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The Halloween Horror Nights event in Orlando is a Halloween event presented annually at Universal Orlando. Beginning in 1991 in Universal Studios Florida with only one house, it has continued annually to become one of the largest Halloween events in the United States. In its later years, the event has split time between its original park and the more recently built Islands of Adventure. Universal's design team has created twelve original Icons for the event, and have also used many of the Universal Monsters. Recently, deals have been made with various film companies to bring horror based IP's (Intellectual Properties) into the event.

History Edit

Halloween Horror Nights began at Universal Studios Florida in 1991 under the title Fright Nights but was re-christened Halloween Horror Nights in 1992, advertising it as the "second annual" event. It began as a 3-night event but has since evolved into an over 30-night scare-a-thon spanning late September through the first weekend of November. Although it normally only operates from Thursday to Sunday, an occasional Wednesday occurs during what scareactors dub "Hell Week", known for its large crowds and the increase of alcohol-related incidents.

From 1991-2001, the event was held at Universal Studios Florida. Halloween Horror Nights moved to Islands of Adventure in 2002. 2004 was an experiment with a dual-park format, which opened parts of both parks. Guests were funneled through backstage areas and the soundstages, where most of the haunts were built. In 2006, the event made a return to Universal Studios Florida, where the event continues through its 30th year in 2021. It was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making it the first year that Halloween Horror Nights Orlando was not held since 1990.

Each year's event, though unique, has certain characteristics in common with other years. These include houses, shows, scarezones, Event Icons, and event phrases. Depending on the park in which the event is held, certain popular attractions that are regularly open during business hours are also opened during the event to help alleviate the crowds.

Event Icons Edit

From the very beginning as Fright Nights, Halloween Horror Nights has amassed a number of Icons, ten of which are original creations.

What qualifies as an Icon Edit

The rules for being an Icon is extremely convoluted. An icon can be an IP or an original, and must have an appearance in the park. Note that while Universal may deny it themselves, their judgement can sometimes be naught as to qualify for being an icon, it can be any (but not all) of these qualifications:

  • They have a presence in the marketing and merchandise.
  • Most necessary of all, they appear somewhere in the event itself.
  • They have a house or scarezone.
  • Least necessary of all, they have a backstory
  • There is a story of the overall park
  • They must have SOME presence beyond one haunted house/scarezone/show.

What makes this confusing Edit

The entire existence of the characters Bloody Mary and the Usher. Bloody Mary is not counted as an Icon in the event’s history officially by Universal, and the Usher didn’t have any appearances in the marketing for the event, not one single piece. The former is because of licensing issues with Bobbie Wiener, and the latter is presumably they wanted to focus on the movies. Universal’s statement should be taken for naught; Bloody Mary definitely is one of the Event Icons because of her heavy presence in marketing, her haunted house, her appearances elsewhere outside of her house, and the story for the entire event being that guests visited Mary’s mirror. likewise, the Usher IS an Icon despite appearing in zero marketing, for he had a house, had appearances elsewhere, and the story was that he transported guests into the Universal Palace Theater.

And given that 2010 retcons Horror Night’s entire canon to that of being influenced by Adaru, by technicality there stories for the pre-2000 years as well as 2012-2014 and 2018-2019 in that Adaru brought darkness to Universal Florida and in some years chose characters from horror media to serve as Icons.

The One to Rule them all Edit

  • Adaru is the main villain of the entirety of the canon of Halloween Horror Nights, and is technically the true main villain for each year (aside from Bloody Mary and the 2015 version of Jack’s years). He is the Sumerian God of fear who was unleashed from a portal called Portameus, which leads to his realm, by the Legendary Truth. While he appeared in the flesh as the seventh original icon and the tenth overall, used for Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear, he influenced Every other year. He didn't appear in a house, instead appearing in the scarezone Fear Revealed.

Borrowed Icons Edit

  • Contrary to popular belief, neither the Cryptkeeper or Jack were the first Event Icons; as from the very beginning the Universal Classic Monsters (Comprisin of Count Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Bride, and the Wolfman) as well as Beetlejuice served as Icons. Adaru chose them to present Fright Nights. They predominately appeared in the Dungeon of Terror.
  • The Cryptkeeper, from TV's Tales from the Crypt (a series popular in the 1990s) was the second Event Icon. Adaru chose him to serve as the head honcho for Halloween Horror Nights V. He returned the next year (and could be that year’s Icon), but didn't return after the series had been canceled. After The Cryptkeeper came two years of the event without an Icon.
  • Imhotep was the third Icon (Last Gasp) as he appeared in the marketing materials and had a house and a slot in the parade. Adaru resurrected him, and Imhotep used his Egyptian powers to take over the event.

Original Icons Edit

  • Jack Schmidt/Jack the Clown/The Ringmaster was the first original icon and the fourth icon overall. Developed for Halloween Horror Nights X, Schmidt is an evil clown and mass murderer. Adaru resurrected him to helm the 10th event. He returned as the icon in Halloween Horror Nights XI. He later appeared alongside The Caretaker, The Director and Eddie in the Halloween Horror Nights XIV house Horror Nights Nightmares, and also appeared in Rat Run during Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror. He was once again an icon during Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16, appearing in the house PsychoScareapy: Maximum Madness and in The Arrival. He was Icon again as the ringmaster of the Halloween Horror Nights: Carnival of Carnage where he hosted the Jack's Carnival of Carnage show. He reappeared as a sub-icon for Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear, where he appeared in the house Horror Nights: The Hallow'd Past with the other Icons. He appeared yet again to lead the event into its 25th anniversary at Halloween Horror Nights 25 with the house Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters & Mayhem and the stage show The Carnage Returns.
  • Dr. Albert Caine/The Caretaker was the second original Icon And the fifth icon overall, developed and used for Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear, where he appeared in Screamhouse. Caine was a respected surgeon who became caretaker of the Shady Oaks Cemetery, and after retialtion by the mob, Adaru made him the second Herald and lend him powers over darkness. He returned at Halloween Horror Nights 13 in the house Screamhouse: Revisited and at Halloween Horror Nights XIV with Jack the Clown, The Director and Eddie in the house Horror Nights Nightmares. He returned at Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16 in The Arrival and in the house Screamhouse: The Resurrection.
  • Paulo Ravinski/The Director was the third original icon and the sixth icon overall, used for Halloween Horror Nights 13, where he appeared in the house All Nite Die-In and the show, Infestation. Ravinski is a snuff film director from Eastern Europe; Adaru chose him as the third Herald, and backed up his budget; he is the only Icon to not use darkness or other magical powers. He returned for Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16 in The Arrival and All Nite Die-In: Take 2.
  • Elsa Strict/The Storyteller was the fourth original icon and the seventh overall, used for Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror, where she appeared in the house Where Evil Hides. Adaru chose her to be the fourth Herald. Strict is an old woman who introduced guests to the world of "Terra Cruentus". She returned at Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16 in The Arrival and in the house Dungeon of Terror: Retold.
  • Dr. Mary Agana/Bloody Mary was the fifth original icon and the eighth overall, used for Halloween Horror Nights: Reflections of Fear, where she appeared in the house Reflections of Fear. Agana was a psychiatrist in 1958 who was slowly possessed by the spirit of her grandmother to become the evil entity known as Bloody Mary. Notably of the 2000-2009 era, she is NOT one of the Heralds under Adaru’s control, and certain events in 25 suggests she and Jack may be against him.
  • Julian Browning/The Usher was the sixth original icon and the ninth overall, used for Halloween Horror Nights: Ripped from the Silver Screen, where he appeared in the house Silver Screams. Browning was an usher from 1922 to 1940 for the Universal Palace Theatre who died in 1940 while dealing with a rowdy moviegoer. After Adaru made him the fifth Herald, He now haunts the Theatre, bringing the movies to life and punishing anyone who shows disrespect to his beloved theatre.
  • Lady Luck was the eight original icon and the eleventh overall, used for Halloween Horror Nights 21, where she appeared in the scarezone Your Luck Has Run Out. She is the personification of bad luck and a vicious evil spirit who feeds off those who gamble with her and lose. She reappeared in the scarezone Icons: HHN at Halloween Horror Nights 25.
  • Chance was the ninth original icon and the thirteenth icon overall, used for Halloween Horror Nights 26, where she both appeared in the scarezone A Chance In Hell and the house Lunatic's Playground 3D: You Won't Stand a Chance. She is the insane girlfriend of Jack the Clown, who takes as much delight from murder and mayhem as he does.
  • Bone was the tenth original icon and the fourteenth icon overall (as much as Universal themselves deny it) used for the 27th year. Adaru chose him to headline the Festival of the Deadliest.

Unused IconsEdit

  • Edgar Sawyer/Eddie Schmidt was meant to be used during Halloween Horror Nights XI, where he was meant to appear in the Run haunted house and would be portrayed as a chainsaw-wielding horror-movie lover going too far to make a scary Halloween event. He was ultimately dropped as the main Icon due to the September 11, 2001 attacks. He would eventually make appearance in Halloween Horror Nights XIV with The Caretaker, The Director and Jack the Clown in the house Horror Nights Nightmares, and later in Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16 as the main character of his house, Run: Hostile Territory.
  • SINdy/Cindy Caine - The young, insane daughter of The Caretaker. After a mob burned her father's home and place of business down, she was scarred and hid her burnt face behind a broken china doll mask. She was dropped from Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear due to a rash of child kidnappings in the Orlando area. The main theme for Screamhouse: The Resurrection during Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16 was The Caretaker's followers looking for Cindy so Caine could resurrect his daughter. She got her own house, The Orfanage: Ashes to Ashes. during Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear. This house revamped her backstory into an orphan who was adopted by Dr. Caine after burning her orphanage down.
  • The Terra Queen was originally conceived as the icon for Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror, before The Storyteller was created to promote and serve as the icon as the event. However, she was still featured in the event as the ruler of "Terra Cruentas". Each night, she would preside over a blood sacrifice at the Terra Throne and on the final night, she herself was sacrificed.

Islands of Adventure Edit

When the event moved to Islands of Adventure for Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear, where it stayed until 2006, new opportunities arose along with new complications. Every island of the park was to be converted into a scarezone with its own house. However, Seuss Landing is used with express permission from Audrey Geisel, widow of Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), who approved of its construction and the attractions within, and has rights over what occurs during the events. The park was restricted to simply darkening this island and playing the music backwards. Strobe lights and fog were inserted in some sections, but actors were restricted until 2005.

Marvel Super Hero Island was first used as a scarezone in Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear. In its incarnation, Island Under Siege, it would be taken over at night by the Marvel villains. The superheroes were either dead or had been defeated, while Carnage, Scream, an army of chainsaw gangs, supervillans, scarred police officers, and the Punisher roamed the streets. Flamethrowers, broken-down cars, and junkyard debris littered the streets. The main attraction was Maximum Carnage, Carnage's haunted house. The island came under fire for its portrayal of the heroes. Props implying that well-known superheroes had died upon them inside the Maximum Carnage attraction were used. Universal has not focused the island on its Marvel heroes since, and instead used the area as a generic cityscape with bikers, mutated residents of a toxic spill, and more innocuously, a party zone with stilt walkers dressed as Dracula and Frankenstein.

Event Phrases Edit

Each year, except for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights has had its own unique subtitle and/or marketing slogan.

  • Fright Nights - Dying for a good Halloween Party? (Blood Begins)
  • Halloween Horror Nights V - The Curse of the Crypt Keeper
  • Halloween Horror Nights VI - Journey Into Fear
  • Halloween Horror Nights VII - Frightmares (You'll never sleep again)
  • Halloween Horror Nights VIII - Primal Scream (The last scream you'll ever hear)
  • Halloween Horror Nights IX - Last Gasp (Sayonara)
  • Halloween Horror Nights X - Not afraid of the dark? You don't know Jack... (Stay away if you are not interested in grisly entertainment)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XI - I.C.U. / Jack's Back / No More Clowing Around
  • Halloween Horror Nights XII - Islands of Fear (Your time has come)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 13 - The Director will see you now. (You oughtta be in pictures)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XIV - What's your breaking point? (2X the fear)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XV - Tales of Terror/Not Just Another Fairy Tale (No one will live happily ever after)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XVI - Sweet 16 (Horror comes home)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XVII - Carnival of Carnage (Choose Thy Fear)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XVIII - Bloody Mary/Reflections of Fear (I Dare You to Say it One More Time...)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XIX - Ripped From the Silver Screen (It's Showtime)
  • Halloween Horror Nights XX - Twenty Years of Fear (A New Era of Darkness Begins)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 21 - Are you in? (Nobody beats the house!)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 22 - Once you're inside... There is no way out!
  • Halloween Horror Nights 23 - What evil has taken root? (So this is what fear tastes like?)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 24 - You've been warned... (Fear Will Eat You Alive!)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 25 - Jack's back (25 years of fear)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 26 - You won't stand a Chance! (Terror Takes Center Stage)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 27 - The Festival of the Deadliest (The best nightmares never end...)
  • Halloween Horror Nights 28 - We Know What Scares You/ More Houses Than Ever!/ True Fear Comes From Within.
  • Halloween Horror Nights 29 - Your Worst Fears Live Here!/ Maximum Screamage
  • Halloween Horror Nights 30 - 30 Years, 30 Fears

The Event Edit

Since 1991, Universal Studios Florida has held Halloween Horror Nights annually. The first year the event, known as Fright Nights, was held for three nights and featured one house and a number of special shows. Since then the event has grown such that the latest, Halloween Horror Nights 29, was held for 42 nights and included no Event Icon, ten houses, two shows, and five scarezones. The Dungeon of Terror was the first house of the event, held in the queue of the newly built JAWS attraction. The second event introduced the annual Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure show and also began to use the soundstages on property for houses. The fourth event introduced the use of scarezones to bring roaming street scare actors together for easier scares, while the fifth and sixth introduced the concept of an Event Icon, although an unoriginal character at that point. The Event Icon would return for the tenth event, this time an original creation, and since then eight other original Icons have been used. The twelfth year moved the event to the newly built Islands of Adventure, while the fourteenth experimented in a dual-park format. The fifteenth year was the first to bring an elaborate back story for the full event, interconnecting all of the houses, scarezones, and shows, while the sixteenth returned the event to Universal Studios Florida exclusively. The seventeenth year introduced an exclusive deal with New Line Cinema to bring three horror icons to the houses. The 18th year featured the first Icon that is both an IP and a Uni original.

List of events Edit

Fright Nights (1991) Edit

Main article: Fright Nights

Haunted House Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights II (1992) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights II (Orlando)

Haunted Houses Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights III (1993) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights III (Orlando)

Haunted Houses Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights IV (1994) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights IV

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights V (1995) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights V

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights VI (1996) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights VI

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights VII: Frightmares (1997) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights VII: Frightmares

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights VIII: Primal Scream (1998) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights VIII: Primal Scream

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights IX: Last Gasp (1999) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights IX

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights X: Not Afraid of the Dark? You Don't Know Jack (2000) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights X

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights XI (2001) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights XI

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear (2002) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 13 (2003) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 13

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights XIV (2004) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights XIV

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror (2005) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16 (2006) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights: Carnival of Carnage (2007) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights: Carnival of Carnage

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Unofficial Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights: Reflections of Fear (2008) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights: Reflections of Fear

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights: Ripped from the Silver Screen (2009) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights: Ripped from the Silver Screen

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear (2010) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 21 (2011) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 21

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 22 (2012) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 22

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 23 (2013) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 23

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezone Edit

Unofficial Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 24 (2014) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 24

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 25 (2015) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 25

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezones

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 26 (2016) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 26

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unoffical Scarezones

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 27 (2017) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 27

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezone

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 28 (2018) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 28

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezones

Show Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 29 (2019) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 29

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

Unofficial Scarezone Edit

Shows Edit

Halloween Horror Nights 30 (2020) Edit

Main article: Halloween Horror Nights 30

Haunted Houses Edit

Scarezones Edit

  • None

Unofficial Scarezones Edit

  • None

Shows Edit

  • None

Haunted House Locations Edit

Main article: Haunted House Locations for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando

With two amusement parks full of rides and a number of soundstages between the parks, Universal Orlando has found a number of places to host their haunted houses each year. The first house, Dungeon of Terror, was hosted in the empty queue of the, then down for refurbishment, JAWS ride. Since then a number of ride queues, soundstages, specially-built buildings, and even walkthrough attractions themselves have been utilized to host haunted houses. Soundstages were first used in 1992 and have been used for every year since 1995. Known for their greater detail, the event has grown to include three soundstage houses each year. With the move to Islands of Adventure in 2002, a new building, known as Carnage Warehouse, was built to host houses, hosting three in the years since. In the same vein, two sprung tents were built behind the World Expo section of Universal Studios Florida in 2006 and have hosted 11 houses each since that time. The first location to be used for a walkthrough attraction was the Bates Motel, a recreation of the motel from the film Psycho. It was used for houses based on the movie before its demolition. Since then, the Jurassic Park Discovery Center, the Triceratops Discovery Trail, and Poseidon's Fury have been used, needing to be closed to regular park-goers during the day. A number of other buildings, including a seasonal restaurant, have also been utilized, with each location offering a unique experience for guests.

Article (overview on events prior to 25 Jack) Edit

Through the fears: Universal marks 25th Halloween Horror Nights Edit

Dewayne Bevil

It's the silver anniversary for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, and that's appropriate because the event has been giving guests gray hairs for much of that time. As the latest edition of HHN kicks off this weekend, let's look back at 25 highlights of the past and this year's event.

•In the beginning, it wasn't Halloween Horror Nights at all. In 1991, the first year, Universal called it Fright Nights, a three-evening affair with a single haunted housecalled Dungeon of Terror. Tickets were $12.95, purchased in advance.

"It was a test to kind of find out an event like this would be something that people would want to see and attend. And here we are, 25 years later," says Michael Aiello, who attended as a guest that first year and is now director of creative development for Universal Orlando's entertainment team.

•In year two, Universal added "Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure" show, which remains an HHN mainstay; Robosaurus, a four-story-tall mechanical dinosaur with an appetite for cars; and the Rat Lady. The park advertised for people willing to wear Victorian garb and play dead in a coffin as real live rats — dozens of them — crawled on them. They received 500 applications. The next year, Roach Man was added.

•By 1994, there were 250 scareactors — Universal-speak for its frightful characters — and "Price Is Fright," a game-show spoof hosted by Beetlejuice.

•Universal creative types see 2000 as a pivotal year. That's when Jack the Clown debuted, ushering in the event's Era of the Icon. "That character really changed the landscape of how this event is perceived, marketed and viewed by the guests," Aiello says.

•By means of introduction, Jack agreed to an interview with the Sentinel. "I want them [guests] to know I'm perfectly harmless. Clowns are nice. Benevolent. Magnificent. We only want to meet them. We only want to see their bright, shining, fat, tasty faces here at Universal," he said.

•In 2007, Jack took over with a Carnival of Carnage theme, outranking even Jason of "Friday the 13th" fame and Leatherface, the "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" baddie. "People just kept wanting to see Jack year after the year," Aiello says.

•HHN has had its share of star power, but our favorite back-in-the-day celeb moment is this: Britney Spears and then-beau Justin Timberlake with Jack the Clown. For more screaming stars, see our photo gallery at OrlandoSentinel.com.

•Halloween officially moved from being an October thing into a September thing in 2005. HHN began Sept. 30, its first non-October start date.

•Chain saws have been a recurring terrorizing technique, frequently in the form of the Chain Saw Drill Team. "They are back in a big way," says show director Laura Wallace of HHN 2015. "We have two great roaming groups of maniacal chain-saw teams. They'll roam two sides of the park so you'll never know where they're going to be."

•The Gory Getaway package, which included an HHN ticket and a night in a hotel near Universal for $39, came in 1995.

•Possibly the least horrifying HHN feature is "Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure," a stage show that skewers current pop culture. Famous folks getting a little come-uppance ranged from Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan to politicians (Obama, McCain, Trump) and an innocent-looking O.J. Simpson.

•In 1995, Knights of Hell, shown on a 45-foot-by-90-foot water screen over the lagoon with pyrotechnics, lasers and stunts, was presented as a less-scary option for guests.

•The Festival of the Dead Parade arrived in 1996, with the Crypt Keeper as grand marshal, floats and an army of scareactors.

•Billboards promote Horror Nights, but it hasn't always been pretty. In 2008, the Bloody Mary character, with dripping blood and shattered glass overlooking public roadways, prompted protests by moms in that "What about our children?" way. The Sentinel editorial board even urged the company to rethink. Universal stood firm and Mary lived on.

•In 1998, playing off the popularity of "Titanic," Universal created a Frightanic house. "According to the story line, the Frightanic has just docked in San Francisco after a bizarre voyage to Hawaii in which the ship passed through another dimension and returned in a state of perpetual decay," the Sentinel wrote. Features: water sprays, flickering lights, low ceilings, narrow hallways and a corpse in a dentist's chair, plus "the smell of burned tooth enamel."

•HHN's first 3-D house appeared in 1999. Creature Feature achieved the effect using "special paint" and 3-D glasses.

•Mashups are key for 2015. For instance, the houses called Body Collectors — Recollections and Run: Blood, Sweat and Fears use elements from past mazes. "We get to find out where Body Collectors come from. It's an origin story," says show director Charles Gray.

•Look for old fiendish friends and flashbacks in the Icons scare zone. "We're taking the kills that they did in their commercials: The Director is going to electrocute someone in a bathtub — exactly what he did the first time we saw him on the commercial for that HHN," Wallace says. "The Caretaker is going to do a live autopsy and rip the heart out of someone right in front of you. The Storyteller, of course, will cut the tongue out of someone who is not listening, and then the Usher is bludgeoning a head with his flashlight for not paying attention to the rules."

•Universal's "psychoscareapy" creation will be seen in the streets for the first time this year. "This street is going to be bloody. Bloodier than anything we've ever seen before. Those psycho patients have embarked and been unleashed into a very traditional Halloween party and they cause mayhem," Wallace says.

•It's round four for "The Walking Dead." AMC's zombie drama is back for a record fourth year running. "Last year we made it big. ... This year we're building up. You're going to go in and see these very tall, very high ceilings that are amazing," Gray says. In addition, you may get wet. "This is the first time we've had actual scareactors in waist-high water attack you as you go through," he says.

•In 2001, the post-9-11 era kicked in and metal detectors were added for HHN to the entrance of the park.

•News events have affected the event from time to time, including a string of unrelated child abductions in 2002. That temporarily shelved Cindy, the daughter of a mortuary owner. Since then, she has appeared in at least three houses.

•In 2002, HHN moved next door to Islands of Adventure. In 2004, the event was split between IOA and Universal Studios.

•In 2003, Universal introduced the Frequent Fear Pass, which saves repeat visitors some cash. The program has expanded with many options, including the bulky Frequent Fear Plus + HHN Express Plus.

•Four years after HHN started, Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party was thrown for the first time at Disney World. The kinder, gentler event, complete with trick-or-treating, was initially scheduled for one night — Oct. 31 — at Magic Kingdom. marks 25th Hall

ghttp://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/attractions/universal-orlando/halloween-horror-nights/os-dewayne-bevil-halloween-horror-nights-20150917-column,amp.html

Pictures Edit

See alsoEdit

External links Edit


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