Halloween Horror Nights: The Thrill-Seeking Adventure Returns

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Kayleen Ghookas, Staff Writer

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights has remained a famous experience for thrill seekers each spooky season, from the hair-raising sounds of chainsaw blades to growls in your ears and dark corners of mazes to brace for jump scares. Last Halloween, the horrors of the pandemic put a pause on theme park festivities, but Universal Studios is back in business this Halloween, and with sweet vengeance. 

This year, fans are able to walk through seven mazes and ride the “Purge” themed terror tram across the backlot of Universal. The mazes include the classic favorites such as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” as well as the new “The Haunting of Hill House,” inspired by the Netflix hit show and “Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein,” a walk through of an original story told by the bride herself. At the park, a guest has the ability to check out the list of mazes on Cinema Blend’s website.  

Although Universal Studios is kid-friendly year-round, Horror Nights is the exception. Even walking outside of the mazes and attractions, scarers are creeping up on you everywhere. “It was really hectic because of how crowded it was and the scarers started chasing all of my friends with chainsaws as soon as we entered the park. I felt like I couldn’t breathe!,” said junior David Shirvanian. The long lines and packed walkways add to the adrenaline-inducing chaos and excitement of the experience, though make it quite overwhelming and unfit for children. 

Visitors each have different favorite mazes due to their preference on scare factors and creativity. If you’re an adrenaline junky like sophomore Zamira Dobroyan, you’ll enjoy the “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” maze. “The set was just like the one in the movie and the sounds of chainsaws and the burning scent made it the scariest one I went to,” said Dobroyan. The sensory aspects of the mazes make the mazes that much more realistic and horrifying. 

One of the newer mazes, “Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein,” brought in many fans of horror this year. The entrance of the set is made to look like you’re walking into a book and the thoughtful design is not unintentional. “The maze focused more on telling a story than incorporating jump scares and making it more heart-racing,” said senior Paola Gorgeiz. Book worms like Gorgeiz or visitors simply seeking a break from the shocks of horror might favor this attraction over others.

The beloved annual Halloween Horror Nights has an attraction for everyone, except children of course. Though you may catch yourself running with your heart in your throat, you will have had an entertaining and memorable time by the end of the long, terrifying night of screams and scares.