March 21, 2021 — Join your host, Speculation Matt, as he goes over the HHN30 Speculation Map that was released just after the event got cancelled last year! Hear Matt’s thoughts on the different experiences coming to the event, and learn about some of the horrors you will face inside.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE EPISODE
Hello and welcome back to HHN Talk with Speculation Matt. I am your host, Matthew Prevor. Hope you liked that new intro and today I’m very excited to discuss the most recent HHN 30 speculation map. First off, be sure to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @hhnspeculationmatt on Instagram and @speculationmatt on Twitter. Before we get into the map, I just need to give a huge shoutout to HHN Nightmares for making these maps every year, so please go check them out if you haven’t already.
So now it’s time for Speculation Matt to take a look at the speculation map. This map was made just after the cancellation of the event last year, so we’re going to be discussing what I think will be staying, what I think will be leaving, and then what we could possibly be seeing in these houses. So there will be a few spoilers in today’s episode. Please note that until Universal confirms it, nothing on this map is confirmed besides Beetlejuice, which we discussed briefly in our last episode, so go check that out, and maybe Puppet Theater, which we will talk about later.
So first we must discuss the elephant in the room. The first house we are going to be discussing is the one that everyone knows is not coming back and that is The Billie Eilish House. This house was rumored to be located in the Shrek Theater, which last year was home to Killer Clowns from Outer Space. There was lots of controversy amongst fans about this house. People said that it really didn’t belong at HHN and at first, I kind of agreed with that. I’m just going to say that. But however, as time went on, I started thinking about it and this house is a lot like an original property house. Billie is not a movie. She’s an artist with some really creepy graphics. So Universal could have done literally anything with what Billie Eilish gave them. So I think this had the potential to be a really creepy house. This house was supposed to be kind of like a trip into Billie’s nightmares, which related to her music and apparently, sleep demons would be the prominent characters scaring you. It was rumored to have a façade, which is quite rare for the Shrek Theater.
The only other house that had a façade in there was Krampus from HHN 26. A while back, some photos of props from this house were circling the Internet. They were actually being sold. They were cardboard cutouts of people and for those familiar with Billie Eilish, these types of people were actually in the background of her shows on the screen. The second prop we had was a headboard that said at the top, “When we all fall asleep, where do we go?” This, of course is the title of one of Billie Eilish’s albums. However, apparently as the pandemic went on, Billie Eilish decided to change her image. I’m not sure what her new image will really be like but I will guess that it will be a lot less creepy, considering the fact that this house will not be coming to HHN 30. It’s a shame. I would have loved to at least see it once. I of course want to see every house that the creative team makes cos they’re all awesome. But I have heard of a couple potential properties that could replace this house. I’ve heard both Halloween 3, Season of the Witch and Creepshow. We’ll discuss why I don’t think it will be Creepshow a little later, but for Halloween 3, Season of the Witch, I think it is very possible. HHN Hollywood is already rumored to have this house, considering you can see a shamrock coming from the Water World queue house location, so I think it makes complete sense for Orlando and Hollywood to team up and put this together. Of course, there is the possibility that this gets turned into an original house as well, but we’ll see what happens.
So next, we’re just going to briefly discuss the HHN Light houses. So that was Universal Monsters, The Bride of Frankenstein Lives, Revenge of the Tooth Fairy and Beetlejuice. We had Bride in Soundstage 23A. We will discuss the history of Soundstage 23 in a little bit. Tooth Fairy, which was Soundstage 24B, which was home to Us last year, and then Beetlejuice, which is in the old Parade Building that was Graveyard Games last year. So I think all three of these houses are coming back. Obviously, we already know about Beetlejuice. A lot of people think, oh, I’ve already seen it. Like why should I care? Well, you were very lucky. I was very fortunate to see Bride 22 times and Beetlejuice eight times. We were all very lucky. A lot of people did not get to see these houses and it’s really…it just wouldn’t really be fair. I mean I’d be pretty mad if I didn’t live anywhere near Orlando and I didn’t get to see these houses. So I think these are all definitely coming back. I think that Universal will also be putting more of the budget this year into the Billie Eilish replacement and scare zones because there you have all these houses built. There’s really no reason to pay to change anything. But we will be discussing these houses in more depth in an HHN Light episode, so stay tuned for that.
So onto our next house that we are too sure about. Up next, we have The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This house is rumored to be located in Soundstage 23B. So I mentioned earlier about Soundstage 23, this soundstage has not been used for a little bit. That last house in this soundstage was The Thing at HHN 21. Lots of rumors went around about which movie The Texas Chainsaw Massacre house will be about. People were saying the 3D version. Others said the remake. But the final version of the speculation map seemed to imply that the house will be based on the original film, based on the font of the title of the house. But obviously, the font can mean a lot of things. This would be the third time that this property will be featured at the event, the first time being at HHN 17 and then again at HHN 26.
I got to experience the house at HHN 26 and I thought that it was one of the scariest houses of that year. The façade of the house was identical to the movie. And then you kind of walked in and you smelled that awful smell and you walked into the Sawyers’ living room with body parts everywhere. You passed the famous staircase and the sliding steel door and you followed the same path that the victims followed in the movie. Of course, Leatherface, Nubbins, Grandpa Sawyer, James Sawyer, they were all there to scare you along the way. Probably one of my favorite parts of this house was once it was over – well, not really – after you left the house, it still wasn’t, just like in the movie. There were at least, I believe, three more times for Leatherface to get you before you were safe. And I thought it was really cool to see Franklin Hardesty, the kid in the wheelchair, was sitting there just after Leatherface got him, which I thought was a really cool detail. I always love it when you leave a house and you think you’re safe and then bam, they get you.
I think this year will be very similar to that because there are rumors that this house was kind of a last-minute thing. So I think they will maybe reuse some of those designs, just make it fit for a soundstage. But I think it’ll be really cool to see the movie come to life in a soundstage as opposed to a tent. Plus anything with chainsaws gets bonus points for me. Something about the sound of a chainsaw just makes the experience better for me. The house is going to be like the classic slasher movie type house for this year and I feel this would work this year, especially since we’re probably all still going to be wearing masks. And guess what? Leatherface wears a mask, too. But instead it’s a human face that they cut off.
Anyways, onto our next house. We have HHN Icons Captured. This house will probably be the biggest spoiler of the day, so be warned. And a huge shoutout to Legacy on the Inside Universal Forums for some of this information. Anyways, considering this is the 30th anniversary, we need to have our icons. It just wouldn’t right. We need to see them. So I definitely believe that this will be staying. So just real quick for those that are not familiar, I’m just going to briefly explain what a Halloween Horror Nights icon is. The rules for what qualifies as an icon is very much debated. However, they are different characters from throughout the years and I believe that they need to meet – not all but at least a couple – of the following qualifications. They need to have a presence in the marketing or merchandise. They have to appear somewhere in the event. They have to have a house or scare zone. They need to have a backstory. The icon has to be connected to the story for that year. And they have to have some presence beyond one haunted house, scare zone or show. So HHN Icons Captured is rumored to be in Soundstage 24A. The last house here was Yeti, Terror of the Yukon at HHN 29. Rumor has it that the façade for this house will be Fear’s Lantern from HHN 20. There are people who claim to have seen this façade with their own eyes, so that’s all I have to go off of. For those that don’t know, the icons are all trapped in this lantern and they are fierce minions. We will have an episode discussing the backstory of all the different icons at some point and, of course, we will discuss the story of Fear’s Lantern in there. So stay tuned for that. But anyways, the story of this house is that Fear has trapped all the icons in his lantern and Fear is granting them their wishes, to say. This puts the icons in different scenes of their desires.
So when I first heard this, I thought, kind of like the icon scare zone from HHN 25, where the caretaker, the storyteller, the director and the usher each had their own areas to do their kills. So I assume we’ll go into each of their scenes. Maybe they won’t necessarily be killing but they’ll be in their environment. So from what I understand, the icons in this house are Jack the Clown from HHN 10, 17 and 25, Caretaker from HHN 12, Director from HHN 13, Storyteller from HHN 15, Usher from HHN 19, Chance from HHN 26, Lady Luck from HHN 21, Dr. Agana – strictly as Dr. Agana, not Bloody Mary from HHN 18, Terra Queen – we’ll discuss her year in a minute, and Fear from HHN 20. Some of these icons have appeared in other years of the even that I didn’t mention but the years that I mentioned were just the years that they were the main icons. Like I said earlier, we’ll have an entire episode dedicated to icons where we will discuss all their stories and what years they appeared. So once again, stay tuned for that. And quick sidenote for that list of the icons, the Terra Queen is not considered an icon. She’s a part of the Storyteller’s story from HHN 15.
So now, everybody, here is the big spoiler I have for you for today. Apparently, the final scene of this house takes place in Fear’s throne room with the icons being burned for eternity. So yeah, when I first heard this, I was beyond shocked because I mean it just seems like they’re just going to kill all the icons. I mean okay, for me personally, I love the icons and their stories. They are such a crucial part of this event’s history. I would just be like beyond devastated if I walked into a room in this house and just saw all the icons burning. I feel like that would be the scariest thing in the house. So it’d just be very interesting to see. Me personally, I doubt that this would happen cos like they are just making them disappear forever. But when I first heard the story, it did kind of seem like a conclusion for the icons, at least the ones that we have now. This could very well be an entry point into a new age of icons. But who knows? This is one of my most anticipated houses, so we shall see what happens opening night. And quick sidenote about the icons, if you’re wondering who bought that 30 years, 30 fears icon banner, well, it might have been me. I just love these characters so much. So as soon as I heard that this thing was on sale, I ran to Universal as soon as I heard that they were selling it, and now I get to go to bed every night with Jack the Clown above my head. So that’s a dream come true. [laughs] Anyways, onto our next house.
Up next we have Scary Horror of the Heartland. This is rumored to be located in [??] [00:13:39] 3, which was House of 1,000 Corpses last year at HHN 29. This is supposed to be our anniversary house for HHN 30, although I guess you could say icons is as well. But this one, from what I understand, it will take us to Carey, Ohio and show us the best of some of the houses from the past 30 years that take place in Carey, Ohio. I haven’t heard if there will be like a real story for this house, but I heard that it might be related to the never go alone tagline for the event. So we will see. The houses that are rumored to make an appearance in this house are The School from HHN 15, The Orphanage, Ashes to Ashes from HHN 20, The Spawning from HHN 19, Leave it to Cleaver from HHN 19, Legendary Truth from HHN 20, HR Blood and Guts from HHN 21, Dead End from HHN 22, Hide from HHN 27, and a lot more. It is also highly rumored that Cindy, the Caretaker’s daughter, will be in this house somewhere. Before the event got canceled, I was in the You Rest area by Fear Factor and I heard them doing some sound tests for this house. And I swear I heard Cindy scream. So we shall see.
This is going to be such a great house for super fans who want to see some older characters. It’ll also be great for newer fans who did not get a chance to experience some of those houses. I’m a little worried about the location, though, because it let us down a couple times before with Lunatics Playground 3D, Chance’s House from HHN 26 and the Two Horrors of One House houses from HHN 27 and 28. But last year was really good with House of 1,000 Corpses. So it gave me a lot of hope for that location again. And I have a lot of hope that this will be a house with tons of Easter eggs and hidden details that’ll have me going back through 100 times. I always love it when they bring back old characters and sometimes even bring them back with a new twist. So I’m very excited for this one.
Up next we have Wicked Growth, Realm of the Pumpkin. This is rumored to be in [??] [00:15:56] Tent 2, which was depths of fear at HHN 29. This house has a few rumors surrounding it. The first is that it’ll be a sequel or simply just be related somehow to the Twisted Tradition Scare Zone from HHN 28. I’ve heard rumors that this house kind of grows as it goes, so it feels a lot more like a soundstage than a tent house. The sets are just a lot bigger than you might be picturing, especially the farther you get in the house. So from what I understand, you are traveling along some sort of path as you go to meet the Pumpkin King in his realm. And no, this is not a Jack Skellington house. The Pumpkin King is rumored to be a lost icon that Mike Aiello made. Aiello used to run creative for HHN. This character’s name is Nathaniel Crow. It is possible that this character is being featured as a tribute to Mike Aiello, as he recently moved on from HHN last year. Thank you, Aiello, by the way, for everything that you did for this event. Forever a huge fan. Anyways, but Nathaniel Crow apparently has a pumpkin head and he was supposed to be the icon at HHN 18. We’ll talk about this character story in a later episode. But for now, I’m just going to give you the poem that Aiello wrote to accompany this lost icon. So here we go.
Forgotten are the ways of old,
Traditions blood, black and cold.
Up through dirt roots grow and burst,
Evils return. You’ll see what came first.
When ravens and crows meet the night black,
Pumpkins were carved to keep the evil back.
When the howl of the wind sends shivers down spines,
Graves of our dead covered in vines.
When black cats cross paths and wolves howl,
True witches in [Mordum] laugh and scowl.
Your time has come, Nathaniel Crow.
Outside the box, you’ll think, you’ll grow.
Terrorist traditions in ways you will demand,
Halloween’s true self is at hand.
So that’s the poem. If this character is really going to be in this house, I am beyond excited for this house. If you guys watched the Puppet Theater video, which we will discuss more in a little bit, when they went to the makeup lab, you saw a whole bunch of masks that looked a lot like the ones from Twisted Traditions at HHN 28, as well as a bunch of creepy pumpkin heads. There was also one that looked a lot bigger than the others and he looked absolutely incredible. My suspicion is that that mask is Nathaniel Crow’s. So go check out that video, by the way. I really hope this all is true because I think it’d be really cool to meet a new icon. I don’t know if people necessarily agree with me on this one, but I am feeling a very similar vibe to Scarecrow, the Reaping from HHN 27, which was absolutely terrifying. I like fell over plenty of times while going through that house. It really got me. I think Wicked Growth is going to be an all around really just a creepy house and I’m really looking forward to this one.
Up next we have Puppet Theater Captive Audience. This is rumored to be in [??] [00:19:14] Tent 1, which last year was Nightingale’s Blood Tent. And by last year, I mean HHN 29. Out of nowhere on October 23rd on a Universal streaming service called Peacock, a behind the scenes video on this house got leaked. It was taken down very quickly and then officially put out by Universal on October 27th. I believe this is definitely coming back because in the video, they confirm that this house will be coming in 2021. So the only thing that I just found to be a little strange was when Beetlejuice got announced the other week and they completely redid the website, Puppet Theater was nowhere to be found. When you go to the house page and it like shows you all the different houses, it just says Beetlejuice and then nine boxes that say, “Coming soon.” I just thought it was a little weird but I assume they’re just waiting to give it a proper announcement. But we shall see.
Anyways, in the video for this house, the story was revealed. I’ll read it now.
Around the turn of the 20th Century, Pesky’s Puppet Troupe from Eastern Europe set up shop at the Grandeur Theater in San Francisco. They were later joined by the [Gerion] Ballet Group. One day, the theater collapsed due to an earthquake, trapping the puppet troupe, the ballet group and patrons inside. All the trapped people slowly went mad. The puppet troupe began taking the patrons and cutting them up and turning them into puppets.
So that sounds really cool and gory. And the video they released looked absolutely awesome. So like I said earlier, go check that out. The video also had some masks from this house. When they showed the masks, they said that they really went into different types of puppets, especially Eastern Europe types of puppets, to come up with the different kinds of masks. In the video, we also got to see a great look at one mask that showed the emotional values of the theater. On the left and right you had comedy and drama, and then in the middle it just showed madness and the horror. There are going to be all different types of creepy puppets in this house. You totally saw that if you saw the video and they looked awesome. In the video, it seems that we get to walk through the feeder and we switch from backstage to the audience. We’re going to get to travel the orchestra pit and they say that this red curtain is going to be like a main character because it will constantly be showing us if we are backstage or in front of the curtain. This seems to be a really detailed house, which I love. I think it’s going to be really cool to see this story come to life. Another thing to note from the video is that the sets looked really tall, especially for a tent. So I think we’re really in for a treat when it comes to tent houses this year, more so than ever. And I’m just really excited for this house.
And then the last house we have is the Netflix property, the Haunting of Hill House. This is rumored to be in the new Parade Building, which was home to Universal Monsters at HHN 29. If there’s any intellectual property that I don’t think will be coming back, it’s this one. Obviously, Universal does have a great relationship with Netflix from the two Stranger Things houses. But there were lots of rumors that Netflix was going to drop out just before the event got canceled. And to be honest, there’s really not a lot of hype for this show anymore. Everyone loved the Haunting of Hill House when it first came out. And then the Haunting of Blind Manor came out and everything kind of just went south. So we’ll see what happens with this one. This has the potential to be a very creepy house with some really cool effects, if done correctly, of course. Some of the rumored scenes include the foyer, the kitchen, the cellar, the statue room, the stormy hallway, the children’s playroom, the twisted staircase and the red room. Obviously, if you are a fan of the show, you have a lot to look forward to. Netflix is very big on getting things right. The details and the cast have to be perfect for them. The scares may be lacking, as we learned from the Stranger Things house at HHN 29, but the scenes will look spot on. I for one am not exactly very excited for this house because I just have lost interest over time. But I think it would still be a pretty cool house, probably just a very creepy house overall. And it’d be really cool to see some of these scenes come to life. So that is it for houses.
Real quick, let’s just discuss the scare zones. There are rumors that the scare zones could change since they were very last minute last year before everything got canceled but hey, we’re still going to talk about them, right? So first up we have Anniversary Zone in Plaza of the Stars. This is right when you walk in. This is supposed to be just your general anniversary zone, so I would assume icons and just some old characters from different houses. I’m sure a bunch of fan favorites and such.
Up next we have 30 Years, 30 Gears in the New York section of the park. This is supposed to be a best of scare zones scare zone. So old characters from different scare zones.
Up next we Terra Cruentus, which is rumored to be in Central Park. This is the most interesting one because the Terra Queen is supposed to come every 15 years. However, there was no event last year so her appearing would technically not fit with the story. But hopefully, they will make it work somehow and I believe that they will. I’m sure this will be a sequel to her scare zone from HHN 15, called Terror Guard Run. I imagine they will build a stage for her to do her kills outside of the Central Park area because it’s just going to be way too congested in there. And I also wonder if the motorcycles from her scare zone at HHN 15 will come back because again, it might just be really hard to fit in that area, especially if it’s social distancing now. So it’ll be really interesting to see if they did.
And then we have Creepshow. So this is rumored to be in the San Francisco area of the park. If this comes, I doubt we get the Creepshow house because that is just a lot of Creepshow. And I am not really familiar with how popular Creepshow is but I don’t think it’s popular enough to have two spots. I know it has like a cult following. But I don’t know if Universal’s willing to give up two spots at this event for Creepshow. But if this scare zone does happen, I imagine it will be just different scenes created in the street with characters from both the movie and the TV series. Another thing that I thought of is they could possibly do a house based off of the movie and then a scare zone on the TV show or vice versa. But we shall see.
And finally, we do have an unknown original, which will be in the Hollywood section of the park. I know nothing about this but I thought it was just worth noting cos it does say it will be an original.
So now we can move onto the last part, which is live entertainment. The speculation map actually doesn’t say anything about live entertainment. Any live entertainment venue was just going to be a You Rest zone last year. But it’s a new year and on the website, it does say, “Lose yourself in outrageous live entertainment filled with diabolically entertaining surprises.” And then below that, there is one box there that says, “Coming soon.” So if I had to guess, the show will probably be an anniversary Lagoon show. Sorry, no Bill and Ted. This will just be the easiest to pull off, I think, with social distancing. They’re already doing it with the Universal Cinematic Spectacular, so they already know what they’re doing. And plus Marathon of Mayhem last year, the Lagoon show from HHN 29, was incredibly well-received. People loved it. I still see people tweeting and posting pictures from it. They all loved it.
So that is it for the HHN 30 speculation map. I am sure another one will be coming once we get more information about the Billy Eilish replacement, scare zones and shows. So stay tuned for an episode on that. But for now, thank you so much for joining me on this episode. Hopefully, now you’re now even more excited for HHN 30. And be sure to join us for our next episode, where I will be discussing my experience at HHN Light last year and I’ll also be breaking down the three houses that opened at that event. So join us for that and don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @hhnspeculationmatt on Instagram and @speculationmatt on Twitter. Thank you again for listening, and I will see you in the fog.