Every year starting in late September and running through to the 1st of November Universal Studios puts on their hugely popular Halloween Horror Nights attraction, a massive, fully immersive, adults only, park-wide, after hours scare-a-thon. Halloween Horror Nights has been running in Florida (you know my Florida bias) since 1991, although I have never been. Trust me, this is a fact most vexing, because oh, do I want to go! There’s all sorts of haunted houses branded to various Universal properties (The Walking Dead and The Purge movies being recent big draws) and Scare Zones where you can traverse open areas of the park where “scareactors” lunge out at you from dimly lit darkness. And if you’re not feeling the immersive experience, you can always circumvent the Scare Zones and stick to the regular rides, many of which remain open, with what seem like fairly decreased wait times (although why you’d pay for the Halloween Horror Nights ticket and then treat the park like it’s any old day doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It isn’t any old day! You’re being purged and purging alike, and zombies are all up in your grill! Take advantage of that fact and have a bit of scary fun.)
Although is “fun” really the right word? Because I’m actually still kind of unsold on the idea of wetting my pants in fear as I attempt to navigate the twisted, jump scare-fueled nightmare that is one of HHN’s haunted houses, like the house that was the inspiration for these nails, this year’s Dollhouse of the Damned. Inside the Magic has some phenomenal lights-on photos of the Dollhouse that are just unsettling in the extreme, and that’s without the motley crew of oogie boogies that are sure to jump out at you from – AGAIN – every dimly lit corner. But I love the exquisitely detailed theming of this house with its creepy-cheerful facade, mounted stuffed animal heads and grimy, dangling baby dolls. Too bad I’d never actually get to appreciate that theming in real life, because I have a feeling the only way I’d be able to get through a place like the Dollhouse of the Damned is by squeezing my eyes shut, burying my face in my husband’s back and shrieking in fear while he gripes about me walking all over the back of his heels.
But I can admire pictures of it and videos on YouTube! I like to keep informed, even if I’m not there myself. Which is how I came to create this manicure, a design inspired by the Monster House-ish exterior of the attraction, a weather-worn and beat down structure with menacing, eye-like windows and creepy naked baby dolls hanging off its porch. I had been checking out some videos of Halloween Horror Nights, and the Dollhouse was just calling out for someone to turn it into some nail art…and so I did!