I’ll be honest. I don’t scare easily.
I’ve been to local haunted houses. Been on the scariest rides in the park. Been skydiving, SCUBA diving, etc., etc., etc.
So when I got the chance to go on a “Facing Fears Together” trip with friends, I wasn’t sure if it was for me. I was definitely all in for the hanging with friends part, of course, but the fears part? Meh.
But I went. And now I’m here to share:
How scary is Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando?
As soon prepared to walk through the arches to Halloween Horror Nights, I’ll admit I was excited.
I could hear announcements playing loudly across the crowds, announcing that “The Purge” would begin soon. As we began to move through the streets, I could see boarded-up houses, overturned cars and smoke filling the air. It truly looked like something horrible was about to happen.
I had heard that there would be “scareactors” walking through the streets scaring people, but had no idea what to expect. I thought they’d be people with masks randomly running through the crowd and surprising people.
I didn’t expect to see this:
Or to see this walking toward me:
Very, very creepy.
But the scariest street characters turned out to be the ones who were less obvious. I’d be walking along, looking for scareactors, when the person walking in front of me would suddenly turn around with a horrible mask on, scaring the crud out of me.
It was awesome!
There were four different “Scare Zones”: The Purge: Anarchy, Face Off – In the Flesh, Bayou of Blood, MASKerade: Unstiched, with no shortage of gory, creepy, angry scareactors wherever we turned.
I loved it!
After we walked through the scare zones, it was time for the true test of Halloween Horror Nights’ scare factor.
We’d arrived at the haunted houses.
There are 8 different haunted mazes, each with a different theme:
The Walking Dead
Whether you watch the show or not, The Walking Dead is the one absolute-must-see haunted house at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. Created on an actual soundstage, this haunted maze is larger, longer, creepier and scarier than any haunted house that came before it.
From the infected walkers coming after us in the prison to the gore-covered walkers attacking us in a tunnel, all they way to the horror that awaited at Terminus, this maze was amazing. The scareactors looked as if they’d stumbled straight off the set of The Walking Dead and the maze was absolutely 100% realistic in every way. I can’t even express how cool it was and would have loved to go through several times.
The Halloween maze based on John Carpenter‘s classic horror film was probably my second favorite maze. It follows the story of Michael Myers as he grows from a deranged boy into a psychotic killer on a murderous rampage.
There are dozens of Michael Myers scareactors throughout the maze and you never know which are just decorations and which will suddenly leap at you. At the end, there is a dark room lit only with a strobe light. You can see different Michael Myers around the room, but can’t tell if they’re moving closer until they are RIGHT in front of you. It seriously scared me silly. I loved it!
AVP: Alien vs. Predator
If you’ve seen AVP, then you know how scary the characters are. I wasn’t as afraid of the aliens as most of the other people in our group, but the Predators? Yes. Very, very scary! They looked exactly like the Predators in the movie flying right towards me. Very nice.
Dolhouse of the Damned
I thought this house was super creepy but not quite as scary as some of the others. The decorations and scareactors were pretty twisted, though, so if you have a fear of evil little dolls coming to life, this maze will definitely freak you out.
Be sure to keep any eye out for the super creepy doll who keeps saying “Make you pretty”. That one room was worth the entire trip.
Giggles and Gore, Inc.
I’ve never understood the whole “clown phobia” thing before. I’ll confess that my mother and I have even been known in the past to share vintage clowns with my cousin because she gets so freaked out by them.
But now I get it. Giggles and Gore is full of the nastiest, most evil-looking clowns ever imagined and I would definitely can understand why people are afraid of them. If you have a clown phobia, this house will terrify you.
From Dusk Till Dawn
If you’ve seen and liked the movie “From Dusk Til Dawn”, you’ll love this one. This was a cool house, but overall, I loved some of the others a bit more.
That said, there were a couple of REALLY good scareactors in this house who completely surprised me. They got me. Didn’t see them coming at all. At ALL. I liked that a lot.
Roanoke: Cannibal Colony
I really liked this house. It wasn’t as jump-out-and-scare-you terrifying as some of the other houses (although they definitely do pop out and scare you!), but it was super, super gross and realistic. There were body parts hanging and cannibals feasting.
I found that it was easier to suspend my disbelief in this maze and to imagine if it had really happened. It was very well done and I was seriously creeped out by the carnage throughout the maze.
This maze was full of blood-dripping fang-baring scareactors and was the favorite maze of a couple of the girls in our group. If you’re afraid of Dracula chasing you for your blood, you’ll love the Reign of Blood maze.
So what did I think? How scary is Halloween Horror Nights?
I would definitely say I’ve been going to the wrong haunted houses in the past. I thought I couldn’t be scared and I was wrong; Halloween Horror Nights is definitely scary enough for everyone.
I would absolutely recommend The Walking Dead as the one maze you have to see out of the group. The level of detail in every aspect of the maze is astounding and makes for a terrifying walker experience. Hands-down the best part of Halloween Horror Nights for me!
If you’re planning to check out Halloween Horror Nights, be sure to get the RIP Tour. You’ll skip the long lines, get the backstory on all of the mazes and, when combined with the ‘Behind the Screams Tour, you’ll even be able to get a lights-on walking tour of three of the houses.
Tell me – which haunted maze do you think would scare you the most?