The 1982 horror classic “Poltergeist” is coming to life as a haunted house for this year’s edition of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando.
Produced by Steven Spielberg — a longtime partner with Universal parks — “Poltergeist” was a major hit upon its release. It earned three Academy Awards nominations and remains the 20th-highest grossing horror film of all time.
The film has never been featured before at HHN, but will fit in with this year’s ‘80s theme.
“This movie means a lot to me and the Universal team,” Charles Gray, show director and writer for HHN, wrote in a Universal blog post. “We’re taking this iconic horror film we all grew up watching and bringing it to life for everyone to experience. We will be taking you, the guest, through all the fan favorite moments, and then guiding you into the place we always wanted to go … that bright and terrifying light.”
Other franchises featured in houses or “scare zones” this year include “Chucky,” “Killer Klowns from Outer Space,” and the Netflix series “Stranger Things.”
Those who have been following rumors about this year’s event may not be surprised by the announcement. Fansite Horror Night Nightmares put “Poltergeist” on its “speculation map” back in June, far ahead of the official reveal by Universal.
It was also foreshadowed by two apparent leaks from Universal. One involved website for Universal Studios Hollywood’s version of HHN, with pages for several yet-to-be-announced houses, including “Poltergeist,” being briefly visible on Tuesday. The other reportedly came from an ad displayed at an Orlando hotel, which promoted “Poltergeist” along with the 1988 film “Halloween 4.”
With little more than a month left before the first night of HHN, Universal is picking up the pace on its announcements. The “Poltergeist” reveal comes just one day after the park announced an original concept house called “Seeds of Extinction.” Three more houses remain to be announced.
Halloween Horror Nights will begin on Sept. 14. The event will run in Universal Studios Florida on select nights through Nov. 3.