One of the hidden
treasures terrors of the haunt world has always been Bush Gardens’ ‘Howl O Scream’. To us, this event is one of the most understated in the industry as it often gets overshadowed by HHN. Over the years they have featured some of the most fascinating, unique, and terrifying maze concepts. They even introduced the first ‘Alone’ haunt experience at a major theme park event. Every time we’ve had the chance to attend we’ve enjoyed their nontraditional scare tactics from monsters chasing you from the front entrance into the park to scare-actors disguised as regular park guests and employees who’ll then turn around and surprise you with unsuspecting scares. When asked how does HOS rank overall compared to HHN we would have to say it’s a tie. HOS it feels more like we were at a scary Halloween party with an atmosphere across the park that really pushes the boundaries on where and when they try to scare the guests.
This year marks the 20th anniversary and to celebrate Howl-O-Scream will unearth the long-buried icons of the past with the theme of ‘20 Years of Fear’. This year there’ll be a total of six houses and nine scare zones, which includes the returning favorites like Motel Hell: Infestation and the Deadly Toys scare zone.
A new haunted house called ‘The Residence’ will take guest through the home of a seemingly mundane suburban family that is seeking “the next sacrifice in their sinister devotion.”
Three new scare zones will also be featured around the park, including the gothic Romanian cemetery of Carpe Noctem; the creepy homemade costumes of Little Nightmares; and First Fear, which Busch Gardens says will “feature past Howl-O-Scream characters like “Dr. Livingsdoom, the vampires from the House of Vayne, Trickster and more.”
We wish we could be there but look forward to hearing the reviews from our Florida haunt stalkers.
Howl-O-Scream 2019 runs on select nights at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay from Sept. 20 through Nov. 2. Single-night tickets start at $40 per person, while an unlimited admission pass good for all 22 nights of the event costs $80.