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Halloween Horror Nights Orlando event
HHNV
Halloween Horror Nights V
Slogan The Curse of the Cryptkeeper
Year 1995
Icon The Cryptkeeper
Icon attraction

The Cryptkeeper's Dungeon of Terror

Number of haunted houses 3
Number of scarezones 2
Preceded by Halloween Horror Nights IV
Followed by Halloween Horror Nights VI

Halloween Horror Nights V was the fifth annual Halloween Horror Nights event held in Orlando. Located in Universal Studios Florida, it introduced the idea of using an Event Icon, the Cryptkeeper from television's Tales From the Crypt. Advertisements touted it as "The Curse of the Cryptkeeper" and brandished his face. The event featured three haunted houses, two scarezones, and three shows, and ran for 12 nights in October 1995.

AttractionsEdit

Haunted HousesEdit

ScarezonesEdit

ShowsEdit

RidesEdit

You Can Scare Yourself Silly at Universal Edit

Fort Pierce Tribune (FL) - Friday, October 13, 1995


Imagine a foggy Louisiana bayou at midnight, mist obscuring sight, eyes straining to make out eerie shapes moving through the fog. Or a tour of the back alleys of New Orleans, the city famous for its ties to black magic.

Walk through decaying turnstiles into the New York subway underground, along slimy walls, through mazes and catacombs where direction is lost. Darkness alternates with a pale, green glow emanating from beneath the tunnels. The path twist, turns, doubles back on itself ... And the mole people, who inhabit this labyrinth, wait for the unwary travelers.

Welcome, foolish mortals, to Halloween Horror Nights V: The Curse of the Crypt Keeper.

Think you are brave? Welcome to a nightmare filled with grotesque and ghoulish creatures from the far reaches of the Netherworld.

And it starts, appropriately, tonight -- Friday the 13th.

For the past four years, Universal Studios Florida has drawn thousands of thrill seekers to its Halloween Horror Nights . In 1994, Newsweek magazine deemed the adventure one of the nation's "top six haunts."

The fifth venture into horror is the most elaborate one to date, as well as the most frightening and the funniest.

Members of Universal's "Scream Team" explored Cajun country, Hollywood's famous Haunted Soundstage, the New York subway's underground, New Orleans historic cemeteries and other locations, to flesh out The Curse of the Crypt Keeper. Armed with video and still cameras, the team caught scenes such as stages of decay on tombstones, moonlit shadows, the howl of wind through trees.

"We specialize in complete sensory overload," said Scream Team member Jerry Abercrombie. "It's not enough to recreate the visuals -- our guests must hear, smell and feel the experience in order to have a good scare.

"We continually evaluate our product based on guest satisfaction, and in this case, the louder the scream, the better."

The Scream Team has added five new attractions to Halloween Horror Nights:

Crypt Keeper's Dungeon of Terror, named for the title character in this year's event, is a "heart-pounding, palm-sweating journey into an evil crypt of unthinkable horror," according to Universal employees. Unsuspecting wanderers pass through dingy root cellars and a cemetery of the undead, among others, and meet Universal's legendary Rat Lady. Dressed in Victorian fashion, the Lady lies in a glass coffin, with rats crawling over, under and around her. More than 125 rats, hand-raised at Universal, are used in the attraction. By the way, the Rat Lady is not a mannequin.

Terror Underground, the trip through New York's abandoned subway tunnels, was inspired by legends of the thousands of mysterious catacomb dwellers.

"According to city historians, it's a whole other city down there -- the `mole people' elect their own mayor, have their own doctors -- they've completely abandoned modern life to live within this vast labyrinth of darkness," said Julie Zimmerman, another Scream Team member. "Because it's a real life legend, the mole people are just as frightening -- perhaps more so -- than traditional ghosts and goblins."

Universal's House of Horror brings to life classic monsters from Universal Pictures. These include Frankenstein, Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. The attraction, at Soundstage 22, is complete with eerie sights and sounds.

Knights of Hell is a "knightmare" fantasy lagoon adventure comprised of state-of-the-art pyrotechnics, lasers, huge water curtains and stunts that will haunt the audience's dreams "for months to come," according to a Universal employee.

Last, but not least, among the new attractions is Midway to the Bizarre, in which the peaceful fishing village of Amitiville has been transformed into a carnival of horrors. Complete with a threatening ringmaster and "pitch and kill" games, Midway invites guests to wager their souls in hopes they can avoid the fate of the carnival misfits who terrorize them.

Overloaded on horror? Head for Price is Right or Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure IV, two oldies but funnies. Beetlejuice, the ghoul with the cool, emcees Price, a spoof of the popular television game. Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan, the hippest time travelers, meet up with the most bodacious celebrities.

The Curse of the Crypt Keeper will run on 12 nights, but preparations took much, much longer. Imagine buying 4,000 pounds of "dismembered body parts" props. Or making blood, brain fluid and primordial ooze by boiling a brew of 600 gallons of methocyl cellulose -- a water-based gel. Boil it and stir it for three days in 64-quart cauldrons.

More than 500 "scare" actors will star in Curse, using 1,200 prosthetic pieces -- protruding foreheads, extended chins, gaping wounds, disfiguring scars, gangrene-infected limbs...

And don't forget -- it all starts tonight -- Friday the 13th.

Edit

Universal's Scream Team is not Afraid of a Challenge Edit

THE ORLANDO SENTINEL - Friday, October 13, 1995


Julie Zimmerman can't stand the sight of blood. But because of her job, there are times when she is forced to face her fear. Luckily, she's doesn't have to go it alone.

Zimmerman is one of the four members of Universal Studios Florida's Scream Team. As creative manager, she and Jerry Abercrombie, the art manager, spend about nine months every year scouring the country for new ways to make people run for their lives as part of Universal's annual Halloween Horror Nights scarefest, which begins tonight and runs through Oct. 31.

Zimmerman cited one incident during this year's excursions that made her run for her life.

It happened in New Orleans, a city known for its ties to superstitions and black magic. Zimmerman and Abercrombie headed to Louisiana in hopes of finding ghosts, to study above-ground tombs and maybe even meet up with vampires if they were really lucky.

"We wanted to find the truth, not just the way Hollywood portrays (vampires)," Zimmerman said.

In her case, she didn't have far to look.

"It was 2 a.m., and I thought I would look under all the nooks and crannies," she said of a midnight visit to a cemetery. "I saw something move. I was scared to death."

"It took her months to get over it," assistant director Amy Henry said of Zimmerman's almost-encounter with a creature of the night.

Abercrombie added that he saw more mysterious caped figures while out on nighttime strolls around the city.

"You just knew the vampires were there," he said. "There would be a shadow and then it would be gone. They move so fast."

Henry and director of events Michal Thyne round out the Scream Team, but they usually prefer to stay behind while Abercrombie and Zimmerman are out tracking demons. They were, however, able to get a small taste of their partners' work during a fishing trip in the Atlantic Ocean last spring.

"It was in March and we saw hundreds of rafts (used by people trying to enter the United States)," Thyne said, adding that the team used the opportunity to get a closer look at some of the deserted rafts. "We started looking through some stuff and pulled some of it off for the Coast Guard."

"You can find it (inspiration) anywhere," Abercrombie chimed in.

One place Scream Team members say they won't go is Salem, Mass., another town with historical ties to spookiness - in this case, witchcraft.

"We don't make any religious overtones - nothing satanic. We don't go there," Zimmerman said. "We've had witches call us who were concerned that we would portray them in an unhealthy light and we respect that."

Another thing they have learned to respect is people's privacy. Zimmerman took this into account earlier this year when she was studying the New York people who live underground - Mole People, as New Yorkers call them.

"I didn't go down there," Zimmerman said. "I would never be that brave. That's their life."

Although she didn't venture into their world, she and Abercrombie did extensive reading on the topic.

The team patterned Universal's "Terror Underground" haunted house on this elusive society. The attraction is set up to resemble a New York subway system.

As part of their research, Scream Team members also visited Universal Studios Hollywood. There, they were allowed free rein to dig through the studios' large collection of props, and they came up with relics from such classics as The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Horror Nights guests will catch a glimpse of the collection in "Universal's House of Horror" - if they can keep their eyes open, that is.

Abercrombie said the Scream Team brought back two tractor-trailers full of stuff from the Hollywood studios.

But if it takes more than a few dusty props and some tombstones to keep you awake at night, don't get cocky just yet. Another ingredient the Scream Team tossed into the fright mix was that they contacted psychologists about common phobias sure to play on hidden neuroses.

Rooms in the haunted houses are set up to play upon everything from the fear of dogs and snakes to the fear of dentists.

"Last year, we had these 21- and 22-year-old macho guys there with their girlfriends who were crawling by in the dust" when they came upon the dentist room, Abercrombie said. He added that a less formal technique the team uses in their research is to mingle with the guests inside the attractions and eavesdrop on what they are saying about them.

"Last year, the tarantulas really made folks shudder," he said.

Still, the Scream Team remains within boundaries even when exploring these endless possibilities.

"We're not here to take it to the point of traumatizing people," Abercrombie said "Our main goal is to entertain."

Universal Scares Up Some New Treats for its Annual Horror Nights Edit

The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) - Friday, October 27, 1995
Author: Bill Dean


The motto of Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights V isn't "less is gore."

But by unleashing its trademark maze of monsters in three haunted houses this year (last year there were four) park visitors and potential frightees are getting more fang for the buck.

Instead of spreading out their considerable resources in more houses of horror, the folks who put the bite in Universal's seasonal Halloween homage have loaded each one with enough scares, screams and surprises to last until next year.

And, they've also gone back to the golden era of the silver screen, as well as TV's little screen of horrors, for inspiration.

Between 7 p.m. and midnight, tonight through Tuesday, visitors to Halloween Horror Nights will find Universal's entire theme park transformed into a giant, Halloween Carnival on steroids.

In keeping with this year's theme, "The Curse of the Crypt Keeper," the syndicated TV-show host pops up in plenty of surprising places in the park's largest haunted house of the year, the "Crypt Keeper's Dungeon of Terror."

Along with dangling snakes, dripping water and enough gore for a "Friday the 13th" film, the Dungeon of Terror is home to Rat Lady, the hapless woman whose plexiglass-covered coffin of rats is imbedded somewhere in the floor of the darkened pathway.

Just so you can actually see the furry critters crawling all over the justifiably screaming lady, the "coffin" lights up at opportune moments.

Universal's most famous monsters of filmland highlight "Universal's House of Horror."

The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein and Dracula are just a few of the familiar faces greeting visitors. Scenes of torture and execution include a guillotine and electric chair.

The third haunted house, "Terror Underground," fabricates a labyrinth of haunted subway tunnels located, appropriately enough in Universal's New York City backlot area.

Here, guests experience "subterranean" streets of "sheer madness," encountering a girl who brands her face on a red-hot oven-coil and a man trapped next to an exploding transformer, along with passages of dangling body parts and vibrating floors.

Inspired by the "mole people" -- actual denizens who inhabit miles of abandoned subway space in New York's catacombs -- the Universal folks who produce each year's " Halloween Horror Nights " visited New York to interview historians and gather information on the mysterious tunnel dwellers.

Competing with the haunted houses for guests' attention are several special shows offered during the night.

At least two return from previous years: "The Price is Fright," in which host Beetlejuice selects audience members for participation in a game-show parody both funny and slimey; and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure IV," an all-new stunt-filled show packed with action and actors playing celebrities.

The centerpiece show of the whole night, however, is set in the park's centrally located lagoon and features plenty of pyrotechnics, fireworks and lasers.

Dubbed "Knights of Hell," the show is hosted twice each night by an electronic talking skull that rises out of the murky deep.

PicturesEdit

Halloween Horror Nights V
Characters: The Cryptkeeper
Haunted Houses: Cryptkeeper's Dungeon of Terror • Terror Underground: Transit to Torment • Universal's House of Horror
Scarezones: Horrorwood Blvd • Midway of the Bizarre
Shows: Bill and Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure IV  • Rock of Ages  • The Price is Fright
Halloween Horror Nights Orlando
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