Here's a quick look at the eight haunted houses for the 23rd edition of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights:
•Afterlife: Death's Vengeance: This year's 3-D maze is darker, thematically, than in previous years. It's about a serial killer, post-electric chair, meeting his victims in the great beyond.
•An American Werewolf in London: Scenes from the film are enhanced with elaborate puppetry representing the wolf, but first you'll relax at the Slaughtered Lamb pub.
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•The Cabin in the Woods: It starts in the film's remote cabin and works its way down to the famed elevator scene and the accompanying monsters. "You may or may not see some characters from our past in the maze," says creative director Michael Aiello.
•Evil Dead: Maze is based on the 2013 remake of the "Evil Dead" film and features water, goo, prosthetics, blood rain and "a room that deals with vomit," Aiello says.
•Havoc2: Derailed: The "Dogs of War" supersoldiers are on the loose after a train wreck.
•Resident Evil: Escape from Raccoon City: This maze incorporates characters from video games, including a scene that's been "paused."
•The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven: Scenes from the third season of "The Walking Dead" TV show include the prison and the town of Woodbury.
•Urban Legends: La Llorona: A woman drowns her children to impress a man? Well, there's a flaw in the plan, which leads to even more tragedy and more watery imagery. "This maze is gorgeous and terrifying," Aiello says.
On the stage
Halloween Horror Nights includes two stage shows:
•Bill & Ted's Excellent Halloween Adventure: The long-running production dates to the early days of Horror Nights and pokes fun at the year's pop-culture foibles.
•Rocky Horror Picture Show — A Tribute: Presentation includes film clips, live performers and crowd participation. It's just a jump to the left.
If you go: Halloween Horror Nights
Where: Universal Studios, intersection of Kirkman Road and Interstate 4, Orlando
When: Friday, Saturday, Thursday, Sept. 27-29, Oct. 3-6, 10-13, 16-20, 23-27, 31, Nov. 1-2. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. nightly. (Closing time varies with date.)
Cost: HHN is a separate-ticket, after-hours event. A single-night ticket is $91.99. Florida residents can purchase online tickets that range between $42.99 and $69.99, depending on date. Various multinight passes and front-of-line options are available. See website for details.
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