While Halloween Horror Nights also features well-known horror movie characters at their events, they're also known for making original horror icons as mascots for the event. As Horror Nights in Hollywood focuses mainly on pre-existing movie licences for their events and promotions, the majority of these characters listed come from the Horror Nights event in Orlando (unless otherwise listed.) Still heavily under construction.
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Jack the Clown
Originally Jack Schmidt, Jack was a clown working for Dr. Oddfellow's Carnival of Thrills. Jack was a serial killer who had murdered 13 children, and as the police began to close in on Halloween night in 1920 he attempted to enlist Oddfellow's help in hiding the evidence. Rather than bring down the police on the carnival, Oddfellow killed Jack and hid his body with those of the children. When the carnival was sold off, a BBC crew doing a documentary on the great dark rides of America in 1980 uncovered the House of Horrors and accidentally discovered the corpses. The crew was later found dead, and the van carrying the corpses disappeared into a swamp. Jack was the icon for 2000 and the first original icon of the event, his face based on former Art & Design member J. Michael Roddy. Due to 9/11, the 2001 event was toned down and Jack was quickly given a return appearance, as the originally intended icon was seen as too violent (Eddie Schmidt, originally intended as Edgar Sawyer before being retconned as Jack's brother, would later appear with other icons in the 2004 and 2010 events, as well as his own house in 2006.) In 2007, Jack returned once more, having killed Oddfellow and recruited Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface to open his new Carnival of Carnage. With appearances in houses and scarezones in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2010, Jack has the most appearances of any icon with 7. Jack also appeared in the 2007 Terror Tram in Hollywood with a completely different backstory (simplified to be a horror movie crazed Shadybook inmate who escaped and was causing trouble on the Tram Tour.
Dr. Albert Caine was once a respected surgeon who worked as the caretaker of the Shady Oaks Cemetery in Willamette Valley, Ohio. Converting his Victorian-style mansion into a funeral parlor and mortuary, Caine became obsessed with the concept of the soul, digging up bodies to experiment on. He began tricking homeless people into staying at his mansion so that he could perform live autopsies. He grew more and more insane, performing experiments on fear, pain, and the limits of the human mind. His family held grisly dinner parties with the corpses and his psychotic assistants stole body parts to make into dinner ingredients. One night, some teenagers walking through the graveyard saw the Caines dancing with bodies in their parlor, and they were placed under house arrest. An angry mob of local families burned down the house with the family in it, but the bodies were not recovered. Initially the icon for 2002 was Cindy Bearer, daughter of the mortician Paul Bearer (who made extra money selling human flesh from butcher shops), and the event was based around her demented mind and playthings. A rash of child kidnappings in the area led to Cindy being scrapped (though she would reappear in 2006 as a corpse and later as a full character in 2010), and her father was given the reins to become Dr. Caine. He would appear again in 2003 with a sequel to his famous house, Screamhouse, and again in 2004, 2006, and 2010.
Paulo Ravinski was born in Eastern Europe, occupying his time shooting birds with a BB gun and recording their deaths on film. Inevitably, he became a snuff film director well known throughout the underground circles of Europe, but his first project, The Widow's Eye, was controversial enough to result in him being forced out of his country to flee to America. Paulo was hired in 2003 to direct Halloween Horror Nights, but he turned it into his dream project and began populating the park with real horrors. The Director was the icon for 2003 and would later appear in 2004, 2006, and 2010. He was also chosen by Universal Studios Hollywood (under the name Pavel Pranevsky) in 2006 as the icon for their new Halloween Horror Nights event, which had gone through two short runs in the 90s beforehand. Hollywood slightly changed the character: he was banned from ever setting foot in Universal Studios after executives saw his graphic films, but he took up residence on an abandoned backlot set and took over the park during October. His voice was also changed from a light American accent to a gravelly, indeterminately Eastern European one. The Director (with a different actor) appeared as the Icon for Singapore's inaugural Horror Nights event, making him the only Icon to appear at all three events so far.
Elsa Strict has the least backstory out of all of the icons, to the point where the actresses playing her in 2010 would threaten anyone who asked of her past. What is known is that she was the icon for 2005, with the park transformed into the world of Terra Cruentes from one of her storybooks; in the Lord of the Rings-meets-steampunk world, she appeared only in a house completely unrelated to the world. The Storyteller would reappear in 2006 and 2010.
Bloody MaryOriginally Dr. Mary Agana, Mary was a phobia therapist denied funding for her extreme method of immersive therapy: exposing patients to the extreme of their fear to cure them of it. She continued on with her own money in a small office in or near New York City in 1958, but only succeeded in sending two patients to the hospital and causing one to commit suicide. As her own fear of death was subdued by seeing death, she began purposely killing her patients while becoming obsessed with her reflection and mirrors. A private investigator, Boris Shuster, began investigating the disappearing patients and made an appointment with her. On the night of the appointment, Mary was murdered by a patient and ex-con who escaped the electric chair he had been placed in; no body was recovered. Schuster founded the Legendary Truth paranormal research team to investigate various paranormal activity, especially the legend of Bloody Mary, and during an investigation into the destroyed office in 2008 the team disappeared. Bloody Mary was the icon of 2008 and the first icon since the Cryptkeeper in 1995 to be based on an existing character. Her backstory was elaborately told through her journal entries, increasingly deranged sketches, and medical files on the patients, chronicling her descent into murder and madness. Due to legal issues regarding the usage of Bloody Mary in entertainment, she has not been seen since (except for a nurse costume in 2010's Psychoscarepy house based on her doctor appearance).
Julian Browning was an usher at the Universal Palace Theater who was obsessed with film, becoming something of an expert; he was also very strict on following the rules of the theater. During a 1940 re-release of his favorite movie, The Phantom of the Opera, he engaged in a scuffle with a rude patron and his flashlight was thrown through the screen. Going backstage to retrieve it, he became tangled in ropes left over from the theater's stage days and was strangled to death. During the rest of the theater's run, Julian's spirit became the physical image of the theater and its methods of killing patrons who violated various rules. The Usher was the icon in 2009, though he was overshadowed in advertising by The Wolfman (2010), Chucky, and Billy. He is the only HHN icon to not appear in a television advertisement. He reappeared with several other icons in 2010.
FearThe very embodiment of Fear itself, Fear is Adaru, the Sumerian God of Fear. All prior icons were his puppets: Chaos (Jack), Death (The Caretaker), Sacrifice (The Director), Legend (The Storyteller), and Vengeance (The Usher). Fear was unleashed in 2010 when 20 photographs detailing previous event years were found to have strange burn marks, and when combined accidentally (maybe) unleashed the demon into the world. Fear was the icon for 2010, which was the twentieth anniversary of the event.
In a twist on the usual version of the character, Lady Luck is merely the personification of bad luck. She appears whenever a choice is to be made and pushes the victims into making a poor choice, often resulting in their death or ruination. The backstory of every house is tied into luck or the victims making the wrong choice, and the website games to reveal the backstory were activated by picking the same choice that the victims made. Lady Luck was the icon for 2011, played by Sallie Glaner in the promotional material.
Eddie SchmidtThe younger and just as demented brother of Jack, noted for his Hannibal Lector mask, chainsaw, and subtle clown paint on his face. Eddie was originally Edgar Sawyer, a psychotic and obsessive horror movie fan who was scarred and driven to vengeance and murder when bullying teens from his trailer park burned down his home with him inside it. Eddie was originally intended to be the Icon for Halloween Horror Nights XI, but 9/11 lead to a general toning down of the event to avoid offending anyone. Eddie was turned into Eddie Schmidt, Jack's younger brother, but was finally scrapped. Nevertheless, he reappeared in 2004 (among the rest of the icons), 2006 (with his own house), and 2010.
Cindy CaineThe daughter of The Caretaker. Cindy was originally Cindy Bearer, the mad daughter of Paul Bearer, a mortician who sold human meat from his butchery business on the side. She was going to be the Icon for Halloween Horror Nights: Islands of Fear but was pulled back after a string of child abductions in the area, and Paul Bearer was morphed into Albert Caine, the Caretaker. She resurfaced in Halloween Horror Nights: Twenty Years of Fear wherein she received her own house, The Orfanage: Ashes to Ashes.
Legendary TruthFounded by Boris Shuster to investigate supernatural cases in the wake of Bloody Mary, Legendary Truth has functioned as a kind of background to recent Halloween Horror Nights events.
Inmates of Shady BrookShady Brook Asylum is a recurring element of the Halloween Horror Nights PsychoScareapy series wherein the Bedlam House and its various inmates play roles as monsters throughout, so far, four different houses.
Terra QueenThe ruler of the Terra Cruentas, the Terra Queen was the Big Bad of the events of Halloween Horror Nights: Tales of Terror, commencing the sacrifices of victims to further her rule over the land.
H. R. BloodengutzA one-time character during Halloween Horror Nights 21 that nevertheless became an Ensemble Darkhorse, a struggling actor Larry Kurtzberg was given the role of creature feature host H. R. Bloodengutz by Lady Luck in the disguise of a talent agent. When the block was cancelled by his producer Reynolds, Kurtzberg abducted him and his crew, forcing them to film his final broadcast as he tortured Reynolds to death live on the air.