidt  • Jack the Clown  • The Caretaker  • The Director  • Gunter Karl Dietze  • Jeffrey Dietze  • Robert L. Strickland
Haunted Houses: Castle Vampyr  • Deadtropolis  • Disorientorium  • Ghost Town  • Horror Nights Nightmares  • Hellgate Prison  • Horror in Wax
Scarezones: Field of Screams  • Fright Yard  • Midway of the Bizarre  • Point of Evil
Shows: Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure  • Festival of the Dead Parade
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