Ghosts of Halloween Horror Nights 2011 materialize in long exposure photos at Universal Orlando

in Entertainment, Theme Parks, Universal Orlando

They say Lady Luck has been with us for centuries. The icon for Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights 21 offers a choice to her victims – but bad luck is guaranteed to follow, as the house always wins.

Each of this year’s haunted houses are tied in with the two-faced temptress, if only in backstory. But decades of spirits cannot be contained within a few mazes. In a recent visit to the event, my camera revealed the influence Lady Luck has had on the streets of Halloween Horror Nights, teeming with roaming spooks of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Call it a bit of a ghost hunting adventure, if you will. Or perhaps it’s just a series of slow shutter / long exposure shots.

Click to enlarge each photo and decide for yourself…

Much is calm outside the famous Universal Studios archway, but the presence of spirits cannot be ignored.
Just inside, Lady Luck and her bodyguard (not that she really needs one...) are the only souls to remain focused while apparitions float by. Are those ghostly feet passing by, next to the first 21 on the left? (Do ghosts wear sneakers?)
The spirits begin to materialize more clearly, though not yet fully formed, with Lady Luck again maintaining her prominent pose, as she has for many years. Who dares come face to face with her? That lady is a monster.
Lady Luck's imagery fills her scare zone, aptly called Your Luck Has Run Out. And it seems luck has run out for the group of damaged souls concentrated in the center of this area.

On the other side of the zone, things appear to be a bit calmer - but everything is not always what it seems. Look closely (click to enlarge) to see Lady Luck presiding over her space.
Perhaps the most convincing evidence of spirits roaming the Halloween Horror Nights streets emerges from the Grown Evil scare zone, where it seems the oversized bats and ravens aren't the only creatures who walk among us. But it's still tough to make them out here. Take a closer look below...
Thanks to the passing purple light of Death Drums, we can clearly see the apparitions passing into and out of Grown Evil, highlighted amidst the overgrown garden.
On the other end, a brave pair of photographers join the quest in capturing the images of conjured spirits. Godspeed.
Death's presence is strong in the Canyon of Dark Souls, as a lone reaper oversees those who pass through as well as those who have passed on.
A reaper decides someone's time is up, caught here pursuing a new addition to the Dark Souls.
The seven deadly sins come to life in this colorful scare zone, but despite being filled with embodiments of vanity, lust, and envy, this view only offers a glimpse of those tied down by their troubles.
A second look reveals a few of the tormented souls trapped within.
Acid Assault is filled with energy, as crumbling buildings seem to glow, perhaps as evidence of the supernatural. And what of the streaks of light passing along the blood red roller coaster tracks? The undead shining a light for the living? Or just a rip-rockin' good time?
Nightmaze entices a steady stream of spirits - or at least those who can find their way out.
No flash was used for this photo. Instead, a long exposure exposes the black-clad entities hiding in the darkness of Nightmaze.
It seems a shred of humanity remains in the dark beings who lurk within the ever-changing street maze.
Lady Luck's mark can be felt throughout the theme park, from haunted houses to scare zones and to the park's edifaces. She is the constant amidst a sea of screams...
...and she waits for more souls to take - visitors-turned-victims at Halloween Horror Nights 21.

Have I digitally captured lost souls trying to find their way through this annual theme park Halloween event? Or are the above photos simply a fun way to capture the event’s popular thrills and chills? As Lady Luck would say, the choice is yours. Nine event nights remain for you to see what fate has in store for you.

More information about Halloween Horror Nights 2011 at Universal Orlando can be found in our recently-updated house-by-house event review (with a further look at the scare zones through plenty of video and more photos) as well as at

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