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Universal's first Halloween haunt revealed: Freddy vs. Jason

Freddy (Robert Englund) and Jason (Ken Kirzinger) in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. Although the 2003 movie ended in a bit of a draw, the two villains will be back together at Halloween Horror Nights in their own haunted house.
Freddy (Robert Englund) and Jason (Ken Kirzinger) in 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason. Although the 2003 movie ended in a bit of a draw, the two villains will be back together at Halloween Horror Nights in their own haunted house.
Published Jun. 12, 2015

For its 25th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights, Universal Orlando is pitting Hollywood's grisliest icons against each other, and park visitors.

Universal announced Wednesday that Freddy Krueger of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, and Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees will go scarred face to hockey mask in their own haunted house. The attraction is titled Freddy vs. Jason, echoing their lone screen collaboration.

That 2003 battle ended in a draw of sorts, with Jason cheating death yet again, and Freddy's decapitated head winking at the camera.

Michael Aiello, director of creative development for entertainment at Universal Orlando Resort, said Tuesday that park visitors could see the fight go either way.

"We're actually doing two different endings," Aiello said. "Depending on when you go in, you're going to see Jason being victorious, or you're going to see Freddy being victorious. … The fans of Freddy and the fans of Jason are definitely divided camps in the horror community."

Freddy and Jason were featured before at Hollywood Horror Nights, in separate exhibits during Jack's Carnival of Carnage in 2007.

"It just felt like this year is a perfect opportunity to do some things that have been successful in the past, but presented in a new, unique way," Aiello said.

Both the Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th properties are currently owned by New Line Cinema, which is owned by Warner Bros. Universal already has a working relationship with that studio, with its Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions.

This year's Halloween Horror Nights will run for a record 30 nights between Sept. 18 and Nov. 1. Universal said it would produce nine haunted houses, more than in any previous year. And the streets of the theme park will have twice as many "scareactors" than in previous years. Their job is to terrify guests throughout highly-themed scare zones in the park.

Aiello has spent his career with Universal and has created horror attractions based on A Nightmare on Elm, Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and An American Werewolf In London.

At last year's Halloween Horror Nights, Aiello's team landed one of Aiello's long-time wishes with John Carpenter's Halloween, as well as an Alien vs. Predator house.

Aiello declined to confirm any other haunted house themes for Halloween Horror Nights 25, though a publicist for Universal said Tuesday that Jack the murderous clown will return this year. "We're going to be releasing information on some of the other mazes real soon," he said.

Universal doesn't release attendance or sales figures, but industry experts at the Ohio-based International Theme Park Services estimate that Universal Studios will draw more than 600,000 visitors by Nov. 1 for its Halloween Horror Nights, making it the industry's largest Halloween theme park event in terms of income and attendance.