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Halloween Horror Nights

Priscila Manzo
Halloween Horror Nights was a night to remember.

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During the month of October many amusement parks open their door during the night to host Halloween festivities, such as scary mazes, scare zones and amusement park rides in the dark. The main amusement parks that do this are Knott’s Berry Farm, named Knott’s Scary Farm during Halloween, and Universal Studios, which names the event Halloween Horror Nights.

I attended Halloween Horror Nights on Oct 21 with a good friend of mine, and it was the best, yet worst experience I have ever had. It was like I was living in a nightmare that I could not get out of, and it was amazing.

There were a variety of mazes as well as scare zones. The first maze that I went into was “Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.” As expected for a Saturday, the line was long, but when we finally arrived at the entrance of the maze, we were immediately hit with darkness and eerie music. Walking through the maze was like walking through the movie itself. During much of the maze there was a voice saying “redrum” over an over again in a scary and scratchy voice that made everything even more horrifying.

The next maze that we went into was “Insidious,” and like The Shining, it was like walking through the last four Insidious movies. Before entering the maze, there were two scareactors, actors that scare the attendees, and they were dressed up as the two ghost hunters in the first movie. If you tell them the secret word of the night that Halloween Horror Nights tweets out everyday, you get a card that has a number on it. I did not know what it was for. My friend and I call the number to see what it was about, but the number did not work.

Getting to the second maze, I had to go through two scare zones, areas in the park where there are scareactors that are walking around trying to scare you. The first scare zone that I had to go through was the Toxic Tunnel that had scareactors dressed as utility workers infected by toxic gas. They had deformed bodies and faces, and the tunnel had bright lights and loud music that gave a spooky, but fun vibe. Some of the scareactors started to dance, too. After going through the tunnel, we walked for a while until we reached the next scare zone, the Urban Inferno. This scare zone had demons with goat heads, mad men, and lost-souls, who followed closely. The smoke with bright lights made it hard to see, allowing the scareactors pop up when we least expected it.

We reached the back lot where there were three mazes: American Horror Story: Roanoke, Ash vs Evil Dead, and SAW. The exterior of Ash vs Evil Dead was really amazing and looked  like the mobile home park movie set. The first thing we saw was the kitchen of the mobile home, but as we walked through, we saw some of the different demons that Ash had to battle in some of the episodes of the show.

Next we headed to SAW, and although the wait was a little over an hour, it was well worth it. The maze had a lot of the iconic death traps scattered throughout the maze. The scariest part though was when we had to walk through a narrow corridor that had bodies hanging from the ceiling with saws coming out of the walls and bright strobe lights. What made it worse was the loud sound effects of saws cutting through flesh and the screams along with the splattering of blood-like fluids. The strobes lights also helped in messing with your head and made the maze more intimidating.

The next maze was American Horror Story: Roanoke, but the wait time was two hours so we skipped that one and headed up to the upper lot of the park to get some food. We had to go through the Toxic Tunnel again, and it was just as freaky as the first time we went through it. The next attraction we decided to go to was the Terror Tram.

During Halloween Horror Nights, the tram, which normally takes the attendees through a tour of the sound stages and movie sets from movies produced at Universal Studios, drops off everyone in the middle of the back lot and makes them walk to the spot where the tram will pick them up and take them back to the park. The tram this year was hosted by Chucky, the murderous possessed doll that likes to kill for fun, and the theme was the Titans of Terror. The Titans of Terror are Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th. This group of three are considered the Titans of Terror as they are the most popular and iconic horror movie villains in pop culture.

The participants had to go through Camp Crystal Lake, the location where Jason kills all his victims, and we watched as Jason murdered the campers. Then we went into a meat shop. We walked along a long corridor without a ceiling and with low walls. The scareactors dressed as Leatherface and his family members jumped out and swung at us with chainsaws and bloody bats. After exiting the meat shop, we came to an open area where we had to walk to the tram pick-up. Scareactors dressed as Freddy Krueger hindered our getting through. Freddy has a sense of humor when he kills people. The scareactors sometimes skipped next to me, and one was dressed with a white wig and a sleeping gown to look like an old lady. It was hilarious, but the actors jumped at me when I least expected it. I ran away twice from my friend because I got so scared.

After returning to the main park, we headed to the Jabbawockeez show, which is only open during Halloween Horror Nights. stated that they originated “from the Westside of the galaxy light years away” and that they “have crash-landed on planet Earth and are now stranded in the 1950s. Feeling out of place from outer space, a musical journey ensues as they try to find a way back home.” The show was an amazing mix of dance, humor, and lights, which made a spectacular performance.

The final maze that we went into was the Titans of Terror. Like the tram, it consisted of Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface and was split into three part. First we walked into a bedroom decorated with toys and posters of the Titans. When we walked into the first hallway, a red light shone in our face, and Freddy’s voice could be heard along with the sound of his knife gloves scraping the walls. The maze was a compilation of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies showing their most notable kills. In another hallway, the light was green, and Jason’s whisperings could be heard.

The second part of the maze revolved around Jason’s movies. It also had some of his kills from the movie with Jason popping out to scare the attendees every once in awhile. The final part of the maze was Leatherface’s. This time the light was orange, and the sounds of chainsaws could be heard. We viewed Leatherface’s most well known kills as well as the scene where his family was dining at the dinner table with gross, moldy food. When we walked into the last hallway, I thought that it was the end but I was wrong. I turned the corner and from out of the wall Freddy popped out with flashing red lights. Around the next corner, Jason now popped out. Then in of the opposite wall Freddy was among bright green, flashing lights. At the last turn, Leatherface popped out of the wall with a chainsaw that got really close to my face, and bright yellow lights flashed everywhere. It all happened in a matter of seconds and was so unexpected.

Sadly, time did not allow me to go through the Blum House maze. But my time at Halloween Horror Nights was amazing, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I would recommend it to anyone that is up for a good scare, and I only hope that I get the chance to go again next year.

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