Halloween Horror Nights ended it’s 26th season with two extra nights this past weekend. It gave fans one last chance to see their favorite houses, dance along with Academy of Villains and take one last Chance. Naturally, we can only imagine that since the event is over, that means that planning for HHN 27 at Universal Orlando has already begun. So, naturally we’ve already started speculating on what we could possibly see for the 2017 haunt season, and boy do we have some doozies.
Now before we jump in, keep in mind that this is all 100% speculation. That is all. We don’t have the inside track on anything, and if we did, we wouldn’t tell you! This is all speculation and it’s all for fun’s sake. If this happens to be true, just call it luck. But, remember that whatever we happen upon, it is not officially happening until Universal announces it first.
A case for something Iconic
We loved Chance this year. She was a great addition to the overall feel of the event, though she was lost in the marketing to the stellar line up of horror icons. Can we also be honest for a second here? Halloween Horror Nights exists for one reason…to bring people through the gates. If an Icon doesn’t fit that mission, it’s not going to happen. With Universal bringing in big name horror films, they don’t really need to invest in an icon. Things like American Horror Story, the Walking Dead and The Exorcist sell themselves. You might want an icon, because you’re a long time fan, and that’s how it first started for you (my first Icon was the Director, it was glorious) but HHN has evolved since then. There’s a good chance that they will not have an icon unless they can justify it. This year came off of a massive year with Jack, and Chance does look a good bit like Harley from Suicide Squad so it worked out very well.
With that said, it was brought to our attention by a friend (here’s your credit Tommy) that Universal could have been hiding who they have planned for the next icon under our nose the whole time.
Amazing, right? Oh…you don’t see it? Let’s take a closer look at that nose piece, shall we?
Do you see it now? I didn’t either at first but if you look at the markings in the nose, it just happens to look like a long forgotten icon that was supposed to be used, but was scrapped due to the terrorist attacks of 2001. Still don’t see it?
If you look at the image in the nose, and you compare it to the lost icon, Eddie, then you can see a good resemblance between the markings on his face. But that’s just fan speculation, right? No way it could be. Okay, you’re right.
But then there’s this guy running around the Chance in Hell Scare Zone. Mask? Clownish paint? Yeah, still a stretch. But wait…THERE’S MORE!
This year at HHN, there was a great interactive haunt called The Repository. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to see it, simply because it wasn’t there opening weekend. Bummer. From all reports though, it was amazing. It was also a little bit of a look into Legendary Truth. Legendary Truth has been an interactive element of HHN since 2005. They’ve done in park games, online puzzles and tons of amazing stuff that completely immerses fans into the story of HHN. This year they’ve had a nemesis…or should we say Nemusus. A counter organization to Legendary Truth has been trying to expose LT as frauds and thieves. They’ve been tossing out clues and puzzles of their own. Sunday, they tossed out this little clue.
A picture of a can of chainsaw oil. While the most rabid of fans were concentrating on the signature, which is an Easter Egg to fans of Legendary Truth, it was overlooked that it was chainsaw oil. The chainsaw is the tool of choice of our pal Eddie. Is it all the proof we need? No. With Legendary Truth, nothing is ever as it seems, and there’s always something else hidden. BUT it was shown after the event had ended. It was hiding in plain sight. It does match up with the other things we’ve seen. We’re going to say that IF there is an icon in 2017, there’s a pretty good chance that we could finally see Eddie, the chainsaw wielding horror fanatic, who happens to be the brother of Jack, return home to HHN in Orlando.
Let’s talk Houses
Alright, the heart of HHN is of course the houses. This year was a pretty good mix of new horror, old horror and original stuff. It was also the 35th anniversary of Halloween 2, and the 40th of The Exorcist 2 (there were nods to this film in the HHN house). There was also what felt like a passing of the torch with American Horror Story from The Walking Dead. What could we see?
- The Walking Dead- This year felt like a great goodbye to The Walking Dead. It was a huge house, it was really good, and it was a “best of”. Will they attempt to do another house in 2017? I’m feeling no. The show is still popular, but it’s got wear marks on it now. The focus of the mazes have always been on the zombies. The show is getting further and further away from the zombie element, and more on the human element. We don’t think Walking Dead is done 100%, but with a year round haunt in Hollywood we have a very good feeling that it will take a break in Orlando.
- American Horror Story- Can we have it back? Good god, this was an amazing house! It perfectly did everything that a house based on a series should. It picked the best parts of each season and ran crazy with them. The rumor is that it will be back, and it will focus on the remaining three seasons in the series. Even though fans whine about Walking Dead coming back, they clamor for this series. The reason? This house was done the right way, right out of the gate. Asylum, Coven and Roanoke could all be coming next year…or we could start to see just one season at a time. I’d be okay with either one
- IT/Stephen King- There’s a new IT film coming out, with an overly creepy Pennywise in 2017. It’s been widely rumored that Stephen King hates the idea of haunted houses based on his films, but is that really true? We hope not. The new film could open itself to an amazing take on the new film, and we could see some really creepy ass clowns walking around the park. It could also open the door to some more great Stephen King adaptations, like The Mist, Christine and more. We don’t think we will ever see The Shining make it as a house, simply because King HATES the film adaptation with a passion. It is, ironically, more popular than the book version.
- The Conjuring- This film’s second chapter was even better than the first. It is spawning another spin-off based on the creepy nun. The first film spawned Annabelle, based on the creepy doll. That creepy doll is getting a sequel, and Conjuring 3 is in the works. We could very well see the house make it, but what story will it take?
- The Halloween Tree- Alright, before you say it, yes…it’s a kids book. BUT it has everything in it that a good Halloween story needs. The book by Ray Bradbury turns 45 next year, and it’s about time it gets the HHN treatment. After all, many great things that we’ve seen in the park have been borrowed from the book. If you’re not familiar with it, the book tells the story of a group of friends who go trick or treating one night, only to find their friend really sick. He essentially is about to die. The group finds a mysterious tree full of pumpkins, and they end up chasing their friend across time, all while learning the meaning of Halloween and it’s use in cultures over time. This house could definitely take some of the themes from that, and use them either in scare zones or in a house. Personally, I would love to see a house where you walk into a yard with a tree full of Jack o Lanterns. You then go from civilization to civilization, from Druids, to the Irish and even the Mexican Day of the Dead. Yes, it does twist things a little by having everyone scare, but man it would be a beautiful take on a story that encapsulates Halloween. We don’t need to make it kiddish, it can still have all the creep factor of a normal HHN house. The team toyed with the idea before with The Hallow, and had all manner of great Halloween traditions, and lore built into it. They could expand on that. Mostly, I just want to see a giant Jack o Lantern filled tree.
So, what do you hope to see from Halloween Horror Nights 27? We will update with more articles as the time gets closer, and as details start to leak out.