Halloween Horror Nights 3 review

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

With three times the evil, Universal Studios Singapore has raised the bar again. Find out why Halloween Horror Nights 3 is definitely an event not to be missed this year.

Editor’s Note: I felt I made a huge mess of an entry for last year’s HHN2 review which was too long and too messy to read. It was also difficult for readers to find the updated sections. Therefore this year I will separate all the content into different entries so that both writing and reading becomes manageable.

This HHN3 review will focus on the creative and “scare” aspects of the park’s special attractions. As for opinions on guest experience aspects (wait times, crowds, happenings, compliments and complaints, etc), please scroll down to Trip Reports, under the More… section. You might also find this Tips and Tricks guide to HHN3 useful.

And just like last year, scare zones will be explored in depth within their own feature articles, which will be released throughout October.

Quick Jump to section: Review | Scare Zones report | Haunted Houses report | More…




Special Thanks to Resorts World Sentosa for inviting Dejiki.com to the HHN3 Media Preview.
This review is based on the Media Preview experience. Review Addendum reporting event night opinions and experiences will be appended when available.


Review

Universal Studios Singapore has outdone themselves again, creating an event that is far more immersive and sophisticated than before.

The park has built on their success and developed stronger stories this year. By using original ideas instead of adapting horror franchises, the park manipulates the power of surprise and intrigue. This shows in all three haunted houses in the park, which are unique concepts never done before in a previous HHN event.

The park’s seven zones are open once more for Halloween Horror Nights, with a similar strength of scare zones and haunted houses (three of each). However, judging the event by numbers alone would be unfair. There is an obvious focus on quality of the whole experience.

Guests can expect a myriad of special effects within Haunted Houses this year – most are stunning and well positioned so they won’t be missed. The sets, costumes and make-up are other aspects to appreciate – pity the harrowing scare experience rarely allows time for any admiration.

In response to last year’s complaints, all three haunted houses are now fully sheltered and will be able to operate during inclement weather. The deafening sound effects within haunted houses were also toned down for comfort.

In terms of theme park attractions, three big ticket rides are not available (Battlestar Galactica: HUMAN vs CYLON, Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure). This is, I feel, is balanced with expanded scare zones at Ancient Egypt and New York, plus a new full-sized Haunted House. Forbidden Forest, the new scare zone at Jurassic Park also strengthens the line-up. The Special Halloween Edition of Monster Rock is a breath of fresh air – I actually thought that the changes were good. Beetlejuice is more recognizable and has more relevance to the show than Jekyll would. He stars in his own show at the other Universal parks after all. I hope the park considers keeping this special edition after Halloween.

As for other aspects of guest experience, I update this review after attending HHN3 during the opening weekend.


Addendum

Trip Reports for 31/10/2013 (Halloween Night) available

Jump to Halloween Night trip report.

Trip Reports for 18/10/2013 and 19/10/2013 now available

Jump to Night 3 trip report.

Jump to Night 4 trip report.

I have also received word that the park is changing some elements of the haunted houses and scare zones to improve guest experience. The stalling within Haunted Houses will be addressed. Hence, the later weeks of HHN3 will be much improved, with some tweaks and changes adopted in anticipation of higher attendance.

12/10/2013: HHN3 Night 2 guest experience and thoughts

(This is a summary. Click here for full Night 2 trip report.)

Chaotic crowds. Stalling in Haunted Houses. Packed scare zones.
RIP Tour Review included.

The park was immensely crowded today, being a Saturday night. Wait time for Haunted Houses remained steady around 100-130 minutes for most of the night. Stalling is becoming an issue, with the guests stopping in the Haunted Houses as early as the first scene. Scare Zones were hard to navigate with throngs of people trying to grab attention of scare actors (for photographs). This is the night I went on the HHN3 RIP Tour with my friends – an annual tradition. Read the Night 2 Trip Report for a review of the HHN3 RIP Tour.

11/10/2013: Opening Night guest experience and thoughts

(This is a summary. Click here for full Opening Night trip report.)

HHN3 - Sisters of Evil 3

In a Nutshell: Bottlenecks in Haunted Houses. Scare zones very interactive and entertaining.

HHN3 opened with a bang – literally. The park gates were open before 7pm, but that was to allow guests to enter and crowd around Hollywood Boulevard. The sisters make their dramatic entrance with a vanishing/teleportation trick.

I felt that the park should have placed attendance control. The park was very crowded even for an off-peak night. Despite the appearance of reasonable wait times (maximum wait of 110 minutes for one haunted house), the actual experience inside the haunted houses are less than desired. Scare zones are perhaps the best part of HHN3. The scare actors are very interactive and deeply immersed in their roles. I’d suggest that you chat with them… if you dare.

For more details and photos, jump to the Trip Report.


Rating System

Ratings for each Scare Zone and Haunted House
Rating uses three categories on a 5-star scale: The Story concept – how compelling and engaging the narrative is. Presentation scores the production values for theming, including props, special effects and scare actors’ costuming and make-up. Scare Factor rates how scary each zone or house was, including scare actors’ performance.


WARNING


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Quick Jump to section: Review | Scare Zones report | Haunted Houses report | More…




Scare Zones

There are three scare zones this year, taking place at New York, Ancient Egypt and The Lost World.

More Photos!
Stay tuned for entries featuring each scare zone in greater detail, which will be released throughout Halloween Horror Nights 3.


Attack of the Vampires

〜 Whittemore Cemetery – where vampires and werewolves come out to play, and hunt. 〜

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

Attack of the Vampires is an elaborate scare zone taking place in New York. Whittemore Cemetery is the main area of this scare zone, taking up the entire stretch of 5th Avenue. Water Street, the side alley, also has creeping vampires.

The vampires wear fine clothing – exquisite and elaborate (see cover photo at the top). They are certainly dressed to kill.

Scare actors here are split into two groups: Victims and… everything else. The Vampires do pounce and attack the Whittemore residents, many whom will scream and beg park guests for help. Don’t think that you’re safe, though.

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

You’ll find more than vampires here. Watch out for the werewolf and gargoyles.

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

The show lighting also forms part of the experience – the entire area alternates between gloomy red and blue hues, with occasional bursts of lightning (which causes vampires to back away). Add fog, ruined crypts and tombstones to the equation and you have an intense scare zone experience beyond the grave and back.

HHN3 - Attack of the Vampires

Also, don’t miss the 3D-mapped projection on the New York Library. Stay here and see the library overrun with creatures, bleed and even break apart.

Overall, this scare zone is beautifully elaborate. Whittemore Cemetery is definitely chilling to walk through – it is shrouded in fog and ghastly lit. The horrifying ensemble of hostile vampires are hungry for new blood all the time, so you won’t be able to pass the Cemetery undisturbed.

Scare Zone Photo Tour – now available!
Explore the Graveyard of Whittemore now, at the Attack of the Vampires Special Feature.

Rating
Story: ★★★★☆
Presentation: ★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆


Convention of Curses

〜 Welcome to the 366th Annual Convention of Curses! 〜

HHN3 - Convention of Curses

HHN3 - Convention of Curses

Practitioners of dark arts gather at the Annual Convention of Curses, held at Ancient Egypt this year. It is similar in style to Bizarre Bazaar, with several booths, each with a handful of scare actors. Actually, it feels like an international version of Bizarre Bazaar.

HHN3 - Convention of Curses

HHN3 - Convention of Curses

HHN3 - Convention of Curses

HHN3 - Convention of Curses

The flash mob from last year returns: Occasionally, all characters will leave their stalls and gather in front of the Obelisk stage for a quick dance number.

HHN3 - Convention of Curses
The Curse of Midas touch. A fool and his money are soon parted.

This is still an improvement from last year’s Bizarre Bazaar, because there is a lot more to see, and the booths are more interactive than before – after all, it is a convention. A melting pot of witches and wizards (and everything else) are here to peddle their wares and skills.

It’s a challenge to work with the layout of Ancient Egypt. Perhaps the park could experiment with building a Haunted House here next year.

Scare Zone Photo Tour – now available!
Visit this fair of all things strange and bizarre at the Convention of Curses Special Feature.

Rating
Story: ★★★☆☆
Presentation: ★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★☆☆


Forbidden Forest

〜 No one escapes from the Forest. 〜

HHN3 - Forbidden Forest

The Forbidden Forest is controlled by the Crone of the Forest. This is a land of profane rituals and exotic dark arts. Venturing in after dark is a fool’s errand – you may never find your way out.

HHN3 - Forbidden Forest

HHN3 - Forbidden Forest

The villagers that are now enslaved by dark curses stagger around in shadows – many have lost their minds, others horribly disfigured. Watch your back at all times.

HHN3 - Forbidden Forest

Apart from cursed villagers, beware of the Potianak, Orang Minyak and Pocong. Other gruesome creatures, summoned by the Crone of the Forest also roam around the woods, ready to ensnare new victims. They know you are coming.

HHN3 - Forbidden Forest

This is the park’s first attempt in creating a scare zone at Jurassic Park. I felt that the concept fitted well with the area. With all the lights switched off, it’s hard to tell that it’s even Jurassic Park.

Forbidden Forest takes advantage of the zone’s branching paths and corners – perfect for scare actors to plan their attack. The lighting here is also very minimal and mostly glowing from mystic fires. The audio? Haunting and will make your skin crawl.

Scare Zone Photo Tour – now available!
Uncover the horrors of the dark forest over at the Forbidden Forest Special Feature.

Rating
Story: ★★★★☆
Presentation: ★★★★☆
Scare Factor: ★★★★★


Quick Jump to section: Review | Scare Zones report | Haunted Houses report | More…




Haunted Houses

Like last year, the haunted houses are located at Stage 28 (behind New York) and at the Waterworld queue. For the first time, the park built a Haunted House beside Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. This allows all three Haunted houses to function even during inclement weather.

SPOILER SAFE
In order not to spoil your experience of HHN3′s haunted houses, this review will only show one new photo (and one previously unveiled in “First Impressions”) from each haunted house. More photos will be available in special features, to be released throughout the duration of Halloween Horror Nights 3.

Note: Walkthrough time in Haunted Houses varies on guests’ walking speeds and crowd conditions within each attraction.


Adrift

〜 Leave this ship at once! 〜

HHN3 Preview Photos - Adrift

Adrift brings guests on board a haunted luxury cruiser. The ship went missing in 1910, but the spirits of passengers and crew lingered. Brave souls will explore the ship’s many decks – from opulent cabins and corridors to distressing crew quarters and machine rooms.

This is, I believe, the best Haunted House I’ve ever been to. The theming is extraordinary – from the harsh lower areas (filled with machinery and all things metal) to the gloomy upper decks (posh furnishings – even the wallpapers and carpets!) I have too many favourite scenes in this Haunted House, so if I must pick: The locker room, the lounge, guest cabins and boiler/engine room.

Some areas of the ship feel dank and chilly, while there are chambers that should be hot.. actually feels that way. And since you are exploring a ship, expect to move up and down to get to different decks – and the ship is not always “upright”. I’m surprised at the attention for such detail.

HHN3 Preview Photos - Adrift

There are a lot of special effects in Adrift and this house’s production values do rival some major theme park attractions. So do pay attention to your surroundings and walk at a reasonably slow pace (not too slow to cause a massive slowdown and 3 hour wait time outside).

Haunted House Photo Tour – now available!
All aboard! This haunted cruise ship is now ready set sail… Find out more at the Adrift Special Feature.

Approximate Walkthrough time
6~7 minutes

Rating
Story: ★★★★★
Presentation: ★★★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★★★

Memorable aspects:
- Be bewildered by the ship’s incredible theming
- Go on an extensive tour around a ship
- Meet the ship’s deluded passengers
- Enjoy special effects and scares from all directions
- Find the Captain, if you can.


Songs of Death

〜 下一个就是你!(You’re next!) 〜

HHN3 - Songs of Death

Witness the Maiden of the Opera‘s vengeful control of her troupe at the Chinese Opera Academy.

HHN3 Preview Photos - Songs of Death

At an outdoor theater, a chinese opera singer performs alone, to non-living audiences. She occasionally clutches her heart, while blood flows from her left eye onto her snow-white face. She does not appear to be the true Maiden of the Opera. An old man standing by begs visitors not to stare at the performer and proceed to the safety of the Chinese Opera Academy building.

He lied.

The rest of the experience was a harrowing walk through the Academy’s dark corridors and disturbing rooms. Haunted by a bloody massacre, you’ll find out why – and how – the Maiden is the sole diva of the Opera, with no understudy. Ever.

I’m very impressed with how this Haunted House turned out. It’s not just a Sting Alley experience (The Pestilence in 2011, Death Alley in 2012) under a tent, but a full-length Haunted House with many rooms and special effects. You will be kept on edge throughout the entire experience. There is even a room showing a ritual – with items that might disturb some audiences. My favourite scenes in this Haunted House would be the Theatre at the beginning, the dressing room (where a dramatic act happens) and the dizzying finale.

The scares are intense; the atmosphere morbid. The Maiden’s Songs of Death are murderous strikes with a deep vengeance, turning herself more twisted and out of control after every scene. Also notable: All scare actors speak Chinese, of course – it’s Chinese Opera!

Haunted House Photo Tour – now available!
The exclusive meet-and-greet session with the Maiden and tour of the Chinese Opera Academy is now available at the Songs of Death Special Feature.

Approximate Walkthrough time
6~7 minutes

Rating
Story: ★★★★★
Presentation: ★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★★★

Memorable aspects:
- Have an exclusive backstage tour of the Chinese Opera Academy.
- Meet the tragically beautiful cast of scare actors.
- Witness a beautifully tragic tale of ambition and mass murder.
- Learn about Maiden of the Opera’s choice(s) of poison.
- Survive a disorienting surprise.


Possessions

〜 House for sale! I hope you didn’t forget your checkbooks today! 〜

HHN3 Preview Photos - Possessions

The pushy property agent spots guests walking from the distance and beckons them to come closer. She welcomes hopeful buyers into this distressed mansion – House No. 13 – with its occupants (both living and not) still haunting the plot.

HHN3 - Possessions

In this disturbed home, everyday objects possesses an unseen curse, spreading malevolent forces far more evil than you’ve bargained for. You might just become imprisoned in the house just like its former residents.

No corner of House No. 13 is safe – in fact, some rooms morph into morbid scenes of destruction. Be careful of where you walk into, and no – you better not touch anything in the house.

There is no major water splash in this haunted house (unlike last year), but other effects will takes its place. Generally, the entire house has a suffocating atmosphere – metaphorically and in reality too. Progressively, the experience feels more invasive – walkways become more narrow and the possessions in the house start getting uncomfortably close. It’s also stuffy (and even very warm) in some of the scenes.

Unlike the other two Haunted Houses, this is really a… “haunted house”. It manipulates the familiar to create surprise (and shock). The scare actors here, having only ordinary costumes and roles to work with, have put on stellar and convincing performances of being tormented by their dominating possessions. House No. 13 will definitely leave a lasting impression for most people.

Haunted House Photo Tour – now available!
Venture into House No. 13 and find the trapped family at the Possessions Special Feature.

Approximate Walkthrough time
6~7 minutes

Rating
Story: ★★★★★
Presentation: ★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★★★

Memorable aspects:
- Chat with the suspiciously chirpy property agent (who reminds me of Amy from The Ellen Show).
- Escape from the House’s deranged residents.
- See how evil spirits manifest from ordinary objects.
- Survive an awfully cozy surprise.
- Chainsaw man!


If anyone of you would want to compare, here are all my scores for past years’ Haunted Houses. HHN3 marks the first time all three Haunted Houses achieved full 5 stars (with bonus red stars) from me.

Historic Rating of all HHN Haunted Houses

Dungeon of Damnation (2012)
Story: ★★★★★
Presentation: ★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★★★★★

Death Alley (2012)
Story: ★★★★☆
Presentation: ★★★★☆
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆

The Insanitarium (2012)
Story: ★★★★★
Presentation: ★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★★★

Vengeance of The Matriarch (2011)
Story: ★★★★★
Presentation: ★★★★★
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆

The Pestilence (2011)
Story: ★★★★☆
Presentation: ★★★★☆
Scare Factor: ★★★★☆


Quick Jump to section: Review | Scare Zones report | Haunted Houses report | More…




More…


Trip Reports

Trip reports will be added when Halloween Horror Nights 3 officially begins. This section will be home to short reports covering opinions (of my own and accompanying guests) on the guest experience aspects (wait times, crowds, happenings, surprises, complaints, etc). Notable changes to the attractions, if any, will be mentioned here.


Trip Report 05: 31/10/2013

Click to expand Trip Report 05

It’s Halloween Night! I brought a few friends to the park today and we participated in the mad dash to Possessions. This is the first time I’ve actually sprinted to the Forbidden Forest. Strangely, when I exited Far Far Away, a lot of people stopped running and were hesitant to move forward. Hence, my group became the first guests of the night to actually enter the Forbidden Forest.

It turns out that we were also the first to enter Possessions too (RARE 5 minute wait time!), as even the queue lines were not ready. This gave us a great opportunity to interact with both the Caretaker and Property Agent at the start of the house.

I probably went to Possessions for about 5-6 times now. Somehow I found the House to be a lot darker. It’s definitely scarier and improved tremendously. The “inflating room” however, was probably switched to max power. The inflation was so strong that everyone was basically stuck for some moments. I had to really wrestle through the madness.

Overall, great experience at Possessions (as we were the first to get in!) and Songs of Death (Probably first 50 or so!). As everyone else went straight to other attractions, the two Haunted Houses at the back were really empty and the scariness and creepiness were definitely at its peak. There was no one in front of me!

This night felt a lot like the first Friday – queues were manageable and went up to at most 50 minutes. Towards the last 2 hours, wait time for Haunted Houses are around 10-25 minutes. It’s a lovely night.

Frequent Fear Passholders would be glad to know that their passes would be valid for all nights in November 2013. That means passholders can now visit on 1/11, 2/11 and 3/11 for three consecutive nights of evil!


Trip Report 04: 19/10/2013

Click to expand Trip Report 04

This is the first sold-out night for HHN3, and it does show it. The park opened 15 minutes before 7pm. Within ten minutes or so, the Hollywood Boulevard holding area became so crowded that they had to push the rope forward, closer to the stage.

I’m back at the park mainly for photos and videos, so I skipped most the attractions. The park did block off Sunset Boulevard (leading towards New York) for a good 5-10 minutes. People started running in the opposite direction and into Possessions.

I took my time and went around two scare zones. Songs of Death only had a 5 minute wait time. Of course, I have to go in. Notable things: Guests are dispatched in large groups and there are now more crew members inside the House. They now keep telling guests to move forward, so the pacing, while slow, has improved significantly from the past week.

The rest of the night was spent at the park’s three scare zones. They are very crowded – in fact some scare actors at Convention of Curses had difficulty switching with their doubles. Still, it wasn’t as bad as Bizarre Bazaar.

There were some parents who felt that HHN3 is suitable for young children. I was shocked to see kids (obviously below 10 or younger) screaming for their lives at the scare zones.


Trip Report 03: 18/10/2013

Click to expand Trip Report 03

I was only at the park for about 1.5 hours from 9:30PM. Wait time for Haunted Houses remain stable around 70-120 minutes. Towards 10:30PM, it started to drizzle, causing wait times at Adrift to fall to 30 minutes.

Scare zones remained crowded, especially Attack of the Vampires during the rain.

Eventually the light drizzle became a very heavy downpour. Some areas of the park were mildly flooded (ankle deep waters). It was quite a sight, but unfortunately the rain is so heavy that I could not operate my camera without damaging it.


Trip Report 02: 12/10/2013

Click to expand Trip Report 02

It’s a Saturday night, so the park was immensely crowded. Wait time for Haunted Houses remained steady around 100-130 minutes for most of the night. Stalling is becoming a terrible problem, with the guests stopping in the Haunted Houses as early as the first scene. Scare Zones were hard to navigate with throngs of people trying to grab attention of scare actors (for photographs). Essentially, the event feels oversold – and it’s a designated non-peak night. If you have not bought your tickets, I’ll suggest attending only on Fridays or the last Sunday.

I was on RIP Tours, this trip report will include a short review of the HHN3 RIP Tour.

HHN3 RIP Tour Review
The price has increased but the value of the experience didn’t appear to follow. For the first time in three years, our tour ended in slightly less than two hours. We used the last hour of the tour for VIP access to Haunted Houses (which took the entire hour due to slowdowns and stalling in the Haunted Houses). VIP Access to Haunted Houses is probably the best aspect to RIP Tours (cuts even the Universal Express line), but because too many guests were stuck in the Haunted Houses, we weren’t even able to join the line (to enter the first scene). Other benefits include line-jumping at the Sisters of Evil Photo Op, Buy-1-Get-1-Free photo prints, 10% discounts and a $10 meal voucher. Also, the RIP Tour Pass becomes Halloween Horror Nights 3 Universal Express Unlimited after the tour – three hours of Unlimited Express access.

Depending on the size and people in your group, your tour experience will vary. Our group had 8 guests (4 in my group, including myself), and two other pairs of guests. One pair left early (I think they were already frightened enough) so the remaining 6 of us continued with the tour. In terms of efficiency, we managed to enter all three Haunted Houses twice during the Tour session. We went also went on the following rides once: Transformers: The Ride, Revenge of the Mummy and Canopy Flyer.

The crowds have really affected everything. Even the VIP Access to Haunted Houses was useless as the stalling line of people started as early as the first scene. Fortunately our VIP Tour Guide was with us in the Haunted Houses and he helped to ease the slowdown ahead.

Unsurprisingly, there weren’t as many RIP Tour guests – perhaps the price has really went up too much. The VIP Reception Lobby was empty compared to last year’s, and the park even has a lane for Walk-In RIP Tours.


Trip Report 01: 11/10/2013

Click to expand Trip Report 01

HHN3 opened with a bang – literally. The park gates were open before 7pm, but that was to allow guests to enter and crowd around Hollywood Boulevard. The sisters make their dramatic entrance with a vanishing/teleportation trick. Have a look:

HHN3 - Opening Crowd

HHN3 - Opening Crowd 2

HHN3 - Opening Show A

The sisters were “banished” into the cage.

HHN3 - Opening Show B

Which lifts up and covered…

HHN3 - Opening Show C

And well, that’s to be expected.

HHN3 - Opening Show

They reappear on their stage, showing off supreme reign of evil over the park. HHN3 officially begins!

Haunted Houses: Nightmares from HHN2 returns?

I felt that the park should have placed attendance control. The park was very crowded even for an off-peak night. Despite the appearance of reasonable wait times (maximum wait of 110 minutes for one haunted house), the actual experience inside the haunted houses are less than desired.

Slowdowns are to be expected in haunted houses, but having guests stuck in scenes for minutes, is not. I was actually stuck at some rooms for haunted houses for up to 2-3 minutes. The worst thing is, it was one of the stuffiest and warmest room in Songs of Death! There were just too many people inside the haunted houses. The moment the line starts to move, everyone would just start pushing along, making it difficult to properly experience Haunted Houses.

The park crew is also very lax with regards to guests bringing distracting LED headgear and toys (anything with bright flashing lights), which is very disappointing as these items completely ruin the experience of Haunted Houses for other guests. Crew members should ensure that such accessories are turned off within Haunted Houses at all times.

Of all three haunted houses, Possessions seemed to have the longest wait time, raising to 40 minutes of waiting just half an hour after the park opens. A certain effect (room with inflating walls) has been switched off as it was a terrible bottleneck.

HHN3 - Adrift queue
More than an hour’s wait for Adrift. Express lane wait time: 20 mins. Normal wait time: 80+ mins.

HHN3 - Possessions queue
Inside the queue for Possessions (with a 85+ mins wait posted at entrance before this photo was taken). Look at the countless amount of blinking devil horns, which extends all the way into the distance. The entire Waterworld Theater is used to hold the queue, and for good reason – it’s entirely covered (once you reach this area). The only bad thing is, the whole place is very dark and there’s nothing to see or do at all. (Edit: On 12/10/2013, Waterworld lights were turned on).

Express passes are a necessary evil for guests who want to experience all attractions. They don’t eliminate wait time however, but they do cut the wait significantly. For example, the normal line for Possessions had a 95 minute wait time. Express lane reduced it to 20 minutes. You can try my “No Express Pass” strategy and hope for the best. If there are too many people in the park, Express Pass might become the only option.

On the topic of Express passes, I felt that the Express lane isn’t well “secured” enough by park crew, especially for Possessions. There are no checks before both lines merge. Shrewd guests will be able to abuse this “lapse” and sneak into the Express queue.

HHN3 - Songs of Death entrance
Songs of Death had the most unstable wait times throughout the night. It had the shortest wait during the first hour, but then often held the longest wait – peaking at 70-80 mins a few times through the night – but dropped to 5-15 minutes in the last hour of the event.

The thing is this: I don’t think people would complain if they waited for more than an hour (or paid for express passes) but have a truly terrifying walkthrough in the Haunted Houses – meaning guests are dispersed throughout the rooms (without people pushing in front or behind). What guests really hate is to spend hours in a slow-moving line, only to enter a haunted houses and stall inside again. I’m sure those with Express Passes would feel a little ripped off too.

HHN3 - Conventions / Nightmare Reaper
Nightmare Reaper booth at Convention of Curses

Scare zones are perhaps now the saving grace of HHN3. The scare actors are very interactive and deeply immersed in their roles. I’d suggest that you chat with them… if you dare. The Nightmare Reaper at Convention of Curses is HILARIOUS. As for Haunted Houses, do have a brief chat with the property agent at Possessions before entering House No. 13! I just love her remarks!



Survived HHN3? Now, tell your tale.

Too scary? Too crowded? Too boring? Too Thrilling? Can’t wait to get back?
Share your experiences and how you felt about this year’s Halloween Horror Nights 3 by leaving a comment. Did you feel that HHN3 was worth the money? Or did you find that the park was too crowded that you couldn’t enjoy the experience?

If you have any questions or thoughts about the scare zones and haunted houses or event, feel free to post away!


Ready to face your fears?

Hungry to experience Halloween Horror Nights 3 yourself? Get more information about HHN3, including event hours, attractions and ticketing. Details on other attractions in Singapore can also be found in the same entry.

Halloween Horror Nights 4 (2014)
Unboxing the Ballot Box
Minister Jonah Goodwill's Inauguration Ceremony (HHN4 Launch Event)
Halloween Horror Nights 3
Before Dark 1 | Before Dark 2 | First Impressions (HHN3 Sneak Preview)
Halloween Horror Nights 3 (HHN3) Review
Survival Guide: Halloween Horror Nights 3 Tips and Tricks
Special Features
Sisters of Evil | Forbidden Forest | Attack of the Vampires | Convention of Curses
Possessions | Songs of Death | Adrift

Halloween Horror Nights 2
Before Dark 1 | Before Dark 2 | Before Dark 3
HHN2 Trip Report, Review and Tips
Special Features: House of Dolls | Total Lockdown | Bizarre Bazaar | Final Night
Halloween Horror Nights
Before Nightfall | HHN Trip Report and Review

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34 Responses to Halloween Horror Nights 3 review

  1. Ben October 10, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    Hi, just want to ask is there any tips on which haunted house should we Q first upon entering the park like what you did last year? Because I’ll be going with my friend this Saturday and I want to make sure we quickly finish all the 3 haunted houses before slowly enjoying our time at the scare zones.

    Thanks

    • Dejiki October 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Hi Ben,

      Tips will be available in the Survival Guide entry. It will only be launched this saturday, as I need to gauge the crowd conditions at the park first on Friday night.

  2. Aidan October 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    Cant wait to go this friday. I just saw USS just up the express pass to $60. wah that double as last year…

    hope not so crowded so i no need buy the express pass

    • Dejiki October 11, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      Seems like the price for express passes can go even higher. It’s $70 now for 26/10.

      If you’re going just for the haunted houses, 6 hours of HHN3 event time is more than enough for waiting in line and experiencing all three of them. You just need to be at the park early and leave when they are closing.

  3. HHN Yearbook
    Twitter:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    Another great article, Dejiki! The event looks wonderfully atmospheric and scary, and very unique amongst the other Halloween Horror Nights events around the world. Can’t wait to see your extended coverage and more gorgeous photography!

    • Dejiki October 11, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      Indeed it is unique, and I hope they keep it that way for years to come. I can’t wait to return to the park at night.

  4. Jack October 11, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Excellent article and photos. Had painted a vivid picture of the horror tour. Thanks.

  5. Clifford October 12, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    I liked the addition of thriller in monster rock, but I am concerned about some song choices (for your entertainment, baby, etc.) because they were generally awkward and odd. Still, huge thumbs up for thriller!

  6. CastorJo
    Twitter:
    October 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Your pictures are more beautiful than mine ;)
    As I told you, I were first in line, just in front of the guy who held the rope ;)

    Houses are very detailed, scare zones entertaining. An awesome night !

    • Dejiki October 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      Glad to hear you had a great time! How did you find the stories for the Haunted Houses? Were they clear enough?

      • CastorJo
        Twitter:
        October 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

        I found the stories on your website and on the official website, if it’s the question. They were clear enougn, but after visiting the houses, I want to know the story behind every details. How did they choose to show this detail, or this one, … Who is this guy with the chainsaw in Possessions ? etc etc etc

        If I could, I’d love to see the map of each house, the role of each actor, etc.. I want to know everything ;)

  7. tootyfruity October 12, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Whats the taboo ritual in Songs of Death? Do share!

  8. Izzuddin October 13, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Amazing updates… Really benefit from the Halloween Horror Nights 3 Tips & Tricks… I had a better picture now, on how to plan…
    Looking forward for the Updates on “Special Features” of each scarezone & haunted houses… I’ll really love to see more pictures & videos of an overview of the event ( like last year’s review)
    When might it be published…? Looking forward to it… :D

  9. Izzuddin October 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Amazing updates… Really benefit from the Halloween Horror Nights 3 Tips & Tricks… I had a better picture now, on how to plan…
    Looking forward for the Updates on “Special Features” of each scarezone & haunted houses… I’ll really love to see more pictures & videos of an overview of the event ( like last year’s review)
    When might it be published…? Looking forward to it…! :D

  10. sonatasy October 20, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    I just visited Halloween@USS today. Your pictures show so much more compared to what i saw in the dark! I was only able to complete 2 out of 3 haunted houses as i was rushing to catch the last bus. The first i went to (Songs of Death) had no queue since we ran there. House No. 13 was our second stop and the waiting time was a freaking 1.5hrs! I had enough of queuing after that and went on to Mummy/Transformers with waiting times of 30min/50min. I was able to squeeze in some sightseeing at New York/Forbidden Forest etc by the time i left at 11.30pm. If i had stayed on for Adrift, it would have been another 2hr wait.

    This is my first time attending Halloween@USS. To be honest, the haunted houses were interesting but not scary. The lights inside were sometimes flickering to the point of blinding. Same for those flickering headbands they were selling as souvenirs. Unfortunately, i had to stand behind a guy wearing his flickering headband for 1.5hrs…really had the urge to tell him to take it off.

    Compared to the haunted houses, places like Forbidden Forest with the wandering ghosts were far more interesting. I just wish the queues had been shorter so i could go to Adrift too.

    Looking forward to your detailed review of Adrift pls!

    Seems like you’ve gone to all the past Halloween events@USS. Would you advise us to go on opening night to avoid shorter queues?

    • Dejiki October 20, 2013 at 10:19 am #

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience of HHN3! It’s unfortunate that distracting headbands are still sold (and worn by adults – don’t they look silly!)

      Generally, I would advise visiting Halloween Horror Nights on Fridays. Opening Night does have shorter queues (and usually it’s a Friday). The best night, in my opinion, has been the Final Night – usually all minor issues have been fixed and the experience is tweaked to its best. The queues last year were also not as long as it was a Sunday.

      • Clueless October 20, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

        What is the song played at halloween uss when u walk in by the entrance?? Some kind of club music..

  11. Nigel October 20, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

    Hey Dejiki!
    I went for HHN last night (19th Oct), and thanks to following your strategies, managed to complete all houses by 9pm!:D it was really an enjoyable experience for my friends and I. We made a mad run for Possessions upon rope drop and had no wait – my group was more or less alone in the house. We went to Songs of Death with 5 mins wait and then Adrift with 1hr 10mins wait.

    What impressed me were the scare zones, which were not only detailed but were very interactive and had a few scares too. I especially liked the water street alley in new york.

    Strangely enough, the inflated wall effect in Possessions was on (I think only for the first few visitors), but I felt it was really too dangerous. It was way too long, and was actually difficult to push through. I even had to push along another girl in front of me who had kind of a panic attack, froze and said she couldn’t breath! Good concept, but poorly executed I feel.

  12. MAK LAMPIR October 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    JUST FOR YOUR INFO. CRONE OF THE FOREST AKA MAK LAMPIR (IN INDONESIAN FOLKLORE) GOOGLE MAK LAMPIR AND GET TO WATCH FILMS ABOUT HER MAINLY SHOTS 70S AND 80S.

    BEEN TO HHN3 ON 18.10.13 AFTER THE DOWNPOUR, THE MANAGEMENT STOPPED ALL ACTORS FOR FORBIDDEN FOREST

  13. MAK LAMPIR October 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Was quite dissappointed that it rained heavily and i was in the draggy queue of songs of death. by the time i reach the front line … it rained heavily. and the management should have try selling ponchos at the drink store (while queueing ) or at the front line. We were forced to run into the rain without any ponchos and umbrellas. and upon reaching the entrance of the haunted house. we were unable to enter as the front crowd has not cleared hence i was drenched wet standing in the rain at the entrance of the haunted house. the management should have standby with a contingency plan in any case of rain happens.

    by the time i finished the songs of death, it still was raining.. and walked to forbidden forest but it was closed.. no more actors… walked to house no 13 (which i missed) and the queue wait time was at 205 minutes. and that was already nearly 12 midnight. hence i make my way back to the vampire zone. and found out too that the actors have fleed by that time the rain has stopped. but still management did not release actor and even the lights was turned on. . No annoucement was made if the show will go on or not. hence i make my way home.

    Its so disappointing i missed forbidden forest and house no.13.

    Perhaps USS should make more slots on week nights :

    1. TO spread out the congesting queues since the event is getting popular year by year.

    2.so that less students attending. more adults attending.(Bad experience with young adults screaming even while in a queue without apparent reasons.)

    And yes.. i see kids around too.. i thought the event is for 13 and above. why do i see primary school kids with parents?

    PS:It wont be scary when there is too many people entering the haunted house at 1 time..

    • Dejiki October 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

      I was at the park on 18/10 and experienced the downpour when I was around Forbidden Forest. It started off as a drizzle but the scare actors have went backstage first. Most guests started running for shelter at Discovery Food Court and Far Far Away.

      The park was caught unprepared by the sudden thunderstorm but they quickly scrambled about and soon most of the park crew started selling ponchos. However, like you said, it came too late because the rain was very heavy and disrupted the operations of scare zones and haunted houses.

      I do agree that there should be more sheltered areas (especially the start of Songs of Death). And the comment about primary school kids – I am very surprised myself to see a lot of visitors that are obviously years below 13 – many came with their friends and without supervising adults.

    • sonatasy October 21, 2013 at 12:55 am #

      I heard about the downpour on Friday. Those who went to Sentosa Spooktacular were able to go again on 20th October, provided they still have their passes. Perhaps you should stalk USS facebook wall and see if there’s any “compensation” ?

  14. Clueless October 20, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    No is not that. As u walk in u saw the 3 step sis on the stage or cage. There will be a song played. Sounds like club music. What u gave me was the trailer bgm. Thanks tho: D still lookin for answers…

    • Dejiki October 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      Hi Clueless,

      I don’t think I’ve replied you.

      If you’re talking about that awesome track that’s played at the Sisters of Evil stage (after they appear), it’s “Power Glove” by Knife Party (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_z9W_N5Drg). I’m not sure which exact remix is used (or the park re-arranged it themselves). If you figure that out, please let me know!

      As for before the opening ceremony, I’m not sure. A cover of “This is Halloween” by Marilyn Manson is played right before the Sisters appear at the cage.

  15. Melvin October 25, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Is the event okay to go alone? Couldn’t seem to find anyone else interested to go too.

    • Dejiki October 25, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      Sure, why not? There are many people who go alone – who knows, you might meet and make new friends to enter the Haunted Houses with you!

  16. pepperandice October 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Hi great photos for attack of the vampires, what camera/lens did you use for the shots and did the actors pause pose for you or were these all movement shots?

    • Dejiki October 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Hi, I use a Sony NEX-6 with the Sonnar 24mm f/1.8 lens. The performers will roam around and pose for anyone as long as it’s “in character”. That is to say, for VERY brief moments.

  17. Melvin October 25, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Cool! Anyone going alone to feel free to join me on 31st Oct. hahaha

  18. Jack October 27, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    Was at HHN3 last night, perfect weather but too crowded.
    Went to Adrift first, queued for around 20-25 mins, after which I headed to songs of death where i queued for 40 mins
    the last house, possesions was the worst, the queue was amazingly long and took me at least 1hr+ just to enter the house
    overall a very tremendous and fun experience for me as a HHN virigin, just that I didn’t get to really see the props and actors in the haunted houses as everything has happened very fast.
    just wondering what was the taboo ritual you are mentioning about in songs of death as we were just being rushed through the house and I didn’t get to see everthing

    • Dejiki October 27, 2013 at 9:26 am #

      The ritual room is the place where visitors walk on joss papers. There are prayer chants and scrolling tapestries of inscriptions in that room.

  19. Makoy November 4, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    I didn’t know that USS decided to open 01 & 02 Nov to Frequent Pass holders. The mail they sent me went to my junk mail. Oh well… Moving on.

    My friends and I went to the closing night of HHN3. We went to Adrift first, followed by Songs of Death and lastly, Possessions. Surprisingly, we have completed 03 haunted houses by 08:05pm!

    By 9:30pm, the wait time at Adrift suddenly dropped to 05mins. My friends and I were able to go in to Adrift 3 consecutive times until we felt tired and decided to go back to Loui’s to rest and laugh our hearts out.

    Songs of Death was again a disappointment during the closing night. There’s still a jam at the Ancient Tablets area. The crew manning queue still allow people to go in constantly causing the jam. Though I noticed a few new additions in the haunted house, it were spoiled by the massive, slow moving people in front. Good thing before we reached the maze, we were able to create a gap to the group in front of us. The cold pressurized air at the end of the maze was an awesome addition.

    Possessions was okay. I just noticed that there were less scare actors inside the house. Like the moving sculpture, the jack-in-the-box, the girl inside the couch, even the possessed agent at the end were missing. The inflated walls we’re not up to its standard as well last night, the right wall was deflated. I did enjoy the addition of a scare actor hidden at the tires at the entrance of the house though. It really made me jump out of my skin. I thought it was a sign of a good and improved haunted house but that’s just it.

    Adrift was again the king of the night. The water effects were really good. it made my left side soaking wet (for some reason, the water effects are mostly on the left side)! The scare actors were really in their element. They were interacting with guests which made it more creepy. Though we went in 4 times last night, it still gives us a scare.

    All-in-all, it was a great, fun and memorable experience. My countdown now starts for Halloween Horror Nights 4 =)

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