Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood begins its biggest season ever: starting tonight with the Eyegore Awards presentation and running through November 2, there will be seven weekends of chills and thrills, making this Los Angeles's longest running horror-themed Halloween event of 2014, outlasting even the venerable Knotts Berry Farm Halloween Haunt, which begins next week, on Thursday, September 25.
Halloween Horror Nights has been opening earlier and earlier every year. To some extent this is a trick of the calendar, with the next-to-last Friday in September (i.e., opening night) falling one day earlier each year: on September 21 in 2012; on September 20 in 2013; and on September 19 this year.
However, Halloween in Los Angeles truly has been growing longer over the course of the past five years. Up through 2009, Halloween Horror Nights opened on the first Friday in October, a week after Knotts Scary Farm (which usually started on the last Thursday of September, sometimes the next to last). From 2010 through 2012, both theme park attractions opened on the same date, first on the last Friday of September, then on the next to last Friday, extending the Halloween season by another week. Halloween Horror Nights finally leaped ahead in 2013 and repeats the trick this year.
It's not only Universal Studios Hollywood that is expanding its annual fall festivities. As recently as 2009, Disneyland Halloween Time used to open the last week of September; since then, a mid-September opening has become the norm, with this year representing its earlier opening yet, on September 12. (Halloween Horror Nights remains the longest running seasonal horror-themed event in Los Angeles, because Disneyland Halloween Time is located in Orange Count, and it is not scary.)
Can the market support such a lengthy Halloween season? Well, that's all up to you! As we always warn you: there are farm too many horrors for Los Angeles fans to sample all of them in only one month. Take advantage of the extra time: start now; see as many attractions on their opening nights as possible; and do not put off anything for later. Otherwise, you will find yourself on October 31, looking back on all the great stuff you missed.
For 2014, Halloween Horror Nights features mazes and rides based on The Walking Dead; Alien vs. Predator; From Dusk Till Dawn; Dracula: Untold; Face Off; and An American Werewolf in London. Dates are September 19-20, 26-27; October 3-5, 10-12, 16-19, 23-26, 30-31; November 1-2. Hours are 7pm to 2am every night; the Terror Tram stops running at 11:45pm. The address is: Universal Studios, Hollywood 100 Universal City Plaza Univeral City, CA 91608. Get more info at their website.
Interested in other Halloween events in Los Angeles? Check out our Halloween Haunts page!