By Karla Comayagua
Turning the corner and seeing a person with a knife jump out and hover over you as you scream in terror, or walking into the fog as people in masks chase you are two scenes which seem like they came straight out of a horror movie; but in reality, they are “houses” and “scare zones” featured in Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights where people can live out a real-life horror movie.
Many wonder what it is that attracts so many to this type of thrill. For me, getting scared makes it exciting. Not knowing when someone is going to jump out at you can turn the night into an exhilarating adventure. For some Horror Nights veterans, it is more about the excitement than the scare thanks to the adrenaline that kicks in your body when you find yourself in a sticky situation.
When the adrenaline begins to enter your body, “fight or flight” kicks in which is a psychological reaction where you ask yourself if you should run or fight. This occurs when you are faced with a harmful event that threatens your safety. At Horror Nights, the “harmful” event could be walking in the Terror Tram where you have to “Survive the Purge.”
The reason why so many people voluntarily pay to put themselves in these types of situations is because it is fun for them. The adrenaline rush that occurs when the body is preparing for fight or flight causes sudden excitement. They know that the situation they are in is a simulation and that they are not in any real danger, but the adrenaline rush is real.
“I like going to Horror Nights because it’s full of thrill and excitement. Each year there are different mazes that are scary and it’s a lot of fun to go with friends. It’s a great experience,” senior Sara Mapar said.
Getting scared is ironically enjoyable for many who attend Horror Nights. Although getting scared is usually negative, the costumes and actors can make it intriguing especially with creative themes like AVP: Alien vs Predator or Crimson Peak: Maze of Madness.
It is fun to celebrate Halloween this way. Getting scared and being surrounded by frightening costumes can make some people commemorate the holiday.
“It really gets me into the Halloween spirit. The costumes are original and look real,” senior Gabriella Grayfer said.
Thousands of people enjoy getting into the Halloween spirit at Horror Nights each year and many even pay up to $159 for a ticket.
This cost is understandable because of the amount of planning, time, and effort it takes for Horror Nights to live up to its “frightening” expectations. Making the mazes an exact replica of what is seen in horror films, transforming the park into a terrifying attraction in every corner, hiring the right actors and makeup artists to really produce a quality experience can all turn out to be a challenge.
Horror Nights creates an impressive and adrenaline pumping night for many. If you can handle the fright, going to this event is worth it.