I will now attempt to analyze the various rumors we have received to date in speculation of HHN 19.
The first was from Bryan aka C_D, who predicted that The Wolfman was likely to be a house at HHN 19. At that time the film was still scheduled for a spring 2009 release corresponding to the release dates of Deadly Silence and Doomsday in previous years. Although the film's release date has since been moved up to November 2009, Bryan's track record on making predictions has been very accurate. He was the first to predict Doomsday last year, even before the house names were leaked.
Then we received the only official information from Universal to date: Roddy's statement that HHN 19 would be "Classic... but not in the way you think". This has been interpreted many ways, but many have thought that it meant a return of the Classic Universal Monsters i.e. Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolfman, reinterpreted for modern audiences. This of course supports Bryan's theory about The Wolfman being a house. This led some to conjecture that HHN 19 might have a "movie theme" this year involving both Classic Monsters and the NLC characters which Universal still has a three year contract to use. Those who are fans of Paulo Ravinski hoped this might spell the return of The Director.
A picture of Roddy posing in front of The Wolfman billboard at Universal Studios was believed by many to support these ideas.
Then Bryan revealed here and at the Vault that he had received intelligence from a reliable source that a future theme for HHN would be the marriage of Jack the Clown to his nubile young assistant Chance. This was derided by most on the Vault, I believe quite foolishly as Bryan has been a very accurate predictor in the past. Most who did so ignored Bryan's statement that this was not necessarily the plan for HHN 19, but may be for HHN 20 an anniversary year.
The next tantalizing clue came when Mark Burg who is involved in putting on haunted attractions based on the Saw franchise revealed in interviews that first there was a tentative deal with Universal, and then that there was a done deal to bring a Saw haunted attraction to HHN 19. Some actually supposed this meant the entire theme of the event would revolve around Saw, and that the event Icon would either be the Jigsaw character or the doll Billy. However most felt that it was more likely that Saw would only be a house. this rumor of course, supported the "movie theme" concept and further excited fans of The Director.
Jake aka jakemeister posted at the Vault a conversation he had with a friend who worked at Hot Topic. The friend reported that a Universal sales rep had visited the store to discuss the sale of HHN tickets, and when questioned about the event said that HHN 19 would include "The Wolfman, Saw and Chucky." Jake is a reliable young man, and not the sort to post frivolous rumors, however we have no knowledge on the accuracy of his friend at Hot Topic. Chucky, however is a Universal controlled property. This rumor opened speculation as to whether or not Chucky would appear in his own house or in the Insult Emporium as he has at HHN Hollywood. The rumor also supports the "movie theme" theory. A secondary rumor about a supposed Chucky house began when I posted a joke in the Vault's Speculation thread. Bryan had posted a picture of himself in Chucky make-up, and although he had already said that he was not going to be a scareactor this year, I suggested the idea that by using oversized props and sets the 6 foot plus C_D could still terrorize "shrunken" guests as a gigantic doll! This silliness was actually taken seriously and now has become a popular rumor!
The Orlando Building Permits for HHN 19 were then released and as many predicted, this year did not include house names but only the locations used. As only seven locations were named, many felt this indicated Universal was "sizing-down" the event due to economics and there would only be seven houses. Then others pointed out that only two soundstages had been used for three houses in the past, and that SS 23 was enormous, so that the likelihood is still for eight houses. This did confirm however, that the event was going to be at the Studios again and that the houses would be located in two soundstages, two sprung tents, The Disaster and Jaws queues and the Parade building.
The rumor that the NLC characters might be returning, with a spotlight on Jason (as he was featured this year in the reboot film) was put to rest when the litigation over the use of these characters began.
Now things began to get interesting and strange. I received a message from Agent Fox Mulder a new Vaulter who identified himself to me as the former banned Vaulters tinca and Dr. Harvey. He claimed to have all the information on HHN 19 "straight from the horse's mouth". He proceeded to tell me that the event Icon would be "a ghoulish cinema usher" and that the teaser site would go live on June 22 with "a grand staircase". He claimed that all the houses would be movie themed and revealed only three houses: The Wolfman, Saw and Chucky. As these three had already been widely speculated upon I was a bit dubious about the accuracy of this, but he would not reveal any of the other houses. He asked me to keep this secret.
It was then while I was looking at recently registered Vaulters (I suspected that Damnskippy had returned and was investigating) that I came across the the name The Usher. When I looked at the profile several things jumped out at me 1. this person had never posted but lurked all the time. 2. There was no personal information whatsoever except under favorite house where it was listed: Mine! 3. Immediately after registering, the profile had been looked at by both dR.fReAK and Dr. Raymond Holmes! So I passed this information on to Agent Fox Mulder who became quite excited about it.
Then after swearing me to silence, Agent Fox Mulder proceeded to blab everything he had told me on the Vault Speculation thread. He also added that houses would be set in "a cinema, a gas chamber, a sewer, a big kitchen and a ship." These did not seem to correspond well with his previous claims, and when I asked him about it he confessed that he had lied about those settings! This of course should discredit all of his claims, except that shortly afterward I received a message from Charles aka Dr. Raymond Holmes. Charles stated that he had known about a movie theme and the usher, which he believed would only be a mascot rather than an Icon for over two months. He also stated that his information had been stolen by someone who had hacked his email account. This would explain why both David and Charles were so interested in a newly registered Vaulter called The Usher who had made no posts! Since Agent Fox Mulder had the same information and had proven his hacking skills by poking around in my photobucket gallery, I immediately suspected him.
All of this was taken with some dubiousness at the Vault, as most wondered who Agent Fox Mulder was and why he would have such information. As people argued with him in the thread I became increasingly aware that some had in fact seen a house list, but that "the names made no sense." Chad aka Outkastz claimed that the house names were actually accessible from the Building Permits but one had to "pull them". He also said that the names were code-words however, and did not reveal them. He said they would probably be revealed soon by Lance at Screamscape. This led me to conclude that many had seen a list of coded names, but that was neither what Agent Fox Mulder, nor Charles had said they had seen. Rather they claimed to have the actual names of all eight houses. These claims do however support the theory of a movie theme, but not the return of the Director (unless Charles is hinting by using "mascot" to mean the usher would be like the Storyteller in 2005, and that The Director would be the true Icon.)
Agent Fox Mulder then revealed in the thread that the name of the event would be HHN 19: Silver Screams. The reaction from some was "Oh, you've seen the same list everybody else has, then."
I finally saw what people were talking about, (I think) when I registered at this site and saw the list of single-word code names: squarehead, hairy, doll, screen, magazine, new, fangs, blade with the icon as usher. It is stated that this came from an email to mz_ from someone he does not know. Therefore we cannot truly judge the accuracy of this list, but it does support Agent Fox Mulder's claim about the Usher.
mz_ has since speculated from various sources that the houses could be Frankenstein (squarehead), Dracula (fangs), The Wolfman (hairy), Chucky (doll), Saw (blade), Silver Screams (screen), Fangoria (magazine), and either The Spawning or Leave it to Cleaver (new). This also supports the idea of a movie theme and the usher with Silver Screams being the most likely "Icon house." I do not have any idea where mz_ got the names for the "new" house, but trust him if he thinks it is credible. Interestingly there was a movie called The Spawning. It was James Cameron's sequel to Joe Dante's Piranha. This film which featured flying killer fish is not a Universal controlled property, but rather a Columbia Pictures/Sony one.
The most recent rumor comes from this 'underdog' who claims that HHN 19 will include a house and scarezone based on last year's Universal film The Strangers. This claim lasks credibility as the same source claims the event will begin on Saturday Oct. 3. The Universal Calendar of park hours strongly suggests that the event will more likely begin on Friday September 25. I have posted in the Vault the likely dates for HHN 19 based on this official calendar.
SO what does this tell us? First, of course that NONE of this information has been officially confirmed by Universal, except for Roddy's cryptic remark about "classic" and the locations of the houses at the Studios from the official permits.
The prevailing "movie theme" however is supported by almost all of the rumors, and combined with an off-hand remark from Bryan about Universal using easily acquired and readily available concepts suggests that it may be quite likely. Exactly which of the various rumored films used as houses remains to be seen.
That being said, if the rumors about the houses are true, then the event is not quite as "unoriginal" as some have been worried about. Although many of the supposed characters have appeared at past HHNs in some capacity, (Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, Chucky) none of them have ever been featured in their own houses. Furtheremore The Wolfman would be adapted from the new as-yet unreleased film, rather than the original version. The remaining rumored houses (Saw, Fangoria, Silver Screams, and whatever "new" means) could be entirely new to HHN this year.
And of course we have no idea whatsoever about scarezones yet.