A Curse has taken over both Busch Gardens parks for Howl-O-Scream, not only as a theme but also in terms of neither park offering anything significantly new for 2014. Similar to Florida’s Howl-O-Scream, VA will feature very few changes from last year’s offerings. There only will be an all-new Terror-tory and the revival of a fan favorite show to celebrate the 16th year of Howl-O-Scream but no new Haunted Houses.
The other new thing will be a song that was produced this year to coincide with the Curse theme. You might hear the song playing over the park’s sound system, but they advise that guest heed this one piece of advice: don’t listen. It’s said that strange things start happening whenever you hear the haunting melody. The story has it that the song “curses its listeners who must survive a night of paranormal horrors at Howl-O-Scream to lift it.” Um-Kay.
Cut Throat Cove: Heed the warning: Abandon hope all ye who enter. Cut Throat Cove™ is the haven for bloodthirsty, dangerous rogues – where the scurvy dogs, buccaneers and scoundrels go for shelter. Proceed with caution. Alas, something has gone terribly wrong. Within this macabre market, the pirates have been slaughtered and mutiny is afoot. The way out lies with the buried treasure and the blood-curdling screams you hear just might be your own.
Catacombs: Through a ruined cemetery filled with statues lies a tunnel that leads to an underground city. Its history is more terrifying than that of France’s worst revolutions. Deep within these tunnels lie mile after mile of bones—the final resting place for those who are buried here. But all is not as quiet as it appears. As guests venture forth into the dank, dripping corridors of rat infested remains, the voices of the dead begin to speak, and some have taken shape.
Bitten: Suspicion, darkness and mind-numbing fear surround the “Bitten” house which is set in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s. Full of legends and lore of vampires and the undead that preyed on the innocent, this manor sits by the road upon which all travelers must pass but few return.
13: Your Number’s Up: For 13 long years, the dark tower was locked away from the world—existing only in the nightmares of those who had dared to experience Howl-O-Scream’s first and most terrifying maze. But now the seal has been broken. The tower is open once more and on the 13th floor, your darkest phobias and fears lurk in the shadows. Are you brave enough to face them or is your number up?
Dead Line: Deep underground, construction of the newest line of the Pompeii Metro was moving smoothly until an ancient pipe was accidentally struck. At first, it seemed like steam. Then the mist became thicker, more sinister. Now the strange gas is leaking quickly, and everyone trapped inside is infected. The difficult decision was made to cut off all communication to the outside world. The Dead Line is off the grid.
Root of All Evil: The seeds of evil have been sown. Venture if you dare into a decrepit greenhouse. Experiments here have not gone as planned and evil has taken control. Botanists, landscapers and staff all poisoned by the very plants they created. In this maze of foliage, you are ripe for the pickings.
Wendigo Woods (France): Playing on the popularity of last year’s addition of Terror-tories, there will be a new area in the park’s New France section called Wendigo Woods. This new Terror-tory explores the frightful nature of the unknown with the scares being more psychological than physical.
Ripper Row (England): Things are looking a bit unsettling in England; a murderer is on the loose plucking unsuspecting victims from the city streets to satisfy his grizzly curiosity. No one knows what Jack the Ripper looks like or who he will strike next. Authorities hunt furiously among the crowds in search of the killer nabbing anyone who looks at all suspicious. Keep your head down and your wits about you or you might not make it out alive.
Vampire Point (Germany): Even vampires need a vacation once in a while and Vampire Point™ is the perfect destination for bloodsuckers. Watch your step and your neck or you might end up the main course. Dawn is hours away, your last salvation lies in escaping the vampire village before the inhabitants sink their fangs into you.
Demon Street (France): Paris is burning. Can you escape before the city is engulfed in flame? Let the smoldering ruins light your way, but beware, fiery fiends lurk around every corner ready to put you on the coals. The smell of a burning inferno fills the air and rumor has it unsuspecting souls will be roasted on a spit. It’s about to get very hot in Paris, stay cool or you may find yourself going up in smoke.
Ports of Skull (Italy): The Jolly Roger has risen over a ship graveyard filled with lost souls doomed to haunt the vessels they once sailed. Chart your course through Cut Throat Cove™ or cozy up to the Pirate Baarrrgh™ for a swill ‘o the grog, but keep a weather eye open or you may find yourself keel-hauled by cut-throat buccaneers.
Monster Stomp on Ripper Row: Howl-O-Scream is putting a new twist on a popular live production that has been silent since 2011; a high-tech revision of the classic production of beloved fan-favorite show Monster Stomp. Monster Stomp on Ripper Row is a modern rock-and-rhythm spectacular featuring Jack the Ripper in an electrifying percussion, dynamic dance and sensational singing revue in the park’s Globe Theatre. Video-mapping technology, 3-D soundscapes and other technology available inside the Globe Theatre transports the audience to London’s East End where the Ripper’s horrifying acts occurred.
Fiends: The wacky doctor and his manic nurses are creating the ultimate Fiend, and there’s not a bad seat in the lab. The voltage is high, and so is the fun as they sing, dance and bring you along on the operation of a lifetime.
Night Beats: Things that go bump in the night sing, dance and transport you on a musical journey. From the devilish sounds of the roaring ’20s to vamping it up with the music of today, this show is filled with dazzling dance numbers, sizzling singers and a barely live band that will leave your heart … beating.
Other seasonal park offerings include Vampire Vogue, a new merchandise shop in the Oktoberfest section of the park; dining and spirit options like Pirate Baarrrgh in the Italy village and Igor’s Fright Feast in Oktoberfest as well as live entertainment inside the park’s performance venues.
At the stroke of 6 p.m., the ghouls and haunts come out to play and Busch Gardens becomes a seriously scary place. Howl-O-Scream begins Sept. 12 and continues to terrify weekends through Oct. 26.
Guests who want the best deal on Howl-O-Scream tickets can lock in a $10/month annual pass featuring Busch Gardens’ EZ Pay Price Lock Guarantee and enjoy unlimited visits to Busch Gardens this fall and into 2015. An annual pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase. Pass members also enjoy discounts to Christmas Town and in-park discounts on food and merchandise.
For more information and a complete operating schedule, visit www.howloscream.com/va or call (800) 343-7946.