Guests can now experience a record-breaking 48 nights of terror at Universal Orlando Resort’s Halloween Horror Nights 2023 (Orlando, Florida). The event will run more nights than ever before, select evenings September 1st – November 4th. This marks the first time the event has been extended past Halloween into November. Additionally, Universal announced another new maze coming to both Orlando & Hollywood – Stranger Things. This year’s petrifying haunted house will transport guests into season 4 of Netflix’s hit series. Visit Hawkins, Indiana, where you will encounter the newest supernatural villain, Vecna, who is hell-bent on obliterating the volatile barrier between the eerie Upside Down and the real world in an attempt to reign supreme. “We’re excited for our fans to live Vecna’s curse as we recreate the iconic and terrifying moments from the show,” added Lora Sauls, Assistant Director, Creative Development and Show Direction at Universal Orlando Resort. Along with the maze announcement, new Stranger Things merchandise became available in Universal Orlando, including hats & t-shirts. Tickets for both HHN Orlando & Hollywood are now on sale, including the multi-night Frequent Fear passes.
The Walt Disney Co. board has extended CEO Bob Iger’s contract through 2026. Iger was initially set to leave at the end of 2024, but the company decided to give him additional time to find a successor. “Bob has once again set Disney on the right strategic path for ongoing value creation, and to ensure the successful completion of this transformation while also allowing ample time to position a new CEO for long-term success, the Board determined it is in the best interest of shareholders to extend his tenure,” Disney board chairman Mark G. Parker said in a statement.
Conventions & Mixers
The Texas Haunters Convention (Mesquite, Texas) occurred this past weekend. Culley Franks spoke with the Haunted Attractions Network at the close of the event to discuss the success of their 5th annual convention. Vendor spaces sold out back in March, with 136 vendors on the exhibit floor. Although the exact numbers have not yet been released, attendance was also up for 2023. For 2024, the event will return to the Mesquite Convention Center; dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks. “The Texas Haunters Convention is stronger than ever,” Franks said, “We have more ideas than we’ve ever had before, and the next three/four years are going to be amazing for the show… We’re only going to grow.”
U.S. Haunts & Events
Southern Screams (Charleston, SC) will return for 27 terrifying nights from September 29th to October 31st. The haunted house will also operate for two special “Lights Out” event nights on November 3rd – 4th. Guests will experience an all-new haunted house attraction, TRAPPED, that will transport them to a sinister small town where visitors go missing without a trace. As the town’s horrifying past reveals an evil truth, will you be the next victim to disappear into the darkness? “We are ecstatic to be back at Holy City Brewing for the 2023 season with our all-new haunted house attraction: TRAPPED at Holy City Brewing! This year’s event will be bigger, better, and badder than ever before and we plan to deliver an immersive and terrifying experience to our guests. You won’t want to miss this one!” said Joseph Spiotta, Director of Talent & Operations at Southern Screams. Tickets are on sale now starting at $20 – $22 for general admission, $35 – $38 for R.I.P. Access. A portion of ticket sales will be donated to local non-profit organizations, including Charleston Animal Society.
The Home Depot has released their Halloween 2023 collection this week. The newest collection, Dead Water, rises from a spooky swamp filled with otherworldly creatures. With a wingspan of 12.5’, the Animated Predator of the Night is the widest Halloween prop ever created by The Home Depot. Other great pieces from the Dead Water collection are the 7.5’ Animated Marsh Monster and the 6.5’ Animated Swamp Fisherman. One of the most technologically innovative pieces in the Halloween lineup is the 7’ Lethal Lily the Witch – eight servo motors used for her head and face make her eerily realistic. Turn your yard into Halloween Town with a 13ft Giant-Sized Animated Jack Skellington ($399). The Home Depot’s classic collection, Grave & Bones, returns this season to represent all things cemeteries, bones, and skeletons. Returning favorites include the 12ft GIant-Sized Skeleton (currently out of stock as of this newsletter’s release) and the 12ft Giant-Sized Inferno Pumpkin Skeleton ($379).
Upcoming Events: July - September 2023
Auditions / Casting Calls
Arx Mortis (Killen, AL) – Ongoing
Blood Prison (Mansfield, OH) – July 30, August 13
Crawford School of Terror (Connellsville, PA) – July 29
Creatures of the Night at ZooTampa (Tampa, FL) – Ongoing
Crooked Descent (Herkimer, NY) – Ongoing
Dark Nights at Hershey Park (Hershey, PA) – July 26 (Atlanta, GA)
The Darkness (St. Louis, MO) – August 16, 17, 28,29, September 5, 6, 9, 16
Darkside Haunted Estates (Middlesex, NC) – Ongoing
The Dent Schoolhouse (Cincinnati, OH) – Ongoing
Demon Acres (Hannibal, NY) – August 27
Eloise Asylum (Westland, MI) – August 11, 12
Erebus Haunted Attraction (Pontiac, MI) – August 19, 26, 29, 30, September 1
Extreme Fear ScareGrounds (Kinston, NC) – Ongoing
Field of Screams KY (Brandenburg, KY) – August 19
Fright Nights WV (Daniels, WV) – Ongoing
Haunted Hills Farm Trail & Hayride (Jasper, GA) – Ongoing
Hinterland Haunted Attraction (Ashley, MI) – Ongoing
Jason’s Woods (Lancaster, PA) – July 22
Nightmare Cleveland (Cleveland, OH) – Ongoing
Scream Hollow (Smithville, TX) – Ongoing
Southern Screams (North Charleston, SC) – July 28, 29
Terror Vault (San Francisco, CA) – August 6
UNDead in the Water (Tampa, FL) – July 27, 29
Woods of Terror (Greensboro, NC) – Ongoing