UNITED STATES—Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort announced the cancellation of Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) 2020 on Friday, July 24 in response to the ongoing uncertainty of re-opening due to Covid-19. 

In a statement, Halloween Horror Nights said the following on social media:

“Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort have made the difficult decision to not hold Halloween Horror Nights events this year. Universal Studios Hollywood continues to face ongoing business restrictions and uncertainty around its opening timeframe. Universal Orlando Resort will be focusing exclusively on operating its theme parks for daytime guests, using the enhanced health and safety procedures already in place. We know this decision will disappoint our fans and guests. We are disappointed, too. But we look forward to creating an amazing event in 2021.”

Photo courtesy of @HorrorNights via Twitter.

This year would have been the 30th anniversary for Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. The annual event is known for bringing iconic and terrifying creatures and films to life through the work of its Creative Director, John Murdy, and the visionaries of the genre. In their mazes and attractions, they have paid tribute to classic films, such as Universal Pictures’ “Frankenstein” (1931) and “The Wolfman” (1941), to cult favorites and original creations.

A few hours after the announcement was released, Murdy posted on Twitter:

“My creative partner Chris Williams and I would always joke about the success of HHN over the years by saying, ‘We created a Monster.’ That analogy seems rather fitting today. Like Frankenstein’s Monster, we jolted the moribund corpse of HHN back to life in Hollywood in 2006.” 

“And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about The Monster it’s this…The Monster always survives. In 1931’s Frankenstein he was trapped in a burning windmill, surrounded by an angry mob that cheered his demise as the flames rose higher…but The Monster survived!”

“All of these films, the monster movies that built this studio I work for have 1 thing in common. They were all born during a time of great uncertainty & crisis. In the time of The Universal Monster classics, that was The Great Depression and World War 2, but The Monster survived.”

“Similarly, HHN in Hollywood came of age during the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. I remember all the people who said it would never work & questioned why I would leave my job in Universal Creative to attempt to bring it back to life. But The Monster survived.”

“This is a sad day for everyone who creates, produces, operates and performs HHN on both coasts. It’s also a sad day for the fans and sad times for everyone who works in the haunt industry. We are all essentially the same people. We are all brothers and sisters of Horror.”

“And in these dark days just remember, ‘The Monster always survives!’ Thanks for supporting us all these years. Now it’s time to support each other and get to the other side where nightmares become once again the thing of dreams…and not reality. Keep dreaming.”

The annual event has been a regular haunt for many celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Billie Eilish, Kevin Bacon, and “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Director Jason Reitman. Television show cast members have also visited in groups such as Jodie Sweetin, Soni Bringas, and Juan Pablo Di Pace of Netflix’s “Fuller House”.

Actor Kevin Bacon at HHN 2019. Photo courtesy of Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood via Facebook.
“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Director Jason Reitman at HHN 2019. Photo courtesy of Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood via Facebook.

On their website, Universal Orlando Resort Horror Nights offers a Cancellation Details and Frequently Asked Questions page for its guests located at https://orlando.halloweenhorrornights.com/site/hhn/details/announcements/halloween-horror-nights-cancellation. One answer addresses the question if the event will return to Universal Orlando in 2021. The site states that Horror Nights will return to their park next year, and more details will be shared at a later date. Answers to guest inquiries such as tickets and refunds are also available. The website for HHN Hollywood has yet to post similar information.