Hello, Freaky Darlings! 5 Days out from Halloween Horror Nights…so this is our Road to Terror. What better way to pass the time than talk more about Halloween Horror Nights? I kind of wanted to lead out with a prediction list of what we think the best HHN houses this year will be. At the last second though, I decided to take a look back at our picks for the best of the best. The ones that still to this day stand out in our heads the most. These are what this years event has to shoot for. Will one get knocked off the list this year? Who knows! So which mazes made the cut? Let’s start with 10 huh?
Psychotik Top 10: Best Halloween Horror Nights Mazes
10. Screamhouse: Resurrection- Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16
Coming in a number 10 is the second incarnation of Screamhouse from HHN 16. What made this house in particular stand out was the atmosphere and smells. The Facade was very well done. I remember it well. The interior just blew me away. All of the Caretakers in this house were awesome. Made sure to swing those blades they had right past your head. I also remember the smell of dirt as you wandered into the crypt area. That smell has stuck with me for years. In fact, I get flash backs every time i walk past the mulch at Walmart…
9. Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Walkers- Halloween Horror Nights 17: Carnival of Carnage
Good old Freddy Kruger finds himself in the number 9 spot. Dream Walkers had so many things done right. Out of all the New Line slasher houses, this one was the best. It had a great story leading into it. Your mind was just turned topsy turvey in this maze. To set up the house you walked through a tent where Freddy had some human puppets pump a sleep drug into it in large doses. From there you are put right in front of the iconic house from the films. As you walk through your very own nightmare come to life, you were brought some pretty epics scenes from the film. Ending the house in the boiler room really clinched it for me. I don’t ever remember a dull moment to be honest. Just a great house all around.
8. H.R Bloodengutz presents Holidays of Horror- Halloween Horror Nights 21
This house was just darling. Some of the most cheesy, campy, and sometimes- very good- horror movies are those based on Holidays. This is what this house was about. An old Horror host at the end of his rope decided to make one last stand of it and show the big wigs what real terror is. While he is doing this to them, he takes you on a tour of Holiday terror. It was great walking through and trying to guess the holiday. Arbor Day was the hardest to guess. I loved the nuclear explosion in Presidents Day with the zombie presidents. That was just great. Definitely an idea you hope to see revisited down the road.
7. Where Evil Hides- Halloween Horror Nights 15: Tales of Terror
Had to look to the back of my vault for this memory. HHN 15 was my first exposure to the event. It was also the last year they did the event across two parks (LOT’S OF WALKING). This year always holds a special place in my chest. This is one of those memories occupying that spot. This house had a grand entrance to an old house. Basicly everything you would be afraid of as a kid, this house took it to the next level. Dark corners, weird noises, half cracked doors, the monster under the bed…anything you can imagine turned to pure nightmare fuel. If you weren’t careful, you could have missed The Storyteller in the attic reading a story to a victim on a bad of spikes…with an anvil hanging over his head…The house was also built so well if you managed to get ahead of your group, you could enjoy scaring them as well (I hate you Andrew!)
6. Scary Tales: Once Upon a Nightmare- Halloween Horror Nights 18: Reflections of Fear
You didn’t think I would leave Reflections of Fear out do you? This is the only Scary Tales house I have been through, but damned if it didn’t leave a lasting impression. So many things right with this. What is not to like about fairy tales gone wrong. You had a footless Cinderella, a full mad Alice (She was eating poor March Hare! The nerve!), and all of this mess caused by the Evil Queen. What still sticks out in my mind the most was the Alice in Wonderland Scene and the Oz scene. Like I said the Oz scene you were transported to a mad tea party gone terribly wrong (Poor Hare never saw it coming I’m sure..) The Oz room took you into a corn field with demented versions of the classic characters. Dorthy had been tied up and murdered. Scarecrow was left to pluck at her brain. A very Angry tinsman would either A) swing an Ax at you or B) Squirt you with oil. The Lion would roar as you left the room. You really did have to see the characters for this as they were pure nightmare fuel.
5. Nevermore: The Madness of Poe- Halloween Horror Nights 21
Top 5 people here we go. What a good way to start it off. I was so please this house delivered. I’m a big fan of Poe’s work and it was nice seeing it brought to life. You had a shit ton of scares. Lots of misdirection. I think my favorite scenes were from the Tale Tell Heart”, “The Masque of the Red Death”, and one scene that involved Poe and Virginia. Lot of great effects were used. If you are a Poe fan or not, you could have found enjoyment in the house. Everyone loves a good Madman. Could they do this house again…Quoth the Raven…Eh Maybe…
4. Demon Cantina- Halloween Horror Nights 15: Tales of Terror
Here is the other part of HHN 15 that sticks with me. This was my first year, this house was my first one ever! Demon Cantina is a nice homage to From Dusk Till Dawn. You enter through the front of the bar and travel into hell! Out front they had a very cool puking animatronics. Your greeted with a broken bottle against the bar. Scenes that stand out in my mind…An exploding toilet, a strobe light room with dancing demons, and the end. The end you were greeted by the Devil himself. My friend and I hit the ground ala’ Waynes World, screaming “We’re not worthy! We are worms!” (Just a joke of course, I know Lou…he looks nothing like that and is a terrible Yahtzee player) This will always be so special for me….
3. ZombieGeddon- Halloween Horror Nights 20: 20 Years of Fear
Words can’t accurately describe this house. It had everything going for it. Hands down Universal’s best Zombie house yet. The Walking Dead house this year has a high bar in this house. The story was the US Government re-took America and started these training facilities to help people learn the finer points in putting to rest the undead. You start out kind of light-hearted. Just going through a shooting range no big deal. Then they pull off what could be the best “OH SHIT!” moment in history. You see lights and smoke when a float crashes into power lines, crippling it indefinitely. Now things are real and the undead get their revenge. To add to it, the people who were training you have now joined their ranks as well. From there you exited to Zombie Gras…that is for a different list though…
2. Saws and Steam: Into the Machine- Halloween Horror Nights 21
So, HHN 21 kind of ran all over this list huh. It was a good year…what can I say. This almost squeaked into the number one spot. It was narrowly beaten. I really had never been into a house that told a story better than this. I wish this house could be turned into a movie. This maze was based on the Scarezone of the same name the year before. In the world of Saws and Steam water is almost impossible to find. That is until someone realizes the human body is made up of 70% water…Into the machine shows more of that world. A group known as the Elite ask people to make the sacrifice on their 31st birthday to “Give of their liquid.” so that they may better the cause and feel no more pain. By doing this, they would enter “The Horizon”…or paradise. Obviously it was a load of shit and as you walk through the maze there is nothing that screams paradise (Unless of course you have a hard on for steam punk then…well this will give you quite the chubby) So many good scares, I don’t know where to start. I think they end was really awesome with the guy in the old style Scooba suit splashing a water curtain at you. They must have gotten a lot of water. (Also important to note this was the final house featured at the Jaws location…sad I know)
1. Psychoscarapy: Maximum Madness- Halloween Horror Nights: Sweet 16
Here we are..number one! How can you go wrong with an asylum that has been taken over by the inmates. Guess they should have thought twice before taking in good old Jack the Clown. Story is simple…Jack comes in, drives the crazy insane, and you are there for a full-scale riot. Even the nurses have gone loony! Many scenes stand out in my mind. The empty hallway that when the lights go out and come back on it’s filled with inmates. Or rather was it the room covered in shit! (Smelled real…IT SMELLED REAL!!) Or the hulking juggernaut that followed Seras out telling her he would “eat her babies.” Either way you slice it this house was fun, scary, detailed, and told a fun story. Oh! And it featured the best icon of them all, Jack the Clown.
That is all for now Darlings! Stay tuned tomorrow when we look at the best Scarezones!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
You know kiddies, there really was a few more things that I could have mentioned about Halloween Horror Nights 22 that I didn’t. Things that didn’t really translate to the review like personal experience, things we all did, or you know that stuff. I’d like to take the time to share at least 3 cool stories from HHN 22 with you…why? Because I feel like a bum when I’m not doing something on this site for you people to read! lol ENJOY!
Every year we have ever gone to HHN, we have a had a little goofy joke that follows us around all night. One year it was something about the JAWS Ride (Miss you Bruce)! Another year it was about my bro getting scared by a duck call! This year we may have created something for the ages. Yes, Encyclopedia Psychotika is the front-runner in a new way to completely diffuse a scareactor situation. What is it you ask? SIMPLE!!! Emergency Gangnam Style! Ever find yourself in the midst of a horde of scareactors? I know you have this year ((wink wink nudge nudge)), and I bet you got the p[ants scared off you. Well if you want to prevent further loosing of ones pants, follow these simple steps. Set up a sign with your friends. Ours was doing the lasso loop in the area and yelling “Opa Gangnam Style!” Then do the dance! ((See below for music video to learn the dance moves.))Simple as that! No scareactor can resist it. You never know…you may get them to follow in some sort of weird flash mob. Wanted to do it with all of the Walkers but…wasn’t in the cards. If I find video of it, I will post it. We were doing it all night that night.
Another thing about that night I feel necessary to mention is, if you ever have the chance to go to HHN on a full moon…do it! I looks awesome! The atmosphere is like ramped up all the way, you just have no idea. The only thing that could have made it more perfect would have been it being a bit cooler. unfortunately, it was hot as balls outside! But the full moon…with the graveyard…and the Walkers…It just kind of made things 20% cooler (Yes I went for a MLP reference while talking about HHN and I don’t give a hoot!) The only downside I for see for you is….crazy shit happens on a full moon. I mean we ended up having such a rough time getting there because of what I like to call “Full Moon Madness.” Now before all of you go thinking I’m weird an superstitious…I’m not that bad. “Full Moon Madness” is the phenomenon that happens because everyone else is that superstitious and let’s it be an excuse to act stupid. Fools forget how to drive, forget how to act…like they lost their freakin’ mind! Wasn’t so bad that night, but man it could have been worst I’m sure. Just thought I would throw the warning out there before a bunch of people try to go to HHN on a Full Moon and blame little old me.
You know funny thing is I swear I had more to talk about. As I have been sitting her typing a few paragraphs and retyping them…I really can’t remember. This kiddies, is why you should always make sure you have a pen and paper handy. Oh and don’t try to watch Power Rangers while typing an article…That helps too! Well I have managed to procrastinate house work for another little bit. Time to get off my ass and do something constructive. Have a fun day Freaky Darlings!
Until Next Time My, Freaky Darlings,
Happy October, My Freaky Darlings! It’s that time again! The joyous time of year where all of us freaks, madmen, monsters, and weirdos feel are just a little more accepted (Not that it really matters!) Well, a week ago we made our annual trip to Halloween Horror Nights. I have to say another great year down, was a shaky start at first with lack of website among other things. They really surprised me this year though. Not to say it was perfect, but definately some of my favorite houses. I will warn, this year I didn’t make it to the shows. Funds being what they were, we just couldn’t go Express (Something that will be remedied next year!) The last couple of years though I haven’t been too impressed with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure anyway…so no big deal. Would have really enjoyed 20 Penny Circus, but alas it wasn’t in the cards. Let’s stop the dilly with the dally and jump into this thing huh?
No Escape…Halloween Horror Nights 22
7) Universal’s House of Horrors– I really wanted to like this house more. I loved the concept, I think there was a lot of room for good scares. I did receives at least two really good scares. I just think it could have been better. What made me have a bad taste about this one? Simple! The house scenes and everything were done in UV paint. I know what they were going for, trying to make you feel as if you were walking into the living film, it just could have been better. In fact, I really feel houses like this are lazy. To top it off, there was no facade. You just walked into the beginning scenes which were very much like the beginning to All Nite DIE-in: Take 2. What was the reason for this house being so thrown together? Again…Simple! Remember a couple of months back when I reported that the seventh house was going in SS44? I have no proof, but it’s my opinion that this house really was thrown together pretty quick. I never did find anybody who posted a building permit for that location. Also looking around, the floats that were supposed to be housed in that area were next to it in a rather temporary storage. Not bad if they did throw it together last minuet…but it had room for improvement.
6) Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare– This house was a lot better than people give it credit! I love Alice Cooper and his style of shock. This house displayed that nicely…Alice’s own personal brand of madness. Why so low on the list then? Well that’s just how good the other houses were! I managed to go through with a real energetic cast. You had twisted nurses, asylum patients, angst teens, and of course Steven and Alice. The theory was you walked through several of his greatest hits showing the personification of the songs themselves. My only real problem was I wanted more! I think the one in Hollywood was better. I know they wanted to make it different, but maybe they should have made it the same. At any rate, don’t miss it…Alice will know! (P.S…Keep an eye to the writing on the walls for a hint to what you are about to see next. If you’re an Alice Cooper Fan…you’ll know.)
5) Silent Hill– First house of the night and really set the pace. I love Silent Hill and I love this house. I was in total fanboy overload!! The nurses, the music, the other creepy tidbits…every Silent Hill fans dream. Even managed to catch Pyramid Head, which Seras tried to take home…I think she scared him. The best parts are the opening scene and facade, the janitor scene (which is very disturbing to say the least), and Pyramid Head. Really wish there would have been more of him. You did have a mess load of nurses though…I suppose that made up for it. Room for improvement? Maybe a little more energy on the scareactors part. As far as design wise, Universal possess tech to make it ten fold scarier. Maybe when they optioned the rights, they got a few more years out of it…and this won’t be the last we will see of good ol’ Silent Hill. One could hope! Either way…don’t miss it!
4) Penn & Teller New(Kd) Las Vegas– For a funny house this was higher on the list because A) it was trippy B) it had surprisingly good scares C) the interactive aspect D) Penn and Teller paid my $40 bucks to bump it up! LOL Just Kidding…they gave me $10 and thats why it’s #4! Anyway, this was the best of the typical fun houses I have been though. For years, Psychoscarapy: Home for the Holidays was my favorite…this house dethroned it. In this house you will find everything you love about sin city…everything you love horribly irradiated with nuclear waste. You see, Penn and Teller aren’t the kind of people to let a little thing like nuclear waste get them down…NO!! In fact the see the wonderful opportunity to turn a negative into a positive…and make some cash on the side. My favorite parts in this house is the kitchen scene and then the wedding scene. Both got me good…some more than others…Seras. Would have been higher on the list if we would have went the week before when Penn and Teller were actually there!!! Would have been number one!!!
3) Gothic– You know I almost skipped this house? We were running low on time, and so far all night I hadn’t heard any good things about this one. We ended up lucking out though and hit Gothic and Dead End last minuet…I would have been mad if I had missed it. I was taken away by how cool this house really was. You really felt like you walked onto the site of an old cathedral being renovated. So many good scares…I really lost count! Kudo’s to the Gargoyle that got into the Italian “Eh!” match with me…you made my night. I absolutely loved the candle scene, the catwalk scene, and the nice midnight stroll on the roof. You will be scared in this house and you will be taken away by the beauty at the same time (Pretty much how they get you! Bait and Switch!) This house again proving that Uni doesn’t require fancy movie and TV properties to scare the crap out of you…however…the next house sort of ruins what I just said…
2) The Walking Dead: Dead Inside– This is THE perfect zombie house…never will there be anything more accurate for a zombie house or scarezone. So many emotions felt in one house! Universal was able to bring to life The Walking Dead in a way I never though possible. The scenes that you walk through are every bit as iconic as they are in the show. You really never know when a walker is going to come at you. Could be here…could be there! The very end is my favorite part. Let’s say…i think they were lying when they said House of Horrors had more scareactors in a single scene…wait till you get to the end of this one. Without giving too much away…let’s say your personal bubble is greatly reduced and if you are afraid of zombies…your going to love this. Don’t miss it…as a matter of fact…go through it twice!!!
1) Dead End– Well we are at the end of the count down…may favorite house of the year. Another one I nearly didn’t get too. Boy I’m glad I went. Really wish I could have moved into this old house…it has a certain character…By character I mean it scares the piss right out of you at every turn. By far the most scares in one house all night. This is why it got number one!! Could tell whether it was all the things that weren’t what they seemed…or the glowy white ghost that get’s you at every turn…but this house just got me! And that’s rare!!! Do not…and I repeat…do not miss this house! It will become your White Buffalo. I can’t even peg down a favorite scene it was that good. I suppose the scenes with the glowy white ghost were the best…BEWARE OF THE GLOWY WHITE GHOST!!!
I will touch on this real quick. I wasn’t big fan of the idea of roaming hordes of scareactors. The no scarezone idea had been tried before in 07′ and failed horribly. This year made me a believer. You never know who is going to catch you and where they are just kept moving all night. What I thought was even cooler was the music queue was moving all night. They actually moved the sound track to fit who was in the area…nice touch. I also loved that fact that when I was amongst the vampires…I was mistaken as scareactor…like 20 times! Had three pictures taken of me…(I hope they caught my good side!) I really wish I would have gotten more pictures of them for you, but that night was hectic…little one was sick, no express passes, having to rush whilst being worried…pictures were just not on my mind this year. I will add what I have though to the Encyclopedia Psychotika Facebook page though if you want to have a look. I think my favorites ended up being the Vampires (Real surprise there!)
In closing, this was a good year to go. I definitely felt like it was money well spent. Can’t wait for next year, and wish I could go again this year! As I said i was not able to hit the shows. My dear friend Samhain however was able to hit Bill and Ted, so maybe she will be so kind as to send me a small review. Also!! I will be collecting some reviews from our fellow cast of weirdos that went with us, and post them as well…why just take my opinion on the night…right? (Hee Hee That rhymed) Stay tuned for more madness to come!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
P.S I re-preposed to Seras under the archway to the cemetery….SHE SAID YES!! CONGRATS TO ME!!
Holy Shit on a carbuncle!! It has been ages since I have anything new to say about Halloween Horror Nights! A bit slow to the punchline they’ve been this year! Top that with massive amounts of depression, massive amounts of happiness, total loads of debauchery, and boat load of liquor and what you get is quite possibly the biggest bi-polar orgasm the world has ever seen!!! AT ANY RATE!!! We have some Halloween Horror Nights 22 business to get down to…let’s begin!
Theme and Icon:
This year really doesn’t have one. No icon…No theme. Well I suppose with the list of houses you could say the Theme is AWESOME!! One word with a shit load of exclamation points! What I’m taking from all of this is they are trying to strip the event down to the basics…haunted houses. Maybe they are trying to see if they can survive on the mazes alone. Maybe I’m over thinking it and they were a bit busy. Maybe they spent have the year pulling the pud and threw this stuff together at the last-minute! I DON’T KNOW!! What I do know is, they have a hell of a house line up and this is all I really have to say on this bullet point…moving on!
I look forward to this year in and year out. After one HHN falls I begin the wait for the next…the only thing that tides me over is the website coming active over the summer. So what do I think of the website this year? DAMN PATHETIC!!! No Games…No Extras…And they made us all wait until a month before the event to give us anything!!! Uni this is not your A-Game in this area. As craptastic as 19’s website was, it was still better than a hallow frame-work! Shame on you!!! The lack of website could be explained by the lack of theme…but still…a game or two wouldn’t have killed ya!
As you might have guessed I’m saving the best for last…the houses. However, I’m impressed with the shows (or rather the new show!) Yeah they only ever add one show, and I’m cool with that. As long as it’s not the bad 30 minuet mockery of Rocky Horror Picture Show…or freakin’ Brian Brushwood…I’m cool. The 20 Penny Circus looks like the perfect act to fit in with HHN. Bill and Ted has been hit and miss the last couple of year to be honest. Last year was good, but still not up to snuff from years like 05′-07′. Maybe they will pull out some stops this year. Just look at what has been in pop culture for 2012…and there you have it!
**If you would like to know more about 20 Penny Circus, check out their Facebook page HERE
Not to thrilled to say this but I will. there will be no set zones this year. Yep, all of the barriers are down! If someone wants to chase you from one end of the park to the other…they can! One thing that does have me excited is that supposedly there is going to be no personal space. They can touch you. Now in years past, I’ve had scareactors do this anyway…so I’m curious as to how this will all pan out. The only thing is they tried this back in 07′, and it didn’t work. Maybe this year will be different, It’s anyone’s guess. The different “hordes” of scareactors include: Vampires, Warriors, Prisoners, Traditionals, Beasts, and a new breed The Iniquitus. At least the scareactors sound interesting…
As I am writing this HHN Crypt posted on their Facebook page some photos of the street elements for this years event. I’m a little impressed. They are going to have some sort of set dressing. It appears that the Walking Dead: Dead Inside will spill out onto the street with a walker area. Other areas look to be taken over by cemetery. There was also some pictures of vampire posters posted. I’m a little more hopeful.
The meat an potatoes of this article…the moment you have been waiting for…my pre-ranking for this year’s event!! Now, yesterday was the media preview, and I’ve seen a bit. So far I’m impressed with what I have seen. Thank you to all the websites that were there and spread the word over the internet. So here we go…
7) Gothic- The only reason I’ve ranked this last is I don’t know much about it like I do the rest. The premise is there, to be honest I think it will be cool…I’m just not convinced it will be better than the other ones. I could be very wrong with this house, but hey I’m ready to be proved wrong. Just something doesn’t seem that scary about Gargoyles…not sure what it is.
6) Dead End– I’ve seen very interesting things about this house. However, I can’t rank it that high because this house was done two years ago. I think I will like it, because I liked that house! I love the real hidden scares. Sneaky is good…I just hope I don’t keep getting the feeling of Deja Vu.
5) Penn & Teller New(kd) Vegas- I only put this one here because I know it’s going to be a fun house. I can’t very well put a fun house in a pre-rank above some of the phenomenal looking ones. You never know though, Penn and Teller are who they are. The thought of it being a fun house could prove to be a load of…well…Bull Shit!
4) Alice Cooper- Welcome to My Nightmare- I have seen the walk through of Hollywood’s version of this last year. Damn impressive! HHN meshes so well with Alice Coopers particular brand of rock music. The godfather of shock rock’s HHN maze may prove to be quite…shocking! Alice Cooper said it best with his announcement, “Welcome to my nightmare…I think you’re gonna like it!”
3) The Walking Dead- I’m going out on a limb making this my number 3. I wanted to make it 2 or 1 but the other two have my attention more. At the core of it this house is still a zombie house. I’m not saying it won’t stand out against other zombie houses. Far from it! There are some pretty iconic scenes in this house. My problem is with the fact it’s going to be a walk through of those scenes instead of a linear house. I could be wrong, but that’s the fun of these things…
2) Universal’s House of Horrors- This one…this is one to watch. The news on this house is there will be two firsts. One is a scene in which you have to crawl on your hands and knees while scareactors loom over head. The second achievement comes in the final room of the house. Supposedly it will set a record for the most scareactors in a single scene. It would also appear that the house will be in Black and White, I’m not sure though. Why not number one you ask…well I’ll tell you!
1) Silent Hill- I have been hoping and dreaming for this house since the first time I ever went to a HHN back in 2005. Silent Hill offers so much to a haunted house…it’s like the game was practically made to be put in other mediums just to be awesome! I can wait to feel the ash, to see the foggy scenes, to be nearly sliced to death by a nurse, and have my skin taken off by Pyramid Head. This house just has so much going for it. They didn’t reveal a whole lot media night (and you could tell it!) This makes me one excited Psychopath!
Well this article has taken me a lot longer to write than usual. Lot’s of stuff has been going on lately and to be honest I’m still trying to get back into the routine. At any rate, we will be at Halloween Horror Nights 22 on Sept. 28th doing the Annual Passholder thing. The group will be there with our freak hats on, so you won’t miss us. Everyone from Myself, to Seras, to ArnieFreeze!! We even have some new comers going with! Good friend Samhain and Magic Bob!! So come on out, say hello, get scared, and get your mug posted on a website!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
Special Thanks to all of those that went to the Media Preview night and provided everyone with the awesome video and photo thrills. You help make the wait go a lot less painfully. Encyclopedia Psychotika thanks the following Screamscape, Inside the Magic, HHN Nightmares, Behind the Thrills, Attractions Magazine, and HHN Crypt. You guys get the best info!