Author: Russell (page 1 of 36)

Here’s Johnny! The Shining Gushes to Life at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights

Universal Studios and Hollywood have just announced that ‘The Shining’ will be axing it’s way through blood soaked hallways and snowy hedge mazes at this year’s HHN events on both coast. We’re very excited about this news as we know that with ‘The Shining’ they will be able to create some uniquely terrifying settings. What we really look forward to seeing is how they’ll be able to pull off the elevator blood flood scene. Universal is known to like to get guests wet in their parks and mazes so be prepared!

The twisted minds behind the nation’s best, most intense Halloween events will bring every gruesome moment and paranormal haunting that fans have seen in the film to life in original, disturbingly authentic mazes.

“The Shining” maze at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights will provide guests with a unique opportunity to relive some of the film’s most iconic, and sinister, moments. While venturing through the eerie Overlook Hotel, guests will be thrust into the hotel’s tragic history of murder and madness, bearing witness to caretaker Jack Torrance’s spiraling descent into insanity. Nightmarish visions will come to life in this macabre maze, overwhelming guests with the “shine” of the murderous, ghostly entities that lurk around every turn – all while trying to escape the wrath of Jack Torrance as he violently succumbs to the hotel’s paranormal forces.

The Shining has been regarded as “a masterpiece of modern horror” by critics and fans alike. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, the film’s enormous influence on pop culture has been captured throughout a multitude of films, television shows, music and more since its disturbing debut in 1980.

Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate Halloween event. For more than 20 years, guests from around the world have visited Halloween Horror Nights in Orlando and Hollywood to become victims inside their own horror film. The streets of each coast’s event are transformed into highly-themed scare zones where menacing “scare-actors” lunge from every darkened corner. Multiple movie-quality haunted houses are erected throughout the event, based on everything from iconic slasher films to hit horror television series to haunting original stories.

Additional details about Universal Studios’ “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. For more information about Halloween Horror Nights at either Universal Orlando Resort or Universal Studios Hollywood, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com.

Midsummer Scream Announces Hall of Shadows 2017 Participants!

Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival, the West Coast’s premier Halloween, haunt, and horror convention returns July 29-30 to the Long Beach Convention Center for a weekend of world-class thrills and chills. One of the stand-out components of Midsummer Scream’s impressive array of entertainment is the Hall of Shadows – a large portion of the convention’s show floor that is shrouded in darkness and filled with billowing fog, and roaming monsters on an unprecedented scale. For 2017, the Hall of Shadows will feature 14 highly-themed “mini haunts” representing professional and home-made attractions that fans can look forward to visiting this Halloween season here in Southern California.

“Hall of Shadows is a substantial component of Midsummer Scream,” says the convention’s Creative Director, Rick West. “Last year, we featured 9 mini haunts within the Hall; this year, we are upping the count to 14. We are thrilled with the diversity of participating groups this year, from extremely popular pro haunts, to some of the greatest home haunts in existence. Add the awesome spectacle of the Decayed Brigade slider team into the mix, and you’ll find that we have a Hall of Shadows experience this year that is truly epic. Hall of Shadows is a cornerstone of Midsummer Scream, as there is nothing that defines Halloween in America more than haunted houses and lurking monsters. It’s going to be a blast, and all of our participants are raring to go!”

A Unique Challenge
Creating the Hall of Shadows is a unique and exciting challenge. Nowhere has any convention featured such a large “dark zone” with so many haunted attractions for guests to experience. Taking up approximately 1/3 of Midsummer Scream’s 92,000 square-foot show floor, installation of the Hall takes careful planning and coordination well before the doors open to the public. For months, haunters plan their attractions and fabricate them off-site; once it’s “GO time”, each group drives onto the show floor of the Long Beach Convention Center and drops off their haunts in pieces before set-up begins. With 14 attractions being installed at the same time, it’s a virtual ballet of large trucks, haunt build crews, and Midsummer Scream staff members all communicating and working in unison for 48 hours leading up to the opening of the show. Each light above the Hall must be manually turned off once the haunts are installed. To make the area even darker, an extremely large black curtain measuring roughly 325 feet in length (almost the length of a football field) is raised more than 20 feet above the show floor, creating an ominous “wall” between the living and the dead!

Hall of Shadows Entry Façade/Portal
This year’s Hall of Shadows entry portal is being designed and built by CalHauntS (California Haunting Society), a group of talented Halloween enthusiasts responsible for creating some of the most elaborate home haunts anywhere. Sleepy Hollow is the inspiration for this year’s entrance to the Hall of Shadows. Guests will transition from the show floor into the Hall of Shadows as they pass underneath a gothic archway into an eerie cemetery, complete with weathered tombstones and macabre scenic elements.

14 Haunted Attraction Experiences in 2017
For 2017, Midsummer Scream offers guests 14 haunted attractions, each measuring roughly 20’ x 20’. All attractions within the Hall of Shadows is included with a Midsummer Scream day or weekend pass. Guests with Front of Line passes to Midsummer Scream will find express queues at each attraction within Hall of Shadows, expediting their wait times.

2017 Hall of Shadows lineup:

  • Hall of Shadows 2017Dead Zone 805
    You are part of a special crime unit sent to investigate the work shed of a suspected killer. Once inside, you discover much more than you ever could have imagined! You think you’ve seen it all? Think again.
  • Gorlesque presents: Peep Show
    The twisted minds behind The Weltschmerz Society return to Midsummer Scream with “GORLESQUE presents: PEEP SHOW” – a bizarre showcase featuring the kind of lovelies Dr. Weltschmerz obsessed over. Because of the event’s multiple options for each presentation, guests are encouraged to return again and again to see them all!
  • Gothic Hills
    Legend tells of an old crypt, hidden away from the rest of the Gothic Hills Cemetery, that holds the remains of Julius Fitzroy, a once powerful and temperamental tycoon whose soul was cursed to be trapped for the rest of eternity inside a crystal skull. Adventurers who disappear into the undergrowth of the cemetery in search of the tomb are never heard from again! In 2017, join us as we go way back and see where it all started on the night Julius died, and how his soul was trapped in the skull by his spurned mistress, Winifred!
  • Hall of Shadows 2017Higgins Manor
    The walls of the Higgins estate have grown cold and silent since the disappearance of William P. Higgins III. But evil still resides inside his crumbling manor. There’s a suspected traitor… and his vicious henchmen are looking for answers.
  • Hyde Street Massacre
    The Hyde Street Massacre Haunted House is what your worst nightmares are made of. Go ahead and take a step through the doors of this nightmare-induced fright house… The only question is, will you survive the massacre? You’ll quickly realize the challenge you have accepted may be your last. You will then be lost within the haunting walls of Otis Hatcher’s killing chambers; a man so obsessed with Halloween, he lost his mind and became an infamous serial killer. It was a very bloody night.
  • Immersive Parties’ MAC: Mutation Analysis Center
    Enter this facility and encounter mutations of the undead. The zombie apocalypse is over, and all that is left are the experimental test subjects that now occupy this bizarre Mutation Analysis Center. Do you dare enter?
  • Hall of Shadows 2017Mable’s 6 Feet Under
    Motel 6 Feet Under “Scream Tests” are happening in the Hall of Shadows… Except this year, our little Mable will be waiting for you! Yes, it’s true – Mable has taken over the motel. And she is ready to squeeze the life out of the party. It’s Mable’s Motel now. Check in. Then get lost.
  • Nightmare Productions presents The Gate
    The Gate is a place of unimaginable horror. Rumored to be a sacred place – a portal between the living and the dead. It is said to have existed since the beginning of time; a dark, brooding place inhabited by the damned and those simply lost along their spiritual journeys. Mortals that venture into The Gate never return. The hellmouth stands open and waiting, its temptation too great for the foolish…
  • Opechee Haunt’s Apparition Adventure: Terror Twins
    Follow in the footsteps of the Specter Inspectors paranormal investigation team as you venture through the historically haunted Edwards Family Home. There are many secrets in this house; some are meant to be left undiscovered…
  • Hall of Shadows 2017Phobia Productions presents: Grimm’s Hallow
    Just when you thought it was safe to read old fairy tales… Come face the fears of the Old World. Monsters, nightmares, and childhood fears wait around every corner. Heed what the storyteller says, or you may never return from Grimm’s Hallow!
  • Pumkin Jack’s Haunted House
    Are you afraid of the dark? Beware of what lurks in the mist of Pumkin Jack’s; you may just find yourself face-to-face with your nightmares. The family that lives there – they can be deceiving, luring you to your final moments of life. You have been warned!
  • The Fleshyard
    It is the year 2320. Welcome aboard the USS Abyssma! As security detail for the Nexus Science Research Station located on Kepler Prime, your journey through interstellar space starts now. Using the Alcubierre warp drive, your trip will take approximately 9 months. 24th century world-class amenities await you, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight!
  • Hall of Shadows 2017The Haunted Rose presents: The Maritime Horror
    The Haunted Rose presents another chapter of H.P. Lovecraft-inspired horror. Enter the seaport village of Innsmouth, where something sinister is lurking beyond the shadows. Discover the long-kept secret of the Marsh family, and see if you can escape its lure.
  • Unhallowed presents: The Last of Man
    Gain access to an abandoned facility that once was home to a government project known as “The Last of Man”. It is believed that an airborne virus is still trapped inside…

World-Class Slider Exhibitions
Returning to the Hall of Shadows for their second year is the Decayed Brigade slider team of Southern California. Several times each day, the Brigade will take to their designated “runway” in the middle of the Hall and perform breathtaking feats of strength and agility as they run, slide, jump, and launch themselves through the air with absolute precision.

The Hall of Shadows will be open Saturday and Sunday, July 29 and 30, during show hours. It is not intended for small children; it is recommended that only guests age 13 years and older venture into the Hall itself. Each haunt will be closed periodically throughout the day for necessary crew breaks.

Tickets are now on sale! Visit MidsummerScream.org 

Fans may sign up on the site for email notifications and announcements, including discounts and other special offers. Be sure to follow Midsummer Scream on social media as well – Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, Instagram: @MidsummerScream, and Facebook: facebook.com/midsummerscream. Please use #MidsummerScream to tag all social media posts regarding Midsummer Scream 2017. Halloween – It’s not just a season… it’s a lifestyle!

About Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival

Midsummer Scream is a large-scale summer festival celebrating the spirit of Halloween, haunts and horror, drawing thousands of guests to Southern California for a weekend of thrills and chills. Featuring a massive show floor of vendors and exhibitors, haunted attractions and experiences, live entertainment and world-class panel presentations, Midsummer Scream is the West Coast’s premier Halloween/horror event, offering something for fans of all ages. More information can be found at MidsummerScream.org.

Fans can follow Theme Park Adventure via social media on Facebook, Instagram (search our posts with #ThemeParkAdventure), Twitter, and Periscope for live streams of our travels and special events!

A New Season of Horror Begins at HHN 27 in Orlando!

In one of the earliest announcements of the season,  Universal Studios announced today that another American Horror Story themed house will terrorize guest for a second year at HHN 27 in Orlando!  This time around the maze will feature three of the show’s seasons – “Asylum,” “Coven” and “Roanoke.”

In “Asylum,” guests will venture through the decades of Briarcliff, where they will evade Dr. Arden’s human “Rasper” and meet serial killer Bloody Face. Next, guests will find themselves in “Coven,” where they will encounter Madame Delphine LaLaurie, Marie Laveau (the voodoo Queen of New Orleans), and the descendants of Salem witches. Finally, in “Roanoke,” guests will find themselves reliving the horrific story of the Millers, where they will encounter and be at the mercy of Piggy Man, the Polk family and the ghosts of the blood moon.


“We are thrilled to bring the incredible storytelling and iconic characters of ‘American Horror Story’ back to Halloween Horror Nights for a second year,” said Michael Aiello, Sr. Director of Entertainment Creative for Universal Orlando Resort. “Last year, ‘American Horror Story’ was the highest guest-rated haunted house in Halloween Horror Nights history – and we can’t wait to immerse our guests in all-new horrors from the show.”

This year HHN in will run for 34 nights beginning on Friday, September 15 through Saturday, November 4.  For more information, go to halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando.

We expect to see AHS returning to HHN in Hollywood too…

Special Haunt Event: Regin of Terror Open on March 4th

It’s already been four long months since we’ve be able to go through a haunt. Thankfully, Reign of Terror haunt, located in Thousand Oaks, CA, is hosting special event is tomorrow night (Saturday, March 4th). Doors will be open from 7:00pm – 11:00pm. Come out and enjoy a pre-springtime night of haunt stalking.

 

Event Details

A FULL PRODUCTION special event on Saturday night, March 4, 2017.
Doors will open from 7PM – 11PM.

ALL 8 ATTRACTIONS with 95 ROOMS, ALL SPECIAL EFFECTS, and ALL CHARACTERS will be active.

Remember, all 8 attractions are interconnected. Once you leave one attraction, you immediately enter the next.

Tickets at the Box Office all night starting 6:30pm or buy online at www.ROTHauntedHouse.com

Special REDUCED Ticket Price only $15 each general admission or $25 each VIP entry
(sorry, due to the reduced special price, no other discounts can apply)

** Ticket proceeds from this event will benefit ANIMAL RESCUE CHARITIES **

Sinister Pointe’s Holiday Haunt Returns

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Sinister Pointe is spreading a little Christmas Fear to all you horror fiends with our 4th-ish annual “NOT So Merry Holiday Haunt”.

Sinister Pointe will revamp their current Halloween attraction to bring you a brand new “Choose your own adventure style”, interactive, Rude, Crude, comical and terrifying XMAS nightmare! Which includes plenty of inappropriate behavior, language and insults. If you are easily offended then this specific holiday event is NOT for you.

This Event is NOT for children!

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ATTENTION:
This attraction breaks off at various points to give the guests a “Choose your own path” type of experience. Guests can experience all that the NOT so Merry attraction has to offer by venturing through the attraction 2 times as opposed to the 4 separate paths offered during our Halloween Event. This attraction is slightly longer than the Halloween experience and contains more INTERACTIVE elements.

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And YES! Everyone will get to take their picture with a NOT So Merry SANTA! (Photo Sold Separately)

Please buy your tickets NOW to avoid missing out on this special Christmas gone bad event.

Dates:
December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17

Times:
7:00pm – Midnight (Fridays and Saturday)

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On a brisk October night—well, it was kind of warm, actually—we traveled into the dark of night guided by the light of a full moon, and the oncoming traffic headlights on the 5 freeway, to get to the far reaches of Griffith Park, where the L.A. Haunted Hayride resides.  When we arrived at our destination in the dark side of town, there was a parking lot filled with cars and a long line of people waiting anxiously to get in. From the size of the crowd, it was obvious that the L.A. Haunted Hayride has managed to become one of the more popular haunts in L.A..

It’s been a while since we’ve come here, as the hayride experience had started to become redundant and not very scary to us after going for a couple years in a row. So we decided that this year it would be fun to go back and check it out, since they now have two additional mazes and a new walk-through segment during the hayride itself. They also happen to be only a few miles away from another haunt we really wanted to see, CreepLA.

The atmosphere across the grounds of the hayride, which they call “Purgatory,” feels like a Halloween festival with food vendors, roaming performers, a “Boutique,”  pumpkin carving, light shows, psychic booths, and a “Sacry-Go-Round.”  It’s all well organized and fun. You’ll really feel the spirit of the season after spending a little time here.

We were surprised that they didn’t take credit cards anywhere, not even at the ticket booths, and guests were forced to used portable ATMs in order to get cash if they didn’t bring any. This was a little annoying and inconvenient. It seems that they’re trying to make every last dollar they can by not paying credit card fees and getting kick backs from the rented ATMS. Another interesting thing is all the food served at the venue is vegan, which for us isn’t a problem. In fact, the pumpkin donut holes were delicious.

Of course, before we spent any more time in “Purgatory,” we hit up the hayride and the two mazes.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride: Secret Society

img_6900This year’s hayride was promoted as being “brand new with the most innovative theme to date”. The story is we’re now part of a Secret Society of Halloween, and they’re going to take us, in our hay-filled cart, down a dark road where we’ll witness scenes of power and sacrifice, all to bring the night of Samhain to life. Before taking this journey, guests get rounded up like cattle in a chain-link fence holding pen and then corralled into the wagon. The wagon isn’t very comfortable, as instead of sitting on comfy bales of hay, you sit in a thin pile of hay that’s spread across the bed of the wagon.

We did notice a few minor changes in the hayride since we last visited but nothing that was truly “innovative”. Most notably is the section where you leave the hay wagon a few minutes into the ride and walk through an outdoor maze that has one or two startling moments. After the maze section, we were quickly crammed back into the wagon and continued on with the tour.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t experience anything else that was particularly scary on the rest of the hayride. There are some interesting and elaborate sets along the route and some talented performers who give it a theatrical edge, but we had a hard time following the storyline and understanding what was happening in some of the scenes. The overall theme was lost on us, as the ride begins with a giant Mayan statue telling us we’re doomed and then finishes in a tent where we get attacked by patriotic Purge-like  goons.

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All in all, the hayride is like a riding though an outdoor Halloween store, where you’ll see some cool costumes, makeup jobs, and props on display. It’s all fun, but we wouldn’t want to wait in a long line to check it out.

Haunt Design: 3-skulls
Theming: 2-skulls
Scare Factor: 1-skull
Overall Rating: 2-skulls

Ouija Origin of Evil: House of Shadows

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This is a true maze composed of black walls in almost complete darkness. From the name, it’s obvious that they’re promoting the new Ouija movie, so they also included a few rooms that feature scenes from the movie.  These scenes are not at the same quality of Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights mazes, but they still were fun. In the rest of the maze, you have to find your way through  dark corridors with dead ends and monsters lurking in the shadows. This maze was actually pretty fun, and we found it to be a little scarier than the hayride. Overall, this was a fun attraction, but note that the line can get REALLY long. We suggest hitting this maze early in the night (before the hayride) to avoid the long lines.

Haunt Design: 2-5-skulls
Theming: 3-skulls
Scare Factor: 2-skulls
Overall Rating: 3-skulls

Trick Or Treat

img_6913This has to be one the best maze concepts we’ve experienced this season. This maze takes interactivity to another level, where guests have to walk through a spooky neighborhood and literally go trick-or-treating door to door. Each house has its own personality to match the forbidding residents inside. It’s suspenseful and fun when you walk up to a house and have to ring the doorbell or knock on the door, waiting for an encounter with what’s on the other side. If you’re lucky, the resident will award you with some candy before sending you on your way to your next frightful encounter.

This maze was so much fun. We liked the feeling of not being confined to a path and the ability to pick where were wanted to go to get scared. We also liked the different themed homes, which featured just about every kind of Halloween character you could imagine. Getting candy made the experience all that much more fun. For us grown-up haunt stalkers, this maze allowed us to re-create the nostalgic memory of going door to door on Halloween night and the nightmares we had afterward.

Haunt Design: 4-skulls
Theming: 5-skulls
Scare Factor: 2-5-skulls
Overall Rating:4-5-skulls

 

L.A. Haunted Hayride Overall Fright Value:

2-5-skulls

Overall Rating of L.A. Haunted Hayride 2016:

3-5-skulls

*Videos courtesy of Theme Park HD

Get a LYFT into Your Own Horror Movie

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Halloween weekend is here Haunt Stalkers and there’s no better way to travel from party to party, haunt to haunt, or bar to haunt to party than in a Lyft.

If you’re haunt stalking in Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami this weekend then you can also experience your five seconds of Horror fame.  Lyft is offering to get you where you’re going and star in a horror movie — all with the tap of a button. From 2 – 11 PM on Saturday, October 29, you can request an in-car film crew. When your driver arrives, simply hop in and let the magic happen.

During the ride, you’ll work with a writer and director on your very own spooky script. When you arrive at your destination, you’ll film it. While you go off to celebrate, our editors will be working on your mini horror movie and we’ll share it with you later that night.

If you’re not in Chicago, LA, Las Vegas, or Miami, you can still count on Lyft for safe, reliable rides all ‘Halloweekend’ long. Plus, open the Lyft app to see mummies, monsters, and more roaming the streets.

Learn more about how you can request an in-car film crew on 10/29 to write, shoot, and produce your own mini horror film this Halloween HERE.

Haunt Review: Sinister Pointe(less) 2016

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During its prime, Sinister Pointe ranked near the very top of our annual haunt ratings list. With themes ranging from Saw to Silent Hill, and an elaborate haunted house with annual Xmas and Valentine’s Day haunts, this was one of the premier haunted attractions in Southern California. The mazes were superbly designed with movie-quality sets, interactive elements, and suspenseful scares that had us screaming to go back year after year. In addition, the talented team behind Sinister Pointe were also the masterminds behind the creation of Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and one of our favorite haunts at the Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights. So after they left their permanent location in 2014, we anxiously anticipated their return in 2016.

Earlier this year, Sinister Pointe had a Seance event that we found to be fun. With a few tweaks, it could have been a pretty epic experience. With that said, it seems that public opinion was that the Seance event was a waste of time and money. Making good on their commitment to customer satisfaction, Sinister Pointe sent out special invitations to all the Seance attendees, welcoming us all back as VIP guests to experience their new 2016 haunted maze.

cuypulkuiaaqgys We couldn’t wait to finally return to Sinister Pointe and see the next level of terror and fun they promoted. The maze is themed as a dark journey through a decrepit world where victims must choose different paths to get through four demonic dimensions. Unfortunately, the description is the most exciting part. The maze we went through (3 times) is mainly constructed from black painted plywood walls and hanging sheets.  There were hardly any props and limited effects. There actually was one section of the maze where we got stuck with other guests because we thought that the path through a curtain was taking us out of the maze and behind the scenes. It looked like an emergency exit. However, an actor told us to keep going and called us idiots for not knowing that was the correct path. We’re sorry, but when going through a maze, we’re not used to going behind the walls and walking over light cords, fans, past stacked chairs, and behind the audio speakers. We couldn’t believe it was part of the maze.  We all did feel like idiots for taking the time and paying to go through this maze.

We went through three times and didn’t find any of the paths to be significantly different. Every time we went through, none of the other people in the maze seemed to be impressed either.  It was really disappointing to realize that Sinister Pointe has regressed into being nothing more than an overpriced junior high school haunted house. We think that this was the first time that a haunt has left us feeling depressed, as it had very little redeeming qualities about it.

cuyrqpzueaqmv57What seems to have gone wrong is that the overall set design and talent has fallen far below the quality that Sinister Pointe has spoiled us with before. We give credit to a few scareactors who were giving it their all, but the rest seemed just as lost in the maze as we did. We understand that the haunt business is a tough one and requires haunters to make a big investment to produce a quality maze. Given their tenure and established name in the industry, we expected that Sinister Pointe would have both the creativity and resources to produce another high-end experience. Alas, all we got was a cleverly marketed but ill-conceived haunted house experience.

Our hope is that this year was just a fluke and due to circumstances beyond their control, they weren’t able to produce the haunt they had initially intended to make. However, we can’t make excuses here, and since they’re taking people’s money, we can’t in good conscience give them a good review.  Sad to say that this a a first-class haunt that has gone all the way back to coach. Sinisterly Pointless, indeed.

 

Ratings

Haunt Design: 1-skull        Theming:  1-5-skulls

Scare Factor: half-skull     Fright Value: half-skull 

Overall Rating: 

1-skull

Haunt Review: Halloween Horror Nights (Hollywood) 2016

Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) at Universal Studios Hollywood continues to put out the scares and pack in the crowds.

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This year’s buzz about HHN has reached an all new high with a lineup of mazes featuring some of the most popular movie and TV franchises in horror history. It’s slashers gone wild in mazes featuring Michael Myers, Leatherface, Jason, and Freddy. Demonic destruction in “The Exorcist”  and “Krampus” mazes. You will also experience terror vision in mazes based on TV’s top rated horror series “American Horror Story” and “The Walking Dead”. Plus murderous clowns roam the backlot and Purgers have taken over the rest of the park. With all of this horror greatness we have to agree that Universal Studios Hollywood’s HHN is a blockbuster Theme Park Halloween event.

Freddy, Jason, Michael, and Walkers are probably some of the biggest draws that keeps people coming back year after year (along with all their friends and family). People truly love being able to see their favorite horror icons and experience their terrifying worlds. On the other hand, for us, there is also the desire to have new experiences. While Universal has created new story lines for some of the repeat horror franchises they’re presenting  we have to  wonder where can HHN go from here and how can they continue to raise the bar if they remain locked into producing mazes solely tied to movie and TV franchises?

Listen, to their credit, unlike Knott’s and other parks that usually run the exact same mazes for three to six years straight, Universal seems to operate under a plan where they rotate the themes in and out over the years; freshening them up with new layouts, sets and effects when they come back. This makes every year somewhat different (expect for Terror Tram) and also allows for horror fans to have ongoing experiences with their favorite horror movies. It’s not a coincidence that sequels and remakes are popular in the horror genre as the fans can never get enough. Nonetheless, as frequent haunt stalkers who have experienced HHN at Universal Orlando where they also have a few unique mazes every year, we think if Hollywood included more original concepts into their mix then they would have the perfect collection of mazes in one park.

img_6824Overall, HHN continues to reign as the scariest Theme Park haunt in Southern California. In comparison to Scary Farm and Dark Harbor, we still rank the mazes at HHN highest in overall design, theming, and scare factor. The other parks may just have an edge when it comes to the park wide experiences and value.

We think that park operations have also improved slightly this year with early maze openings and easier security and entrance procedures but it still gets uncomfortably crowded as the park has small walkways and its over a mile to walk from the front gate down to the back lot where most of the mazes are.  We also believe that it will be nearly impossible to experience everything without paying the absorbent cost for a front of the line (FOL) pass. The sad reality is you are more likely to NOT have a have a good time if you don’t have a FOL but we also know that paying over $200 bucks for a haunt isn’t  the reality for most people either. We think if they opened up the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter and maybe even incorporated the Death Eater attack, like in Japan, then that would help further disperse the crowds. Of course we also would prefer if they would add at least two to three more mazes.

With a FOL we were able to see all the mazes and get on a few rides in just under 4 hours. We didn’t bother seeing the JabbaWockeez show as we still don’t get their connection to Halloween aside from wearing white masks and aren’t fans of watching shows when we can be going through mazes instead.

Now as Dr. Loomis said “It’s time, Michael” so let’s get to business and review all the mazes, Terror Tram, and Purge scare zone at HHN 2016 featuring videos from our friends at ThemeParkHD.

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 Reviews

The Exorcist

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Based on the “scariest film of all time” this maze takes guests inside the MacNeil house, where we get to witness firsthand the violent battle of a demon trying to take the soul of a little girl.  There are some cool animatronic and special effects used in this maze.  The settings are redundant as the path just goes back and forth between dark corridors  filled with demonic creatures to various recreations of the movie’s bedroom scene where we see lil Regan evolve into a demonic monster.

There are some pretty intense and startling scares in the maze but they pretty much stick to one scare tactic that gets used over and over again, though ever so effectively. We easily caught on to the rhythm of the maze a few rooms in. There was a  noticeable similarities  between this maze and last year’s “This is the End” maze that was in the same location and featured a demonic invasion using similar scare tactics.

The recreation of this movie is no easy feat and what they managed to do with The Exorcist was pretty impressive. We think that this is a not to be missed maze and is a good one to start with to get your heart pumping for the rest of the night at HHN.

Haunt Design: 4-skulls
Theming: 4-skulls
Scare Factor: 4-5-skulls
Overall Rating: 4-skulls

Krampus

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As a movie Krampus may not be one of the scariest. It’s fun but not scary. However, as a maze, Krampus offers a real treat of elaborate set designs and unique scares. It’s an early Christmas present to haunt fans. This maze has the best looking facade at HHN and as soon as you step into this holiday house of horrors the sweet scents of spice, pine, and gingerbread cookies fills the air.

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As guest make their way further into the home it doesn’t take too long for Krampus and his nasty little helpers to get into action attacking from every corner and angle imaginable. There are non-stop scares with the creatures coming out of the most unexpected places, above and below.  This maze does a great job recreating the best scenes from the movie and it truly stands out as one of the best designed mazes in recent HHN history.

Haunt Design: 5-skulls
Theming: 5-skulls
Scare Factor: 4-skulls
Overall Rating: 4-5-skulls

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Horrifying Scream City Haunted House Returns To Washington DC For 2016 Halloween Season

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Nationally Recognized Haunted House Designer/Builder/Operator – Steelhead Events and Productions – returns with a unique Things To Do in Washington DC offering two terrifying haunted houses in 1 location. Over the summer, Steelhead continued to expand its high-end haunted house brand by opening Ocean City Screams Haunted House in Ocean City, Maryland.

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Scream City Haunted House Washington, DC opens this weekend on October 7 with new terrifying scenes, props, animation and the introduction of a small compound of bon fires, smores and hot drinks for attendees. Scream City Haunted House is an indoor Halloween amusement with 2 major high end haunted houses with 28 rooms of terror – Exorcism Estate and Slaughter Factory. The experience starts by overwhelming customers’ senses with haunted detailed scenes, sounds, lighting, smells and experienced actors that know how to exploit every human fear. Both haunted house attractions are included in the one fee found at ScreamCity.com. Both haunted houses are Smoke and Alcohol-free and NO BAGS or BACKPACKS are allowed on the property.


Scream City Haunted House is quickly becoming a tradition for many in the Washington, DC area who have enjoyed Steelhead’s other events for 16 years and are aware of the quality of the experience their events bring. Steelhead Events and Productions are also the creators of Field of Screams Maryland known as one of the best Halloween Haunted Attractions in the country and is the largest, most popular, and most highly rated Scream Park in Maryland, Virginia, DC and Delaware. In addition to being the Winner of A&E’s National Haunted House Design/Build Competition in 2014 – it’s design and management company, Steelhead Events and Productions – has been recognized as a leader in high-level immersive haunt productions. Steelhead has an extensive offering of services in the haunt industry working with professional sports organizations and companies such as the Baltimore Ravens, Hard Rock Cafe, and A&E Network.

scream-city-photo-gallery_02Attendees should prepare for the fright of their lives by wearing sturdy shoes that are good to run in. In addition to scaring the life out of the attendees year after year, the hauntrepreneurs at Steelhead Events and Productions are longtime supporters of the areas they operate in giving back to local charity. A leader in the haunted house ‘Business of Screams’, these attractions create hundreds of area jobs each year providing valuable financial support to the local economies it operates in. Tickets for Scream City Haunted House are ON SALE NOW at http://www.ScreamCity.com

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