Two weeks ago, Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Nights 6 Creative Director Markham Gannon told us what goes into preparing for the annual event. Today, he dives into the specifics of this year’s HHN.
About Halloween Horror Nights 6
For fans of USS HHN, what will be the biggest surprise for them this year?
This year we unveil some new haunted house spaces which we’ve never explored before. Also, we’re trying something different on the streets which we have never done before. Come and find out!
What is one thing from HHN5 that you want to change?
We didn’t have a show at Pantages last year. We’ll have a knock-out show this year! Look out people, JACK’S (Recurring) Nightmare Circus is BACK!
As the Creative Director, which house did you put in most effort?
I took on Hawkers Centre and Changi Hospital with the team, the two local content features.
I also worked on another house which we eventually dropped. Ironically this house took the most time of all. However the effort is always the same and it’s all part of the process.
This year, we have two Singapore-themed haunted houses. Why Old Changi Hospital and hawker centre in particular?
Old Changi Hospital was a no-brainer. It’s listed in the top 10 most haunted places in the world and is full of history and legend. So many locals have been there or heard spooky stories about it. The spiritual world plays on people’s psyche here, and we wanted to tap into that and also feature a true Singapore landmark for our local and international guests.
We wanted to use a hawker centre as it is very Singaporean. It’s so interesting to use a familiar environment and create an extraordinary and terrifying experience within that. I believe it adds a sense of realism to the event.
Into the future
Universal Studios in the US and Japan have introduced haunted houses based on popular movies or shows such as The Exorcist, The Walking Dead and etc.
How big of a horror fan are you and are there any licences you’d like to bring to USS HHN?
I am a ‘semi’ horror fan, but HHN has really brought me closer to this world. Those shows and movies are iconic, and I love that those licenses are produced in our sister parks.
However one thing which makes us unique is our original content, and specifically Asian content. This makes HHN at USS like nothing else, and gives the international audience some diversity.
Similarly, what are the challenges introducing houses based on existing pop culture icons?
Usually it comes down to licensing and money. If you are portraying anyone or anything that is well-known, large cost is generally attached.