Once September rolled through, my anxiety hit an all time high. Why? Because I knew it was time to face my fears again with the return of one of the most anticipated events of the year at Universal Studios Hollywood – Halloween Horror Nights.
If you’re curious as to how a person who doesn’t do horror keeps returning to one of the most scariest places in Southern California, I’m here to share with you what makes Halloween Horror Nights worth returning year after year as well as tricks on how to survive.
Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is an immersive event brought to you by the movie studio that invented the horror genre that now features some of your favorite horror films TV shows. With eight mazes inspired by Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Universal Monsters, Trick ‘R Treat, The First Purge, The Horrors Of Blumhouse: Chapter Two, AMC’s The Walking Dead, Poltergeist, and for the first time ever, Stranger Things, I got to experience it all on opening night for Celeb Secrets.
The event kicked off with a “blood” red carpet with some of today’s biggest names including the cast and executive producers from Netflix’s Stranger Things, filmmaker Jason Blum (The First Purge, Insidious, Get Out), director Michael Dougherty (Trick ‘r Treat), celebrated GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, SLASH, and John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.”
On the carpet, we chatted with Murdy to hear all about how this year’s mazes came to life. He even shared his favorite memory from working on Horror Nights!
Following the carpet, it was time to face my fears and step into the immersive worlds of all things horror.
The first task was getting through the entrance. A number of characters from The First Purge and Trick ‘R Treat were there to “greet” me, and let’s just say it didn’t go the way I expected it to. I was chased by pumpkin-headed creatures with chainsaws and nowhere to go! I even tried to escape, but with every ounce of fear showing they waited for my return.
So here’s a big tip: SHOW NO FEAR or you will attract the creepy creatures with chainsaws.
With a number of mazes to choose from, we didn’t know where to start. We started with Universal Monsters, inspired by Universal’s original cinematic Monsters featuring an original score produced and composed GRAMMY® Award-winning musician, Slash. This is a good starter maze for those who don’t know what to expect and love the original horror icons!
The maze I was most excited for was from hit television show, Stranger Things. It felt so awesome to finally step into a world I had only seen on my screen. The attention to detail left me breathless as I stepped into Joyce Byer’s house toward the Upside-down, and finally going face to face to with a few demogorgons. I screamed, I covered my eyes, I might have ran, but I was also left speechless.
If you haven’t experienced Horror Nights — even if you think you can’t — you should. This isn’t your ordinary haunted house. The time the team at Universal Studios Hollywood plan for this event is way more than a year in advance and it definitely shows! The attention to detail is so immersive it feels as if you’re stepping in on set and starring in your very own horror film.
You can experience Halloween Horror Nights yourself with friends by checking out all of the mazes, scare zones, shows, and rides from now until November 3rd. You can purchase tickets here.