Here's How Every "Halloween Horror Nights" Maze Ranks Based On Scare Factor And Creativity

·9 min read

Hello, fellow horror fans, Pablo and Crystal here! If you know anything about us, we love a good scare both on the screen and in real life. And now that Halloween Horror Nights has returned, we immediately booked it on over to Universal Studios Hollywood to check out all the mazes and rank them again.

Crystal and Pablo standing outside the entrance to Horror Nights, pointing at the sign

Before we get going, we want to mention that there are even MORE mazes at Universal Studios Orlando (it's their 30th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights!), including a Beetlejuice (!!!) Haunted House, which we WISH we could've tried, but hey...we live in LA, so we got what we got.

Darren Leis / Via BuzzFeed

Now, the whole journey took us about four and a half hours with express passes — including a dinner break at Leatherface's Texas Family Barbecue (lol) — but we made it. Here's what we thought about all the mazes this year...

Note: We did not rank The Walking Dead maze, as this is a permanent attraction at Universal Studios and not unique to Halloween Horror Nights.

7.Terror Tram: The Ultimate Purge

Crystal Ro / Via BuzzFeed, Pablo Valdivia / Via BuzzFeed

Crystal: I always appreciate the Terror Tram because it's a nice break — like, literally, getting to sit down for a bit is great when you've been walking for miles all night. And having it be The Purge–themed was a fun new touch. I don't generally find the Terror Tram experience scary; HOWEVER, there was a camouflaged person who very unexpectedly jumped out at me and I admit...he got me. Scariness: 1.5/5, Creativity 2/5

Pablo: The Terror Tram has one purpose and one purpose only: getting you off your feet for two seconds. But I’ll warn you, you will have to walk again. This attraction is similar to what you experience when you first enter the park, aka a whole bunch of performers in masks with weapons who pretend to assault you. I think the coolest part of this was seeing the Bates Motel up close, as well as the War of the Worlds set, so for that I’m thankful. Scariness: 1/5, Creativity: 1.5/5

Scare rating: 2.5/10

Creativity Rating: 3.5/10

TOTAL: 3/10

6.The Curse of Pandora's Box

Crystal Ro / Via BuzzFeed, Pablo Valdivia / Via BuzzFeed

Crystal: I remember going through this maze back in 2019 and thinking back then "IDK what is going on." I had similar thoughts this year, because this maze has A LOT going on — mummies, skeletons, birds — but I did like the cool entrance you go through at the beginning because I think it was new? Or I was just too scared last time and blocked that from my memory. Scariness: 2/5, Creativity 3/5

Pablo: I’ll say now what I said in 2019: It gets lost in the mix. I do appreciate that they added a speakeasy-esque portal into the maze, though. Despite that, there is no real cohesion to what the maze is supposed to be, but I suppose that’s what Miss Pandora wants. There is a hodgepodge of fake crows, murderous skeletons, and a giant medusa head, and ultimately, I wish she had just eaten me alive because then I could have felt a bit more scared. Scariness: 2/5, Creativity: 3/5

Scare rating: 4/10

Creativity Rating: 6/10

TOTAL: 5/10

5.The Haunting of Hill House

Pablo Valdivia / Via BuzzFeed

Crystal: I looooooved this show (and Bly Manor, too), so I had high expectations for this maze. As weird as it sounds, I loved seeing Bent-Neck Lady in real life, but I didn't find her THAT scary (I guess because I know the backstory). However, the Tall Man GOT me GOOD. I enjoyed this one for the visual callbacks to the show, but as a "horror" maze, I didn't find it super scary. Scariness: 2/5, Creativity: 3.5/5

Pablo: This one I was most excited for, not only because I loved Hill House, but because it was one of the few new mazes this year. I was glad to see that the Bent-Neck Lady greeted us within 10 seconds of us walking in and was present throughout the maze, along with her homies the Tall Man, Hazel Hill, the zombie in the basement, etc. The maze does a good job of making sure the monsters that haunted us in Hill House came out to play here, but that’s what it felt like, play. I would have liked some more scariness, but any Hill House fan will find something to enjoy. Scariness: 2/5, Creativity: 3.5/5

Scare rating: 4/10

Creativity Rating: 7/10

TOTAL: 5.5/10

4.Universal Monsters: The Bride of Frankenstein Lives

Crystal Ro / Via BuzzFeed, Pablo Valdivia / Via BuzzFeed

Crystal: So, back in 2018, the Universal Monsters maze was BY FAR my favorite maze. It had the scares AND the creativity. So, I've looked forward to the Universal Monster maze each year since. The Bride of Frankenstein is such a great character, and her looks in this maze were 🔥🔥🔥. Maybe I was too caught up in the story (which, PROPS to them for weaving a story into a horror maze), but this one didn't scare me as much as in past years. Scariness: 2/5, Creativity: 4/5

Pablo: I bought a T-shirt at the gift shop with her face on it before I walked through this maze, so my loyalty already lied with her. My girl looked fabulous and badass throughout, but instead of a whole bunch of scares, they opted to tell a narrative instead, which isn’t bad depending on what you’re looking for. If you want to get caught between a fight among the Bride and a vampire as lights flicker around you, this may be your jam. Scariness: 2/5, Creativity: 4/5

Scare rating: 4/10

Creativity Rating: 8/10

TOTAL: 6/10

3.Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers

Pablo Valdivia / Via BuzzFeed

Crystal: I remember going through this maze back in 2018, and obviously Michael Myers is still as creepy now as he was then. I'm glad they changed up the maze a bit this year — I was VERY into the hall of mirrors, and tbh coulda used more of it. That being said, Michael Myers is an iconic horror monster, so I'm always down for more of him. Scariness: 3/5, Creativity: 4/5

Pablo: Given Michael is the main character here, you can guess whose knife was near my face the whole time. What I didn’t account for was Michael hiding behind a transparent wall that somehow transforms into a wooden fence at one point. Maze magic! The soundtrack does a lot of the work here to make you think you’re starring in your very own Halloween film, and getting trapped between hoards of Michael Myers in a funhouse mirror room isn’t my idea of a good time, but I didn’t come here for a good time, I came to feel alive (but also dead). Michael can do no wrong...other than all the murdering and stuff, I guess. Scariness: 2.5/5, Creativity 4/5

Scare rating: 5.5/10

Creativity Rating: 8/10

TOTAL: 6.75/10

2.The Exorcist

Pablo Valdivia / Via BuzzFeed

Crystal: Right before we walked into this maze, I remembered that The Exorcist has a CREEPY AS ALL HECK demon face ("Captain Howdy") that pops up during the movie, and that set off my anxiousness. And, spoiler alert, it turns out he's in this maze A LOT...and I did...not...like...that. I guess I must have some deep-rooted issue with demon faces, because I actually screamed and fell into a wall at one point when he jumped out at me. Scariness 5/5, Creativity 4/5

Pablo: This film first traumatized me at the age of 9, so this maze holds a special place in my heart. It’s also a repeat from a maze in 2016, but I had never gone through it before. I think it does a great job of telling the story of the film while also implementing some spooky effects throughout — my fave being the Regan animatronic that flips her head around and “vomits.” While some scares felt repetitive, the power of Christ compelled me to love it. I’m glad this maze felt longer too, so I’m sure Pazuzu would be proud! Scariness: 3.5/5, Creativity: 4/5

Scare rating: 8.5/10

Creativity Rating: 8/10

TOTAL: 8.25/10

1.Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Crystal Ro / Via BuzzFeed

Crystal: I knew going into this one it was going to be fucked up. Leatherface is one of the scariest horror characters in cinema, and the thought of facing him in IRL was real not OK with me. From the get-go, I was stressed as heck. Between Leatherface jumping out with his chainsaw, the screen-accurate set design, and the ROTTEN BACON SMELLS to boot — this maze had it all. Scariness: 4.5/5, Creativity: 5/5

Pablo: I fully thought this movie was actually based on a true story up until I was like 12, so I tried to conjure up the feelings of fear it instilled in me all those years. I think above the sweet sounds of chainsaws and people getting their heads ripped off, I liked that they added smells to this maze. It was something I enjoyed about the Krampus maze years back, except instead of cookies, this smelled like rotting meat. Yum. This maze also felt just longer, and seeing Leatherface literally cut a person’s face off and try to wear it was truly the cherry on top. Scariness: 4/5, Creativity: 4/5

Scare rating: 8.5/10

Creativity Rating: 9/10

TOTAL: 8.75/10

If you ~dare~ to check out all the mazes yourself, visit Hollywood.HalloweenHorrorNights.com (Los Angeles) or Orlando.HalloweenHorrorNights.com (Orlando) to get more information and to purchase tickets!

Darren Leis / Via BuzzFeed