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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

What Halloween Horror Nights Has in Store for 2023

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Universal Orlando has kicked off the 2023 spooky season with its annual Halloween Horror Nights! Between this year’s slogan, “Never go alone,” and the unique promo videos they have made for the houses, the event has definitely piqued my interest. Being from Tampa, I was able to go to Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream a couple of times, which was a similar event. It was on a smaller scale, but it always left me feeling satisfyingly scared. With 10 scare houses, five scare zones, live entertainment, themed food, and the most popular rides open, I am ready to purchase my ticket to Halloween Horror Nights 2023.

The Halloween Horror Nights scare house lineup piqued my interest with the top house being themed around Stranger Things Season 4. This season had me covering my eyes and clenching my teeth as the people of Hawkins dodged Vecna’s curse. This house would personally be my first stop in the park.

The next stop on my list would be The Exorcist: Believer. Accompanied by a well-done spooky promo video, this house has me interested because of its relation to a classic film, The Exorcist.

The well-known dystopian series The Last of Us will have its very own themed house in the park this year. Although I have not yet been able to watch this series, I would imagine it will gain a lot of attraction due to its popularity in the media. Due to the gory nature of the show, I would expect this to be one of the scarier houses. 

The haunted houses are spread around the park, but there are five themed scare zones with actors that terrorize the park guests walking through. One of my favorite parts about Universal is visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The nostalgia is unmatched and everything about it is just so well done. For the very first year, they are having Voldemort’s Death Eaters roam Diagon Alley. I also get fall vibes from the Harry Potter movie series, so if the scary gore side of Halloween Horror Nights is not for you, maybe a butterbeer in Diagon Alley is. 

Although the park is about four hours away from Florida State University, the thrilling experience personally seems worth it. For those of you wanting to escape the wildness of Tallyween (which is also a thrilling horror), this may be the perfect plan for you. Wednesday nights are the cheapest and least crowded night to go. As previously mentioned, Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream also puts on a fun event with five haunted houses, scare zones, and access to select roller coasters. The newest house theme is a circus gone dark that looks interesting. Then, of course, they have revamped some of the fan favorites from last year. 

I hope I (and you all) can make it to one of these exciting theme parks this spooky season! 

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I’m a communications major at Florida State. Class of 2026!