Halloween Horror Nights Orlando attraction


Photo from the now defunct ioacentral.com.

Horror in Wax
Attraction type Haunted House
Event Halloween Horror Nights XIV
Park Universal Studios Florida
Area Production Central
Year 2004
Housed in Soundstage 20
Based on Universal Classic Monsters

House of Wax (1953)

Preceded By Universal Classic Monster Mania (2000)
Followed By Universal's House of Horrors (2012)

Horror in Wax was one of the seven haunted houses that were featured during Halloween Horror Nights XIV. It was located in Soundstage 20 along with Hellgate Prison.

History and Location[edit | edit source]

After being absent for three years, Universal decided that it was time for another Universal Classic Monster house in 2004. This time, the twist would be that it takes place in a wax museum where the owners built the wax figures using real dead bodies. It would also be based loosely off of the 1953 movie, House of Wax, starring Vincent Price as the main antagonist.

The house would be one of two located in Soundstage 20 (the closest soundstage to Islands of Adventure), the other one being Hellgate Prison. Soundstage 20 is one of the larger soundstage facilities designed to be used as filming locations for movies and television shows.

The Universal Classic Monsters theme would not return again until 2012 when the Universal's House of Horrors house appeared.

Description[edit | edit source]

The classic monsters themselves are all here... carved in wax, sculpted in resin and frozen in paraffin... perfectly preserved at the very moment tragedy struck. But this twisted enterprise was not abandoned - instead it became home to a deranged menagerie of the bizarre who lure guests inside for purposes that will become terrifyingly clear.

Step inside a long-forgotten wax museum filled with terrifyingly lifelike exhibits.

Backstory [edit | edit source]

"Death comes to all, But Great Achievements raise a monument which shall endure until the Sun grows cold."

-George Fabrkius

This quote was written on the front of the Journal written by a man named Gunter Karl Dietze about his unfinished museum attraction called "HORROR IN WAX". The Horror of Wax was a wax museum that aimed to recreate the moments from classic Universal horror movies. Wax statues of monsters such as Lon Chaney Jr's The Wolfman, and Boris Karloff's Imhotep/Frankenstein Monster were to be on display for all to see, as well as recreations of the sets of which these monsters wreaked havoc. Gunter would create these wax statues by kidnapping live victims and submerging them in a vat of hot wax.

Gunter Dietze wrote various entries in his journal detailing his plans to perfect the process of turning his human victims into wax statues. On September 27th 1949, Gunter wrote that he needs to strengthen the overhead support he uses to hang his victims over the vat, and that his victims violent thrashings during the process is damaging his vat. He also decides to strengthen the vat and the chain which the victim hangs on. That same day, he schedules an appointment with his friend Tom who works at the soup kitchen for a fresh supply of new victims.

On October 3rd 1949, he created a new design for the hoisting system in which he shoves a one inch steel bar through the trapezius muscle of his victims and hangs them over the vat. On October 5th 1949, Gunter mentions that the cooking time is still too long and that he needs to adjust the temperature of the wax and the amount of time the victim is dipped in the wax to no longer than 90 seconds. He also mentions that Tom will be arriving soon with three more "laborers".

On October 11th 1949, Gunter writes that victims must be submerged in wax that is 150-180 degrees Fahrenheit, as if it is too hot, the victims would loose too much flesh. His final entry was on October 12th 1949, which said that he has been giving his victims mild sedatives before dipping them, thus lessening their thrashing (causing less damage to the vat) and making the statues more life-like.

The records, and concept sketches were kept under tight security, as Gunter did not want the secret recipe to be known to anyone.

On August 13, 1951, Gunter's closest living relative Jeffrey Dietze was informed of the death of his father. His lawyer Michael J. Hobot told him that he received both inheritance and the now defunct "Horror in Wax". Jeffrey was surprised by this, as he didn't even know that Jeffrey Dietze existed.

Jeffrey Dietze was fascinated with the museum, and sought to restore it so that movie lovers can stand in awe of these impressive art pieces. Jeffrey toured the museum himself.

On October 13, 1959, the lawyer Mr. Hobot received a letter from the treatment facility Shadybrook, notorious for multiple acts of barbarity from his patients. Shadybrook informed him of recent events were a man admitted himself for some much needed therapy- the patient in question was none other that Jeffrey Dietze. The letter explained that Jeffrey blames Michael J. Hobot for his current predicament, due to something that happened in the hands of the law firm.

Jeffrey frequently suffered night terrors of mutilated creatures who wanted vengeance for a past wrong done to them. He would mutter "Buried Alive... dripping flesh... Melted Faces". Shadybrook wanted to know about the finances of Dietze- specifically in regards to payment for the treatment he's receiving upon admittance to the asylum. The records of his experience were kept in a box in one of the rooms of the asylum.

Because of this sudden display of odd behavior, The Horror of Wax exhibit was investigated by the police, who found out a possible source: Gunter's journal.

It is rumored that the defunct Horror In Wax is in fact inhabited...

In the Patient Records on the Halloween Horror Nights XIV website, visitors could see the contents of the box detailing the story of Jeffrey Dietze. They could click on and view Gunter's Journal, pictures of the "Horror in Wax" attraction, the letter sent to Jeffrey Dietze by Michael Hobot, and the letter sent to Hobot by Shadybrook. Also on the website page were a key ring with four keys (presumably to the Horror in Wax attraction), Gunter's Last Will and Testament, several measuring sticks, boxes with unknown contents, a poster advertising the Horror in Wax attraction, a flashlight, and three film reels. One of the film reels had the Point of Evil symbol, which would take visitors back to the main Patient Records page when clicked on.

Guests entering the haunted house would relive the story of Jeffrey Dietze, as they would take a tour of the museum and would be attacked by the wax statues after finding out how they were made.

References to the Number 13:

  • Gunter's Journal ends just before October 13th, 1949. This is also most likely the date when he died.
  • Hobot's Letter to Jeffrey was written on August 13th, 1951.
  • Hobot mentions in his letter that it had been almost thirteen months since his firm decided to settle the issue of the inheritance of Gunter Dietze's assets.
  • All holdings of Gunter Dietze were transferred into Jeffrey's account at 10:13 AM, also on August 13th, 1951.
  • The letter from Shadybrook to Hobot was written on October 13th, 1951.

Website Pictures[edit | edit source]

Website Audio[edit | edit source]

Audio that played on the House Page:

Settings[edit | edit source]

  • Karl Dietze's Horror in Wax museum
  • Recreations of Frankenstein's Laboratory, Egypt, and the forest where the Wolfman strikes.
  • ”Backstage” areas of the wax museum, such as the Dipping Room.

Experience[edit | edit source]

Queue and Facade[edit | edit source]

Guests would enter the queue to this house right after going through the Field of Screams scarezone. The entrance to this house was right across from the entrance to Soundstage 20. The queue would go towards Soundstage 20 until eventually reaching one of its large doors, which was where the facade was. A giant screen was erected to the right of the line that showed various clips from Universal Classic Monster movies. Outside of the facade was an usher who appeared to have a melted face. Guests entered through the brick facade decorated with posters. A marquee sign read "CLOSED", and to the left a bum's cart full of soda cans was visible.

Haunted House[edit | edit source]

Through a black curtain, we enter the first narrow hallway. Fake wax statues are set in niches in the aqua walls (The guests would get confused as some of the statues were really actors). A case full of classic monster props can also be seen. Down the hall and to the left is a hall with large wax figures on either side.

Next, the hall turned into a forest-like path with bright green lights shining through camouflage netting. Scareactors jump at you through the net. This serves as a transition to the first "exhibit" at the wax museum: the Mummy section. Guests wander through several rooms of mummy scenery. It's a lengthy section with very few scareactors. Next stop is the lab of Frankenstein, where electric devices are placed everywhere in this section to give the scene a cluttered, mad-scientist feel. Again, very few actors are to be spotted.

After these two exhibits, the house reverts back to its primary wax theme as we enter the storage rooms of the museum. Shelves of wax heads and other props decorate these rooms. Scareactors mainly hide behind large set pieces and jump out at guests. Next, the large storage room where various wax body parts are attached to the walls and ceiling. One or two poorly hidden actors attempt some scares.

Guests then entered the dipping room, (the wax preparation room. It revealed the previous owner of the museum was really a psychopath who dipped people in boiling wax, turning them into wax statues) a simple scene with a large tub of wax as the main set piece. A fake figure spins around in the tub as wax drips down him. Guests visit the climax of the house, a flashing room with tapestries hanging from the ceiling. Actors planted behind these hanging pieces of fabric give some guests a startle. Guests would then exit the house.

Walkthrough (IOAcentral.com)[edit | edit source]

HORROR IN WAX- As you approach an old wax museum, there is a large screen showing clips from Universal s classic black and white horror movies, such as Dracula and Wolfman.

At the entrance to the wax museum, there is a CLOSED sign, and there are trash cans and an old shopping cart on near the entrance. There is also a mechanical voice repeating  welcome to the hall of horrors, we have monsters from the 1930s . As you enter, there are statues of a few classic monsters, such as the Phantom of the Opera.There is a wax faced creature in a bell hop suit in this first hallway. He stands as still as a statue, but beware, he is holding a stick, which he will swing at you when you re not looking. The next hallway has some more classic monsters, each in its own cubby hole, on both sides of the hallway. Which ones are real, and which ones are fake? That is the question which plagues you as you walk down this dimly lit hallway. On your right, Bride of Frankenstein leans over and screams in your ear. Then, on your left, the Frankenstein monster himself leans over and tries to grab you.

You rush out of the hallway and into a dense forest-like area. The Wolfman attacks you from the left, and a horrible wax faced creature attacks from the right.

You then enter the Mummy portion of this maze, which involves a couple of dimly lit, creepy, tomb-like hallways. In each of these hallways, a wax faced creature jumps out at you.

You then enter a really dark hallway where another horrible wax creature tries to get you. Next, you enter Dr. Frankenstein s laboratory. There are wax faced creatures with drills here, and they cause you some anxiety, as the noise they make when they put the drill on metal is quite loud and jarring.

In the next room, a wax creature jumps out at you from the right, and in front of you there is another wax creature on a coffin. This wax creature aims an air gun at you as you make your way through this room.

After another short hallway, you enter the wax dipping room. A man in a white lab coat stands on top of a wax dipping vat, and talks about his wax museum, and about how he is turning people into wax figures. He serves as a good distraction, so that a horrible wax creature hiding in a display case to your left, as well as a wax creature crouching right next to the vat, can get you. A wax creature hanging on a rope also pops out of the wax dipping vat.

As you leave this room, and think you are safe, another wax creature comes at you from the right, and shines a flashlight in your face, so you can see how disfigured its face is.

You then walk through a small hallway where clothes are hanging heavily on both sides. You hear and feel frequent, loud bursts of compressed air, causing you to rush through this area. In the next room, there s a display case with several heads on display. One of them, however, is a live wax creature, who will make your escape from this room unlikely.

After that, you enter a really dark room, where more wax creatures jump at you from both sides, shining flashlights so you can get even more freaked out, because of how horribly mangled and disfigured their faces are.

Finally, you enter a room in which there are many hanging sheets with names of classic monsters on them. This room has heavy fog and strobe lights in it. Classic monsters, such as Dracula, as well as wax creatures, pop out from behind the hanging sheets, and reach for you. One of them, who is crawling on the floor, reaches for your ankles. You finally escape from the wax museum, and into the night air.

Scareactors[edit | edit source]

  • Usher
  • Melting people

Pictures[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

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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