Halloween Horrors

Tomorrow (and Friday) night, Britt and I will be out late. We’ll be on the streets of Universal Studios for their annual Halloween Horror Nights experience.

There will be a number of haunted houses/mazes for us to make our way through, as well as several ‘Scare Zones’ out in the open areas of the park. I expect I’ll do a proper discussion of this year’s event next week but for now I’m going to talk about our previous visit.

We were at the 2014 HHN and we really enjoyed ourselves. I took some photos while we were wandering around (and while the light lasted). I also tried taking some while inside our first house but they didn’t really come out so any in-house images, as well as the title cards are courtesy of insidethemagic.net with photos by Michael Gavin.

We started off in the scare zone based on The Purge movies. If you’ve seen any of them, then you have a fairly good idea of how the ‘scare actors’ were dressed. If not, see the publicity picture below, or better yet, here’s a clip of the opening ceremonies.

At my request, mainly because I loved the movies, our first stop was the Aliens Vs. Predator house.

Plenty of mock steam, Colonial Marines getting slaughtered, and beasties coming at you. Nothing like turning a corner and having a Predator in your face. I’ve had dreams like that before.

Into the bargain, one of Purge scare actors got us on the way out. Being confronted by a masked man with a chainsaw is not an everyday occurrence for me, regardless what you may have heard. To my credit, I did instinctively put myself between him and Britt.

And I should have taken more pictures in this area here while I had the chance. Especially of the young lady with the large blood-stained wrench who was staring me down.

Next up was the Dracula Untold house.

All gothic architecture and plenty of vampires, although if I’m honest I don’t remember much more that.

We continued around the park to the Maskerade Unstitched scare zone.

This featured various scare actors waltzing around in oversized dresses while wielding various weapons. And yes, that is a giant candle in the background.

Next up was the biggest house of the evening – The Walking Dead.

Almost like being in an episode and not necessarily in a good way. From what I recall we made our way through a hospital, chain-fenced alleys, a train station; all with walkers in full make-up lurching out at us.

The best part for me was the final section made to look like a forest. Lit by strobe light lightning flashes, it was difficult to tell mannequins from scare actors until they reached out for you.We probably should have done that one again.

Now, I may be getting my sequence wrong here (it was two years ago, give me a break) but I think up next was the From Dusk Til Dawn house.

Again, if you’ve seen either the movie or the TV show (unfortunately I haven’t seen the latter so I’m supposing) you’ll have a good idea of what faced us inside. Although even having seen the film, I was still surprised by the gunfight on the way out.

Next up was the stretch of street dedicated to the Face Off: In The Flesh zone.

Since this area had a number of stationary floats I got some better photographs in this area.

You can’t tell from these pictures but all along this stretch there were various scare actors moving between the floats, catching people unawares.

I know I’m going to get the order wrong here but next was the trio of houses original to HHN24.

Now dolls can be rather creep at the best of times so you can probably guess the effect this house had on some of us. Weird and wonderful all at the same time.

And speaking of creepy….

Clowns (despite the best attempts of Tim Curry’s Pennywise) have never really bothered me but I know there are plenty of people out there who do get creeped out by them.

The picture pretty much says it all for you.

The third original house was based on the disappearing colony of Roanoke.

In case you’ve ever wondered what happened to said colony, it turns out they killed and ate each other. And, based on this, they did so in a number of inventive ways. It was certainly the bloodiest house of the evening with body parts all over the place.

Back onto the streets again for the Bayou of Blood zone.

Unfortunately, between the stage list and night beginning to creep in at this point the photos I took didn’t come out too well. Still, I remember the voodoo priestess in the bloody dress laughing at us as we passed.

Our last house of the night was all to appropriate.

If you’ve seen the original John Carpener movie (and if not, why?) this house had a very faithful recreation of the major points on the film. And they totally got me on the way out again. I thought I was out and starting to relax when who comes around the fence…

So, that year we really only had tickets for the one night so we had to make it around everything at the risk of not being able to take everything in. Still, like I said, we had a great time and eagerly looking forward to this year.

To be continued….

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