For the love of spooks: We rate USS’ Halloween Horror Nights’ experiences

All photos by Adrian Lee/Coconuts

One of the biggest horror festivals is back in Singapore and the Coconuts team brought our nuts to the test to brave through this year’s spooky horror houses and scare zones.

For the 10th edition, Halloween Horror Nights at the Universal Studios Singapore will be creeping on guests for 19 nights till Nov. 5 through three haunted houses, two scare zones, a laser-tag challenge, a performance show and Halloween-themed dining.

A Pontianak scare zone taking revenge on influencers, a haunted hotel and a demented artist were some of the things Coconuts dragged ourselves to experience. Here’s what did or did not make us jump.

<em>The ​​Halloween Horror Nights Park Map. Image: Universal Studios Singapore</em>
The ​​Halloween Horror Nights Park Map. Image: Universal Studios Singapore

Haunted houses

According to event organizers, it was getting harder for them to top the next year’s scare fest and that this time, they “really leveled up.” Inspiration was taken from the fans who wanted to see clowns and more localized supernatural entities and that’s exactly what they gave the crowd this year.

Killustrator: The Final Chapter (3 / 5 spookies)

One of its main highlights was giving the Killustrator, a demented artist, his very own haunted house. The horror-crazed artist is basically if Death Note was into art – he will illustrate your demise and make his twisted creations come after you.

The house is filled with scuffed-up drawings, devil posters, and incredibly eerie Pan’s Labyrinth-esque creatures coming toward you. There’s also an entire clown room splashed in neon paints with unsettling clowns.

<em>The Silenced Auction show featuring the Killustrator. </em>
The Silenced Auction show featuring the Killustrator.

Operation: Dead Force (2 / 5 spookies)

The hype over zombies is not going away anytime soon as this next zombie apocalypse-themed house is to prepare the world in case it got invaded by flesh-eating zombies. The secret bunker and lab belonging to the event’s Special Forces Against the Dead (S.F.A.D.) has air blast machines in your face at almost every corner while actors in special effects makeup and masks try to eat you.

Hospitality of Horror (4 / 5 spookies)

The final house to check in is a hotel haunted by the spirit of a bloodthirsty mistress. The mysterious mansion was once inhabited by Southeast Asia’s then-richest tycoon and has “secrets of its own”. It’s the back-to-back scares that got us, maybe because we were moving too fast, but at one point, we had to crouch down to move on and were too scared to get back upright.

The entry to Dark Zodiac.
The entry to Dark Zodiac.

Scare zones

Dark Zodiac (3 / 5 spookies)

Look out for your zodiac dressed in dark twisted costumes at this open area scare zone. The 12 Dark Zodiacs harness the power of their supreme leader known as the 13th Zodiac. Be sure not to miss their show, whip out your cameras and they’ll come right for ya.

The Hunt for Pontianak (4 / 5 spookies)

Southeast Asia’s most well-known spirit, the Pontianak, hit a little too close to home for us. The zone centers around influencers who are haunted after trying to hunt the Pontianaks. The outdoor path is set in a Malaysian jungle where one might get lost. Some of the actors dressed in the classic white gowns were just hiding in plain sight without making noises which made it extra eerie.

Add-ons

Escape the Breakout (1/5 spookies)

The Laser-Tag Challenge (for an add-on of S$38) is built around a facility where it houses the world’s deadliest criminals. Guests are first briefed and given heavy plastic guns that will shock actors temporarily when blasted at before joining another queue to enter the zone.

The long waits in between might be a turn-off for some as it certainly was for us. It also had two puzzle challenges that might need a bit of brainwork to get by if you want to get out.

<em>The Monsters & Manifestations show.</em>
The Monsters & Manifestations show.

Monsters & Manifestations show (subtle spookies but fun) 

The Monsters & Manifestations experience (for an add-on of S$38) is hosted by The Keeper, who is boisterous but entertaining and does a pretty good job at keeping us on edge. She guides us through interactive zones and brings us to an impressive dance performance. Watch out, they can get really close.

BONUS (5 / 5 spookies)

<em>Horror Eyeballs Pizza at Loui’s NY Pizza Parlor. </em>
Horror Eyeballs Pizza at Loui’s NY Pizza Parlor.

For the occasion, the restaurants at the park serve horror-themed food – and we had a Horror Eyeballs Pizza at Loui’s NY Pizza Parlor. It is topped with mozzarella, longans as eyeballs, blueberries as pupils, crispy puffed rice and gochujang sauce. The taste was as frightful as it looks (just look at it) and the price spooked us the most at a whopping S$25 which comes with a soft drink and dessert.

We spent five grueling hours going through all the experiences offered and there wasn’t a second where we weren’t sweating. It might be because of the heebie-jeebies or the humidity.

Either way, we highly recommended bringing a portable fan as the heat could drain your energy and ruin your night amid the long, unavoidable painstaking queues that honestly, ended up being the most horrifying thing of the night.

Update: The article was amended to reflect the specific nature of the ghoulish characters.

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