FULL TOUR: Step Into the Comics of Your Nightmares at the Halloween Horror Nights 32 Tribute Store

Katie Francis

FULL TOUR: Step Into the Comics of Your Nightmares at the Halloween Horror Nights 32 Tribute Store

The theme for the Halloween Horror Nights 32 Tribute Store is a journey through comic books featuring your wildest nightmares springing to life on each page. With the Tribute Store back in New York, there are once again four highly themed rooms to explore.

We’ve compiled a full tour of the tribute store below.

Halloween Horror Nights 32 Tribute Store

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We already detailed all of the references and Easter eggs in the comic book shop façade of the Tribute Store.

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Some of the past Halloween Horror Nights characters referenced include Charlie McPherson, the subject of the Dead Exposure house at Halloween Horror Nights 18: Reflections of Fear, and Detective Boris Shuster, who worked with Charlie and was also featured in Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth, a Halloween Horror Nights 30 house.

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The display windows also feature Universal Monsters and Earl the Squirrel.

Entrance – McPherson’s Collectibles

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In the entryway are shelves of comic books and cases of merchandise. On the counter and walls are posters, including one for the Summer Music Fest that acts as the setting for Vamp ’69, the scare zone that will be right outside the Tribute Store.

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An album mounted on the wall features Hollow Hills Cemetery, which we’ll circle back to in the next room. There’s also an ad for Spooky Sounds of Halloween featuring Earl the Squirrel.

The fake store is McPherson’s Collectibles. Charlie McPherson was a photographer who was being treated by Dr. Mary Agana, a.k.a. Bloody Mary, when he began seeing horrific images whenever he took pictures. Bloody Mary’s unorthodox treatments trapped McPherson in Dead Exposure, a nightmare realm guests journeyed through that featured a zombie apocalypse illuminated by the flashbulb of Charlie’s camera.

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In this display case are several Universal Monsters action figures.

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On the counter is an action figure of The Curator, a brand-new character, although his design is inspired by another spooky storyteller: The Cryptkeeper.

The Cryptkeeper was Halloween Horror Nights’s first real “icon” at HHN V in 1995. He led the event with Cryptkeeper’s Dungeon of Terror house. He returned in 1996 with The Crypt Keeper’s Studio Tour of Terror and The Crypt Keeper’s Festival of the Dead Parade. Fourteen years later, he was back in the HHN: 20 Years of Fear scare zone. At Halloween Horror Nights 25, he was in the ICONS: HHN scare zone.

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One ad hanging above the counter is for the Boris Shuster novels that have been turned into comics. There are also ads for “Thrilling Wonder Stories.”

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This box contains small films of classics like Woody Woodpecker and Hopalong Cassidy.

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A sticker on the side of the vintage cash register is for Tribute Store Comics.

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On the bottom shelf are real magazines about Universal Monsters.

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The comics available include the following Boris Shuster stories:

  • Terrible Totems
  • Terrors of the Tenement
  • Massacre at the Museum
  • The Lustful Alibi: Beware of a Kitten’s Claws
  • Evidence to the Contrary
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There are also several Tribute to Terror comics and more that we saw in the windows outside:

  • Asylum in Wonderland was a scare zone at Halloween Horror Nights 18 that was turned into a house for Halloween Horror Nights 25.
  • Strange Tales is a reference to HHN 18’s Creatures! house. The comic book cover was featured on the Halloween Horror Nights website at the time. Strange Tales was illustrated by another patient of Mary Agana, Eileen Harrell.
  • Little B-Cide Adventure is a reference to Bugs: Eaten Alive at Halloween Horror Nights 31. The façade was a billboard featuring B-Cide the bee promoting Extermin-Air, a new machine that kills bugs. B-Cide is pictured with Extermin-Air on the comic book cover, too.
  • The In-Between was a house at Halloween Horror Nights 21 that had a comic book façade identical to the comic here.
  • The Rhyme of the Corn comic is a reference to Field of Screams, a corn maze at Halloween Horror Nights XIV. The Rhyme of the Corn was a poem warning guests about the horrors within the maze.

The Rhyme of the Corn, The In-Between, and Asylum in Wonderland comic books were also in Halloween Horror Nights 28’s Seeds of Extinction, which also had a reference to Charlie McPherson. HHN 28 also had a Dead Exposure sequel house, but it wasn’t about Charlie.

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Above the shelves is a display case of monster masks (including Jack the Clown), a Dracula mystery game, and other small items.

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By the door is a cardboard cutout of The Curator.

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A speech bubble next to him reads, “Terrifying New Issue! Available Now!” He holds up an issue of Tribute to Terror.

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Guests then step through the cover of Tribute to Terror, a collection of 4 horrifying stories.

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Each of the following rooms is inspired by one of these original horror stories.

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#1: “Grave Consequences”

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The Curator introduces guests to the first story, saying, “We find ourselves in Hollow Hills Cemetery, on an appropriately creepy evening. Bernie and Jack are local lowflies who are always out to make a quick buck… But tonight, they will learn that their actions may have some seriously…”

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“GRAVE CONSEQUENCES”

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Hollow Hills cemetery was one of the rooms in last year’s Halloween Tribute Store.

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This year, many of the cemetery decorations are flat and painted to look more like the pages of a comic book.

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Flat figures of Bernie and Jack are throughout the room.

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One of them complains, while the other insists they press on.

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The merchandise displays in the center of the room are topped with gravestones and obelisks.

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Comic panels also line the walls, filling in the details of the story.

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The merchandise displays on the walls are surrounded by dashed lines like they can be cut out of the pages of a comic.

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A skeleton pulls itself out of the ground in front of an obelisk.

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Two other large skeletons surround the graverobbers.

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#2: “False Idols: Part 1 — A Boris Shuster Mystery”

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The next story is a Boris Shuster mystery. All of Shuster’s stories are based on real events he experienced.

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The Curator, now dressed in a trenchcoat and fedora, says, “Welcome to the Big Apple! The city that never sleeps… But that doesn’t stop it from having its fair share of… NIGHTMARES! Better beware. This one is a story I like to call…”

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“FALSE IDOLS PART 1”

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Before entering the room proper, guests pass a loading zone platform and a fish person figure hiding in the corner.

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Above the doorway is the glowing window for Shuster Bros. Private Investigations.

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The fish person holds a newspaper declaring “More Strange Sightings in the City, Disappearances on the Rise.”

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This entire section of the Tribute Store is black and white, with a sharp contrast to make even three-dimensional props look like flat comic book pages.

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Projections across the room make it appear as though it’s raining.

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The projections even extend to raindrops hitting the floor.

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There are several missing persons flyers on the walls.

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As guests leave the shipping and receiving door, they enter the Shuster Bros. office. More comic panels and posters are on the walls.

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A magnifying glass sits on the desk.

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It highlights the words “fish people” on a document.

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A desk lamp appears to shine on the desk, although it’s really just painted to look like light.

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There are also streaks of rain painted on the backward window.

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Detective Boris Schuster founded Legendary Truth, an association that investigates the evil behind Halloween Horror Nights. Charlie McPherson’s disappearance led to Schuster’s investigations of Dr. Mary Agana (Bloody Mary). At the same time, Tim Foyle began investigating Schuster’s records in 1991.

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Schuster was amassing information (and writing novels) related to the Legions of Horror and their totems. Using the books and notes, Foyle collected the totems and opened a portal that unleashed unspeakable monsters on October 31, 1991, implying that the horrors he unleashed are the reason behind Halloween Horror Nights, which also began that year.

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There’s a door to the office that figures appear to walk past.

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A silhouette appears in the window.

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The figure’s shadow is even on the floor in front of the door.

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You may be wondering about “Shuster Bros.,” considering a brother has never been mentioned in Boris’ story before.

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Well, according to some of the comic book panels on the walls, this case cost Shuster his partner/brother.

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A Mold-A-Rama in this room lets guests create their own Bride of Frankenstein figure.

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An example figure was not yet on display.

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A set of lockers and suitcases against a wall resembling a subway tunnel.

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Remember this Cthulhu-like figure? We last spotted it in the Boris Shuster window of Universal Studios Florida’s New York.

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The figure is a “cult relic” related to the fish people.

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In the story, Boris is accompanied by a mysterious woman as they hunt down the fish people. They also encounter Obed Guttmann, who has a cane topped with a similar Cthulhu figure.

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This room includes a poster advertising “G.E.R.G.” – Geochronological Error Regulators & Ghosthunters. The group’s mascot is a llama.

Gerg the Llama has been referenced in the past several Tribute Stores. At the 2021 Halloween Tribute Store, a ride operator had a reminder to buy a gift for Greg the Llama. Gregory celebrated a birthday at the 2022 Summer Tribute Store. At the 2022 Holiday Tribute Store, an ad for the Trapper Hat Observation Tower & Petting Zoo said you can meet Gerg the Llama (again celebrating a birthday). A poster at the 2023 Mardi Gras Tribute Store advertised Gerg “The Llama” McWilliams and the Matte Finish Orchestra.

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There’s also a poster for the Dead Coconut Drive-In Theater. Revenge of the Dead Coconut Club will open at CityWalk soon.

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Some “false idols” are displayed as though for sale next to another image of The Curator.

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A Finnegan’s Bar & Grill sign hangs from the ceiling, although you might be more concerned with the giant tentacled monster with glowing red eyes. The monster hangs above the exit of this room.

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On the ground is a figure of Boris facing the creature.

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Hallway of Frights

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Guests transition between the next two rooms through the Hallway of Frights.

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In here, several custom comic books are on display. Universal Studios Florida guests had the opportunity to get their picture on a Tribute to Terror comic book that they will be able to take home at the end of the Halloween season.

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#3: “Pay Up”

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There are more stories to come, and now it’s time to “Pay Up!” The Curator appears in a motorcycle jacket and flat cap, saying, “Ah, Jim’s Diner! A classic join in a classic town. And what’s that I hear? The rumble of motorcycles? The local gang is on their way to pay a visit to old Jim. I have a feeling they may be in for more than just a fine cup of coffee and a slice of cherry pie…”

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A motorcycle is parked next to the Jim’s Diner façade, and guests will actually hear it rumble.

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The comic panels on the walls depict the biker gang arriving at Jim’s Diner.

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There’s a jukebox next to a diner bench.

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Sitting on the bench is a skeletal figure in a trenchcoat and hat.

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He has a sandwich and a knocked-over drink in front of him.

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There’s a Mummy Mold-A-Rama machine.

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A demonic figure is behind a counter with red stools, demanding the bikers “pay up!”

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Lights project green splotches swirling around the demon.

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Another dead person is sitting at the counter.

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At the room’s exit, The Curator says, “Well, kids, looks like they all had to pick up the tab on this one! Crime may not pay, but these criminals certainly did!”

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This is where special snacks are also available.

Snacks

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#4: “Eyes of the Ripper”

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The final story is “Eyes of the Ripper.” The Curator welcomes guests to the Whitechapel District of London in 1888, the year and location Jack the Ripper wreaked terror.

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The room is made up of stone façades with fake windows and missing posters.

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The comic panels tell the story of the Ripper.

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One Jack the Ripper figure with glowing red eyes and a large knife peers out of a doorway.

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Another figure is at the far end of the room, near the cash registers.

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The comic story theorizes Jack the Ripper wasn’t a man, but a monster.

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The description below the last Ripper figure reads:

Whether man or beast, he has never been caught. And to this very day, his identity is a mystery.

So if you find yourself in the Whitechapel area, be sure to check every alley, every doorway, and every corner…

For you never know if the Ripper might still be lurking.

Exit

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Guests exit through a hallway of black and white stone.

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As shown by a street sign that’s half black-and-white and half green, the hallway moves into color as guests return to the real world.

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There are more posters for Dead Coconut Club and the Vamp ’69 scare zone.

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In the vestibule at the end is a medallion machine.

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The medallion designs feature Vecna from “Stranger Things,” the Hellfire club logo also from “Stranger Things,” Chucky, and Lil’ Boo.

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There’s a newsstand by the exit, with more custom Tribute to Terror comics.

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The green newsstand is covered in graffiti and the candy on the shelves is dirty. The Curator sits behind the window.

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There are stacks of newspapers.

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One stack is stained with something reddish-brown.

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Stay tuned for our video tour of the Halloween Tribute Store.

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Author

  • Katie Francis

    Katie is a lover of all theme parks and an avid reader. Her favorite rides are Spaceship Earth and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. You can find her daydreaming of the Florida sun, and you can reach her at katie@wdwnt.com.