Review of All 10 of the Universal Haunted Houses 2019

My review on the 2019 Universal Halloween Horror Nights haunted houses.


Catie Sims

Entrance to the main Universal Studies park with banners promoting the event.

Catie Sims
A monster posing for a picture before he continues down the street to cause terror.

Universal Studios is known for its yearly fall event known as Universal Halloween Horror Nights. Monsters prowl the streets of the main park, jumping out at you at every turn as many of the rides close down and are replaced by spooky shows and the main event—the haunted houses. This year Universal went big with its houses with 10 in total, many of which are based on well-known shows and movies like Ghostbusters and Stranger Things. For my fall break, I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando, Florida and stay at Universal where I spent the day going on fun rides and the night going to haunted houses. I reviewed each one based on their scare factor.

1. Depths of Fear

An original attraction, this house follows a deep-sea mining company as they come in contact with parasitic sea monsters that somehow make their way onto the submarine and continue to lay eggs around the submarine (even some IN the miners all Alien facehugger style). You spend the house running from the many fish creatures coming to kill you and or lay eggs in you. The costumes for the monsters were terrifying and they tended to get really close when they jump out at you. Probably an 8/10.

2. Nightingales: Blood Pit

My favorite original house this year. The story for this one was that when an emperor from ancient Rome declares there will be nonstop gladiator battles until the drought plaguing the lands subsides, death rots the land. With that death come the Nightingales. These disgusting creatures are drawn to the gore, which leads to even more death as gladiators are consumed by the monsters. The monsters in this one were grotesque and just plain nasty-looking! Not to mention how you barely were able to tell just where the little demons were going to pop out next. I’m not afraid to admit that I was afraid! Definitely a 9/10.

3. Us

Maybe I would have actually like that one if I saw the movie. Honestly, that one sucked! ”

— My dad when we came out of the Us haunted house

If you were looking for something scary, this is not your house. If you had never seen the movie you would have had no idea what was going on, which was how my dad felt. I appreciated this one as it took is through the scenes of the movie, and all the actors looked so eerily similar to the ones in the actual movie it was weird. Still, it wasn’t scary. 4/10.

4. Stranger Things

Once again, not scary. It took us through the show, starting where season one ended off and moving on through seasons two and three. The only scary thing about it was the Demogorgon, but even then it was predictable. If you are a fan of the show, then you might like it for that, but if you’re looking for scares, you probably won’t get it there. 2/10

5. Yeti: Terror of the Yukon

We’re back to scary, y’all! The story behind this one is as it sounds: when loggers seek refuge in a cabin that is unfortunately in yeti territory. The scene is set fantastically as you enter the house and fake snow is raining down on you. You finally make it into the real terror as you walk into the cabin and see it is ripped apart and bloody. Not only are the yetis popping up terrifying with their big teeth and blood-hungry eyes, but the human remains laid around every corner help you feel as if you are actually there! This one would be one of my favorites, not only for the scenario but also for the cold air. Seriously, it was 80 degrees at 9:30 PM. 9/10.

6. House of 1000 Corpses

Catie sims
Sign set up outside of the House of 1000 Corpses haunted house.

This house keeps to the movie series’ gruesome and dark atmosphere, and by the gods, that clown is still terrifying! I rewarded this house with a good three or four screams when it actually did get me and the nasty dead bodies they had laying around the rooms looked real. But, I would say it was a little too dark where I felt I missed a lot of the details they had throughout the house and also left us confused about where we were supposed to go next. All in all, it gets a score of 6/10.

7. Ghostbusters

This one takes you back into the original film with Slimer and all the other ghouls popping up and forming in places you would least expect. I feel weird labeling it as ‘cute’, but it was! Scary is not the right way to describe the experience. It was just a funny way to go through the movies all over again, and it actually did it in an interesting way, unlike Stranger Things and Us, in my opinion. But, based on the’scary’ factor, it really is just a 3/1o. But I give it the stamp of ‘cute nostalgia’ approval.

8. Graveyard Games

In this original story, some disrespectful teens decide it’d be fun to spraypaint and kick over some graves. Vengeful spirits awaken and decide they have had enough of them and choose to attack for the night. This one was cool as it actually had the story being told by a projector while you walk through the line to get into the house. A fake Twitter account is shown on the screen as the teens post pictures and videos of their vandalization against the cemetery. Then right when you enter the gates of the graveyard it starts off lighthearted with a jerky teen popping up and calling you a ‘dork’ and other names. As you continue through, it gets scarier. One thing I will say is that it’s very easy to tell where they’re hiding! My dad went through the whole house able to point out where they were gonna pop up to scare you and he was more than half of the time right. There was one of the actors that gave him the stink eye for giving away her spot! All in all, this one gets a 4/10.

9. Killer Klowns from Outer Space

This goofy movie from the 80s is brought back to life in a bright and vibrant house full of fun music and laughs, like the circus! That is, until you meet the clowns, of course. Clowns with sharp teeth, everyone’s worst (or best?) nightmare! I seriously enjoyed going through this one and remembering the idiotic but enjoyable movie all over again. If you have a clown phobia, this one will probably get you bad, but for me, I was just smiling and laughing as I remembered my favorite parts of the movie. 7/10.

Catie Sims
Outside the Universal Monsters house.

10. Classic Monsters

It’s always good to save the best for last. My favorite house was the Universal classic Monsters’ House. Frankenstein’s Monster, The Wolfman, Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera: all of these monsters are brought back into the limelight as the house seamlessly transitions through each classic movie. They kept true to the monsters’ looks as they only modernized them enough to keep them still terrifying to look at, but not too much where you can’t see the beauty in the original makeup. Scary, fun, and nostalgic! Without a doubt a 10/10!

This yearly event brings people all over with new surprises each and every year. If you like scary things, then I would recommend trying the Halloween Horror Nights next time you visit Universal Studies.