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Ultimate Guide to Halloween Horror Nights

Ultimate Guide to Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is like no other Halloween after hours party that you have ever been to. This is NOTHING like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! The scares are hardcore and the vibe is very adult.

HHN features 10 movie set quality haunted houses, 5 scare zones, and 2 shows, ensuring that you will have a night full of nightmares and horrifying fun!  This annual event is celebrating its 31st year and has become a Halloween lover’s dream.

10 Haunted Houses

The Haunted Houses are the main draw of Halloween Horror Nights and it’s easy to see why. It’s obvious to see that Universal Studios works on these houses all year long. We scared the pants off of ourselves to bring you the inside scoop! Rating all of the houses out of 5 SCREAMS, we will help you find your must do haunted houses for your next HHN.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd is the headlining haunted house at the 2022 Halloween Horror Nights and saw the longest lines by far. This house features musician, The Weeknd, with his music and chaotic scenes from his horror music videos. 

PRO TIP: If The Weeknd is a big must do for your HHN night, purchase the extra Stay and Scream ticket (scroll down) and stay in the Simpsons area Stay and Scream zone. This group is closest to this haunted house, and often is let out just before 6:30 so you get to go through the headlining house before the crowds are even let into the park! 

SCARE REVIEW – 1.5 SCREAMS

This is the hardest house to rate because for people who love The Weeknd, this house is everything! But, if you’re like me and have no clue who or what he is and are Googling it in line, the house made absolutely no sense to me and you will be too confused to be scared. The Weeknd was a huge miss for me, but if you’re a fan, we heard people love it. 

Halloween

We’re not sure how Michael Myers got upstaged in the promos by some weird/unknown musician, because he’s the OG horror movie bad guy! Plus, you have to have lived under a rock to not know at least roughly who he was. No matter, because this house told the whole story of Michael Myers from the beginning. 

Yes! The house started when he was a kid and first killed his sister and her boyfriend! The set was designed so well that instead of just going room to room, it felt like you were leaving the house and then walking outside to the next house where we saw him kill his next victims. But then… we no longer were the fly-on-the-wall bystander, but the intended victim! Everywhere you looked, he was there. We were all but running out of the house towards the end until the last room where we were faced with a series of Michael Myers and look-alike dummies and we had to figure out which were real or fake. I almost had a heart attack and perfect strangers were clinging to each other and we all struggled to make it out of the house alive! Or at least, that’s how it felt.

SCARE REVIEW – 5 SCREAMS

Perfection. This house was perfect. Whether you knew the story or not, the house had a great flow and story line, and was insanely scary. Get ready, Michael’s coming for you…

The Horrors of Blumhouse

The Horrors of Blumhouse is a double feature haunted house because it combines two movies into one haunted house. Even though HHN considers it just one house, it really felt like you got 2, and the second was like a freebie because there wasn’t a line to wait in. Score! 

Blumhouse is famous for 2 new horror movies, Freaky and The Black Phone. These houses walk you through both these stories and are loaded with jump scares. I have never seen either of these movies and that fact didn’t take away from the house at all because the storyline was there. 

SCARE REVIEW – 4.5 SCREAMS

I’m surprised I didn’t lose my voice from all of the screaming! This house was the ultimate jumpscare house! I personally loved the first portion of the house that represents “Freaky” best. I really felt transported back to my old high school, and that truly is terrifying. 

Universal Monsters: Legends Collide

Universal always has to pay tribute to the classics, and this year they created a house that combines the power of 3! See the Werewolf, the Vampire, and a Mummy duke it out for dominance. Who will come out the victor?

This house was so unique! It actually started outside the house while in line. There was a mini projection show on the outside of the building giving guests a backstory on these monsters and explaining their rivalry. (UNIVERSAL – WHY DON’T YOU DO THIS FOR ALL OF THE HOUSES???) 

Then it was explained that there is no clear victor and that the winner is different night to night. We had fun in line betting with people who we thought would win. Just don’t forget to pay attention to the last scene as you leave the house! The last scene will have the victor holding the severed heads of the enemies, and that’s how you know who won. 

SCARE REVIEW – 2 SCREAMS

The rivalry was fun and made it feel very interactive, but overall, it wasn’t scary. You weren’t the target so you were basically a bystander watching it go down room to room. 

Spirits of the Coven

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Who doesn’t love a witch on Halloween? But the Spirits of the Coven haunted house isn’t quite like any witch story you’ve ever heard of. The time is the 1920s during the prohibition era. You walk into a speakeasy with beautiful women trying to lure in the men. In each room you walk into you see them lure men further and further into a dungeon and then you start to hear the screams…

Pay attention to the women! As you go further and further to their dungeon they will begin to look older and uglier as you go. The witches use the men for their body parts to make elixirs and potions. By the last room you will see a classic ugly old hag over her cauldron. Bachelor beware! 

SCARE REVIEW – 3 SCREAMS

I like how this was a new take on witch stories and how it came full circle to the stories that we know. Keep your men close on this one! 

Bugs Eaten Alive

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The concept of this house is that there is a bug extermination company that invented a new way to take care of pests with a device that you insert into your air conditioning unit. Great, right? Wrong! The chemicals react with the bugs, but it doesn’t kill them. Instead, they grow to the size of humans and are overtaking homes! Worse, when they start running out of things to eat, they begin to feed on the occupants of the home. 

*Shudders* This house is grotesque-style scary. Sure, there are people with ravaged faces that jump out at you, but the bugs are huge and slimy and disgusting! I live in the south, so this is the stuff of my nightmares. Not to mention…they spit and leak water/slime/disgustingness! 

SCARE REVIEW – 4.5 SCREAMS

I hated it but I loved it at the same time. It made me feel like I wanted to shower afterwards and I still shudder thinking about it. Job well done. 

Fiesta de Chupacabras

The chupacabra is a Latin American legend in various folklore stories. It’s said to be a beast that attacks animals, specifically goats. (The name chupacabra literally means “goat sucker”. Fiesta de Chupacabras takes us through a Latin American village where the chupacabra is celebrated and the streets are lined with decor decorated with the blood of tourists. 

SCARE REVIEW – 1 SCREAM

Sorry, little Chuppie. It felt like you were in the ending scene of Old Yeller and you’re just waiting for someone to put the dog down. The chupacabras just seemed like packs of dogs. Not every house can be a winner. 

Hellblock Horror

Hellblock Horror felt like a fever dream of the Halloween Horror Nights coordinators. This house combined a maximum security prison break, alien-like beings, and demons. We felt a little bipolar in this house because we were scared, and then I would start laughing when I saw the creatures! The sound recordings were of juicy creatures getting eaten, so that really set the mood, and the strobe lights really messed with us. 

The concept of a prison break, riot, and takeover is terrifying! But I really wish they kind of ended it there. Seeing basically a rolly polly alien thing with demon horns was hard not to chuckle at in the moment. 

SCARE REVIEW – 3 SCREAMS

Despite how funny they looked, they were still trying to eat me. That in and of itself is terrifying. Plus, the sounds of the guards being eaten was just top notch. 

Dead Man’s Pier: Winter’s Lake

This house fell pretty flat like the Chupacabra. The story is that undead fishermen are coming out of the water and descending on a New England village to reel them into the waves. The overall concept was there, but it was one of those situations where the story just didn’t quite click. It felt very modern day Davy Jones meets Spongebob. Just us?

SCARE REVIEW – 1 SCREAM

Descendants of Destruction

It’s like an unwritten law that you have to include post-apocalyptic zombies into any Halloween themed night, and HHN nailed it with Descendants of Destruction! You’re walking through the abandoned subway tunnels under New York City and are trying to stay away from the mutants. Once they find you, they descend! There are flickering lights, blood on the wall, and the actors’ costumes and makeup are the most convincing in this house of all of the houses! 

This house is the scariest house of all of the HHN haunted houses in 2022. This is our warning to use the restroom before entering, otherwise you will need new pants. 

SCARE REVIEW – 5 SCREAMS!!!!

Descendants of Destruction was my other favorite house this year. It was eerie, dirty, and filled with jumpscares! The flickering lights really made you lose orientation and all but fall into the hands (and teeth) of the mutants! This is one of those haunted houses that just make you feel alive!

5 Scare Zones

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Scare Zones are themed areas in the walkways of the park that you will pass through as you are making your way to the next haunted house. They are filled with actors and sets, and while they cannot touch you, they can get mighty close! 

Horrors of Halloween – This is the first scare zone as you enter the park and it is hosted by Jack, the Pumpkin Lord. You will find him summoning the souls of his new followers.

Scarecrow: Cursed Soil – Jump scare alert! Let’s just say that there are lots of places to hide in and amongst that corn…

Sweet Revenge – Imagine kids all hopped up on candy. This scare zone imagines if children were given infinite amounts of evil candy and they gang up and kill the mayor. 

Graveyard: Deadly Unrest – Watch your back, front, and sides in this scare zone! There are little corners carved out in the sets and these creatures blend right in until you walk by and they jump right in front of you!

Conjure the Dark – One of the only scare zones to have a great photo op other than with the Pumpkin Lord, Conjure the Dark shows a witch casting her spells with her cauldron. 

2 Terrifyingly Thrilling Shows

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As HHN gets more and more popular, Universal adds more things to do during the evening. One of the greatest additions over the years have been the shows. 

Ghoulish: A Halloween Tale – Explore a ghoulish story told through projections, water, and iconic Halloween music on Universal Studios’ Lagoon. This isn’t the type of show that we would recommend staking out, but rather a good one to catch as you walk by. 

Nightmare Fuel: Wildfire – Now, THIS is a show that you go early and stake out a seat! There are 4 showings each HHN event and the stadium will fill up each and every time. This show is sexy, raunchy, gritty, and fun where a group of talented individuals combine dancing, stilts, fire breathing, pyrotechnics, and aerial acrobatics with S&M. Don’t know what that is? Google it beforehand. 

Nightmare Fuel: Wildfire is the definition of a guilty pleasure. It is so much fun and the performers are amazing! We really hope they come back again next year because it has become almost as great as the houses! 

IMPORTANT Halloween Horror Nights PSA

Halloween Horror Nights is really not for kids. This is an alcohol heavy, gritty, gruesome, and at times fetishy event. Universal warns multiple times that it is for adults. Everything is slapped with warning labels. And yet, every year we see people with 5 and 6 year olds. Universal Studios will not tell you no, you can’t bring them, but they will advise against it. 

If you think they can handle the scare and gore of the houses and scare zones, then by all means! BUT! Trust us, save yourself some very awkward moments and DO NOT BRING THEM TO NIGHTMARE FUEL! Sexy is not a strong enough word to describe this show. 

When is HHN?

Halloween Horror Nights happens in Universal Studios Florida from 6:30 PM – 2:00 AM. Universal Studios will close to day guests promptly at 5:00 in order to switch the park over for HHN. Islands of adventure will remain open with normal operating hours. 

Stay and Scream

You can purchase a Stay and Scream ticket that will allow you to stay in the park during the transition into HHN. The ticket is just $35 per person, and will allow you to enter the park at 3:00 and not be escorted out of the park. 

There are 3 Stay and Scream zones where you will have to scan your Stay and Scream ticket in order to stay in the park. Once you are in the Stay and Scream zone then you must stay there until Universal employees release the zone around 6:30. 

PRO-TIP! Stay in the Simpsons area for your Stay and Scream! This is the largest zone and it has the Duff Brewery Beer Garden, Moe’s, Krusty Burger, and all of the other Simpsons themed food counters, so you can sip some Duff beer and relax with some food while you wait.

PLUS! It is the closest zone to the year’s most popular haunted houses! 

Tickets for Halloween Horror Nights

Halloween Horror Nights is a separately ticketed event that is not the same as a regular park ticket. The event starts at 6:30 PM and continues until 2:00 AM.

1 Night Ticket – Starting at $79.99

If you’re only planning on going to Halloween Horror Nights just one time you would purchase this ticket. The cost varies based on the demand for the night. Naturally, weekends are more expensive than weekdays, and the closer you get to Halloween, the more expensive it will get, as well.

MILITARY FAMILIES – You can get discounted Military tickets to Halloween Horror Nights through your base’s MWR or Leisure Travel Office for a set price of $70! Be sure to bring your military ID to the park because they may require proof of service. These tickets are good for military service members and their ID card holding family members. 

Multi-Night Passes

Halloween Horror Nights Frequent Fear Pass – Starting at $179.99

This pass will give its purchaser entry to 27 Halloween Horror Nights from Thursday – Sundays, and this includes the first weekend. 

Halloween Horror Nights Frequent Fear Plus Pass – Starting at$219.19

This ticket will gain entry to 36 HHN events Sundays through Fridays, and also includes the first and last Saturday events.

Halloween Horror Nights Ultimate Frequent Fear Pass – Starting at $349.99

This pass will grant you access to every single Halloween Horror Nights event and include free regular parking after 5:00 PM. 

Looking for the ultimate HHN Experience?
Check out Universal’s R.I.P. tours here https://www.universalorlando.com/hhn/en/us/tickets where you get a full tour with VIP entry to all of the houses for just $299.99 per person. 

HHN Express Pass

Just like during the daytime, Universal Studios offers an HHN version of the Express Pass that allows you to skip the line. And trust us, HHN racks up some lines! Each house will average a wait time exceeding an HOUR! If you have the Express Pass you will wait about 10 minutes. 

Unlike Disney fast pass/Genie+ style systems, there is no planning. You show the Cast Member your Express Pass ticket either on your phone or on paper and you walk past a mile of people to the front of the line! 

HHN Express Passes start at $129.99 each and vary based on demand. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, that is nearly double what you paid for your ticket. IT IS SOOOOO WORTH IT! 

HHN Q&A

  1. Are rides open during HHN?
    Yes! Transformers, Escape from Gringotts, Rip, Ride, Rockit, Men in Black, and more are all running during Halloween Horror Nights!

    ATTENTION HARRY POTTER FANS: Diagon Alley is fully open until 12:00 AM! That means you can get the best pictures of you and the dragon with virtually no other people there! Do all of your spells like you’re the only witch in the alley, too!
  2. Do I need the Express Pass?
    Yes. Do it. You will be sorely disappointed if you get all excited for the night and all of its events and you only have time for like 4 houses, especially if you only bought a 1 night ticket.
  3. Can I use the Express Pass on the rides?
    Yes! This year you can use the Express Pass on the rides as well, with the exception the Revenge of the Mummy since that is in a phased reopening after the recent refurbishment.
  4. Can I use my Express Pass in the same house multiple times?
    No can do. Express Passes are good for each ride and haunted house exactly one time. You can go through as many times as you want, but you will need to wait in the standby line after the first time.
  5. Can the HHN actors touch you?
    No! It’s important to remember that it’s all about fun. They get mighty close, but they will not touch you.
  6. Is there food?
    HHN is becoming synonymous with food that is just as wild as the vibe of HHN. Check out our separate article all about HHN food!
  7. Can you find alcohol at HHN?
    Not only is there alcohol at HHN, it’s easier to find than the food! HHN has a collection of signature cocktails available, and even offer discounts with the purchase of a souvenir cup. More on that in our HHN Food and Drink article!
  8. Can you dress up for HHN?
    No. No costumes are allowed at HHN, however! There is a definite club/dark/goth vibe at HHN. Live you best life and break out some fishnets to put under your shorts, go crazy with your smoky eye, and dust off your stud bracelets from your youth!
  9. Is HHN good for teenagers?
    For most teenagers, the scare zones and haunted houses are fine. They will have a blast. I would just avoid Nightmare Fuel, unless, again, you want some really awkward moments.
  10. Can you do EVERYTHING in one night?

YES! We purchased the HHN Express Pass and were able to experience all 10 houses, all 5 scare zones, both entertainment shows, try out some cocktails, a few eats, ride every available ride, and even snagged a butterbeer in Diagon Alley and did a little magic. We did all of this and left before 2:00 AM. 

Broken record, I know, but GET THE EXPRESS PASSES!

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