By Holley Long
Horror fans, rejoice! The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store has opened at Universal Studios, just in time for the first night of the annual HHN event. This year’s shop has a comic book store-inspired exterior, but inside the comic, drawings and speech bubbles come off the page. I took a walk through the store, and its immersive theming did not disappoint.
The storefront quickly draws you in, with window displays of comics (of course) as well as children’s books, board games, and figurines.
As a Universal Monsters fan, I was thrilled to see references to Frankenstein, the Mummy, and more through the glass.
The entry is full of references to three decades worth of horror nights events, but the story starts in the first room. Different from previous years, when the rooms were themed around the haunted houses at the event, the rooms in the 2023 Tribute Store are themed around four original horror stories.
The stories are detailed in the Tribute to Terror comic book, which is available for purchase, but the pages come to life through wall decor and sculptures.
The stories featured in each room are:
Grave Consequences: Two robbers get more than they bargained for when they dig up the wrong graves in Hollow Hills Cemetery.
False Idols Part 1: Private investigator Boris Shuster, a popular figure throughout HHN history, is on the case to find missing people and uncover the reason for their “fishy” disappearance.
Pay Up: Set in the 1950s, a group of bikers visits Jim’s Diner, only to discover the owner has been replaced by a demonic figure…and it’s time to pay the bill.
Eyes of the Ripper: Inspired by Jack the Ripper, the story takes place in 1888 London and details the horror the infamous murderer inflicted on the city.
From the lighting, to the detailed sets, to decor pieces that look like actual comic book drawings, the store is just another example of Universal Studios’ commitment to detail and immersive storytelling.
Merchandise and Treats
The HHN Tribute Store is always a one-stop-shop for all things Horror Nights related, including clothing themed around the different houses and scare zones, figures and other decor pieces. From The Last of Us shirts to Stranger Things mugs, there’s something for everyone to get in a spooky mood.
To get in more of a spooky mood, as well as curb a sweet tooth, there is a case full of Halloween treats. I’m talking Chucky cakes and whoopie pies, coffin brownies, brain cheesecakes—all the scary eats. And a good rule of thumb: the creepier it looks, the more delicious it is.
About Halloween Horror Nights
For its 32nd year, Halloween Horror Nights will bring the fun and fear to Universal Orlando Resort. On select nights from Sept. 1 to Nov. 4, guests can visit 10 haunted houses inspired by spooky franchises and original stories and five scare zones that take the screams to Universal’s streets.
Outside the scare factor, there’s delicious food to try, from the iconic pizza fries and twisted taters, to new dishes like sour apple funnel fries and Surfer Boy Hawaiian pizza (inspired by Stranger Things). For guests over 21, there are an assortment of cocktails to try, like the popular, rum-based Ghoul Juice.
There will also be live entertainment, such as Nightmare Fuel Revenge Dream, a booming metal and electronica show that brings nightmares to life through pyro and aerial performers. It’s important to remember that the show, and Halloween Horror Nights in general, is intended for mature audiences, so it might not be suitable for younger children who scare easily.
The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store is always a popular location during the event, and this year’s horror comic book theme is sure to draw in a big crowd. The storytelling decor is immersive and awe-inspiring, the treats look spookily delicious, and the merchandise for sale will entice many a horror fan.
If you’re headed to the annual Halloween event, make sure to stop in the store to read the wall comics, shop, and just enjoy the hard work that went into creating the space.
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