7 Things You CAN'T Miss at Halloween Horror Nights Universal Orlando
I love Halloween more than any other holiday, and not just because of the perfect Fall weather and fun festivities that come along with it. No, I like the hardcore scary stuff — I marathon horror movies, I search for the scariest haunted houses in my area, and I love the eeriest aspects of the holiday more than anything else. So you can imagine my delight when making my way through Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights opening night event, one made even more special due to the fact that the team pulled out ALL the stops to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the horror extravaganza.
In one night, I experienced nine elaborately themed haunted houses, five scare zones — or pockets of the park where scare actors pop up unexpectedly, and two special live shows. If you're a true fan of Halloween, you simply can't miss this incredible celebration of the holiday. There's so much to do and see at the event, but certain houses and areas that were by far the best. Make sure to get your scare on with these seven standouts from Halloween Horror Nights 25.
The Body Collectors: Recollections House
The Body Collectors: Recollections House is one of the four original Halloween Horror Nights houses, and it is truly a work of art. The Victorian decor is extremely detailed, and if it weren't for the evil creatures bent on — you guessed it — collecting human body parts, the house may actually be quite lovely in the light of day.
The entire maze is set in the 1800s inside the Shadybrook Asylum during a snowstorm (it's actually snowing when you enter). The Collectors are invading — so the house is the place where crazy people meet superscary ones.
If you're not too busy screaming your face off and running from sharp blades and attacking patients, then make sure to admire the intricacies of the house.
Freddy vs. Jason Maze
True horror buffs will love the mashup of two classic scary movies with the Freddy vs. Jason House. You'll walk through an eerie Elm Street straight into Freddy Krueger's nightmares, and visit Camp Crystal Lake where you will most definitely run into multiple hockey-masked Jasons.
Freddy vs. Jason was one of the more jumpy houses out of the nine at the park, mainly because you're up against not one, but two major foes — and each section has unexpected surprises, just when you think you've made it through.
This house is a solid combination of creepy and cool — with excellent references to Nightmare on Elm Street and the Friday the 13th franchise fans will appreciate.
Guests who enter the Insidious House will investigate unexplained phenomena in the Lambert family's eerie Victorian home, which is so close to the home from the Insidious movie, it's uncanny. In fact, the creators of the event told us that they were so determined to use the real wallpaper from the movie, that when they were unable to find the original paper, they re-created the exact design from the house in the film in Photoshop and had it remade (at no small cost!).
As you make your way through the house, you experience a seance that unleashes unspeakable horrors, and make your way into "The Further" – a supernatural realm that houses tormented spirits.
If you've seen any or all of the three Insidious movies, then you'll recognize familiar (and horrible) faces of the deadly ghosts and demons like the Woman in Black and the Red-Faced Demon.
Evil's Roots Scare Zone
"Scare zones" are scattered throughout the park during Halloween Horror Nights, and you can't be sure when you are about to encounter a new slew of evil as you make your way from house to house. By far our favorite of these zones was the Evil's Roots area, which was simultaneously terrifying and terrifying beautiful as objects came to life and attacked.
In other scare zones, you'll find demented versions of classic fairy tale favorites, a murder scene at a movie drive-in, a horde of criminally insane inmates on the loose, and iconic horror movie figures from the last 25 years — in honor of the anniversary.
The Walking Dead Maze
Fans of AMC's The Walking Dead and zombie-lovers alike will appreciate the authenticity of the Walking Dead house, which is so realistic that real mud cakes the floor; the scent of dirt and fear is palpable as you navigate Walkers with a hankering for human flesh.
The Purge House
If you want to jump — far, and often — then the Purge haunted house is your bet best. The maze was a personal favorite, partially because of the fact that you are being attacked by violent people instead of demons, just like in The Purge, which makes it all a little too real.
Jack the Clown
Jack the Clown is the face of Halloween Horror Nights, and you may run in to him in multiple places. His show is held front in center as you enter, but this creepy clown also haunts the Jack Presents: 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem Maze, as well as various scare zones throughout the park.