Halloween Horror Nights has officially kicked off in Universal Orlando!
This year’s event runs from September 1st to November 4th and we’ve already seen the announcements for all the haunted houses, eats, and more entertainment coming to the event. Now, we have our ranking of every house at this year’s event.
**Warning: If you want to avoid graphic images, or remain unspoiled about what is featured in the houses, you may want to stop reading now!**
Before we break down all of the houses, our team wants to emphasize that we don’t think there are ANY bad houses this year! In fact, we think each one is worth experiencing, which is not something we’ve said for MANY years. Now without further ado, let’s get into it!
10. Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins
NOW WAIT, before you get mad at us, we’re NOT saying this is a bad house! We loved this house because we love Dr. Oddfellow and having a house dedicated to his history and the event itself is so creative.
If you don’t like clowns, DO NOT go in this house, because they’re everywhere. There’s definitely plenty of scares with the killer circus vibe, and we loved the cool effects as well.
If you’re a fan of HHN and have been going for years, this house is a MUST-DO, because it follows the story of Dr. Oddfellow AND Jack The Clown.
9. The Last of Us
We really loved how well this house did putting you in the world of Joel and Ellie, especially because the original actors from the video game recorded new lines for the house!
However, the house relies a lot on strobe lighting that didn’t feel as well-designed as it did in other houses. It was also much more jumpscare-reliant than anything else, so there weren’t many memorable scenes.
The set also doesn’t feel as impressive as it could, so it actually was our least favorite house, BUT it gets put in the number 9 spot because of its IP and doing The Last of Us justice.
8. Bloodmoon: Dark Offerings
The plot of this house is that the kill cult is working on an effigy of bodies that you can see developing as you go through the house. It’s definitely the goriest of them all, but the story wasn’t our favorite.
It was also really heavy on the disturbing sights that may make more squeamish attendees have to look away.
However, the set of this house is AMAZING. The designer was the same person who did the Dead Man’s Pier: Winter’s Wake haunted house a few years back, and it’s clear in the design choices. We think it’s worth going through just to see the set.
7. The Darkest Deal
We really enjoyed the concept of this house because it’s almost literally the devil went down to Georgia. Plus, we think the design of the devil character is so creative — he starts as a smarmy southern man, slowly transitions into a devil throughout the house, and then you see him in his final form at the end.
While the set of this house isn’t as impressive, we really enjoyed the special effects. Near the end of the house, be sure to watch the onstage musician closely — you can literally SEE his soul being stolen out of his chest!
This one is very dark, which means it feels spooky and scary instead of just visually creepy sights and jumpscares.
6. The Exorcist: Believer
Our friends were a little disappointed that the story of this house follows the new film coming out soon instead of the original, but it serves as a living trailer, so it can help you decide if you want to go see the film.
However, it’s VERY terrifying. The actors playing the two possessed girls do a phenomenal job because they show up everywhere, and their makeup and behaviors are beyond scary.
The house also has a literal smell of rot to it (points for immersive theming), and we noticed this one had lower waits most of the night, likely due to the extra scary premise. We think it’s very well done!
5. Universal Monsters: Unmasked
We really loved this house — especially how cool the set is at the start of the house — you start out in the streets of Paris and end up in the catacombs.
We really love the classic horror feel to this one and think that’s what makes it feel so different from other houses. We also really enjoyed the jumpscares and extra elements added to the monsters’ stories.
Like, the phantom started stealing other people’s faces to wear as his own. See what we mean? Classic, creepy horror!
4. Stranger Things
This was, understandably, very popular due to the success of the show. This also means that if you’ve seen the show, you’re much less likely to be scared because you know what’s coming, and you get to see your favorite characters.
The house tells the story of Season 4 VERY well, and there are plenty of jumpscares to get you.
However, some of the Halloween Horror Nights veterans we were with said they thought the scale of this one is lacking a bit in comparison to Stranger Things houses in years past. But if you’re a Stranger Things fan, we definitely recommend it to see your favorite characters, and if you’re not, then you won’t know what to expect!
3. YETI: Campground Kills
This was so surprisingly fun! This is a sillier house for sure, as the story is that a family of yetis (including a baby yeti) have attacked a campground.
This house had a lot of scary gags, like a snake in a toilet, because really, who isn’t scared of that?
Plus, we think the yetis themselves are really cool and well-designed. Plus, HHN fans can keep an eye out for the HHN Bear!
2. Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count
We thought this house was the perfect combination of recognizable IP, cool effects, exciting sets, silliness, and tons of scares!
We honestly weren’t expecting this one to be as scary as it was, and we think it’s even on par with the scariness level of The Exorcist House! The scares are so well planned to really surprise you, so it’s hard to know what’s coming.
This also feels like one of the longest houses, which just enhances the experience. But the humor of it being Chucky really does help make this a very well-rounded experience.
1. Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate
And in the number one spot is Dueling Dragons! This is a HUGE win for Universal fans because Dueling Dragons was the beloved coaster in Merlin’s Woods when Islands of Adventure first opened and was taken out before Harry Potter World was built.
The story is brought to life thanks to two warlocks, fire and ice, as they fight in an incredible castle set. You really do choose your fate in this house as well, because there are FOUR different endings! You choose fire or ice at the beginning and can get a good or bad ending on both sides.
This one is less scary than others but has spectacular sets that deserve to be doted on. Our group raved about it all night, even those who were adverse to the scares of HHN, and we heard others saying the same throughout the night.
Now you can officially start mapping out your plan for your visit. Here’s a list of all the haunted houses:
A. Bloodmoon: Dark Offerings
B. The Exorcist: Believer
C. Stranger Things
D. Dueling Dragons: Choose Thy Fate
E. YETI: Campground Kills
F. Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count
G. Dr. Oddfellow’s Twisted Origins
H. The Darkest Deal
I. The Last of Us
J. Universal Monsters: Unmasked
We hope this helps you plan your visit to Halloween Horror Nights this year. For more, be sure to follow AllEars.net.
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