A Beginners Guide to Not Being An A-Hole At Halloween Horror Nights


WARNING: There is a fair bit of foul language ahead. Normally I do my best to keep things relatively PG-13 on here but I’m a little bit more than ticked off right now.

*The following opinions are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the views of Universal Orlando Resort, NBC or any of their subsidiaries.  There is, however, a good chance that they reflect the views of anyone who has every worked the event in any capacity or has attended the event and not been a complete asshat.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal is the one event I look forward to every year and despite the fact that I am exhausted from all the long nights of running around like a crazy person, I’m terribly sad that this year is coming to an end.

Here’s what I’m not sad about- the fact that the total assholes of the world seem to have come out in full force this year.

Normally I would attribute the level of douchebaggery to alcohol but the event has actually cut back on booze this year with the elimination of the blood bag jello shots and limiting the pop-up bars to the specialty drinks and beer. (Unrelated- the Fat Tire beer is my favorite and the specialty drink cups make me angry). Granted just because there’s less alcohol doesn’t mean people are drinking less, there’s just a bit more work to it this year over others.

Regardless, it would seem that no matter what, people feel the need to act like complete jackasses and it’s this behavior that tends to ruin things for the rest of us non-ass-clowns.

Is ass-clowns hyphenated? It is now, I’m making the rules.

Now after some quick searching online I have found that there are plenty of videos and blogs that give the “Do’s and Don’ts” of Halloween Horror Nights but those are limited to things like “wear comfortable shoes” and “don’t…” Well there weren’t any blogs that listened a don’t sections. Unless you want to count “Don’t go without an express pass” which I’m calling bullshit on. I’ve made it three years without buying an express pass. Ya’ll will be just fine.

It would seem that none of the blogger were willing to say what I’m about it when it comes to what not to do at Halloween Horror Nights.


I’ve decided to list out my biggest pet peeves when it comes to guests at Halloween Horror Nights and because you think I’m being a sensitive little snowflake, you’ll find many HHN-regulars and guests will agree with me. Those who don’t are a part of the problem.

Here we go.

Turn Off Your Damn Flashlight/Camera Flash

Yes the scarezones are dark and scary. That’s the point. Having your flashlight on is painfully irritating to performers and messes up their ability to see what they are doing, especially since they are relying on their night vision to be able to do their job.

Now, as a photographer I can understand the frustration of the lighting in the scarezones but I also know how terrible flash looks in these photos.

How does it look Josh?

Fucking terrible. Don’t bother.

When I realized what a pain low-light photography was, what did I do? I did some research online and bought a low-light lens and learned how to photograph in the dark without a flash. It’s highly frustrating and hard but it’s worth it.

While we are on the subject of taking pictures…

Scare Actors are Not Your Personal Models

One of my biggest pet peeves are the photographers that I see taking up scare actors time by posing them all over the place to get pictures.


They are not models, they are actors doing a job.

Personally, I thrive on action photos and prefer that actors keep doing their things. If they slow down for a brief moment or linger a little bit longer for me then that’s on them. I have never and will never ask an actor to pose for me.

In the interest of full disclosure I have, on occasion, advised friends to “move towards the light”.

In a “I need more light so I don’t use flash like an asshole” was not a “time to move on from this world” sort of way… in case that wasn’t clear.


Let’s Just Pretend the Event is 13+

Can we take a moment to discuss parents that brings their small children to the event and how terrible they are? I’m sorry, it drives me insane.

Case in point: I was watching the Academy of Villains show and a man next to me had his son on his shoulders. This kid was about 4 or 5 max and seemed pretty okay. We were off to the side of the stage and during one portion of the show when the dancers come out onto the thrust, the kid was having NONE OF IT.

He started crying and told his dad that he wanted to go. Dad said “nope, you’re fine” and stayed put.

Kid cried the whole rest of the show.

I see this all too often every year and a whole lot this year. Kids that are clearly terrified and don’t want to be there, and parents forcing them along.

I know there are no age restrictions on the event but let’s use some damn common sense people.


Three Words: Designated. Smoking. Area.

For some stupid reason people seem to think that just because the sun has set, the whole world is their smoking area.

Nope. We’re still in a theme park. Rules still apply. You can’t just smoke anywhere.

Yet they do.

It’s 2017 and, I’m sorry, smoking is a damn dirty habit and we all know better. Yet for some reason, people will light up wherever they feel like it with little regard to those around them.

I’m including people that vape. It still smells gross and I don’t need that in my life.

Yes, I know lines get long but either get out of line to smoke or you’re going to need to wait.

The rest of us don’t need. If you feel the need to slowly kill yourself, that’s on you. Second hand smoke is still harmful to the rest of us so stop being a jerk and wait until you’re in an appropriate area to smoke.


Keep Your Damn Hands to Your Own Damn Self

During the 2015 run of Halloween Horror Nights the actress playing Carrie in the Drive-In Scare Zone had to resign midway through the run because she was constantly being assaulted by guests. Even after increasing security in the zone, including OPD, people still felt the need to put their hands on her.


Even to get their attention.

Keep your hands off.

They aren’t allowed to touch you. You’re not allowed to touch them. That’s how this game works.

They have a job to do. If you’d like to ask them for a photo, wait until they are looking at you and ask politely. If they say yes, be quick. If they say no, then don’t be a jerk about it. There’s a good chance, they’ve been instructed by their management not to pose for photos. Sometimes this is because other people have ruined it for others (refer to the above photographers taking up time posing actors).

Don’t get pushy. Don’t be a jerk. They are following the rules.

You should to.



About mid-way through this year’s HHN run, a performer in the American Horror Story house was roundhouse kicked in the face.






I’m sorry, that is not a normal human reaction to being scared. You have to be a special kind of asshole to do something like that.

Another performer in The Shining house was punched so hard she was sent to the hospital with a concussion and could no longer perform for the run.

Another actress in American Horror Story was punched in the face.

Sensing a theme here?

Don’t be an asshole and keep your damn hands to yourself.

If your fear reaction is violence then maybe you should stay at home.


Here’s hoping that, while it may be too late for this year’s event, this advice can home in handy for future Halloween Horror Nights events or really any event. Ever.

Don’t be an asshole.

Thanks. Bye.


2 comments on “A Beginners Guide to Not Being An A-Hole At Halloween Horror Nights”

  1. I would also add, If someone is waving a flashlight at you to get you to move out of the way of a moving vehicle, MOVE OUT OF THE WAY ASSHAT! Please quit trying to prove your erroneous theory that just because you are in a freaking theme park, nothing will hurt you.


  2. Another reason to not light up wherever you please. While the chainsaws don’t have chains, they are very much real and full of gas. You’re not only being ignorant, you’re being a danger to yourself and others.


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