PHOTOS & VIDEOS: We’re at the First Night of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 30

Disclosure: We were invited by Universal to attend a media preview of HHN. This did not affect our reporting of the event — our opinions are our own.

We’ve been counting down the days, hours, and minutes until we’ve been able to step foot inside Universal Orlando’s HUGE 30th anniversary celebrations for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Halloween Horror Nights

We’ve been preparing you for EVERYTHING you should expect from the momentous event, like the houses, scare zones, treats, health and safety regulations, and more. But, it’s officially the very first night of HHN 30, and we are taking you with us for a full night of tricks, treats, and terror! So, get ready to get your scare on, because it’s time for “30 years, 30 fears” of Halloween Horror Nights!

Warning: Graphic images from Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights houses may not be suitable for some readers.


Throughout the event nights in September, Halloween Horror Nights will run from 6:30 PM until 1 AM. However, it will shift over to a 2 AM end time in October.

Halloween Horror Nights

And, when we first entered, we toasted to the beginning of spooky season and the start of Halloween Horror Nights!

As we were able to experience Halloween Horror Nights through a media event, Jack the Clown, his brother Eddie, and a few other haunts made an appearance to kick off the night!

Jack Is Back!

Yeah, we nearly wanted to run away too!

Same, Lady!

Crowds and Wait Times

While the first night of Halloween Horror Nights sold out, the Florida weather decided to add another surprise! It was pouring at the start of the evening, as guests ducked for cover from the rain and the scare actors ready to cause some mayhem.

The rain didn’t stop the crowds, though, as they were ALL excited to see the event play out!

Opening Night Crowds

It was pretty obvious that it was a sold out evening, as many guests were making their way to the houses, scare zones…

Opening Night Crowds

…and even the food stands earlier in the evening.

Opening Night Crowds

We’ll have to keep an eye on how the crowds progress throughout the first night of Halloween Horror Nights!

Towards the end of the evening, it was especially crowded with guests making their way to their final houses and shows of the night.

End of the Night Crowds

House Overview

In each house, scare actors are required to wear face coverings while indoors at all times. Guests are encouraged to do the same, but they are not required to wear their masks indoors. Universal also announced that vinyl dividers will be in place between scare actors and guestsDuring last year’s daytime houses, distancing measures were enforced with a limited amount of groups in a house at a time.

Mask Advisory

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

There’s nothing like some good ole’ classic horror movie action at Halloween Horror Nights! And, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre has gone down in history for a reason with its bloody story and Leatherface’s terrifying appearance!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Of course, Leatherface IS a cannibal, so that means he is out for blood…


…so you’ll want to avoid becoming dead meat (LITERALLY).

You’ve Been Warned!

And, let us just say that the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was DEFINITELY not for the faint of heart!

Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth

Boris Shuster is pretty well-known amongst Halloween Horror Nights veterans as the investigator has dealt with a LOT of terrifying events as part of the Legendary Truth series.

Legendary Truth

The story hops between the same date in the 40s and 90s as Shuster is on the hunt for more ghouls and poltergeists popping up in New York City during Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth.

Time Jump!

And, it’s an AMAZING house for the die-hard HHN fans who love the story of the Legendary Truth series!

It’s got a medium level of scares for those who don’t want to be too terrified.

Once you leave the house. you can even find Boris Shuster’s office…

Boris Shuster’s Office!

…and the Kitty Kat Club from the house as Easter Eggs around Universal Orlando.

Kitty Kat Club

The Bride of Frankenstein Lives

After the events of the classic Universal Monsters horror sequel, The Bride of Frankenstein Lives house takes place after she has survived an explosion. However, her love has not, so she attempts to bring Frankenstein’s monster back to life so they can be together.

Will She Be Able to Bring Him Back?

It won’t be easy, though, because the Bride of Frankenstein will need the blood of Dracula’s brides in order to succeed!


And, you know what else won’t be easy? NOT getting jump scared in this house!

Revenge of the Tooth Fairy

You might think the Tooth Fairy is ready to indulge your sweet tooth, but Revenge of the Tooth Fairy is here to prove you differently. Instead, the murderous goblin is out for the blood of those who won’t hand over their children’s milk teeth.


The house is structured like a pop-up book fairytale describes the story of a boy named James who chose not to give over his teeth. And, of course, the Tooth Fairy murdered everyone in his house as the result! (YIKES!)

Tsk, Tsk, James

Funnily enough, the members of the design team ALL had dental surgery when they were creating this house.

The Tooth Fairy

The Revenge of the Tooth Fairy’s book was also written before construction on the house began in order for pages and illustrations to be incorporated from the story.

HHN Icons: Captured

If you’re a HUGE Halloween Horror Nights fan like we are, then you can make your way through 30 years of original icons during HHN Icons: Captured! Jack the Clown, The Storyteller, The Caretaker, and more are all back in a single house to find out who is the most fearsome of them all.

Jack the Clown

The icons all exist in the Lantern, which is a portal that both leads to their resting places AND to hell underneath Universal Orlando. It was created from the icon “Fear” itself.

Lantern Entrance

If you keep a close eye out, you’ll find totems, promotions, and Easter Eggs from Halloween Horror Nights events in the past. Maybe a few of the tortured souls will even be wearing merchandise (that we honestly want too)!

Tortured Souls and HHN Merch

The answer will actually change throughout the event, though, so you might have a different icon reign supreme each time you go!

The Director Reigns the Most Fearsome!

During our walk-through, the Director was the “winner!”

While it wasn’t the scariest house we went through, the attention to detail was incredible…

…and the fact so many icons were in one place was AMAZING!


We can’t get enough of Beetlejuice! So, we’re THRILLED to travel to the Land of the Dead again this year to see all the wild events from the Beetle-verse come to life!

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice

You can find fan-favorite characters like the Harry the Hunter…

Land of the Dead Waiting Room


A Marriage NOT in the Works

…and even the ferocious sandworm!


Guests can even head inside Adam’s town model in the Deetz house after exploring the Land of the Dead…

Deetz’s Attic

…where it’s party time over at Dante’s Inferno Room!

Dante’s Inferno Room

Welcome to Scarey: Horror in the Heartland

Carey, Ohio has been a recurring location throughout Halloween Horror Nights history. And, we’re heading back during Welcome to Scarey: Horror in the Heartland as the town’s history is resurfaced with vampires from The Hive, the attic of Dead End, Meetz Meats human deli from Leave It to Cleaver, and more!

Welcome to SCAREY!

After our visit to SCAREY, we’re pretty okay with staying away from the town, since our encounters with murderous butchers…

Murderous Butcher

…and monsters made us happy to reside in the Orlando area instead!


The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin

Pumpkins might be part of your Fall aesthetic now. But, after going through The Wicked Growth: Realm of the Pumpkin, you may change your mind! In this house, the Pumpkin Lord is preparing for his yearly harvest, and that means you’re part of it.

Part of the Harvest!

Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience

Get ready for the scariest theater experience of your LIFE during Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience! The story focuses on San Francisco’s Grandeur Theatre in the 1900s, where a puppet troupe went mad and cut up patrons before turning them into puppets themselves.

Puppet Show, Anyone?

Although the theatre was destroyed during the Great San Francisco Earthquake, the puppets still reside there… ready to recruit YOU as part of their troupe!

Destroyed Theatre

The Haunting of Hill House

Rounding out the last of the houses, The Haunting of Hill House is new to Halloween Horror Nights as part of the latest Netflix installment at Halloween Horror Nights. The story follows the same one in the series, where the Crain family moves into Hill House in order to fix it and flip it.

Haunting of Hill House

However, they discover that they aren’t the only ones living there, as ghosts remain in Hill House. The story hops between the youth of the family, as well as the aftermath of the events when they are older…

Will You Survive Hill House?

…and the house follows the same dual plot line as guests make their way through Hill House.


Scare Zones

Lights, Camera, Hacktion: Eddie’s Revenge

Eddie, Jack’s brother, has made his return to Halloween Horror Nights! But, this year, he is a filmmaker shooting a horror movie during Lights, Camera, Hacktion: Eddie’s Revenge. Just a warning, though — all the monsters are REAL in this scare zone!

While Eddie was roaming about to scare everyone with his chainsaw…


…we also spotted aliens…


…the undead…


…and even killer ice cream truck drivers (?!). It’s a WILD movie set that we say is a box office hit!

Killer Ice Cream Truck

Seek and Destroy

An alien cyber regime is taking over Halloween Horror Nights as The Controller helms the Seek and Destroy scare zone. And, you’ll want to hide because humans are being turned into fuel in New York by these alien robots!

They scoped out the humans they think would make the best energy resources…

Seek and Destroy

…and we barely made it out alive!


30 Years, 30 Fears

The HHN icons are still out to play, because the 30 Years, 30 Fears scare zone is full of your favorite murderous characters!

As the loud music, strobes, and smoke drew everyone in to the HUGE celebration…

30 Years, 30 Fears

…plenty of spooks made their way around the area (and we were totally okay with it)!

Not the Jack ‘O Lantern We Were Hoping For

Gorewood Forest

The Terra Queen has returned to Gorewood Forest, fulfilling the prophecy after the Terra Cruentus sacrificed her 16 years ago!

Take a full look at the houses and scare zones here!


As guests were waiting in various queues, Jack the Clown was making sure everyone was on their toes by yelling at them. No surprise there from the original HHN icon!


Two shows will be returning to the lagoon and Fear Factor Stage this year! Over at the bigger stage, Halloween Nightmare Fuel is set to feature “nocturnal creatures, aerialists of the night and frightful fire performers.” We weren’t able to take much footage of the show, so you’ll have to see it come to life for yourselves!

Halloween Nightmare Fuel

Marathon of Mayhem: Carnage Factory is more of a celebration of the history of Halloween Horror Nights with a look at Universal’s icons and terrifying horror films.

Marathon of Mayhem: Carnage Factory

The water show depicts different characters and icons like the Storyteller…


…Bride of Frankenstein…

Bride of Frankenstein

…Jack the Clown, and more!



This year, each food booth will be themed after the Halloween Horror Nights houses being offered, along with an entire Tribute Store full of goodies!


Jack the Clown

Jack the Clown Food Booth

Haunting of Hill House

Haunting of Hill House Food Booth

Revenge of the Tooth Fairy

Revenge of the Tooth Fairy Food Booth

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Food Booth

Keep up with us throughout the evening for a look at all the Halloween Horror Nights happenings in Universal Orlando! Stay tuned with All Ears for the latest Universal entertainment and news coming soon!

Take a peek inside the NEW Jack’d Up Experience in Universal Orlando!

Will you be going to Halloween Horror Nights this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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2 Replies to “PHOTOS & VIDEOS: We’re at the First Night of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 30”

  1. So the only live entertainment available on opening night was Jack yelling into a megaphone? Are the two promoted stage shows not ready for prime time yet?