Halloween Horror Nights Orlando is in the midst of its silver anniversary, a quarter decade of horror, mayhem and the best time you can have anywhere during Halloween. The event is comprised of haunted houses, “scare-zone” street attractions and live shows from horror movie blockbusters, television juggernauts, and fantastic original Halloween Horror Nights properties.
There’s more than ever to do at Halloween Horror Nights this, so much there may be times much of the amazing detail and work the entire HHN crew puts into the event is overlooked. To help get an even better experience and much closer (and slower) look at the fantastic work done at Halloween Horror Nights, there’s the “Unmasking the Horror Tour”. The Unmasking Horror Tour takes you inside select houses (3 in the half day tour, 6 in the full day tour) for a lights on tour to take in all the great detail, behind the scenes tricks, and in many cases a much broader telling of the story tied to each house.
For one house in particular, all these points were hit and in many cases hit past any of my expectations. The tour was for the house “Body Collectors: Recollections”. This is one of the most gorgeous houses Halloween Horror Nights has done to date. It features some great tried and true scares, and adds a few new surprises. Most of all, it adds to the story of not one, but two original Halloween Horror Nights properties, as well as an incredibly significant hint to the story of the two of the events most popular Icons.
SPOILER ALERT. Before I continue, I want to give an extremely necessary warning: the rest of this article will set the stage for an experience walking through the house and the story of “Body Collectors: Recollections” with the addition of pictures and a photo gallery. If you have not yet experienced this amazing house and do not want any spoilers in way of description or photos, stop reading this article now!
Full tour picture gallery below the following description:
“Body Collectors: Recollections” combines two original Halloween Horror Nights properties. The first being the title characters – The Body Collectors. The Body Collectors first appeared in 2005 at Halloween Horror Nights 15 “Tale of Terror” in the house “Body Collectors”. Three years later the returned in 2008 at Halloween Horror Nights 18 “Reflections of Fear” in the house “Body Collectors: Collections of the Past”. Now in 2015, they return once again to Halloween Horror Nights 25, but possibly more significant than their return, is where we find them: “Shadybrook Rest Home and Sanitarium”.
This pulls in the second of the original properties: “Psychoscareapy”. The Shadybrook Rest Home and Sanitarium is the setting for the Psychoscareapy story that debuted at 2003’s Halloween Horror Nights 13. The property returned 3 years later in 2006 with “”Psychoscareapy: Maximum Carnage” lead by and featuring Halloween Horror Nights Icon Jack the Clown. In 2007 the inmates broke out of the sanitarium in “Psychoscareapy Home for the Holidays”. Psychoscareapy returned once again in 2010 for 20 Years of Fear with “Psychoscareapy: Echoes of Shadybrook”.
Now while the Psychoscareapy property returns again in Halloween Horror Nights 25 with its own Scarezone “Psychoscareapy: Unleashed” the story continues – or possibly starts – in “Body Collectors: Recollections”.
So here’s the story.
The first thing you’ll notice as you approach “Body Collectors: Recollections” is that it’s snowing:
This comes from the specific moment in time and the place this house story is set. It’s 1888 in New York and it’s during the historic blizzard that trapped residents indoors for days with six foot high snow drifts and blistering cold. Once the snow fell, there’s no way to enter or leave any building. At least for those that are confined by the normal laws of space, time and physics – which we’ve learned the Body Collector’s may not be after all (see the “What you need to know” episode of The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights Podcast).
The time and place is as significant if not more to the story of Psychoscareapy than the blizzard; up until now Shadybrook was set in Carey, Ohio. Starting this story is New York is new, and as we’ll see as we go on it’s the Body Collectors causing the chaos this time (for the most part) and not the inmates. Could this be the start of Shadybrook’s infamous reputation? A moment in time so horrific they picked up and moved operations to Carey Ohio trying to outrun their reputation? This is all speculation on my part, but until the story is told a bit more, I like to view this as the start of the madness that is Shadybrook.
The Body Collectors have infiltrated Shadybrook, and the evidence of their presence is noticed right away as the smoldering remains of one the first nurse to encounter the Body Collectors lays charred and crackling in the lobby fireplace:
Looking past the burning body, there’s a lot of great things to see in this one room – many props from HHN pasts, and a surprise prop that “belongs in a museum”
Moving on, we pass by the elaborately decorated office “Dr. Tribble”. This is a name I don’t recognize from past stories and haven’t been able to find anything about in relation to HHN so I expect to see this name appear again in either story line in HHN events to come:
From there we’re lead down a hallway of broken windows, snow rolling in and a chilled wind push through the broken glass panes. Some of the inmates that tried to run lay strewn in the snows half dead screaming for help reminding us there’s no escape from this snowing in sanitarium.
Now things start to pick up with the Body Collectors. In a padded room almost setup as a true maze, inmates come out of and disappear into the walls. Off the side, a frightened Doctor is held to the wall and a Body Collector quickly cuts his throat:
We start seeing what the Body Collectors do best – harvesting bodies. Behind screens Body Collectors are hard at work while in the center of the room, one particular Body Collector is removing the organs of an unfortunate victim under falling snow coming from broken ceiling windows overhead.
From there the main event from the Body Collectors begins in the Surgery Theater. We’re surrounded by Body Collectors as we witness a return of a favorite effect from Halloween Horror Nights – the Spine ripper.
Fun note – on one visit my sister and I clapped at the end of the spine rip and the performing Body Collectors turned and bowed to us.
We leave the theater and head into the bowels of Shadybrook. A mix of insanity and some of the best “artwork” done yet by the Body Collectors. Rusted iron cell house the worst of the worst of the inmates and they get their chance to deliver some scares.
One cell in particular stands out to HHN fans. A screaming woman dashing back and forth in front of 2 cradles. In the cradles are two very recognizable newborns:
Though no official word yet, it seems that along with the possible start of the Pyschoscareapy story we may be witnessing the birth place and possibly meeting the mother of Jack the Clown and his maniac bother Eddie.
Now, I’ve theorized on story elements of Psychoscareapy, I just gave my thoughts on Jack and Eddie’s possible appearance, but so far not much added to the Body Collectors story. That is about to change.
One big question that’s always loomed over the Body Collectors is “Where do they come from?” While that question isn’t necessarily completely answered, we did get one huge piece of that puzzle in this house. Body Collectors aren’t born. They aren’t recruited. They’re made.
This is learned in one of the best rooms of the all the houses at Halloween Horror Nights 25 as we enter the assembly room as it’s watched over by a red robed Grand Body Collectors.
Pieces of bodies in different stages of assembly are seen in each alcove of the room as new body collectors are put together to join their ranks.
This Unmasking the Horror Tour was phenomenal. The time given to look at all the detail and work put into these houses was amazing and the stories told about the houses themselves was far more than this long time Halloween Horror Nights fan could ever ask for.
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”7″ gal_title=”Body Collectors Recollections”]
Unmasking the Horror Tours are still available as of the posting of this article.
To learn more, visit the Halloween Horror Nights RIP Tours page at: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/rip-tours.html
For more on Halloween Horror Nights and to purchase event tickets and add ons, visit the Halloween Horror Nights website at: http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/
For more great Halloween Horror Nights coverage, check out “The Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights” podcast at: http://www.neozaz.com/category/podcasts/halloween-horror-nights/
First time at Halloween Horror Nights? Check out our First Timer Tips episode of That Catacombs of Halloween Horror Nights podcast at: http://www.neozaz.com/cohhn-first-timer-tips/, and our First Timer Tip article at: http://www.neozaz.com/hhn-tips/.
For more information on the full line of attractions and events at Halloween Horror Nights 25, check out our Full Line-up article at: http://www.neozaz.com/hhn25-the-full-line-up/