Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles has one of the scariest Halloween events in southern California, and that’s saying a lot considering how many there are. This year, the world-famous movie studio is hosting Halloween Horror Nights from Sept. 8 to Oct. 31. Because Universal Studios is a master of producing horror movies, the quality of the sets and costumes at their Halloween event is top-notch. They even hold auditions to select their “scareactors” to ensure guests are truly scared. Let’s take a look at what victims–er, guests–are in store for this year.
Halloween Horror Nights
As twilight descends in September and October, the atmosphere at Universal Studios Hollywood begins to change–literally. A dense fog lit up by flickering orange lights starts to roll down the streets, and the sound of revving chainsaws and screams comes over the loudspeakers. Just before 7 pm, the “Opening Scaremony” starts when deranged monsters and mummies are unleashed into the crowds, and everyone starts to scramble. Because of the high scare factor, Universal Studios doesn’t recommend Halloween Horror Nights for anyone under 13 and strongly cautions against bringing young children, but you’ll have to be the judge of how much horror your kids can take. And the park doesn’t allow guests to wear costumes or costume masks. You have to leave the horror up to them.
Universal Studios Hollywood plans to have several scare zones, eight haunted houses, and a live show during this separately ticketed event. The scare zones and haunted houses change every year, so if you’ve visited in years past, you’ll have a different experience in 2022. As of this writing, Universal has announced only four of the haunted houses. Let’s take a look at what’s been announced so far:
- The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare. This all-new creation is inspired by the enormously popular After Hours album by the pop group The Weeknd. In this macabre haunted house, slashers go on the rampage, carving smiles into unsuspecting faces and performing extreme plastic surgery on the unwary. This could truly give you nightmares!
- The Horrors of Blumhouse. This house of horrors resurrects a popular Halloween maze from Universal Studios Hollywood. It’s a double feature of terror based on the body-swapping movie Freaky and the horror film The Black Phone about a kidnapped boy who’s able to communicate with the victims of a serial killers. This is not your garden-variety haunted house!
- Halloween. Witness the original killing spree of the masked Michael Myers from the 1978 classic horror film. You’ll feel like you’re running for your life to escape this madman–just don’t run into the basement like all the movie victims seem to!
- Universal Monsters: Legends Collide. Those who dare to venture here will have to outrun The Wolf Man, Dracula, and the Mummy, who are on a deadly mission to recover an amulet that will break their curse. If you get in their way, you may not live to regret it!
One of the unique features of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood is the “Terror Tram.” The famous tram that takes daytime guests on a tour of Universal’s backlot is transformed into a conveyance to hell. The tram drops off its victims at the famous Bates Motel from the classic horror film Psycho, where they are immediately confronted with marauding bands of slashers and ax murderers. Many try to flee to the creepy Bates mansion, only to be greeted by Norman Bates himself. Others run screaming through the darkened backlot trying to escape, often without success. The Terror Tram definitely is not for the easily spooked!
Times & Tickets
Universal Studios Hollywood hosts Halloween Horror Nights between Sept. 8 and Oct. 30, Thursdays through Sundays, and on Monday, Oct. 31. The event officially begins at 7 pm and lasts through 1 am or 2 am, depending on the night. Those who purchase an Express Pass gain early entry at 6 pm. Check the park calendar for the latest details.
Separate tickets are required for Halloween Horror Nights, and single-night tickets range from $72 to $102 with the most expensive tickets being for Saturday nights in October. There is also an option to buy a single-night ticket that grants entry to the park at 2 pm and lets you stay through Halloween Horror Nights; that ticket ranges from $112 to $154. Express Passes range from $179 to $289, but are worth it if you want to be sure to experience all the haunted houses and scare zones. Multi-night Frequent Fear Passes start at $199. Ticket prices are the same for all ages, and the prices quoted above are online prices; purchasing at the gate can cost up to another $50! Visit the Universal Studios Florida website for all the pass options and to buy tickets. Happy Halloween!