Unmasking the Horror at Universal Orlando: A lights on tour of Gothic, Dead End, and Penn & Teller


Universal Orlando offers a really fun and informational tour during Halloween Horror Nights known as the “Unmasking the Horror” tour. This tour is very reasonably priced for anyone on a budget and offers a variety of perks you wouldn’t normally get during a visit to Halloween Horror Nights.

The tour is $55 per person, plus tax. It offers a lights on tour of three of the seven haunted houses at Halloween Horror Nights 22. The tour lasts approximately two hours, but might run over a bit depending on your group and tour guide. The tour guides are very knowledgeable of the houses and provide you with insights on the houses (which we will cover later in this article). It also offers you the chance to not only see the houses with the lights on, but it offers a rare chance to take as many photos as you desire during the tour. Unfortunately, Universal has  a strict policy against video taping the tour this year, so leave your camera at home or in your car.

We will take you a little bit behind the scenes of Gotic, Dead End, and Penn & Teller. However, we promise you that we won’t spoil everything inside the houses, so if you want to see everything and hear all the fun facts, you’ll have to book the Unmasking the Horror Tour.


Gothic is based on the Notre Dame Cathedral in France. The cathedral is going through a refurbishment, so you will see scaffolding within the house. The Gargoyles do not like that a refurbishment is being done and they are trying to make you leave.

Fun facts:

  • Gothic features 5 animals: Monkeys, Bats, Dogs, Cats and Demons.
  • Each room has it’s own sounds.
  • Only 2 humans in the house (they are bell ringers) based off of Notre Dame Cathedral.
  • A bungee effect was brought back from Forsaken (2011) because the execution did not work well in 2011.
  • Gargoyles in front of the house were originally on Universal’s arches – they are the only 2 that remain out of four.

Photos of Gothic:

Penn & Teller

Penn & Teller is a 3D house. If you’re familiar with these guys, you probably already know they have a bullet trick where they shoot at each other and catch the bullet in their teeth. Instead of a bullet, they decided to go with a nuclear warhead… and it’s gone terribly wrong.

Fun facts:

  • This house contains several “GAT’s”, or Guest Activated Triggers. If you see a blinking button or something tell you NOT to touch it… Hit it…. or pull it.
  • There was once a bible in the room, but Penn & Teller are both atheists, so it was removed and replaced with another book.
  • There are no bunnies in this one.. Penn & Teller believe it’s over cliched. The house also has one scene with clowns.. Can you find them?
  • Siegfried and Ray are referenced in the house, as Penn & Teller knew them very well.
  • Penn & Teller provided Universal Orlando with pictures and other props for use in the house.

Photos of Penn & Teller:

Dead End

Fun facts:

  • The house is based off Carey, Ohio (which is an actual city in Ohio).
  • You’ll find a few references to past years in this house (go through our pictures and see what you can find).
  • “Billy” dolls have been reused in the house that were used in Dead Silence (2007).
  • The story behind the house is based off the Philip Experiment, creating a ghost from a mere thought.
  • Pepper’s Ghost is used several times within the house.

Photos of Dead End:

The Unmasking the Horror Tour is only one of the tours Universal Orlando offers during Halloween Horror Nights. They also offer “RIP Tours”, and the “Arcane Insights Tour”.

To book your Unmasking the Horror Tour, call (407)-363-8295 and select option 2 or email

For more information about Halloween Horror Nights, visit the official website.