Travel & Leisure

Where To Next: Universal Studios SG Takes Its Halloween 'Ganap' Seriously With 'Horror Nights!'

Where To Next: Universal Studios SG Takes Its Halloween 'Ganap' Seriously With 'Horror Nights!'

Halloween Horror Nights is back at Universal Studios Singapore. And from what we saw at its exclusive media preview last September 25, this the biggest, most technologically advanced one yet.

Just think—it takes 22 animatronic, 95 liters of blood, 101 pyrotechnics, 500 actors, 2000 costumes, and 3,360 hours of makeup to get this show on the road. But we aren’t going to bore you with numbers. Instead, we give you a rundown of what you can expect and why its so worth the trip!

1. The Sinisters  

This year’s event focuses on sin, and at the forefront of it are characters known as The Sinisters. Considering how Halloween Horror Nights is now on its seventh year, one can easily assume that the guys at Resorts World and Universal Studios took inspiration from the seven deadly sins of Christianity. But, to our surprise, the theme goes far beyond religion.

A better way to look at the Sinisters is how they reflect sins most prevalent in modern society. These range from the individualistic to more all-encompassing ones found in politics and even social media. That being said, The Sinisters consist of The Midnight Man (representing Manipulation), the Terror-cotta Empress (representing Cruelty), Father Time (representing Perversion), Raven (representing Narcissism), Dr. White (representing Deception), Malice, and Obsession—all of whom you’ll meet them across the Haunted Houses and Scare Zones. 

2. Zombie Laser Tag 

The Sinisters aren’t the only ones out to scare. Right at the Hollywood side of USS stands a large, dim arena where the undead are more than ready to attack. 

Supported by the Singapore Tourism Board and a first for Halloween Horror Nights, the Zombie Laser Tag Experience lives up to its promise of being no child’s play.

The way it works is that you and your friends will need to form teams of four. From there, you’ll be given loaded guns and must decide on a leader. But you don’t just waltz in there and shoot. A military sergeant will be waiting by the entrance, and break the mission down before you even begin. Basically, your group must fend off as many zombies as possible while protecting your leader, who will wear a special headband that, with its brainwave technology, is your key to escape. It can take as much as 10 minutes to finish. If you survive, that is.

3. Haunted Houses

During our stay were lucky (crazy, perhaps) enough to experience all five haunted houses. Each of them left us scared and laughing at the same time.  Our first stop was called Make The Cut. The house is designed like a record company, where those who enter audition to be the next big thing in Gore-Pop. We saw music producers laughing hysterically as we went further along and wannabe singers either screaming for help or undergoing extremely (read: deadly) makeovers.

Next was Terror-Cotta. The most ornate of the houses, this one was filled to the brim with gold, silk, fine china, and terra-cotta soldiers. Personally, it reminded me of a palace from Ancient China—only creepier. I was in awe right up until the tortured subjects of Empress started jumping at us. We also came face to face with the Empress herself. 

Once that was done we made our way to Hex, the dark, jungle-like haunted house complete with black magic vibes and spooky relics. This where the voodoo people, shamans, and The Midnight Man are stationed to startle you over and over. One of the more terrifying things I saw there was this unidentifiable, adult-sized creature clawing out from a woman’s belly. Let’s just say…it’s something you can’t unsee. 

Our fourth house for the night was Inside The Mind. True to its name, it's as if you’re walking through the brain of a serial killer. The first thing you’ll notice is a doctor and murderously insane patient talking in an interrogation room. Many of the rooms that follow, such as the spinning tunnel and laser-lit areas, are designed to play tricks on you. As fascinating as the science put into the house is, be sure to keep your eyes out for scarers. They’ll come at you when you least expect it.

Last on our list was Death Mall. The story behind this is that the second floor of a mall building crashed and killed those present on its opening day. These unfortunate souls have thus become angry and have resorted to taking their rage out on not only the mall owner but innocent passers-by, too. No section is spared—whether it’s under parked cars, in between grocery aisles, and even from seats of the zombie-infested movie house.   

4. Scare Zones

But the terror doesn’t stop there. Halloween Horror Nights 7 also has outdoor scare zones which come with its own set of creepers. 

One of them is known as the Pilgrimage of Sin. We were informed that it was supposed to look like “microcosm of all seven deadlier sins”, as this is where you pay penance and plead for absolution. 

The other, Happy Horror Days, turns your favorite holidays like Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and Christmas, into sheer nightmares.

5. Live Shows. 

Some scares don’t involve any walking at all. There are two live shows where you can get your fright fix on the edge of your seat! 

One of the live shows is aptly called Laboratorium. It’s set in the not so distant future, where The Black Death has begotten society. Enter plague doctors, who insist they are curing people, but are actually treating humans as test subjects and transforming them into freaks with supernatural abilities. 

Another must-see is the Slice of Life Tour. Like the Make The Cut Haunted House, its features a pop trio whose album launch goes bloody wrong. 

Take it from us. If you and your friends looking for a fun yet frightening place to celebrate Halloween, Universal Studios Singapore won’t disappoint.  

Halloween Horror Nights 7 starts at 7:30 PM and runs for September 29-October 29, or 14 select nights across five weekends. Book tickets online at or at Universal Studios Singapore ticket booths. 

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