The Usher (aka Julian Browning) was the original event Icon created for Halloween Horror Nights Orlando's 19th event, Halloween Horror Nights: Ripped from the Silver Screen. Like Bloody Mary, he was a co-creation between Mike Aiello and J. Michael Roddy- where Aiello wrote the backstory for him and by extension the theater and Roddy handled his video presence and personality in the park.
Julian Browning was an usher at the Universal Palace Theater, a popular movie house that had been converted from a playhouse during the 1920s. Browning truly enjoyed working at the theater and loved the movies, especially horror movies, becoming something of an expert. However, Browning was also very strict about enforcing the rules, and hated rude patrons who disrupted the movie experience for others. During a 1940 re-release of his all-time favorite horror film, The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney Sr., Browning engaged in a scuffle with a rude theatergoer. During the fight, Browning's flashlight was seized by the boorish patron, who tossed it through the new screen, tearing it. As the furious usher went backstage to retrieve it, he was somehow entangled in one of the old playhouse's sandbag's ropes, causing him to die a slow, painful death of strangulation with his feet mere inches above the floor. It was revealed that this was the first horrible event of many in the theater's history, meaning that either the Universal Palace itself is evil, or Julian's "revenge" has been to destroy other rulebreaking patrons with classic movie monsters (almost in the same way the Phantom from The Phantom of the Opera would do by causing incidents in the opera house).
Minion of Fear
Julian Browning is the last of Fear's Heralds, embodying Vengeance through his violent punishments of rule-breakers.
"Vengeance is depicted showing one individual bludgeoning another with an object. This object is always seen with light emanating from it." - Excerpt from Demons Among Us: Uncovering Evil
The Usher did not appear on event merchandise or advertisements (although his beloved theater was a setting for one), but he did show up for television interviews. He also appeared on the HHN website, including the website intro. The intro would later be played on the screen at the entrance to the event as an extended version with additional clip footage from horror movies and split-second shots of The Usher mimicking his own strangulation.
At the Event
While not on par with Jack and Mary, The Usher had a fair presence in 2009’s event. He appeared at the Main Gate inside the ticket booth, along with his female counterparts. He could also be seen on a screen above the ticket booth where he introducing the scarezones and houses and explaining the rules of the Universal Palace Theater. The Usher had his own icon house called Silver Screams that he appeared in. Just like Bloody Mary from the previous year, there was a projection system on the Waterfront/MIB buildings displaying his visage. The Horrorwood Die-In zone had brief glimpses of him on the screen. On the final week of the event, he appeared in the Shadows from the Past unofficial scarezone along with Jack, The Caretaker, and Cindy.
During Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear, he appeared in the video at the main gate (which was a slightly edited cut of the Warehouse eXXperience video from the website) and appeared in the Fear Revealed scarezone and the Horror Nights: The Hallow'd Past haunted house with Fear and his fellow icons. In 2015, he lead his own segment in the ICONS: HHN scarezone, where he punished a rude moviegoer by bashing their head with his flashlight. In 2021, he would appear alongside his fellow icons and have her own section within Fear's Lantern in the HHN Icons: Captured haunted house.
Appearances at Halloween Horror Nights Orlando
- Silver Screams (2009)
- Shadows from the Past (2009)
- Fear Revealed (2010)
- Horror Nights: The Hallow'd Past (2010)
- ICONS: HHN (2015)
- HHN Icons: Captured (2021)
- 30 Years 30 Fears (Picture) (2021)
- "Good evening moviegoers, and welcome to the Universal Palace. Since her... grand opening in October 1922. All of Hollywood's greatest movies have graced her screens. She is a proud and dignified lady, one that demands the proper respect and dignity. She will not be insulted, and rude behavior will not be tolerated. EVER. Buy a ticket to the Universal Palace, and let me usher you into an experience you will never, ever forget. Tickets please!"
- (singing) "...Let's all go to the lobby, let's all go to the... (stops singing, smells his popcorn bag) Mmmm, just enough time for a tasty treat before our next feature presentation. Meet Samual Meetz. He works for the people of Carey, Ohio as a butcher, bringing them the freshest meat possible. When I say fresh, I mean fresh. Let's just say he takes the term 'To Serve Man' literally. (someone screams in the background) As Sam always says: 'Meet me at Meetz. The "Z" stands for Fresh!' The show's about to begin, so let's 'Leave it to Cleaver!'"
- "Up next on our midnight marquee is a creature feature from the bowels of the dark. You see, something has moved into the sewers of Wyandot County, Ohio. Something that slithers and lurks in the dark. Something that is hungry. The show's about to start. Trust me, no one would want to miss the ending of... 'The Spawning'."
- "Every so often, someone leaves something behind. A trinket, or toy, or even a forgotten soul." (picks up a Teddy bear with a stab wound) "Take this poor, forgotten plaything. The Lost-and-Found waits for it." (drops the Teddy bear) "Our next feature waits for you. You see, someone has been hard at work with all your forgotten playthings, creating a new army of misfit toys. Who, you ask? Well, step inside and find out. Ah, but be warned... this is no 'Child's Play'!"
- "'Lightning is the fundamental power of the universe.' 'I beheld the wretch, the miserable monster whom I had created.' Frankenstein! A name that evokes terror in the hearts of millions. The long dormant laboratory of Dr. Frankenstein has recently become alive." (lightning strikes and thunder booms) "ALIVE! With activity. The doctor is continuing his devilish work: the art of resurrection and reanimation, and is surrounded by his ghastly creations. Of course, the Monster has also returned to make those responsible pay for the pain and suffering he has had to endure. Enjoy the show!"
- "'Good evening. I bid you welcome'. Welcome to the newest feature in the legacy of Count Dracula. This whole new experience promises more thrills and chills than ever before! Those of you who crave entry will experience a whole new scaring as the Dark Prince literally leaps from the screen. And... shh! Be sure not to scream too loud! Wouldn't want to disturb the other patrons." (chuckles)
- "'Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers at night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright.' For our next feature presentation, we invite you to take a journey along England's countryside, and come face to fangs with one of the most terrifying creatures to ever explode from the silver screen. Forget everything you thought you knew and prepare yourself for the sights and sounds of the newest addition of Universal's legacy of horror! Our next feature at the Universal Palace is... 'The Wolfman'!"
- (Scarezone and Show introduction) "The following preview offers a series of news reels and shorts that are sure to keep you in your seats. Tonight's feature includes the following special presentations."
- (When asked what the most annoying phrase he hears every day is) "You smell like death!"
- "I do get excitable this time of year, it's my time to victimize people without feeling as guilty. I guess you could say that our victims this year are on demand!"
- "As a great man once said... 'How much blood would you shed to stay alive?' So... answer me! HOW MUCH?!"
- "Broken rules? Broken necks."
- "You're in the spotlight and for all the wrong reasons." (ICONS: HHN, Halloween Horror Nights 25)
- "Ah, making eye contact. Gutsy." (ICONS: HHN, Halloween Horror Nights 25)
- ”It’s your time... to die. (Giggles)” (Television Interview for Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear)
- In 2012, it was revealed that he's a member of The Kerezan Legion, most likely due to him being undead.
- The Usher's real name (Julian Browning) was created using the surnames of two Universal Classic Monsters film directors - Rupert Julian (who directed the 1925 adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera) and Tod Browning (who directed Dracula).
|Halloween Horror Nights: Ripped from the Silver Screen|
|Characters: The Usher (Event Icon) • Billy • Chucky • The Wolfman (Sub Icons) • Sam Meetz • Count Dracula • Frankenstein's Monster • Sculders|
|Haunted Houses: The Wolfman • Dracula: Legacy in Blood • Frankenstein: Creation of the Damned • Leave it to Cleaver • SAW • The Spawning • Chucky: Friends til the End • Silver Screams|
|Scarezones: Containment • War of the Living Dead • Apocalypse: City of Cannibals • Cirque Du Freak • Horrorwood Die-In • Lights Camera Hacktion!|
|Unofficial Scarezone: Shadows from the Past|
|Shows: The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute • Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure|