Halloween Horror Nights: 8 haunted houses, ranked
Once you realize that Disney's just for kids and that Kendall has plenty of chain restaurants, you'll soon realize something else: there's never a good time to spend the weekend in Orlando. Except during Halloween Horror Nights when Universal Studios takes eight sound stages, turns them into movie set-quality haunted houses, and invites the world to come and get the bejeezus scared out of them. But since the lines aren’t exactly short and you may not have time to see all eight, we ranked all of 'em by how scary they are...
8. Alien vs. Predator
Going through this house, it'll occurs to you that those giant dancing LED robots you see in clubs could very well be technologically advanced extra terrestrials that hunt humans for sport considering that they ALL look like the Predator who stalks you through this house, forcing you right into the spitting mouth of, you guessed it, Sigourney Weaver’s best friend, the Alien. The house isn’t much on scares, but the detail and realism of the animatronic monsters are worth walking through to see.
7. Roanoke -- Cannibal Colony
Not that you came for a history lesson, but Roanoke was a 17th century colony that had a governor who left to get provisions and didn’t return for three years. And what do people do when nobody brings them food for three years? Live off local crops, hunt, and possibly trade with local Indian tribes, or, ya know, START EATING EACH OTHER. And since a house devoted to colonial farming practices wouldn’t be very entertaining, guess which one they went with here.
6. Dracula Untold -- Reign of Blood
The only drawback here will be the high school kids behind you who keep saying stuff like, “they’re totally trying to rip off Twilight”. But in an ongoing attempt to educate youth about the real origin of vampires, this house follows the plot of the upcoming Dracula flick, taking you through tiny, pre-communism Eastern European villages that seem incredibly authentic... except for the air-conditioning.
5. The Walking Dead: End of the Line
Getting to Atlanta is never an easy feat, but the zombie-filled route you take through this haunted house makes MIA/I-75 traffic seem downright pleasant. The largest and most expensive haunted house in the history of HHN takes you through the post-zombie apocalypse world of AMC’s hit show. If you’re a fan you’ll recognize plenty of sets and characters, right before they jump out from behind said set and attempt to eat your face. Not unlike Memorial Day in Miami.
To the untrained eye, this house feels like a pretty standard Central Florida track home... except for the dude in the white mask popping out from every other corner and a whole room full of him at the end -- some of them mannequins and some of them actors who'll reach towards you brandishing a knife. Good luck figuring out which is which until it's too late, but if you’ve ever wanted to live like you were in a real-life slasher movie without any of the actual risk of slashing, hit this one up.
3. From Dusk Till Dawn
In a move that acknowledges that "HHN cast member/stripper" is a pretty common Central Florida career path, this house starts with a guy doing his best Cheech Marin imitation and telling you about all the different kinds of, um, ladies they’ve got inside, then takes you through a club full of zombie strippers, and ends at the runway stage where you can make it rain all over a girl who's trying to eat you.
2. Giggles & Gore Inc.
If you’re even the least bit coulrophobic, run. Like, don’t even walk by the line to this house which, as the name might imply, is made up of nothing but psychotic clowns. In gory detail you’ll see how the crazy clowns are made: either filled with dead body parts, stretched on racks, or crushed in giant presses. Along the way, terrifying versions of Bozo lurch towards your face, leading to a final room filled with fun house mirrors and a 7ft clown that is 100% guaranteed to appear in at least one dream you have that night.
1. Dollhouse of the Damned
The entryway to this house has an entire wall made from dismembered baby parts. And that’s probably the least disturbing image you’ll see on your trip through because the dollmakers take real children, cut them apart, and make dolls out of them. But perhaps the most notable thing about this house is the smell which, for those of you who've ever changed a diaper, is the unmistakable mix of baby powder and, ah, other stuff, giving it the terrifyingly realistic and disturbing edge that makes it the scariest house.
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