Guests at the Spooky Empire convention this month who are Halloween Horror Nights fans were treated to a special panel featuring some of the women who design the iconic annual fright event.
Women Behind the Horror: A Halloween Horror Nights Panel
Five women who help design Halloween Horror Nights every year at Universal Parks around the world were welcomed to Spooky Empire 2023 in Orlando to talk about their annual roles and their place as women in the industry.
You can watch the full panel above, which took place on May 19, appropriately located at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando.
Speaking were Keirsten Kupiec – Director of Art and Design and Moderator of the panel, Kelly Malik – Show Director Creative Development, Kerstin Mais – Art Manager, Emily Blumenhour – Character Designer, and Stephanie Masco – Makeup Designer. During the panel, they discuss the women that impact Halloween Horror Nights, from Creative to Production to Technical, as well as what they love about their jobs and how it feels to be a woman in the Horror genre, and much more.
Halloween Horror Nights 32 Speculation Map
Horror Night Nightmares has shared a speculation map last month for Halloween Horror Nights 32 at Universal Studios Florida, featuring several differences from the first speculation map released by Horror Night Nightmares.
The only speculated show is Nightmare Fuel, which will likely be changed to differentiate it from the last two versions. Three scare zones are still unknown but one is labeled “The Last of Us” and another is “Holidayz.” Holidayz in Hell was a scare zone at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights 2018 and then a maze at Halloween Horror Nights 2019.
Here are the houses listed on this speculation map:
- The Exorcist: Believer
- Demon Slayer
- Pentagram (original)
- Dragon (original)
- Carnival (original)
- Universal Studios Monsters: Paris
- “The Last of Us”
- Devil (original)
There’s not much known about the original houses or the “top secret” IP, but here are the houses we do know a bit about:
Chucky is currently the only house that has been confirmed. A frequent flier at HHN, Chucky hasn’t had his own house in Florida since 2009 (but he did have a scare zone at HHN28. He’s made many appearances in between, including a photo op for the past two years. He did get a house the past three Horror Nights events at Universal Studios Japan.
The Exorcist: Believer
“The Exorcist” haunted mazes appeared at Universal Studios Hollywood in Halloween Horror Nights 2016 and 2021. A haunted house was part of Halloween Horror Nights 26 at Universal Studios Florida.
“Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba” is a Japanese manga that ran from February 2016 to May 2020 and was adapted into an anime beginning in 2019. The anime’s third season premiered this month. The franchise has never had a presence at Halloween Horror Nights, but it’s not a bad contender for a potential house. It did have a special VR ride overlay in Japan a couple of years ago when the smash box office hit movie came out.
Universal Studios Monsters: Paris
There have been many houses featuring the Universal Studios Monsters throughout the past 31 years, and given their place in the hallows-eve halls of horror, their inclusion is not a surprise. This also follows the trend of the past few years. We had Universal Monsters in 2019, Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein in 2020 & 2021, and Universal Monsters: Legends Collide in 2022. A Parisian Monsters house could feature the Phantom of the Opera.
“The Last of Us”
“The Last of Us” is an HBO TV series (based on a video game) that is currently garnering viral popularity. While not a confirmation, Pedro Pascal (who plays Joel Miller, one of the series’ leads) likened the filming experience to “an extreme version of Halloween Horror Nights.” However, it’s worth noting that “The Last of Us” was also on last year’s first Universal Studios Florida speculation map but didn’t come to be — a good reminder to take the speculation map with a side of skepticism. The listed houses are rumors, and the plans can (and do) change at the last minute.
No longer speculated to be part of Halloween Horror Nights 32 are these houses:
- The Horrors of Blumhouse: M3GAN / Insidious
- Lair of the Banshees
- Devil Dogs
As always, these speculation maps should be taken with a grain of salt as they are just speculation and plans are always liable to change.
Are you excited to hear about the women who impact Halloween Horror Nights? Let us know in the comments below!