Universal’s House of Horrors

Universal's House of Horrors official logo

Universal’s House of Horrors official logo

Dates: March 31 2007 – September 2014

 

Website Publicity text: March 2007
All New “Universal’s House of Horrors
Universal Studio Hollywood’s House of Horrors is a frightening, scream as you go, walk through experience inspired by some of the greatest Universal Studios horror movies of all time.
The most feared characters – like Dracula, Frankenstein, Chucky among many others — will take you by surprise while you attempt to navigate your way through an ever-changing, terrorizing maze. Be afraid . . . be very, very afraid!

Demolition

The House of Horrors was situated inside what was originally the Victoria Station restaurant. The building had been seen as many different attractions over the years.
In September 2014 the House of Horrors walkthrough closed after 7.5 years of year-round scares.
By April 2015 the whole site (the whole of the former Victoria Station complex, including the Hollywood Photoland retail unit) had been demolished. A large mound of earth had appeared.
We hope the many treasures on display in the House of Horrors have been saved for future projects.

See also The Walking Dead – announced in March 2016.

Walkthrough video (no actors)

Timeline of the venue (in reverse chronological order)

This attraction was a must-see for fans of Universal horror movies. Featuring sets and props from many of the great movies, along with some good old scares, you could relive moments from the classics. It was a wonderful celebration of the huge heritage of Universal horror characters that was hidden from us for so long.
The attraction started with a timeline of horror movie posters in the queueline. Many of these posters hadn’t been seen for years, and covered most of the key Universal horror movies, right up to the present day. There was an exhibition of props, costumes, set drawings and matte paintings from horror movies as diverse as The Birds, Psycho, Child’s Play, Jaws and Cat People.
In the House of Horrors itself, you could discover a peaceful forest environment only disturbed by a terrifying Wolf Man, a quiet doll house with a murderous doll called Chucky popping out to say hello, a stunning Frankenstein’s Lab set, and you could even get to take a shower with Mother. Just beware the chainsaw!

Photo Gallery – Preshow / Exhibition

The exhibition rotated exhibits, so the following were not always on display.

Scenes

  • Timeline (Movie posters)
  • Exhibition
  • Dracula’s Portal
    Only visible under flashes of lightning, Count Dracula and his army of bats are pleased to welcome you to the House of Horrors.
  • The Catacombs
    Hundreds of pairs of eyes peer at you out of the darkness as you enter the terrifying underground domain of Nosferatu – the earliest movie vampire.
  • The Crypt
    Burial chamber filled with the corpses of vampire brides where Dracula’s favorite victim Lucy Weston awaits you.
  • The Phantom’s Lair
    Explore the cavernous passageways of the Paris Opera House where the Phantom’s dreaded noose has found a victim. Then up a flight of stairs to…
  • The Mummy’s Tomb
    Step into the claustrophobic tomb of Imhotep where an ancient curse has resurrected the 4,000 year old Mummy.
  • Good Guys Toy Factory
    All is not well in the toy factory – the place seems to be overrun by Chucky the serial-killing doll.
  • Frankenstein’s Lab
    Igor taunts the monster with fire, before you enter the huge Dr Frankenstein’s Laboratory set at high level overlooking the huge apparatus during a massive thunderstorm.
  • Psycho Mirror Maze
    Here’s Mother to welcome you along with some other pieces of Norman Bate’s work. Can you escape the maze without taking a shower?
  • The Morgue
    There seem to be more fresh bodies here than they have room for. Just force your way through the body bags blocking your route. But watch out for the zombies trying to get in. Then down two flights to stairs to…
  • Wolf Man’s Forest
    A peaceful pine-scented forest disturbed only by the terrifying Wolf Man. Once you’ve escaped the forest, you must travel through the spinning tunnel, decorated with disturbing runes and images from classic horror movies.
  • Frankenstein’s Lab
    A closer look at the mad Dr Frankenstein’s work. Watch out for Igor.
  • The Slaughter House
    Taking it’s inspiration from Dawn of the Dead, dare you enter the zombie slaughter house? Hey – is that a chainsaw??
    Congratulations – you survived Universal’s House of Horrors. Now “GET OUT”.

Photo Gallery – Walkthrough

Trivia

  • The huge electrical transformer centerpiece of Frankenstein’s Lab is a prop from the movie Van Helsing.
  • Much of the Frankenstein’s Lab section is left over from the Van Helsing walkthrough that was previously in this building.
  • The Wolf Man’s forest is made up of fake trees and plants rescued from the E.T. Adventure queue area when it was removed.
  • The animatronic Phantom of the Opera figure was formerly a police officer in the E.T. Adventure attraction.
  • There are 9 different smell generators used in the attraction, including such delights as “Formaldehyde” in the Mother room, “Dirt” in the crypt, “Machine Oil” in Frankenstein’s Lab, “Pine Forest” for the Wolfman and my personal favourite “Rot” in the body bag room.
  • Beside the decaying bodies in the Crypt you can just about see a framed photo in each alcove depicting each person when alive.
  • There are three former happy forest animals from the E.T. Adventure queue line (a bunny, an owl and a woodpecker) preserved forever beside Norman\’s Mother.
  • The signature “Monkey” of the attraction\’s Creative Director, John Murdy, can be found in the Good Guys Toy Factory along with Chucky.
  • Movies featured in the House of Horrors: Abbott & Costello Meet Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Birds, Bride of Frankenstein, Cat People, Child\’s Play, Dawn of the Dead, Dead Silence, Dracula, Frankenstein, Halloween II, Jaws, The Munsters, Nosferatu, The Phantom of the Opera, Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, The Mummy Returns, Skeleton Key, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tower of London, The Wolf Man
  • There will be more props and artefacts in the exhibition area in the coming months – check it out regularly!

Press Release

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., April 2 2007 — Universal Studios Hollywood breathes life into Universal’s most notorious celluloid creatures in “Universal’s House of Horrors,” a new spine-chilling walk-thru attraction at “The Entertainment Capital of L.A.” opening today.

Featuring an award-winning line-up of the Studios’ 80-year horror film legacy, “Universal’s House of Horrors” reacquaints guests with such notorious creatures as Count Dracula, Nosferatu, The Wolf Man, The Mummy, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Phantom of the Opera, “Psycho’s” Mother Bates, and the zombies of “Dawn of the Dead” and “Land of the Dead.” Guests will encounter all of these fearsome figures as they navigate the dark passages of a Gothic castle. The multi-sensory attraction will even use olfactory sensation to produce its effects: the castle has been infused with scents that capture the pungent odors of Egyptian tombs, musty antechambers and decaying life.

The “Universal’s House of Horror” adventure begins at the entrance to the castle ruins in Soundstage 13. After being shepherded along the castle’s drawbridge, guests will enter a corridor laden with dozens of recognizable authentic movie props and artifacts including such cinematic icons as the original corduroy blazer worn by Anthony Perkins in “Psycho,” the Hannibal Lector mask from “Red Dragon,” the police uniform worn by Roy Schneider in “Jaws,” the books and necklaces from “Skeleton Key,” the original “Chucky” doll and the Billy doll from “Dead Silence.”

Original horror film posters will also adorn the area as a further introduction to over 20 infamous horror characters that now permanently reside within the “House of Horrors.”

Guests will not have long to linger over these genre treasures. Attendants quickly usher them through a dark labyrinth leading into the themed areas that include Dracula’s Portal, Nosferatu’s rat-infested Catacombs, the Burial Crypt of The Bride of Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera’s Lair, The Mummy’s Tomb, “Chucky’s” Good Guy Toy Factory, a “Psycho” Maze of Mirrors, the “Land of the Dead” Morgue, The Wolf Man’s Forest, Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab and the “Dawn of the Dead” Slaughter House.

Universal Studios introduced the horror genre to U.S. audiences in the early years of motion pictures when such great artists as Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi were under contract to the company. In the decades that have followed, many of the world\’s greatest movie monsters came “to life” on the studio’s historic back lot.

Photo Gallery – Horror Movie Poster Timeline

The extended queue line contains this amazing collection of movie posters – check them out if you can!

As these photos were taken at the exhibition, there is some unwanted reflection and uneven lighting on some posters.

Construction Photo Gallery

Van Helsing closed in November 2006 and a very speedy re-make began, to have the new attraction open at the end of March 2007. Rather than the feared cosmetic-only update, the House of Horrors has taken many of the existing elements and improved on them, while adding new sections along the lines of the Halloween Horror Nights event. After many years of neglect, Universal now has a place to celebrate it’s horror history.

The centrepiece Frankenstein Lab has remained from Van Helsing (with some remodelling) and the spinning tunnel is still there (with a new improved UV paint-job). Although the route through the attraction remains the same, there are many themed areas along the way which are brand new, and always surprising. Whereas Van Helsing was dark all the way through, the House of Horrors changes around every corner.

August 2007: A new live character has joined the maze – The Phantom of the Opera can now be found searching for his new Christine… New props have also been added to the exhibition in the lobby.

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