Halloween Horror Nights 26 Scare Zone Pictorial

 Chance, the Halloween Horror Nights 26 Icon. Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved. 

Chance, the Halloween Horror Nights 26 Icon. Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved. 

Scare Zones are outdoor areas that are spaced around the park during Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). Each zone has a theme, special props, and costumed Scareactors who interact with guests in various ways. 

Scare Zones are one of our favorite aspects of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights (HHN). There are no wait times to experience a Scare Zone, and each walkthrough feels unique. Scare Zones can also provide some of the best scares at HHN. While you are busy staring at props or a Scareactor who is in front of you, it is easy for a second Scareactor to sneak up behind you and give you a good scare. 

You can get a brief overview of each Scare Zone and see a list of Haunted Houses for this year in our HHN 26 Event Guide. Since HHN is a separately ticketed event, you may also want to explore our Guide to HHN Ticket Options

HHN 26 Scare Zones

Halloween Horror Nights 26 features five Scare Zones:

  • A Chance in Hell
  • Vamp '55
  • Dead Man's Wharf
  • Lair of the Banshees
  • Survive or Die

A Chance in Hell

A Chance in Hell is a showcase of sorts for Chance, this year's HHN icon. It is located in the Production Central area of Universal Studios Florida. You'll find it between the American Story House and the Krampus House. The Scare Zone features several small stages decorated with blood-based graffiti and the remains of Chance's most recent victims. Chance, herself, can be found on one of the stages, where she giggles a lot, makes small speeches, and interacts with guests. She is even willing to pose for pics if you're feeling brave enough to approach the stage. Chance's many cellmates/followers roam the street between the stages looking for recruits. 

All of the Scare Zones have great Scareactors who are really good at what they do. They work hard to scare the guests that come through and seem to do everything they can to make sure people have a good time. The Scareactors in A Chance in Hell are especially fun to interact with. They laugh manically, put on small skits, and create a certain level of insanity that can't be found in the other Scare Zones. 

 Chance takes the stage in the Chance in Hell Scare Zone. The guard in the corner no longer has the guts to stand up to her. 

Chance takes the stage in the Chance in Hell Scare Zone. The guard in the corner no longer has the guts to stand up to her. 

 Chance spends hours interacting with guests each night. 

Chance spends hours interacting with guests each night. 

 This Chance in Hell stage features one of Chance's many victims. 

This Chance in Hell stage features one of Chance's many victims. 

 This Chance in Hell stage features another of Chance's victims in a ghastly pose.

This Chance in Hell stage features another of Chance's victims in a ghastly pose.

 The Chance in Hell Scareactors sometimes antagonize each other.

The Chance in Hell Scareactors sometimes antagonize each other.

 It looks like this Chance in Hell Scareactor had a bad headache, but it didn't slow her down. 

It looks like this Chance in Hell Scareactor had a bad headache, but it didn't slow her down. 

  This Chance in Hell Scareactor  was thoroughly entertained by Chance's performance. 

This Chance in Hell Scareactor was thoroughly entertained by Chance's performance. 

 This Chance in Hell Scareactor is holding what we think is the grossest, but also one of the most memorable, props of HHN 26. 

This Chance in Hell Scareactor is holding what we think is the grossest, but also one of the most memorable, props of HHN 26. 

Vamp '55

If you step though the Universal Studios Florida gates and walk into the Hollywood area of the park (on the right), the Vamp '55 Scare Zone is one of the first things you'll encounter. This Scare Zone takes guests back in time to the 1955 Hollywood High School Homecoming Parade where everyone showed up to demonstrate their school spirit - the principle, the teachers, the football players, the cheerleaders, the Homecoming Queen, and even the school band. But then a group of greasers from a rival school rolled in, and the parade took a dark turn. The greasers had more than just leather jackets and a bad attitude - they also had fangs - and now the whole school has been bitten and turned into a horde of vampires.

Vamp '55 is definitely our favorite HHN 26 Scare Zone. The props are mostly limited to a couple of floats and a school bus, but the overall vibe of this area was really fun. The costumed Scareactors look the part, and the 1950's era music adds an extra layer of appeal while providing a nice contrast to the scenes that unfold in front of you. Some of the students wander around looking dazed, not quite sure what has happened to them, while others seem to have embraced their new vampire identity. The greasers are typically the scariest vamps, because despite the fact that they have clearly bitten and fed on quite a few people already, they are still roaming around with expressions that clearly say "I'm hungry, and you're dinner." The fact that the Hollywood High School team is called "The Suns" and their rival team is called "The Bats" is also an amusing touch. 

 The Hollywood High School Homecoming float in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone.

The Hollywood High School Homecoming float in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone.

  Another Hollywood High School Homecoming float in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone.

Another Hollywood High School Homecoming float in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone.

 The Vamp '55 Scareactors will sometimes pose for pics if you ask nicely. 

The Vamp '55 Scareactors will sometimes pose for pics if you ask nicely. 

 Some of the greasers in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone look too cool for school.

Some of the greasers in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone look too cool for school.

 This Hollywood High School teacher allowed me to take a pic because I had a hall pass, but she quickly ordered me to get "back to class" as soon it was taken.

This Hollywood High School teacher allowed me to take a pic because I had a hall pass, but she quickly ordered me to get "back to class" as soon it was taken.

 You can't buy ice cream from the concession cart in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone, but you should definitely ask about the selection of frozen treats when you walk by.

You can't buy ice cream from the concession cart in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone, but you should definitely ask about the selection of frozen treats when you walk by.

 If you get distracted, the greasers in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone will come after you.

If you get distracted, the greasers in the Vamp '55 Scare Zone will come after you.

Dead Man's Wharf

Dead Man's Wharf is appropriately located in the San Francisco area near the docks. You'll find it between the New York and London areas. This Scare Zone is haunted by a fishing vessel, named Annabel Lee (in a nod to Edgar Allan Poe), and the vessel's crew, who were lost forever in 1931 after bad weather prevented a search and rescue operation. Dead Man's Wharf is a memorial to the lost crew. The entire area is covered in a thick blanket of fog. Every now and then, lightning flashes, illuminating the ghosts of the doomed men, who haunt the wharf, seeking to punish the villagers who abandoned them. 

We have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Dead Man's Wharf. On one hand, it is really cool. Most of the Scareactors in this area are tall and broad-shouldered, which makes them seem really intimidating, especially if you are short and smaller than them. The shipwreck is very neat, and the weather effects (thunder and lightning) are awesome. The problem with this Scare Zone is its size. The area where you walk through is exceptionally narrow, creating a bottleneck of sorts that leads to traffic issues. At night, when HHN is in full swing, it is very difficult to walk through this area without bumping into people. Sometimes the pace slows to a crawl, and the foot traffic is at a standstill. So, even though the dockside location fits the theme, it was not the best setting based on the number of people trying to squeeze through this place. 

 The sign at the entrance of the Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone explains how the dock got its nickname.

The sign at the entrance of the Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone explains how the dock got its nickname.

 The Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone features lots of barrels, crates, rope, nets, and related props. 

The Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone features lots of barrels, crates, rope, nets, and related props. 

 This wrecked ship is the largest prop in the Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone. 

This wrecked ship is the largest prop in the Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone. 

 The starboard side of the ship in Dead Man's Wharf.

The starboard side of the ship in Dead Man's Wharf.

 The Scare Actors in Dead Man's Wharf are covered in barnacles, sea stars, seaweed, and other ocean debris. 

The Scare Actors in Dead Man's Wharf are covered in barnacles, sea stars, seaweed, and other ocean debris. 

 The Scare Actors in Dead Man's Wharf can blend into the scenery and may be hard to spot. Keep your eyes open!

The Scare Actors in Dead Man's Wharf can blend into the scenery and may be hard to spot. Keep your eyes open!

 Some of the Scareactors in Dead Man's Wharf have weapons.

Some of the Scareactors in Dead Man's Wharf have weapons.

 This deep sea diver was a fan favorite in the Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone. 

This deep sea diver was a fan favorite in the Dead Man's Wharf Scare Zone. 

Lair of the Banshees

The Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone is located on Sunset Boulevard next to Central Park. This Scare Zone is a straight path that is flanked on each side by small stone alcoves and walls that provide good cover for the Scareactors who are wandering around this foggy area. The entrance to Lair of the Banshees was exposed when the magical barrier of vines separating our modern world from an ancient world was torn, allowing HHN guests to walk amongst banshees and a whole host of other ancient creatures. 

We were excited about Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone when it was announced. The prospect of walking into an ancient lair filled with evil spirits sounded very cool. But the actuality of it is a little less exciting. The Scareactors in this area are very nicely costumed, but the Lair of the Banshees is lacking when it comes to props. Of course, the limited number of props does make it easy to walk through this Scare Zone without getting squeezed by all of the people, which is a plus. We walked through this Scare Zone quite a few times on the nights we were at HHN, but we never stayed for long.   

 The props in Lair of the Banshees consisted primarily of rocks, vines, and skulls. 

The props in Lair of the Banshees consisted primarily of rocks, vines, and skulls. 

 The fog helped to create a spooky atmosphere in the Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone. 

The fog helped to create a spooky atmosphere in the Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone. 

 Each character in the Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone is unique. 

Each character in the Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone is unique. 

 Some of the characters in the Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone looked like they had recently "fed" on...something. 

Some of the characters in the Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone looked like they had recently "fed" on...something. 

 This Scareactor's make-up is both impressive and terrifying. 

This Scareactor's make-up is both impressive and terrifying. 

 This Lair of the Banshees Scareactor prowls the Scare Zone on stilts.

This Lair of the Banshees Scareactor prowls the Scare Zone on stilts.

 The Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone gets much scarier once the sun sets.

The Lair of the Banshees Scare Zone gets much scarier once the sun sets.

Survive or Die

Survive of Die is the largest Scare Zone at this year's Halloween Horror Nights. It is spread throughout the streets of the New York area. This post-apocalyptic Scare Zone is filled with roaming members of three groups. One of the groups has secured a desperately needed machine that cleans the air, and other other two groups want it. As you walk through this Scare Zone, you are encouraged to choose a side.

The size of this section is unbelievable. We wish that every Scare Zone could be this large. There also seems to be more Scare Actors here than anywhere else. Survive or Die is less scary than some of the other zones, but the props are extensive. There is an abandoned car, graffiti-covered barrels, piles of items collected by the survivors, enormous pieces of scaffolding that tower over the streets, and more. You should definitely take time to walk every street in New York so that you can see everything. 

 Abandoned car in the Survive or Die Scare Zone.

Abandoned car in the Survive or Die Scare Zone.

 The Survive or Die Scare Zone is filled with items collected by the survivors. 

The Survive or Die Scare Zone is filled with items collected by the survivors. 

 Some of the characters in the Survive or Die Scare Zone hover near the scavenged items. 

Some of the characters in the Survive or Die Scare Zone hover near the scavenged items. 

 Some of the survivors travel in a vehicle through the Survive or Die Scare Zone.

Some of the survivors travel in a vehicle through the Survive or Die Scare Zone.

 Some of the Scareactors in the Survive or Die Scare Zone are equipped with weapons.

Some of the Scareactors in the Survive or Die Scare Zone are equipped with weapons.

 Many of the Scareactors in the Survive or Die Scare Zone are equipped with respirator masks. 

Many of the Scareactors in the Survive or Die Scare Zone are equipped with respirator masks. 

Roaming Hordes

The Scare Zones aren't the only places where you can find Scareactors at Halloween Horror Nights 26. The streets are also filled with roaming hordes of Scareactors with chainsaws. 

 The area around  TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D is a good place to encounter pumpkinheads with chainsaws.

The area around TRANSFORMERS: The Ride 3-D is a good place to encounter pumpkinheads with chainsaws.

 This Scareactor reminded us of Scarecrow (a DC supervillain).

This Scareactor reminded us of Scarecrow (a DC supervillain).

 HHN cheerleader in Springfield U.S.A.

HHN cheerleader in Springfield U.S.A.

 More HHN cheerleaders in Springfield U.S.A. 

More HHN cheerleaders in Springfield U.S.A. 

 Geisha Scareactors in the New York area.

Geisha Scareactors in the New York area.