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Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

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Ever since I was little, I always went to haunted houses. In first grade, I went to all the hardcore ones that freaked out adults. I loved them. I am lucky to live in the Los Angeles area, as the major theme parks usually have haunted houses.

Disneyland transforms its Haunted Mansion into a Nightmare Before Christmas. This isn't at all scary, as it is designed for kids. The Queen Mary does a good job every year and is moderately scary. Knotts Berry Farm raises the bar with their Knott's Scary Farm. Knotts has the best haunted transformation out of the three. Universal Studios has their own experience; from what I can tell, it's sure to be loads of fun.

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights begins this October at 7:00 pm on Friday the 13th. It runs for seven nights only —  the 14th, 20th-21st, 27-28th, and of course the night of Halloween. Tickets can be bought at the website. Although tickets are 34-39 dollars a person, the event seems well worth it.

I attended the Halloween Casting Auditions earlier today. A lot of press was there. We were right next to the Fox News guy and Frank Liu of the Chinese newspaper Sing Tao Daily. Some people seemed shocked that I was with the press. Here are all these men in their forties and I'm just a teenaged girl.

Lindsay Mesenbourg, publicity manager of the event, told me they were looking for about 200 actors to hire to walk around and scare their guests. There were about 200 auditioning when I arrived, but more were expected to come. I only saw a brief portion of the auditions, but the actors looked very good. The actors interacted with the press. In fact, number 167, auditioning for Egore, asked me if he could have my brain. Another girl acted like Dracula's bride and started asking a guy if she could suck his blood.

needles and nailsThere were two very odd and unique talents that I saw, numbers 203 and 204. They are pictured aside with their props. Number 203 has a nail in his nose, which he actually hammered in there. I'm not joking, I totally saw it.

His friend, number 204 on the left, sticks that needle through his arm, the extra skin on his neck, and through his mouth. These guys will be very interesting to see when the Horror Nights open. All of the actors are currently waiting to see if they made the cut.

Amy Hill, the talent manager who was running the auditions, told the press that Universal was "really raising the bar." She explained that Miss Buffy, a zombie talking to the press, would greet all the guests at the front of the park. The Undertaker (pictured) would be in the west part of the park measuring people for coffins — whether they are ready for them or not.

UndertakerAmy seemed really excited, as am I, that guests may get off the tram that tours the set and walk across the sets of Universal's backlot. This includes the famous Psycho House and the War of the Worlds disaster scene.

This event is making history. This is the first time in 90 years that the average person may explore these places. There will be entertainment (as if the person with the needle in his arm isn't enough…) such as the "Carnival of Carnage." This event has torture artists, sword swallowers, people who eat fire and glass, people who eat cockroaches and worms…

If all this wasn't enough, some of the best rides will still be open — "Revenge of the Mummy," a relatively new indoor roller coaster, "Back to the Future," and "Jurassic Park," that is if you're willing to ride it in the dark. "Water World" will become "Slaughter World."

I'm so excited about the opening. As I've said before, I've been going to these sorts of things all my life. I've done all the other major theme parks. I've been on Universal's Van Helsing maze (open year-round at the park) so many times, I can tell you where the people are hiding. I've done all the local ones like Red Cross' mental hospital and the one at the sheriff's station — even random houses I've found in the newspaper.

I can't wait for something fresh and new.  I get to explore the real movie sets that no one ever can do. What more can I ask for? Oh, I know. So, uh, why can't this open in August?

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About Maddy

  • so what did you think of it afterall??? whats your review on Universal s halloween thing?

  • haley

    I would love 2 b an actress and i can not find a website where u can sign up 4 that so um yah.

  • clinton cooper

    I and my wife along with the friends I brought down to Universal’s Hollaween Horror Night were dissappointed in this years event. Production seemed cheap, fewer rides available ( islands of adventure not included as before) scare zones were sparce, zombies walking around w/ chainsaws were nowhere. Nothing jumping out from bushes , no fog machines to speak of, sorry just very disappointed. I went a couple of years ago’s and enjoyed myself very much, quess the economy is effecting everyone.Glad I found discount tickets, got a discount scare. I’ll not be going back until someone can convince me otherwise that they have improved production. clint