Creative Director John Murdy Confirms His Return to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights

December 3, 2015, 7:33 PM · John Murdy, the creative director of Universal Studios Hollywood's Halloween Horror Nights for the past 10 years, confirmed this evening on Twitter that he will return to lead the event again for next fall.

Murdy long has acknowledged that when he agreed to help revive the event at Universal's original park for the 2006 season, he did so with the intention that it would be for a set number of years. Earlier this year, he confirmed that the number was 10, and that he was considering moving on from Halloween Horror Nights after this year's event.

Under Murdy's direction, USH's Halloween Horror Nights has become perhaps the best-themed and executed (pun intended? I don't know — let's just go with it) Halloween event in the world. Focusing on what Murdy has called "branded horror," the event has won raves from Theme Park Insider readers, attracted a steady stream of A-list Hollywood stars to visit, and frequently involves collaboration with filmmakers and musicians who work with Murdy to adapt their work for the event. This year's event featured houses based on the classic horror film "Halloween" and the new release "Crimson Peak," among other films and franchises.

John Murdy

Murdy explained his decision to stick with HHN in a series of tweets:

There are lots of closing night traditions. I always watch the final chainsaw chase out at the end of the night then lead the performers out. We always stop in the middle of the park before exiting, raise all the chainsaws and go crazy! Its an incredible moment. Absolute chaos! This year a fan wanted to hand me a card right before we did that moment. It was hard to talk obviously so an employee took it for her... The employee gave it to me, stuck it in my pocket and then headed out the next day for Ireland...didn't find it/read it till I got back... It was handwritten by a mother of a family...just wanted to say thank you for how much HHN means to her and her husband and kids... I've met so many people like that over the last 10 years and continue to meet them. Its clear how much this event means to them... It made me think..."if you're lucky enough to get to do something you love that has that kind of effect on can you leave it!"

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Replies (4)

December 4, 2015 at 12:57 AM · This year's HHN was excellent, but could've used a couple more mazes, especially considering the hefty price of a FOTL pass. The Haunt at Knott's is the best value for a Halloween horror event.
December 4, 2015 at 7:20 AM · I think USH fans should all pat themselves on the back for keeping this guy on board.
December 4, 2015 at 11:59 AM · Looking forward to 2016!! No question, FOTL is the way to go and the only way I will go to HHN from now on.
December 6, 2015 at 11:54 AM · I'm sure I'll write about this come September, but I went to Horror Nights six times, only once with a Front of LIne Pass, and had no issues doing everything. Getting there early (for early entry) is the best (maybe only) way to do Horror Nights without a FOTL pass.

I think it's great that they've jacked up the prices on those passes and eliminated the VIP program because it sucks some of those people out of already overly congested lines. I think this year we'll see an extra maze added, but I won't shed any tears if the VIP type stuff remains cut.

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