That time of year is rapidly approaching when my calendar gets loaded up with Halloween events that mostly revolve around haunted attractions. From the independent backyard haunt to extravagant productions like Knott’s Scary Farm and Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights to the personal space-invading experiences like Blackout House, I have to do them all. For just a few minutes, these events allow one to step into, basically, controlled horror movie environments, offering up close and personal thrills. I love the rush from them. I love the craftsmanship. And, believe it or not, the haunted attraction biz was one I almost jumped into as a career.
One haunt I look forward to year after year is Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, mostly because this is the one attraction that draws upon the films and television shows I like. I’ve been lucky enough to visit the event on both coasts and the teams behind HHN Hollywood and Orlando work their asses off.
This year, The Walking Dead returns to HHN. Even though I’d like to see Universal move on from this title, I’ll tell you this: It will likely draw the same insane crowds it brought in last year where the wait time was an hour and 45 minutes. From Dusk Till Dawn could be fun. I can’t wait to see what they do with An American Werewolf in London. Alien vs. Predator? I honestly couldn’t care less.
Reflecting on these selections this year, I got to thinking of mazes I would do if I had control of Halloween Horror Nights for a year and didn’t have to worry about sponsors, licensing, the execs and all of those other moving parts that make this thing happen.
Here’s what I came up with…