by Regina Heffington
Ever hear of “Counterphobia”? It is “the preference of a phobic for fearful situations”.
Do you happen to know someone with this condition? No?
You can meet hundreds of “Counterphobics” if you visit Halloween Horror Nights 23 at Universal Studios this year. I know they are phobics because I overheard many of their conversations while standing outside the Universal gates with others in the media awaiting our R.I.P. guide to escort us into the park.
These discussions all centered around their fear of unknown noises, ghosts, gore, dismemberment, knives, guns and zombies. Yet, there they were – standing in the queue, all awaiting (with great anticipation, mind you) their entrance into this “hub of horror” with their “ticket to terror” in hand.
This year, HHN is crawling with “walkers” who pop up … well, anywhere. Be sure to keep looking over your shoulder as you make your way through the park – and keep an eye on every shadow. If you need a safe haven during your visit, the several “bar stations” located all over Universal are good places to stand … well, most of the time, that is. Keep in mind nothing within Halloween Horror Nights is meant for small children – this is all grown-up stuff!
Universal’s Entertainment team collaborated with the creators of AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Horror video game series Resident Evil and critically-acclaimed horror films “Evil Dead,” ”The Cabin in the Woods” and “An American Werewolf in London” to bring the elaborate haunted houses to life.
There are eight new Haunted Houses – and as a member of the Media, I was able to visit each one that evening.
Holy Underpanticus Destroyium! … I was screaming like a little girl all the way through them … or was it the man behind me? … or the beheaded female corpse I almost stepped on? … maybe it was all three of us. We weren’t the only ones, either – just look at what’s in store for you inside these haunted houses this year at Halloween Horror Nights:
The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven
Walk in the footsteps of the survivors as Season 3 of AMC’s horror hit relentlessly attacks you from all sides. Stay alert as walkers could trap you anywhere along your journey from the town of Woodbury to the claustrophobic confines of the derelict prison.
Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City
Raccoon City is overrun with Umbrella Corporation’s most terrifying experiments—and the only option is complete destruction. You’ll need to duck and dodge Lickers, Hunters, and Nemesis himself if you have any chance of escaping Capcom’s video game terrors before missiles send everything back to hell.
Relive “The Most Terrifying Film You Will Ever Experience” as gruesome Deadites try to possess your soul. There is nowhere to hide as every creaking floor board and tangled vine is ready to pull you down, making you one with the Evil Dead.
The Cabin in the Woods
Experience a live recreation of the film that ripped the horror genre inside out. Beneath the cabin’s rustic appearance lies a secret facility that unleashes terrifying beings that you thought only existed in nightmares.
An American Werewolf in London
Based on the John Landis horror classic, you’ll travel to the Slaughtered Lamb, experience the gruesome wolf attack on the moors, and live the chaos of Piccadilly Circus. Beware the moon because tonight it brings only death.
Urban Legends: La Llorona
She is known as the weeping woman. To hear her mournful cries sends chills colder than the murky, watery depths she drowned her children in. Forced to eternally walk the earth, she seeks others to share her pain and suffering, now and forever.
Afterlife: Death’s Vengeance
Serial killer, Bobby “The Blade” Galletta, is about to meet Ole’ Sparky. 2000 volts are going to send him into a horrific realm of pain and suffering. His victims are bound to turn Bobby’s afterlife into an unimaginable and infernal torment.
Hang on tight aboard a militaristic train convoy that is secretly transporting the “Dogs of War”—a genetically engineered super soldier outfit. These bloodthirsty maniacs are only bent on mayhem and destruction of a speeding train. This is Havoc!
If you’re thinking you’ll be out of harm’s way as you walk between the haunted houses, think again. This year marks the first time Universal Orlando has dedicated its entire Halloween Horror Nights street experience to a top name in pop culture. The scare zones you will be walking through are the iconic scenes of all three seasons of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” – such as the overrun city of Atlanta and Hershel’s Barn complete with fleets of flesh-hungry walkers.
To provide a respite from all the gore, Universal Orlando is presenting two shows this year at Halloween Horror Nights 23:
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure
Party on as those two most excellent dudes return to skewer the biggest stories of the past year with the biggest names in pop culture.
Rocky Horror Picture Show – A Tribute
Let’s do the Time Warp again! Rock out to clips from the classic cult film with your favorite Transvestite, live tribute performers, and audience participants.
I have recovered somewhat since my visit to this thrilling event a few days ago. I still have my head, my soul and most of my body parts. Plus, I DID overcome a phobia while experiencing what Universal Orlando created for this Halloween season. It’s called Urophobia.
This year, don’t miss out on this incredible experience! … grab your family, friends and an extra pair of undershorts and embrace the dark side at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 23.
Universal's Halloween Horror Nights 23
by Regina Heffington