By Don Gworek
There are “Unmasking The Horror” lights-on backstage tours available for many of the houses of Halloween Horror Nights. Each tour, morning and afternoon, visits three mazes. Here are some of secrets of six of the eight mazes, as seen on Sept 21, 2014.
WARNING: This article contains numerous spoilers. There are spoilers of what can be experienced in this year’s Haloween Horror Nights houses. There are also movie and television spoilers from the shows represented. Some of the photos are also graphic, and may not be appropriate for all ages.
The overall back story is that the Predators have seeded Earth with Alien eggs so the Predator youth have a coming-of-age adventure hunting Aliens. Unfortunately for us, Earth is where we live, and humans are caught in the middle of this conflict.
Most guests are directed to crouch down and exit through a low-ceiling pathway. However, this is not possible or a very uncomfortable position for many guests. If crouching is not for you, the team member at the opening can direct you to a bypass. This is a view looking back at the two pathways. The crouching pathway is at left, the bypass (with no show elements at all) is at the right.
Another very popular maze this year is The Walking Dead: End of the Line. This scene, seen along the queue for the maze, has a story spoiler for guests who are not caught up on episodes of the series. Note the severed head of Hershel. The body at the top right looks a lot like Glenn, but he’s not yet dead on the show, hmmm.
In last year’s Unmasking the Horror tour, mention was made that the creative team decided to hide ravens into each scare zone and maze. The ravens were sort of easter eggs guests could search for, as well as an inside joke by the creative team.
A group realization is that the creative team has done hidden ravens again this year! We quickly started looking for ravens in each maze we toured.
Here’s the raven to find in the Walking Dead maze. When you see a tent, look quickly to the left.
(Note: we could not find a Raven in the AVP maze.)
Overhead are store signs, featuring the surnames of some of the signature event characters of Halloween Horror Nights. For example, “Schmidt” here is Jack Schmidt, better known as Jack the Clown, a hosting character of Halloween Horror Nights over the years.
This gag, of a woman in half, was used a few years ago in the Penn and Teller Las Vegas themed maze. Here at the dollhouse it is a rag doll. The curtains are closed to hide some details, be sure to look for this effect when you tour the maze.
An operational change made early in this maze is switching the hinges on this door, from one side to the other. This was done so that guests are scared forward. Guests stopped when the door opened the other direction, toward the camera.
This radio seems to play as you pass through the alley between two houses. However, the speaker on an actual radio wouldn’t be loud enough to be heard. Arrow points to the actual speaker, which vibrates the window loud enough to be heard like a jingle coming from the radio.
These are just some of the highlights and secrets of this year’s Unmasking the Horror tours. There are several tours per week, with prices starting at $59.99. More information can be found on the Halloween Horror Nights Website.