Halloween Horror Nights’ creative director gave us these tips to create scares at home

Fans of Universal Studios Hollywood’s annual Halloween Horror Nights event howled with disappointment when the theme park announced that the haunting festivities were put on hold for 2020 due to coronavirus concerns and the lack of reopening guidelines from the state.

Though the event is canceled, Horror Nights creative director John Murdy doesn’t want that to stifle fans’ fun and creativity, so he’s offered us some scary (but safe) ideas for creating spooky experiences for your quarantine crew.

“The best thing anyone can do in this world right now, with everything going on, is to be creative and use that creativity for good and to do something positive,” he said during a recent phone chat from his home in Ireland, where he lives with his wife and two young daughters.

Murdy created his first D.I.Y. Halloween production in 1977 in the foyer of his parents’ Hacienda Heights home. He was 10 years old at the time and had fallen in love with “Star Wars” in the theaters that summer, so Murdy themed his performance after the film, which was a hit with the neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

Each year, it got more extravagant. By 1981, he had kids lined up around the block to walk through his expanded haunted house, which started in the front yard, snaked through the house and garage and came out into his backyard. Murdy dressed as Norman Bates, scaring patrons with a kitchen knife from behind a shower curtain. While his mother dressed as a vampire to greet guests, Murdy says his grandma, who dressed as a witch, was the scariest one of all.

“She was handing out the candy and no one would go get it from her, because she was so terrifying,” Murdy recalled with a laugh. “But that year, my dad said that was enough.”

Simple props like plastic skeletons can really add to a Halloween experience at home. With Universal Studios Hollywood’s annual Halloween Horror Nights canceled for the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns, HHN executive producer John Murdy offers tips on how to create a spooky experience at home this haunting season. (Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) 

Murdy went on to work at Universal Studios Hollywood and eventually teamed up with Chris Williams to bring Halloween Horror Nights back to the theme park in 2006. Since then, they’ve produced more than 80 attractions based on horror films, television shows, video games and several all-original concepts.

Now, in this unprecedented time, Murdy said “even the creative director needs to get creative” since it’s unsafe for masses to congregate during the pandemic. In searching for ways to keep his daughters – 5-year-old Addy and 7-year-old Izzy – entertained, he came up with tips to carry on the Halloween spirit from home this year.

Come up with a theme

It all starts with a solid idea and a stack of Post-it Notes.

To make a home haunt, Murdy suggests coming up with a theme or story. Each year, he and Williams stick Post-it Notes all over the walls …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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