Busch Gardens compensated my trip to Howl-O-Scream in exchange for my honest opinion.
As holidays roll around it’s sometimes hard to find things for the older kids and adults to do. For instance, on Halloween, as kids get older they think trick ‘r’ treating is too childish, and going to a pumpkin farm with all the kiddy face painting, etc. They want more mature, scary fun. For example a night at Busch Garden’s Howl ‘O Scream is sure to satisfy you and your teens.
I recently went with my 18 year old daughter who has been dying to go. She loves haunted houses/attractions, so we finally picked a day.
Busch Garden’s Howl ‘O Scream is Tampa’s #1 haunted attraction bringing a number of heart-racing, terrifying houses, scare zones full with creatures that’ll scare you out of your socks, and an amazing live show that is a must see.
Every year Howl O‘ Scream has a theme, this year their theme was “Unearthed.” Busch Gardens joins forces with award-winning filmmaker, Robin Cowie, the producer of the “Blair Witch Project”, to awake an unimaginable evil and a brand-new haunted house called, “Unearthed.”
During maintenance at the park, an excavation crew uncovers a centuries old house buried deep beneath the ground. Upon entering the house, a sinister force is “Unearthed”. The vengeful demon, Scarlett summons the creatures of Howl ‘O Scream‘s past and takes her revenge by collecting the eyes of all who enter her home.
Along with Unearthed there are 6 other fearful houses.
-Dead Fall: Thirst for Blood
-Zombie Containment Unit 15: Moving Targets
-Death Water Bayou
-Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh
We both were so excited to be scared! When we first walked into the park it wasn’t quiet dark yet but they had pumpkins every where and fog was immersing from the bushes and below our feet. As it got darker the lights and fog combined created a dark ery effect plus the creepy shadows from the trees and plants.
We quickly grabbed our maps and made a plan of what houses to go through. Then we headed through the park to the Dragon Fire Grill where we ate and prepared for a live show.
The show was called Fiends which featured some iconic Halloween figures such as the Wolf Man, Dracula, Mummy, etc. There’s dancing, jokes and lip syncing and my favorite part the photo op. To be able to view this show you must purchase the Fright Feast Tickets, which gives you a voucher for dinner, a ticket for the Fiends show and an hour early access to any of the houses.
Eating was a fun part of the night, for dinner before the show there was a variety of foods to choose from, salads, fruits, mac n’ cheese, chicken nuggets, potatoes, steak, vegetables, rolls, and of course dessert. My daughter really liked the chicken nuggets and chocolate cupcakes. Around 6:30 pm the show began, I won’t say too much because it’s a show you should experience yourself. After the show we could get free pictures of and with the actors/dancers from the show. My daughter got a lot of pictures with the cast.
As we were walking to our first house we walked through scare zones. The first one was very creepy, a boy was yelling words and banging on metal trash cans with this doll that had no head.
The next part there were girls dressed up as old decrepit dolls with grey cracked faces. Another scare zone had men on stilts that leaned down growling at us and other guys with hockey masks on skidding past us.
Then we were off to our first house, which was “Death Water Bayou.” In this house a Voodoo Queen transforms wanderers into her evil minions. May I say this was a great house to start with, it got our blood flowing and my throat hurt already from screaming so much. We got out of there fast before being put under her magic.
The next house was, “The Basement.” In this house Momma’s Meats award-winning recipe has always been a family secret created in the “basement”. We escaped the basement before becoming Momma’s secret ingredient in her meat. My daughter loved this house, she had not even been to the others yet and she declared in was her favorite. She loved all the blood, and each room was just as freaky and gross as the last.
We walked to the next house and on way my daughter got a scary light-up necklace. We reached the “Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh.” In this house all the bad luck of childhood superstitions have finally caught up with you with a freaky new twist. For this house we had 3D-glasses which made it so cool. Everything was popping out which made it even more creepier.
Before heading off to our next house we stopped for some food. My daughter loves ice cream and all night she wanted to find a food place that had some so we finally did. She got vanilla ice cream in a waffle bowl with whipped cream and Reese’s Pieces, and I just got a Cappuccino. The we walked around taking pictures of decorations and people dressed up around us. We went through a candy store, and got my family back home some sweet treats. Before hitting the last couple houses we both got baked pretzels and a drink.
We went to “Dead Fall: Thirst for Blood”. In this house Humans and plants entwine with an insatiable thirst for human blood. This house was so ery and creepy made chills run through my body and my skin crawl, but still so good.
“Zombie Containment Unit 15: Moving Targets.” In this interactive house you must stay alive and fend off the zombies to make it out. This house my daughter enjoyed, it was fast paced and she felt like she was in a zombie video game.
“Zombie Mortuary.” In this house zombies are led by their queen to infest a funeral home and feed off the brains and flesh of the mourning family members. Oh how I loved this house. The zombies were so freaky and we tried our best to escape before becoming their next meal.
The last house we went to was “Unearthed”. I’ve see commercials on tv of this house and it looked so good, but it was so much better in person. The creatures and jumpscares were around every corner. I don’t want to give away too much information because its a house you should really see for yourself, well at least before Scarlett captures you and takes your eyes!
Before we left the park we wanted to get ourselves some souvenirs. I got a beautiful purple mug with a White Tiger on the front and my daughter went all out and got herself a chalice with ruby’s and skulls on it, a sand timer with grim reapers engraved in it and an “Unearted” themed t-shirt.
All in all Howl ‘O Scream is such an amazing place for teens and adults to get scared and have some fun. The houses were scary and awesome, the food was good and me and my daughter had so much fun together. We are waiting to see the theme and house line up for next year already!
Be sure an follow Howl ‘O Scream on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To purchase tickets head on over here.