Halloween Horror Nights 26 features nine houses this year – six based of movies and TV shows including American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Krampus, The Exorcist, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Halloween 2. The three original houses this year include Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand A Chance, which will feature this year’s icon, Chance; a cross between Indiana Jones and The Mummy in Tomb of the Ancients; and a western come to life in Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch.
Houses are situated ALL around Universal Studios Florida and are the most popular part of the event. Houses have had wait times in the past of over 3 hours, so plan accordingly and purchase Express for HHN if at all possible (Express Passes purchased for the day won’t work for the event). Houses are either in soundstages or pop-up tents, but they are dark, loud and intense. If you are claustrophobic or frightened very easily, you may want to consider only going through the scare zones.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has been scaring audiences since 1974, inducing a fear of chainsaws that echoes through the streets of Universal Studios Florida every year at Halloween Horror Nights. This year, Leatherface and his cannibalistic family will be taking up residence at HHN to recreate scenes from the bloody, disgusting movie.
Some people are deathly scared of chainsaws, while others see it as a minor annoyance. However, this house has the chance to be bloody disgusting. TCM isn’t a pretty movie by any means, and Universal has proven they can put together environments that can push you to the point of being physically ill. If you experienced Dollhouse of the Damned and its infamous poop room in 2014 then you know what we mean. If the creative team finds a way to blend iconic scenes from the film with some creative scares and a ton of gore, then this house could be a hit. Plus, we cannot forget that horror icons are in good hands after houses like last year’s Freddy vs. Jason.
The Exorcist is well-known for being of the the scariest, if not the scariest, movie of all time and this year it will be possessing Halloween Horror Nights. The 1973 classic is being recreated for HHN 26 and will show off some of the most iconic scenes from the movie, meaning we’ll be getting to see some head-spinning, pea soup vomiting, levitating moments.
This is the first time the Halloween Horror Nights team will tackle The Exorcist officially, but if they handle it the same way as Halloween, An American Werewolf in London, and Insidious then it is sure to be amazing. Let’s face it, The Exorcist is a terrifying movie with a terrifying concept. Like Halloween, the theme song from The Exorcist is iconic and chilling and will ring through the halls of the house adding a lot to the eerie atmosphere. If Universal can find a way to incorporate the spider walk scene or get Ellen Burstyn to hang out in the house every night, then this house will live up to expectations.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead returns to Halloween Horror Nights for the fifth year in a row and this time instead of showcasing the previous season it will be a retrospective of the best moments from the hit AMC series. The house will surely take us from the iconic abandoned hospital in Season 1 with the “Don’t Open Dead Inside” doors up to the town of Alexandria in Season 6.
Considering the approach for this year’s Walking Dead house is to recap the highlights, all signs point to this being the last year the show will be featured at Halloween Horror Nights. The fact that American Horror Story will make its debut at the event this year makes the fate of The Walking Dead even more likely. However, Universal also might just be paving the way for a year-round house like they currently have at Universal Studios Hollywood. Regardless, the creative team behind HHN will undoubtedly make sure that The Walking Dead leaves the event on a high note.
Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield
Michael Myers is back at Halloween Horror Nights in Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield. This house will pick back up where the last Halloween house ended and take terrified guests through the most memorable scenes from Halloween 2. While the movie isn’t quite as iconic as the one that started it all, there will be plenty to get excited for. Plus, if Michael Myers is EVERYWHERE like he was in the last house, then this house has all the makings of a classic!
Sometimes houses at Halloween Horror Nights don’t need to be all fright, and Krampus is sure to bring some laughs and screams to this year’s event. Krampus is based on the 2015 movie of the same name that mixed Christmas with comedy and terror. The movie is goofy and over the top and the house will likely be the exact same. However, the visuals for this house are going to make it stand out over the rest. When Universal incorporates the winter season into a house, the atmosphere is always taken to the next level.
American Horror Story
American Horror Story might be the biggest get Universal has had in years for Halloween Horror Nights. Sure, it isn’t as iconic as The Exorcist or Halloween, but the hit FX show has been going strong for 5 season, with a 6th happening during HHN. What is unique about American Horror Story is that each season of the show is anthology based, so the same story doesn’t run throughout the entire series. Three seasons are being featured in this year’s house – Season 1 Murder House, Season 4 Freak Show, and Season 5 Hotel. Using their expertise from last year’s 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem, Universal will have no problem blending so many different themes in one house without ever breaking too far from the story.
Lunatics Playground 3D – You Won’t Stand a Chance
3D houses are usually pretty weak at Halloween Horror Nights, but this one has a chance to break that stereotype. This year’s 3D extravaganza will feature the event’s icon – Chance – and will pick up from where her story left off last year. Chance was arrested and locked up, bringing her insanity to a new level and the house will take you back and forth between her neurotic delusions and reality. Again, the house will probably be on the weak side, but if Chance is featured very prominently then it will surely be a popular stop.
Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch
This isn’t the first time Universal has gone west for Halloween Horror Nights, but this one could be the best. Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch will take terrified guests to Lightning Gulch, a ghost town that has long been abandoned with the exception of the ghosts and spirits that are still there. While this house has the potential to be very campy, there is something spectacularly spooky about the mixture of the wild west and ghosts that gives this house a lot of promise.
Tomb of the Ancients
Tomb of the Ancients is being described as a mixture between Indiana Jones and The Mummy and if that doesn’t set up some high expectations for this house then what will? Tomb of the Ancients will take you deep into a tomb being inhabited by ancient mythologies and spirits. This house will be heavily detailed, dark, and at times extremely claustrophobic. The thing that puts original houses on the same level as the intellectual property houses is the level of detail, so one can assume that this one could be one of the best houses of 2016.