Videos / Photos: Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Includes “The Last of Us,” Much More at Universal Studios Hollywood

Last night marked the opening night for Halloween Horror Nights 2023 at Universal Studios Hollywood, and Laughing Place was invited to participate in the annual event as media. Below are videos of all eight of this year’s impressive haunted houses, plus the Terror Tram, the Blumhouse behind-the-scenes experience, and The Purge: Dangerous Waters stunt show that took place in the theme park’s Waterworld arena.

As we first approached the park, it was great to see the famous Universal Studios globe again, but once we stepped through that main gate things started to get much spookier.

Probably the most highly anticipated haunted house of all this year is “The Last of Us,” which is based on the smash-hit video game series.

Watch "The Last of Us" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS / Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Studios Hollywood:

The Stranger Things franchise is also back at horror nights with a haunted house representing the popular Netflix series’ fourth season.

Watch "Stranger Things 4" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Hollywood:

Up next is a haunted house representing a film that hasn’t even been released yet: director David Gordon Green’s upcoming sequel The Exorcist: Believer, which hits theaters on October 6th.

Watch "The Exorcist: Believer" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Hollywood:

Of course it wouldn’t be Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood without some classic Universal Monsters action. This year the Invisible Man, the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde are all running amok in the chilling “Universal Monsters: Unmasked” haunted house.

Watch "Universal Monsters: Unmasked" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Hollywood:

And everyone’s favorite killer doll from the 1980s gets his own haunted house this year, inspired by the Chucky TV series and the Child’s Play / Chucky movie franchise that preceded it.

Watch "Chucky: Ultimate Kill Count" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Hollywood:

Evil Dead Rise is another relatively new horror film to be represented in a haunted house at Horror Nights, though it is the fifth installment in the long-running Evil Dead series.

Watch "Evil Dead Rise" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS at Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Hollywood:

Halloween Horror Nights creative director John Murdy and his team continue to lean into the popularity of Latin culture in Southern California with the original– and very scary– haunted house “Monstruos.”

Watch "Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS Halloween Horror Nights 2023:

Lastly when it comes to 2023’s haunted houses, “Holidayz in Hell” is back to spread more frightful cheer throughout the year.

Watch "Holidayz in Hell" haunted house HIGHLIGHTS Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Studios Hollywood:

But we can’t forget the Terror Tram, which brings Halloween Horror Nights guests out to the Universal backlot, where this year they'll encounter some bug-like “Exterminatorz,” plus get a chance to walk through the set from Jordan Peele’s movie Nope.

Watch "Terror Tram… The Exterminatorz" HIGHLIGHTS at Halloween Horror Nights Universal Studios Hollywood:

The big show for Halloween Horror Nights 2023 actually takes place in the arena usually utilized for the “Waterworld” stunt spectacular– and it’s themed to The Purge franchise of horror films.

Watch "The Purge: Dangerous Waters" FULL SHOW at Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Studios Hollywood:

Another fun experience to check out is in the DreamWorks Theatre, and features props and costumes from Blumhouse horror movies, plus an in-theater showcase of past, present, and future Blumhouses releases… not to mention a surprise appearance by an entirely different killer doll.

Watch "Blumhouse: Behind the Screams" HIGHLIGHTS Halloween Horror Nights 2023 Universal Studios Hollywood:

Below are some more photos representing the other sights and sounds around Universal Studios Hollywood during Halloween Horror Nights 2023, including the three scare zones (El Terror de las Momias, Toyz, and Ghostz), photo ops, and more.

On the Lower Lot, guests can find several food and beverage locations inspired by Stranger Things.

And at the unloading platform for the Terror Tram, you might encounter old Saint Nick himself from the movie Violent Night.

A couple of the haunted houses require guests to walk through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area to access them, and Hogsmeade Village has once again been overrun by Death Eaters. I was also impressed by the amount of projection effects used around the park this year.

Chucky fans are going to want to pick up this popcorn bucket depicting the killer doll.

There are more Dia de los Muertos decorations in Universal Plaza.

And lastly, I wanted to share still images from the “Blumhouse: Behind the Screams” exhibit. It was just so cool getting to see this stuff up close, especially the Five Nights at Freddy’s animatronics, which were crafted by the Jim Henson Creature Shop and really made me want to see the movie when it’s released next month.

All in all, this was another really fun and really quite frightening year at Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights.

Halloween Horror Nights 2023 runs on select nights from now through October 31st. Be sure to visit Universal Studios Hollywood’s official website for additional information and to purchase advance tickets.

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Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.