PHOTOS: Comic Book Shop Halloween Tribute Store Facade Featuring Tons of HHN Easter Eggs at Universal Studios Florida

Shannen Ace

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PHOTOS: Comic Book Shop Halloween Tribute Store Facade Featuring Tons of HHN Easter Eggs at Universal Studios Florida

The 2023 Halloween Tribute Store façade has been installed in the New York section of Universal Studios Florida. This year’s Tribute Store is themed to a “mysterious NYC Comic Book Shop” where guests can “experience the ‘Tribute to Terror’ by stepping into the pages of this original, terrifying, horror comic book.”

2023 Halloween Tribute Store Façade

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The façade covers the J. Stein & Co. sign on the building behind it. The bottom half is green, with two display windows, while the top half is faux gray brick with a “Tribute General” sign painted on it.

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A comic book shop has taken over the old Tribute General store.

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The Tribute General sign states the store was “open seasonally.”

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Four windows with green frames and blinds are to the sides of the sign.

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The two display windows are chock full of Easter eggs, including references to Halloween Horror Nights, past Tribute Stores, and Universal Monsters.

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Painted on the window is “McPherson’s Collectibles Cards & Comics.” We saw the same logo on the teaser in the Jurassic Park 30th anniversary Tribute Store. The name McPherson may sound familiar to fans of Halloween Horror Nights lore…

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Charlie McPherson was the subject of the Dead Exposure house at Halloween Horror Nights 18: Reflections of Fear (2008). The house sent guests through photographer Charlie’s final photographs before his inexplicable disappearance. McPherson, who previously worked with Detective Boris Shuster, was being treated by Dr. Mary Agana (also known as 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 in darkness illuminated by the flashbulb of Charlie’s camera.

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In the left-hand window is the book Case of the Terrible Totems, a Boris Shuster novel, a reference to Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth, a house at Halloween Horror Nights 30.

Detective Schuster founded Legendary Truth, an association that investigates the evil behind Halloween Horror Nights. McPherson’s disappearance led to Schuster’s investigations of Dr. Agana. At the same time, Tim Foyle was another detective who began investigating Schuster’s records in 1991.

Schuster was amassing information (and writing novels) related to the Legions of Horror and their totems. Using the books and notes, Foyle would end up collecting the totems and opening a portal that unleashed unspeakable monsters. He may or may not have died, as we last saw him with light bursting out of his eyes and mouth in Case Files Unearthed: Legendary Truth.

This portal was opened 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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Some of Shuster’s other novels that have been turned into comics on display are:

  • 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 Famous Monsters of Filmland (a real-life magazine) issues featuring some of the Universal Monsters, like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, and the Wolfman.

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There’s also an Asylum in Wonderland comic. This was a scare zone at Halloween Horror Nights 18 that was turned into a house for Halloween Horror Nights 25.

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Image Source: Halloween Horror Nights wiki

Next to Asylum in Wonderland is Strange Tales, 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.

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This kids comic, 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.

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Of course, there are also a few Earl the Squirrel books. On this book, Earl is accompanied by Gerg the Llama, who 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). And a poster at the 2023 Mardi Gras Tribute Store advertised Gerg “The Llama” McWilliams and the Matte Finish Orchestra.

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Other Earl the Squirrel books — which resemble children’s books like Little Golden Books — feature the giant Earl face guests walked through in last year’s Holiday Tribute Store, the Mardi Gras gator, and Earl in front of a traditional haunted house. These were all released as ornaments last year.

Next to the Earl books is a comic called The In-Between. This was a house at Halloween Horror Nights 21 that had a comic book façade identical to the comic here.

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Image source: Universal Orlando

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 actual Rhyme of the Corn comic was 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.

The In-Between, Asylum in Wonderland, and The Rhyme of the Corn comic books were also featured at HHN 28 in Seeds of Extinction.

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Prominently displayed is a Halloween Horror Nights board game we’re crossing our fingers will be available for purchase.

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It resembles a vintage board game, complete with weathering on the corners of the box. For ages 13 and up, it’s a “Survival Horror Adventure” mystery game. The box features silhouettes of past Halloween Horror Nights icons like Jack the Clown, the Usher, the Storyteller, and more.

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Make your way through the park and complete all the houses… if you can. Beware of the scare zones and don’t get left behind. Collect all 10 houses to escape and survive the night!

The game recommends you “never play alone.”

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The board features a Universal Studios Florida map made of squares, leading guests from the entrance to the park through scare zones and houses.

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There are also spaces for a blinky cup (swap cards) and Tribute Store (move again).

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Another Famous Monsters of Filmland issue features King Kong on the cover.

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There are signs in each window stating, “This is a vampire free establishment, no exceptions.” The Tribute Store is located in what will be the Vamp ’69: Summer of Blood scare zone this year.

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In both windows are Tribute to Terror comic book issues, advertising “4 horrifying stories!” Tribute to Terror will be the comic featured inside the Tribute Store.

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In the righthand window is a retro vampire mask next to two cloves of garlic.

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There’s also a retro Frankenstein’s Monster figure.

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He’s the “Gigantic Frankenstein” from the box displayed behind him.

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This box is for a glow-in-the-dark Tribute Facade Black Cat wooden assembly kit. This black cat was the facade of the 2019 Halloween Tribute Store, and a smaller version of the cat was inside the 2022 Halloween Tribute Store. This box was on display at the exit to the store.

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Next to the black cat kit is a glow-in-the-dark Curator action figure, which is marked as new. The Curator is a brand-new character this year, although his design seems 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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There’s also a large cardboard cutout of The Curator holding up a “terrifying new issue” of Tribute to Terror.

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Next to him is a sign saying, “You’ll get trapped in these comic books!”

The Curator is also on the sign advertising the variant comic book covers that guests can get their photos displayed on inside the Tribute Store.

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A poster teases the Halloween deals available at McPherson’s Collectibles:

Celebrate Halloween in Style

Spooky Decor perfect for any Haunted Home, Crypt, or Graveyard!

Sales Daily

Only for the Halloween Season

Act Fast!

Time is running out!

Enter if you dare!

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An album mounted on the wall is volume 1 of “eerie noises, quite chaos, & haunting melodies of the cemetery at night in ‘terror-phonic’ stereo.” The image is of two people entering Hollow Hills Cemetery, which was one of the rooms in last year’s Halloween Tribute Store.

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There’s a T-shirt featuring a skull design for Tribute Store Comics, with “certified fan” across the skull’s mouth.

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Vincent Price as Roderick Usher in “House of Usher” is on another Famous Monsters of Filmland cover.

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Posters on the wall outside the windows advertise “Tribute Comics proudly sold here” and “new releases every week.”

The Tribute Store will open for Halloween Horror Nights 32, which begins on September 1, but be available for guests during the day, too. Annual Passholders can preview the store on August 30.

Watch our video below for a look at the facade.

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