Travel Reviews

Published on September 19th, 2018 | by Mark Poliner


Universal Studios Hollywood: Halloween Horror Nights

The 2018 Universal Halloween Horror night was truly fun and exciting. The mazes and attractions were first rate. The entire park was duffed up for an exciting evening. Admittedly, I am not the biggest horror fan, however, my first introduction to the modern horror genre was the original Friday the 13th.

The main highlights were the mazes. This year did not disappoint. Universal offered Stranger Things, the Horrors of Blumhouse, the First Purge, and Poltergeist. In addition to the mazes, there were many attractions located throughout the park. These included Trick or Treat, Hell’s Harvest, Toxic Tunnel, and my favorite, Holidayz in Hell.

I am a big fan of Stranger Things, and the maze did not disappoint. Its use of lighting to recreate the eerie atmosphere Hawkins, Indiana and Upside Down was a pleasure.

Walking to the backlot where the other mazes were, we first went through the Terror Tunnel, a strobe lit passageway with mutants jumping out. This was fun. Next was the Holidayz from Hell, creepy versions of Valentine’s Day, Christmas, St. Patty’s Day, and 4th of July.

Poltergeist was a favorite of mine when I was a teen. This movie was the beginning of many a nightmare filled dream. This maze did not disappoint. It began by entering the house and being confronted with the creature trying to break through the TV. The highlight for me was the skeleton creature in the hall and the tree entering the boy’s bedroom.

The Horrors of Blumhouse was next. A movie franchise I had never heard of or seen, and cannot gauge how well this maze represented the movies. Bottom line, it was fun.

The last maze on the backlot was the First Purge. Although I have not seen any of the Purge movies, the maze was spectacular. The highlight was the receptionist getting her throat slashed, and me getting splashed with blood.

The highlight of the attractions was the dance group Jabbawockeez. The music was loud and heart-thumping riot. The music, the lighting, and the dance moves had the audience on the edge of their seats.

Terror Tram is always a crowd favorite, and this year did not disappoint. This year, Hollywood Harry tells us the story of his Dreadtime Stories. The walking path is split into 5 parts, each with its own narrative of the tale.

As I was leaving the park, we walked through the Trick or Treat attraction. There was a lovely photo-op by the bus. The lighting and costumes were a delight.

Over the many years, this reporter has become jaded by horror houses and does not get scared easily when people jump in front of me. I was able to enjoy myself and had a great time. This was definitely one of the best Horror Nights Universal has put on


Open dates
Halloween Horror nights will be open on select dates from September 14 through November 3rd from 7:00 pm to 2:00 am. On September 16, 20, 26 and November 1st and 2nd are 7:00 pm to 1:00 am.

Buy your tickets online
Universal Link to Horror Nights:
Ticket page:
If you can afford it, buy the express ticket – this means you go in a separate line and save yourself hours of waiting in the regular lines. Also, if you are Handicapped please see separate section below of what Universal offers for their handicapped patrons.



  1. For the first time ever, Universal Studios Hollywood invites kids to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes and go Trick-or-Treating with some of the park’s beloved characters on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 from 10am to 4pm.
    • Halloween-themed characters include Hello Kitty as The Bride of Frankenstein, Illumination’s Minion Monsters, SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star, Scooby Doo and the gang, Curious George, Woody Woodpecker, Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy.
    • Other entertaining activities include a Halloween Party in the Plaza with a live DJ, music, games and costume showcase.


  1. Universal Studios Hollywood invites guests to enter the Upside Down for a daytime “Lights On” experience of the “Stranger Things” maze to see how the popular TV series authentically comes to life nightly at “Halloween Horror Nights.”
    • From Monday, October 29 through Friday, November 2, daytime guests can enjoy self-guided tours of the movie-quality sets featured in the “Stranger Things” maze, all included in the price of daytime admission to the theme park.


  1. Due to popular demand, “Halloween Horror Nights” extends to Sunday, November 4!



Photos by Mark and Eylat Poliner


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