Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights Returns With 34 Nights of Monstrous Fun

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Get ready for ghoulish games and plenty of frights with our go-to guide to 2017's Halloween Horror Nights.

By Cory O'Born

Theme-park fun takes a thrilling turn each autumn as Orlando — Halloween Vacation Capital℠ — hosts 10 weeks of Halloween events, more than any other destination in the country. Out of a horde of options, from gentle spooks to bone-chilling scares, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort is one festival of fright you won't want to miss.

Whether you visit for one night only, or come crawling back for more, follow our guide to all the haunts and houses to this year's Halloween Horror Nights, to make the ghost — we mean, the most — of your experience. But, beware: This event is not for the faint of heart!

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Nine Haunted Houses That Really Go Bump in the Night

Even the bravest among us is afraid of something, and with nine diverse, disturbingly real, haunted houses, there's bound to be something that strikes fear into your soul. From popular horror films like Saw and The Shining, to original concepts like evil scarecrows, voodoo queens and more, these haunted houses will not disappoint even the staunchest, horror-genre fans.

Terrors You'll Recognize:

American Horror Story — Always popular, this house returns to offer some of the most terrifying characters from three installments of the FX show anthology. Travel through a maze of gorgeous and gory scenes from Asylum, Coven and Roanoke to spot your favorites.

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Stanley Kubrick's The Shining — For the first time, this classic horror film comes to life as one of the most unsettling and well-framed houses ever done. Wander through the Overlook Hotel, dodging creepy bartenders from the 1940s, dead-eyed twins and axe-wielding maniacs to escape (if you're lucky!) through a snow-covered hedge maze.

Saw: The Games of Jigsaw — From one of the top-grossing horror franchises comes a new house that will have you screaming. Come face-to-face with the gruesome work of master craftsman Jigsaw and a collection of his most infamous traps from the Saw film series.

Ash Vs. Evil Dead — It's OK to laugh while you're fleeing in terror! Fend off demonic Deadites alongside Ash Williams and his trusty chainsaw from this cult-favorite Starz original series based on Sam Raimi's films.

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The Horrors of Blumhouse — What's worse (or better) than a house dedicated to one horror film? A house that combines several of the best horror films to come out in recent years, including Sinister, The Purge and Insidious. Look carefully between all those demons and murderers chasing you to catch a living trailer for Insidious: The Last Key, coming to theaters Jan. 5, 2018.

New Faces of Horror:

Scarecrow: The Reaping — Venture into one of the most unsettling and disorienting houses of the year, where long-fingered scarecrows reach for you amid a tangle of vines, cornfields and cramped farmhouse corridors.

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The Hive — The crumbling house on 19 Hemingway Lane may seem normal at a glance, but step inside to face a nest of mindless, bloodthirsty vampires.

The Fallen — Enter an ornate cathedral where eternal, winged-hell creatures are ready to wage war against mortals. These beasts come at you from every direction, executing unique stunts right over your head. Impressive, if they weren't clawing for your soul!

Dead Waters — You'll be drowning in fear aboard this haunted ship, where tilted floors throw you off balance and wicked swamp creatures lurk around every corner.

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Face Your Fears in Five Scare Zones

If you think you're safe outside the haunted houses, we have some bad news for you. Strategically located around the park are five unavoidable Scare Zones, full of wandering ghouls, maniacs and monsters. And unlike the "scare-acters" in each house, these fearsome folks are unbound, free-roaming and ready to rush unsuspecting visitors. Keep your wits about you and look out for all five of these foggy, themed zones of terror.

The Purge — New York is overrun, and no one is safe. With the iconic Lady Liberty and other masked murderers about, there's nowhere to hide.

Trick ‘R Treat — Break the rules and pay the price. That's the murderous moral of the five twisted stories in Trick ‘R Treat, a darkly hilarious tribute to Halloween, and one of the most gorgeously decorated sections of the event, featuring hundreds of lit jack-o'-lanterns.

Festival of The Deadliest — The dead are throwing a heck of a Hollywood party, and you're invited. Dance with beautiful and dangerous creatures, but beware: Your spirit fuels the ghoulish gathering.

Invasion! — The year is 1955, and a UFO has crashed onto the wharf. Dodge the glowing ship and its creepy alien crew before they probe you!

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Altars of Horror — Enter the nexus of evil, where the most fearsome characters and nefarious creatures from each of the haunted houses lie in wait. (Hint! This is a good opportunity to get a better look at some of the most infamous villains around the park.)

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Less Frightening Fun

Halloween Horror Nights packs a punch but, luckily, you'll find a few distractions from the constant terror. First, you can grab some liquid courage — or fear — with two signature cocktails sold at bars across the park. In fact, the drinks are literally called Liquid Courage, which mixes tangerine rum with orange juice and Sprite, and Liquid Fear, a vodka cocktail with cranberry juice and lemonade. You can also mix them together in equal parts for Midnight Madness.

If you thirst for a different kind of distraction, check out the hilarious and bittersweet farewell tour of Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure, in its 26th and final year. After laughing your head off, save time to catch the Academy Of Villains: Afterlife, a mind-blowing, shocking dance performance that will escort you from this world to the great beyond.

Don't Lose Your Head

Horror fans can't ask for a better event, but half the fun is dragging your fearful friends along. Grab your crew and start planning which houses you'll go for first. A Frequent Fear Pass is a good idea if you're a big fan of the event, or spring for the R.I.P Tours for the absolute best way to hit all nine houses, five scare zones and the shows in one night, with no lines.

Which house are you most excited for? Tweet us @VisitOrlando. Also, don't forget that you can buy discounted Halloween Horror Night and Universal Orlando passes directly from our website.

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Written by Cory O’Born, Communications Associate Representative at Visit Orlando. She enjoys puns, getting lost in foreign countries, petting every dog she sees and uncovering hidden gems in her hometown of Orlando.


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Related Categories: Attractions & Theme Parks , Top Stories , Halloween Events