With Halloween Horror Nights 2019 now open at Universal Studios in Orlando, we've put together a guide of everything attendees need to check out during the celebration. Halloween Horror Nights is an annual event that first took place in Orlando in 1991 and has since expanded to Universal's Hollywood, Singapore, and Japan locations. Throughout the park, there are numerous attractions set up designed to scare and thrill audiences, including numerous haunted houses and live entertainment. When Halloween Horror Nights first launched in the early '90s, it debuted in October, shortly before the Halloween holiday. Now, it starts in September.
This year, Screen Rant was one of several media outlets that visited Universal Studios in Orlando for a special "R.I.P. tour" of Halloween Horror Nights 2019. With houses modeled after popular movies and TV shows like Us, Ghostbusters, and Stranger Things, as well as multiple scare zones and much more to check out. In this space, we'll run down all there is, so fans can decide what they must see when they take their Universal vacation in the next couple of months.
Halloween Horror Nights 2019 Haunted Houses
Arguably the centerpieces of Horror Nights are the haunted houses. This year there are 10, providing a nice mix of original houses and ones based on famous pop culture properties. Here's a rundown of them all:
Stranger Things: Picking up from where last year's Stranger Things house left off, the 2019 version combines seasons 2 and 3 to take attendees through a comprehensive tour of the show's biggest moments (such as the battle against the Mindflayer in season 3). Locations ranging from the arcade in season 2 to Hopper's cabin are recreated in exquisite detail, with Demodogs lurking around every corner. Universal actors portray characters like Steve Harrington and Hopper to make the experience more authentic.
Ghostbusters: Though it's one of the best comedy films ever made, the original Ghostbusters does have horror elements, making it an ideal addition to the Horror Nights lineup. Fans get to go through the first movie, beginning with the opening sequence in the New York Public Library and ending with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Famous Ghostbusters ghost such as Slimer pop out to startle attendees, and there are actors playing the various characters from the film to recreate scenes like Dana's possession and the battle against Gozer. This house is designed to be more fun than outright scary, given the source material.
Universal Monsters: Universal honors their storied horror history by giving the famous Universal Monsters their own house. The likes of Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Wolfman are there, each with their own dedicated section of the maze. For example, attendees walk their way through a forest to escape The Wolfman and find themselves hunted in Dracula's castle. The monster designs have been updated so they have a more contemporary feel to better scare today's fans.
Us: Jordan Peele's latest horror masterwork is part of Horror Nights with a house that walks attendees through this year's hit. Memorable scenes like the Tylers' beach house slaughter and Red's final confrontation with Adelaide are recreated. Attendees should be on the lookout for the Tethered as well. Some rooms in this house draw inspiration from Us' opening sequences and feature mirrors, which may cause some people to question if they're seeing a reflection or their own Tethered.
Killer Klowns from Outer Space: The 1980s cult classic gets the Horror Nights treatment with a haunted house featuring fans' favorite clowns from the film. Transporting attendees to Crescent Cove, attendees go through a funhouse maze where the titular killer clowns are making snacks from their victims (and also looking for who's next).
House of 1000 Corpses: Based on the Rob Zombie film, attendees get to spend Halloween with the Firefly family in this maze. The House of 1000 Corpses haunted house is particularly gruesome and gory, so those who are faint of heart may want to skip it. Dr. Satan's terrifying creations come to life throughout the rooms, as they keep an eye out for the next batch of victims. Those who are fans of the film's Captain Spaulding's Museum of Monsters and Madmen will want to check this haunted house out.
Depths of Fear: In this house, attendees assume the role of a rescue crew trying to save deep-sea miners from the horrors of the ocean. The so-called "Mouthbrooders" lurk under the water, turning people into the monstrous creatures by spitting eggs at them. The goal is to get out alive before an impending explosion that hopes to wipe all the infected out.
Nightingale - Blood Pit: This house takes people back to ancient Rome, where it has been decreed the gladiatorial games must continue until the blood-drenched sands bring about the first rainfall to end a drought. Attendees need to escape the colosseum as the nightingales feast on the dead and the weak. Like House of 1000 Corpses, this one is also quite gruesome, and also not the best option for those with claustrophobia. The ceilings are low and the passageways are tight as attendees traverse Rome and try to survive.
Graveyard Games: As the name suggests, this house walks attendees through a graveyard, and the dead aren't too thrilled about being disturbed from their rest. One key feature on this one is a hallway that's entirely pitch dark with no light to point the way out.
Yeti - Terror of the Yukon: Here, attendees visit an old Canadian lodging camp, and soon discover they're being hunted by an entire swarm of Yetis. The creatures lurk at every corner, and there's no telling where they'll come from next. As part of the experience, the air conditioning in this house is turned down to replicate the cold Canadian weather conditions.
Halloween Horror Nights 2019 Scare Zones
Universal has set up five different scare zones located throughout the theme park that attendees can explore as they walk to the next haunted house. Like the haunted houses, there are some scare zone based on pre-existing properties, but there are also some original creations.
Zombieland Double Tap: In preparation of the long-awaited sequel, the horror-comedy comes to life in Universal. This scare zone features actors dressed as zombies (yes, including the Bill Murray one) who will jump out at unsuspecting patrons. There are also key items from the film, such as Tallahassee's beloved number 3 Hummer and a "Zombie Kill of the Week" setup. As fans await the next film, this place is worth checking out.
Anarch-cade: This blast from the past is modeled after a 1980s arcade. Attendees have to deal with "neon slashers," who are hunting people with various weapons, like chainsaws.
Vikings Undead: This scare zone puts attendees in the grasp of undead vikings who have risen from the grave and are out to take out their "vindictive rage" on the living.
Rob Zombie Hellbilly Deluxe: Rob Zombie is the subject for another Halloween Horror Nights attraction with a scare zone that takes its name from the musician/director's first studio album. Of course, Rob Zombie's music plays throughout the zone as attendees are treated to terrifying sights and sounds like devilish dancers and other scary maniacs.
Vanity Ball: In this scare zone, attendees get to watch in horror as volunteers become living works of art.
Halloween Horror Nights 2019 Live Entertainment
There are also two live shows that will take place during Halloween Horror Nights 2019. One is a new version of an old favorite, while another is making its debut this year.
Academy of Villains - Altered States: A bigger and better iteration than before, this show combines scares and theatricality into an entertaining package. Scenes are set to iconic songs from artists like Metallica and Marilyn Manson (among others), with actors performing impressive choreography. For those who don't know, Academy of Villains is a popular dance company renowned for their wild and crazy ideas, many of which are on display during this show. Altered States runs about 30-35 minutes and is definitely worth seeing.
Halloween Marathon of Mayhem: The new addition to horror nights is an intricate show set up at the Universal lagoon. Water screens depict memorable moments from Stranger Thing, Ghostbusters, and Killer Klowns From Outer Space as music, lasers, and other visual effects bring everything to life. It's a cool mashup of some of the biggest properties being featured during Halloween Horror Nights and runs about 10-15 minutes.