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Just announced: Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights to get 'Ghostbusters' this year

Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd starred in 1984’s “Ghostbusters,” which is the basis for a new haunted house this year at Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. [Columbia Pictures]
Published Jul. 17

Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights has snagged the rights to Ghostbusters and for the first time will feature a maze full of slimers and ghosts and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Universal announced Wednesday it will recreate memorable scenes from one of the most popular comedy-horror movies of all time at the Orlando theme park's annual Halloween event. The 1984 film starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis pretty much invented the genre of special effects-driven comedy, and it went on to become a blockbuster success.

Starting Sept. 6, HHN guests will be able to follow in the footsteps of the Ghostbusters as they venture through iconic scenes from the movie, including the firehouse, New York Public Library and Temple of Gozer.

"An army of ghoulish spirits, hideous specters and ectoplasm-dripping phantasms attack from every corner," a Universal news release said. "As they delve deeper into the maze, guests will come face-to-face with an array of paranormal creatures, from the voracious Slimer to the all-powerful Gozer the Gozerian and in its ultimate destructor form — the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, to brave the demonic spirits and survive the night."

For more than 25 years, Universal has been able to draw on its deep well of horror films and TV shows to create movie-quality sets for mazes and scare zones for Halloween Horror Nights. The result has been an incredibly popular event that starts in early September and stretches to Nov. 2, a record-setting 41-night run this year.

Theme parks don't release attendance or sales figures, but industry experts estimate that Universal Studios will draw more than 600,000 visitors for Halloween Horror Nights, easily more than twice the number of people who visit in spring break season.

Tickets start at $67.99 online and get more expensive in late October at halloweenhorrornights.com. HHN requires a separate ticket from regular day admission and is held after normal park hours.

Previous house and scare zone announcements this year include a new Stranger Things maze based on seasons two and three of the critically acclaimed Netflix series, as well as "Nightingales: Blood Pit," an original concept house that will put guests in ghoulish gladiator games set in Ancient Rome. Then there's "Depths of Fear," set in a deep-sea mining company infested by parasitic creatures; "Universal's Monsters," which will have iconic creatures like the Wolf Man, Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon; and "Yeti: Terror of the Yukon," set in an isolated logging camp in a remote part of Canada with a labyrinth of caves and a tribe of brutal beasts.

Contact Sharon Kennedy Wynne at swynne@tampabay.com. Follow @SharonKWn.

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