30 Years of Fear – A History of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights: 1997 (Frightmares)

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Welcome back to 30 Years of Fear – A History of Halloween Horror Nights. While we all wait to see if Frequent Fear Passes come back (please!), let’s take a stroll down memory lane to 1997.

1997 – Halloween Horror Nights VII: Frightmares

Bearing the tagline, “You’ll Never Sleep Again,” Halloween Horror Nights VII promised to bring new “Frightmares” to guests. The event extended again, now up to 17 nights.

Image source: HHN Wiki

Regular ticket prices rose about $1.25 across all varieties. Universal once again offered discounted rates for children ages 3-9, even though its sister event at Universal Studios Hollywood had already begun to recommend the event for ages 12+ only.

The Icon

Image source: Sean Corey Adams

While not a traditional Icon by any means, marketing focused on a little green goblin-like creature called Eyegore.

The Houses

Hotel Hell

Image source: Universal Orlando

Hotel Hell was located in the space now occupied by Starbucks, with guests entering in Sting Alley.

Image source: Universal Orlando

Once inside the dilapidated hotel, guests would find themselves at the front desk, as seen in the concept art above. Their journey through the hotel would lead them to confront bellhops, ghosts, and bleeding walls.

Image source: Universal Orlando

There was also an encounter in the hotel kitchen with a murderous chef, as pictured above.

Tombs of Terror


Tombs of Terror was housed in the extended queue for Earthquake: The Big One. The façade, as pictured above in concept art, was an abandoned New Orleans funeral home. Guests encountered all sorts of nefarious beings, including vampires, swamp monsters, and ghosts.


This house was also home to the Rat Lady in 1997.

Universal’s Museum of Horror

Image source: Universal Orlando

Another chapter in the series of Classic Monsters-themed houses under Universal’s marquee, Universal’s Museum of Horror was also located in Soundstage 22 like its predecessors. However, it also featured modern horror movies, such as The Exorcist and Poltergeist.

Image source: Universal Orlando

The Shows

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure VI: The Final Frontier

Image source: HHN Wiki

As you’d expect from the subtitle, this year, Bill and Ted meet characters from “Star Trek,” including Captains Kirk and Picard, a Klingon, and the Borg Queen (pictured below).

Image source: BillandTedOnline.org

In a serious sci-fi showdown, the Wyld Stallyns are joined by Ellen Ripley, The Terminator (yes, again), and the Men in Black. However, the Borg Queen finds her own backup in Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and Darth Vader.

Image source: BillandTedOnline.org

Bill and Darth Vader faced off in an epic lightsaber battle, as pictured above. Of course, the boys reign victorious, with a little help from Batman.

Image source: BillandTedOnline.org

Can you hear them saying, “Let’s rock!” in this photo? Ah, the memories.

Festival of the Dead Parade

Image source: Universal Orlando

The Festival of the Dead Parade returned, sans Cryptkeeper. The float pictured above was a new addition, though the rest of the parade was essentially the same.


Image source: HHN Wiki

Frightmares shared a title with the event, but was just the token rock n’ roll show of the year. It played on the Mel’s Drive-in Stage.


Image source: HHN Wiki

Abra-Cadaver was a magic show with a horror twist hosted in the Animal Actors stage.

The Scare Zones

Midway of the Bizarre

The sole scare zone returned to Amity Island with new carnival games.

We’ll see you next time when we take a look back at Halloween Horror Nights VIII.

For more Halloween Horror Nights history, check out the rest of the series below.

1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999

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