HHN26 has nine haunted houses, five scare zones, and two stage shows. Most of the houses are based on major horror movies, but Universal brings three of its own original concepts for houses, too. And all the scare zones are original concepts, where “scareactors” will try anything to scare you. Lastly, the two shows will have you laughing, cringing... or both.
American Horror Story – From the hit FX television show, this house recreates scenes from seasons including Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel. The house that had the most lighting, you clearly can make out Lady Gaga’s character from the show. Scary, but not too scary, as this house tries to highlight some of the show’s best characters and sets.
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre – Experience scenes from the hit horror movie with your host, Leatherface. Did you think you were safe from the chainsaws outside in the scarezones? Well, think again as some of the tallest people Universal come at you inside the house with chainsaws, as well. (Yep, there's still as loud.) As someone who doesn’t jump too often, this house got me good. I might try out for the jumping events at the Tokyo Olympics now.
The Walking Dead – Although you’re not going to find out who Negan kills, you will see some of the most recognizable scenes from seasons past — such as from the hospital in the first episode, Terminus, the prison, and Alexandria. Some people think The Walking Dead house has been around for too long, but this house was really done well this year. The attention to detail is great and scenes are true to form. I legitimately was scared when I passed through the room full of mirrors, which made it feel like you were being enclosed by a zombie horde. Definitely not a house to be missed this year.
The Exorcist – One of the most famous horror movies of all time, you will experience all that this possessed little girl goes through. Done well for a movie that was predominately shot in one room. Are you going to see the girl with the spinning head? Absolutely. Another very scary house.
Halloween: Hell Comes to Haddonfield – Mike Myers is back and more murderous than ever. Another house like Chain Saw Massacre where Universal has some of their tallest employees as their murderous main character. Just as frightening as Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
Krampus – Misbehaved before Christmas? Well, the Austro-Bavarian legend won’t let you down as last year’s movie monster comes to life to take away those who misbehaved for Christmas. This house will assault all of your senses, including your sense of smell. A totally fun comedy-meets-horror house to visit, with little Krampuses jumping out everywhere.
Lunatics Playground 3D – A Universal original, be prepared to take a visit through Chance’s mind as you visit her in the insane asylum. Her boy, Jack, fled from the police back into his box and left poor Chance to be locked up. This house is visually stunning, but not for those who hate being disoriented. Will Chance make it out and recruit others? You know she will.
Ghost Town: The Curse of Lightning Gulch – Another Universal original, the theme is set to the late 1800’s in a town where gold miners and townsfolk bring death and destruction. A great set themed to the Old West, this house brings you through a dilapidated ghost town and all of its past residents. A fun house to take a gander.
Tomb of the Ancients – Universal’s last original haunted house, immortal beings of the past are ready to rule the living. Experience creatures from the ancient Egyptians to the Mayans as you take a trip through the beginning of civilization. Probably Universal’s best original house this year, it had me jump a couple of times.
Survive or Die Apocalypse – This post-apocalyptic scene has you in the middle of a gang war, fighting for clean air. The scareactors are great in this one as they have the entire New York City to follow you around.
Lair of the Banshee – Find yourself in a centuries-old habitat where an evil comes to life. This zone aims to scare with its tight spaces and elaborately dressed scareactors. Probably the scariest of all the zones.
Dead Man's Wharf – A ghost ship has returned to haunt the living. Set in another small area, old-school divers with brass helmets and barnacle-encrusted sailors surround you. Some of the most aesthetically stunning props and characters inhabit this scarezone.
Vamp '55 – Vampire greasers are ready to suck the living out of their 1955 Homecoming Parade. Located next to the “D-I-E”-In diner, this zone takes a comedic yet gruesome approach on a 1950’s homecoming parade where vampire floats display their latest victims. Another great place for a photo-op.
A Chance in Hell – Set in a prison, Chance is appearing to audition cellmates into her one of her acts. One of the first zones you’ll encounter you will see displays of Chance’s victims/auditioners. Sometimes Chance herself will be there, so make sure to try to grab a picture with this year’s host.
Academy of Villains: House of Fear – Take a gander at this standing-room only, cringe-worthy show. The insane asylum has taken over with a combination of dancing and “specialty” acts.
Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure – Nothing is safe in this comedy show. See Bill & Ted take on your beloved Pokémon Go and Stranger Things television show. This 45-minute show will have you laugh again as it did I. A great place to take a seat, but recommended for mature audiences.
With all the technology and wizardry of real-life horror movie experts such as The Walking Dead's Greg Nicotero, HHN26 is the closest place you can get to starring in your favorite horror movie. All of the senses are assaulted with all the sights, sounds, and even smells that make up this fright fest. When Jack’s away Chance will play, so make sure you visit her and all of her crazy friends this year.
What you need to know:
Rides that will be open:
Admission (prices vary):
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In the New York area looks like a poor remake of Mad Max where zombies have ruled for years.
There is no comparison to last years Jack the Clown show with this years Academy of Villains. The group I was with all looked at each other after that show and had the same reaction...what was that? Great dancing and acrobatics but not for an HHN. Scare me!
In the area of Springfield there were cheerleaders with chain saws. A poor substitute for last years clowns with chain saws. Lets face it clowns are meaner.
Yesterday was a walk through with my friends getting ourselves geared up for the houses tonight with the hope the inside main events will overshadow the disappointment of the outside scare zones.