By Natalie Duque & Joseph Klawe-Genao
On Friday, September 25th, Knight News went behind-the-scenes at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights to meet with the show director, Charles Gray, who explained what one should expect at this year’s 25th Anniversary event.
This year, Halloween Horror Nights features nine terrifying haunted houses, including fan favorites such as The Walking Dead, Insidious and Freddie vs. Jason, where the two classic horror characters battle it out while one walks through the haunted house.
The other six houses include: The Purge, An American Werewolf in London, 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem, ‘Run: Blood, Sweat, and Fears,’ Asylum in Wonderland, and Body Collectors.
Each house is themed and detailed by Universal’s design and special effects teams, who have mastered the science of fear, to ensure that every corridor of their monstrous mazes will have guests in fear and suspense throughout the night, according to Gray.
There will be 5 scare zones on this year’s anniversary, where the streets of Universal Studios comes alive with more chainsaws and “scareactors” than in previous years to frighten and follow guests as they walk around the park and from house to house.
Gray spoke on An American Werewolf in London, the first house to make a second appearance in the park event’s 25-year history, as well as Asylum in Wonderland and Body Collectors.
“We’ve installed a house called ‘Asylum in Wonderland’ – and that’s a lot of fun – because we took that Alice in Wonderland idea and we put it into the UV and 3D house, so when you go through it we have glasses and we have a lot of the tricks of the trade with use of 3D but this house is crazy. The vortex, I was told by the tech teams earlier ‘oh, this vortex is intense,’ and I said ‘yeah, yeah I’ve seen vortexes before’ and I walked through and I was walking like ‘whoa!’,” Gray said behind-the-scenes.
“And of course we have another one of our original tales which is body collectors. We’ve combined it with ShadyBrook so you walk in and you see snow and the gorgeous façade of ShadyBrook and come face-to-face with these body collectors who are ‘killing and maiming’ and that’s the situation you walk through. You go over to the next house, sound stage 22, and you have American Werewolf in London. Two years ago, we had American Werewolf in London and it was one of our most popular houses we’ve ever had and created. It was enough to let us do it again. We’ve never repeated a house – ever – so this is a great opportunity, our 25th year, to bring back American Werewolf in London. More teeth, more blood, more action.”
Park guests can check out two live shows, which include the popular Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure and The Carnage Returns, which features the Jack the Clown, who makes his ‘triumphant and twisted return’ to present Halloween Horror Nights: 25th Anniversary.
Tickets can be purchased online on the official Halloween Horror Nights website, as well as at the park entrance. The Halloween Horror Nights 25th Anniversary event will be going on from September 18th through November 1st, for 30 nights of mayhem, where visitors will experience some of the most bone-chilling moments in horror history.
UCF night at this event takes place on two selected nights in October. Tickets can be purchased for either Wednesday, October 14th or Wednesday, October 21st. Cost of the tickets are $55.00 per ticket and UCF students that present a valid UCF ID can purchase a maximum of six (6) tickets, according to the SGA Ticket Center in the Student Union.