Horror descends on Sentosa
> Universal Studios Singapore’s annual scarefest returns to stir up The Darkness Within
SINCE 2011, the bright lights of Universal Studios Singapore at Resorts World Sentosa are dimmed every October, and our worst nightmares come to life during the Halloween Horror Nights event.
This year, Singapore’s biggest and most-anticipated annual scarefest is happening every Friday and Saturday night, as well as selected Thursday and Sunday nights until Oct 31.
theSun was part of a 250strong group of media who were treated to a taste of the terror at the recent launch of Halloween Horror Nights 6.
Resorts World Sentosa senior vice president of attractions Jason Horkin is hopeful last year’s record attendance of over 170,000 visitors will be broken.
He said: “We have 16 nights this year, which is two more [than] last year ... we’re hearing from people that they want more ways to be scared, and more things to do.
“We have the March of the Dead, which is new, and we brought back the show in the Pantages Theatre with Jack [the clown] a very popular character [we introduced] two years ago whom people said they wanted to see more.”
Resorts World Sentosa vice president of entertainment Andrea Teo added that while last year’s event explored ways to scare on the surface, this year they aim to frighten guests “from the inside”, hence, the theme of The Darkness Within.
Halloween Horror Nights 6 has five horrifying haunted houses, two terrorising scare zones, and two hair-raising live shows, as well as Universal Studios Theme Parks’ firstever dark theatrical procession inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead festival.
Every night, the scarefest kicks off with a ‘scaremony’ involving a ‘skeleton’ deejay performing on top of five tall Gothic lancet arches.
As the crowd thrills to his EDM beats, he is suddenly engulfed in flames, and Lady Death makes her chilling appearance, uttering incantations before she is joined by the main icons of each of the five haunted houses, as well as Jack the sinister clown.
Headlining the five haunted houses this year is the infamous Old Changi Hospital, once used as a torture chamber during World War II by the Japanese. Today, the hospital is known to be one of the most haunted sites in the world.
Resorts World Sentosa director of events and production Scott Peterson relates a personal experience with this hospital.
“When I was in secondary school, my friends and I would sneak up to the Old Changi Hospital to explore the space [and] there was this caretaker who told us in Malay to get out … only now, when I was doing the research, did [I find] out that [the caretaker] was actually a ghost!”
Visitors can expect to come across this same caretaker right outside the haunted house.
Lurking inside the dark, defunct hospital are a pontianak as well as lost spirits of those long-dead prisoners tortured by the Japanese. In the bloodsmeared morgue, expect to be chilled by the temperature and sight of dead bodies.
The second haunted house, Bodies of Work, offers a skincrawling experience with controversial artist and host Damien Shipman. The grotesque works represent a twisted homage to his family who perished in a fire.
Hear screams for help as you walk through the cramped, macabre gallery, filled with dangling intestines and menacing masked characters.
Watch as a woman is gruesomely butchered with a meat grinder, and run for your life across a moving carousel as Jack the clown chases you from the house.
The Salem Witch House references the stories of witches burnt alive in the town of Salem in the late 16th century, but in this haunted house, the witches are back from the dead and out for revenge. Watch out for those hiding in the dark woods, waiting to pounce on you.
At Hu Li’s Inn, the external appearance of this nightclub set in 1930s Shanghai is as alluring as that of the cheongsam-clad beauty queens within.
But like the Chinese legend of fox spirit Huli Jing, those beautiful women can turn into a multiple-eyed mama-san, or half-women-half-creatures feasting on men, with fox-lady Hu Li leading the killing fest.
Expect to feel your stomach turn at the Hawker Centre Massacre, when you come face-to-face with flesh-eating zombies, the result of a radioactive food poisoning.
If the haunted houses are not enough to have you running home, enter the scare zones.
Begin with a walk through the perturbing Suicide Forest. Here, you’ll meet lost souls – some hanging from trees, and others with horrendous injuries from a car accident.
But the screams come to a dead silence as the March of the Dead begins. Performers dressed in elegant calavera costumes move gracefully and silently in a procession accompanied by a monotonous drum beat as visitors instinctively clear the road for the monumental start to the impressive float parade.
For more, go to www. halloweenhorrornights.com.sg.
(right) Giving you the creeps … scare zone Suicide Forest (inset, above) and March of the Dead procession.
(below and bottom) Spooktacular scares from the haunted houses ... (clockwise, from far right) Salem Witch House; Old Changi Hospital; Hu Li’s Inn; and the Hawker Centre Massacre.