Events & Attractions

Universal Halloween Horror Nights’ John Murdy Announces New Details for 2017 at ScareLA

During day one of ScareLA, Universal Halloween Horror Nights’ John Murdy took the stage to announce some exciting new details around Universal Studios Hollywood’s 2017 Halloween Horror Nights.  After releasing a slew of details around their new Shining maze and the return of the R.I.P. tickets at Midsummer Scream last week, many were wondering how Universal would top the previous presentation, but they did just that by announcing a new maze, a new Terror Tram experience and details around this year’s American Horror Story maze.

Titans of Terror

One of the first announcements of the afternoon was the new Titans of Terror maze, which brings modern horror icons Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger together in a single horrifying maze.  The maze had been teased by John on twitter under the codename “Uber Fan,” which alluded to how the park is bringing these three icons together in a single environment.  The name “Uber Fan” was used because the facade of this maze will be the suburban home of an uber fan of Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface whose home haunt gets rained out on Halloween night.  Left to spend an evening indoors watching his favorite horror films, his story will become the stepping off point for this brand new 2017 maze.

But the terror didn’t end there.  After announcing Titans of Terror the maze, Murdy rolled a trailer that brought Chucky into the mix as the host of this year’s Terror Tram, which will also take on the Titans of Terror theme.  In Titans of Terror Tram Chucky will host the intro video that plays as you head down to the backlot and will also be part of the Terror Tram experience itself.  Fans of the Child’s Play films and Chucky will be excited to know that for the first time, Halloween Horror Nights are working directly with Don Mancini the creator of Chucky and is getting to work with the actual Chucky and his voice actor Brad Dourif.

Scare Zones

While the three scare zones for 2017 were released along with ticket sales last week, Murdy shared the three zones again.  The three zones for 2017 are Hell-O-Ween (Top Deck), Toxic Tunnel (Walk to Backlot), and Urban Inferno (Backlot).  In addition to sharing the zones for those who may have missed the announcement Murdy also shared imagery of some of the monsters, including new, more complete, concepts from Hell-O-Ween and Urban Inferno.

Monster concept images from the Hell-O-Ween Scare Zone at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
Monsters from the Hell-O-Ween Scare Zone
Monster concept images from the Urban Inferno Scare Zone at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
Monsters from the Urban Inferno Scare Zone

For the majority of the rest of his presentation, Murdy talked about how he got into the haunt industry, recalling running home haunts as a kid and talking about the paths he took throughout his career to wind up where he is today.  But the presentation didn’t end on Murdy’s career, he still had a little bit more up his sleeve, this time in regards to this year’s American Horror Story maze.

American Horror Story

Last year’s American Horror Story maze featured three seasons; Murder House, Freak Show, and Hotel.  During initial planning, they were considering a similar approach, with this year’s maze being Roanoke, Asylum, and Coven, but as they got into the research things changed and instead they’ve decided to dedicate the 2017 American Horror Story maze complete to Roanoke.

In a sneak peek at some of the maze details Murdy shared some of the scenic elevation concepts from the maze.  Once inside, Murdy shared that visitors will go through the woods where they’ll see the sacrificial altar with the piggy man, the burned guy and all of the totems.

Murdy also revealed the monsters for the maze.  For the American Horror Story Roanoke maze, the monsters will be based on the characters you see in the second half of the show that appear once the actual Butcher shows up, Murdy pointed out that these characters are “scarier and creepier looking.”  In the maze visitors will come face to face with The Butcher, and in one particular scene, you’ll even get to see her disembowel someone.

Concept art for a scene in the American Horror Story Roanoke maze for Universal's Halloween Horror Nights
Concept art for a scene featuring The Butcher

The maze will aslo feature a second facade where visitors will come upon the Roanoke house where they’ll then go inside where you’ll experience the unique environment complete with totems, the pig tales on the wall, the basement, the tunnel and more.  Here you’ll also come in contact with Piggy Man, the nurses, and Edward Mott and the cannibals.  It will all end with a surprise ending that John wasn’t willing to reveal.

Murdy wrapped up the presentation answering questions he received from twitter and announced again the return of the R.I.P. tickets that are back for 2017.


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