Your guide to the haunted houses at Halloween Horror Nights 2022

The screams have returned to Universal Studios Hollywood. 

A fresh crop of 8 haunted houses and a new Terror Tram experience are set to terrify visitors this year, including a house designed by chart-topping pop artist The Weeknd and a new backlot experience from the recent hit film Nope. Check out our inside guide to which haunted houses are creepiest, scariest, and most creative. Plus, get exclusive AAA discounts on tickets to Halloween Horror Nights 2022.

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The most creative haunted houses

Terror Tram

The Terror Tram is back and transporting visitors through the horrors of the Bates Motel and the War of the Worlds plane crash set. Travelers on the Terror Tram should be warned that both locations are overrun with devoted followers of Hollywood Harry, a once-beloved clown who was fired from the theme park and has returned to hunt those who scorned him.

A creative new addition for 2022 is the Jupiter's Claim set, seen in Jordan Peele's extraterrestrial horror movie Nope. Fans of the film will recognize the adorable Jupiter cowboy balloon and the partially destroyed Star Lasso Experience. The Tethered doppelgangers from Peele's film Us stalk the set, armed with scissors and moving in uncanny bursts. But those who've seen Nope know that when the lights go out and the waving tube men go flat, the real threat has arrived overhead.

The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare

What do world-famous pop musicians have nightmares about? The Weeknd takes the stage at Halloween Horror Nights to give guests a peek with this haunted house inspired by his 2020 album After Hours. The house, which The Weeknd reached out to Universal Studios to create, takes visitors through the darker side of fame: botched cosmetic surgery, disorientingly dark nightclubs, and fans eager to (literally) sink their teeth into their faves.

In particular, the house draws heavily on the music videos for the songs In Your Eyes and Save Your Tears, presenting an ambiguous picture of The Weeknd as both hunter and hunted, a knife-wielding stalker but also the victim of his own demons. Be careful not to let the siren call of stardom pull you both under.

Universal Monsters: Legends Collide

This monster crossover-event-to-end-all-crossover-events might be the end of you, too. Three of the most iconic creatures in film are on the loose inside "Alucard" Trading Co. (read that first word backward), with the Wolf Man, Dracula, and the Mummy battling over an amulet that could set one of them free.

Each creature is introduced in turn with top-notch effects work to set the stage for the battle to come. As the fight unfolds, the lines between them start to blur. Cleverly designed hybrid monsters begin appearing, and by the time the battle is "won," a truly impressive final scare has brought all 3 monsters together in more ways than one.

BONUS: Death Eaters Encounter

New to Halloween Horror Nights this year is a special experience at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It's not a haunted house; rather, masked Death Eaters are wandering the streets of Hogsmeade and the grounds of Hogwarts Castle after dark, recruiting followers for He Who Must Not Be Named.

If you're brave enough to find out what the Death Eaters are up to, their activities are centered on the alley behind Dervish and Banges, past the train station. Look for a Death Eater to beckon you in—but be sure to keep one hand on your wand.

The creepiest haunted houses

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

It's hard to make evil clowns creepier than they already are, but this haunted house pulls it off. Like the 1988 cult film it's based on, the key is the wrinkled, misshapen alien clowns. First, they look like they've been molded out of meat putty by a creature that's never seen a human. Second, they never break their whimsical character: playing pranks, waving to visitors, popping out of gift boxes, and making hand-puppet shadows.

It's almost enough to make you forget that they're trying to harvest your flesh and drink your blood. Luckily, there are just enough partially dissolved bodies encased in cotton-candy cocoons to remind you that you're in danger.

Scarecrow: The Reaping

An eerie column of orange smoke billows from the chimney of this Depression-era farmstead, hinting at the horrors within. Scarecrows have come to avenge the desolation of the Dust Bowl, using unexpected tools to turn farmers and their families into grotesque scarecrow-like tributes. (If you don't know what it looks like for someone to be stabbed with ears of corn, prepare to find out.)

Particularly creepy are the hanging cords you have to find your way through—first they're made of roots and corn, then skinned animals, entrails, and worse as you venture deeper. And of course, there's something unsettling about seeing people reaped and stacked like crops at harvest. 

La Llorona: The Weeping Woman

The legend of La Llorona is a tale of a woman who allegedly drowned her children and herself, and whose weeping spirit now searches for other kids to drown. The story comes to life in the fine details of this haunted house. Enter the facade of a Spanish mission to discover missing posters and votive candles for a disturbing number of abducted children. Appreciate the impressive plaster work inside the house, making it feel as though you've truly been transported to a colonial Spanish setting. And keep an eye out for any bodies of water—if La Llorona finds you there, you may end up a body in water.

The scariest haunted houses

Universal Horror Hotel

It's common in haunted houses to have doors that burst open with a scareactor jumping out for the kill. There can only be so many doors in a house, but the long hallways and guestrooms of the Universal Horror Hotel have doors galore, so good luck guessing which ones are hiding knife-wielding killers.

That unpredictability makes this one of the scariest haunted houses of 2022, along with an eye-in-pyramid motif that appears in blood throughout the hotel. In between fending off ghouls, don't forget to appreciate the Art Deco furnishings that lend some real Hollywood glamour to this less-than-accommodating hotel.

The Horrors of Blumhouse

Horror movie specialists Blumhouse Productions are back with a haunted house based on their recent movies. It's a double feature at Halloween Horror Nights this year, starting with Freaky, in which a high school girl and a serial killer known as the Blissfield Butcher swap bodies. The Butcher takes advantage of his new appearance to carve through teachers and students alike in impressive set pieces, including a showstopping woodshop class. 

Then it's on to The Black Phone, a sparse sequence of rooms in which the grinning Grabber tries to show you how he got his name. In between, you'll see up close how chilling it is to be stuck in a kidnapper's basement—and not just as a figure of speech, thanks to some strategic HVAC work.


This haunted house is laser-focused on Michael Myers, the knife-wielding murderer who pursues you through the sleepy town of Haddonfield. You’ll have to dodge the killer as he leaps from behind doors, through windows, even around hanging laundry—every conceivable angle (and a few inconceivable ones). Those who weren't nimble enough to escape his blade lie where they fell; try not to join them. 

As scary as it is to be alone in the dark, knowing the slasher is almost certainly lurking around the next corner watching your every move, the end of this house may be even more terrifying. To escape, you'll have to navigate your way through a twisted hall of mirrors flanked by a dozen Michael Myerses—only some of which are mannequins. Can you find your way out without bumping into the real Myers first?

Ready to feel the fear in person?

AAA members can get discounts on Halloween Horror Nights tickets. Buy now and save online or at a AAA branch.

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