I was fortunate enough to attend Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Tampa during opening weekend. I love all types of spooky, scary things. I'm always the first to suggest going to see a scary movie, but typically I always can tell when something is about to happen to scare you and don't get as jumpy as most people. I'm never really known to be a "scaredy-cat". With that being said, I think Busch Gardens did an amazing job at Howl-O-Scream. There were multiple times throughout the night that I jumped and screamed, and some of those times I wasn't even in a haunted house!!
Before I get into the main attraction of Howl-O-Scream, the haunted houses, let me talk about the atmosphere. Spine-tingling music plays throughout the park. Some of the walkways are pretty desolate and the lighting is beyond creepy. In addition, there is fog strategically placed throughout the park. Sometimes the fog is just thick enough to make it a bit hard to see the zombies, or other monsters up ahead, that are about to come after you. So beware.
You also have some cleverly costumed characters, dead construction workers, creepy clowns, some scary black clothed women with bright yellow eyes, that literally come out of nowhere to scare you. You may think you see them and know where they are, but they will catch you when you are off guard!
I was so worried about someone jumping out at me that when bursts of fog would shoot from the bushes the noise scared me and I jumped. Well played Busch Gardens! You had me scared of fog!
I was super impressed by the spook factor just seen in the park walking around. And that was before we even talk about the houses!
So let's talk about the haunted houses. There are seven houses total. We were able to see 5 of them. Here is what there are all about.
Death Water Bayou
I noticed a lady lady holding a snake upon entering this house and I immediately got creeped out. I hate snakes. Now I was freaked out before I even entered the house. Great.
You're basically entering a shadowy swamp house under the spell of dark magic. The costumes inside the house were great. There were screams to be hear throughout the house. One of my favorite parts was the dizzying walk through. Go check it out! You'll see what I mean! And of course, when I thought I had almost made it out, they got me! I screamed! I don't want to give away what got me, but I screamed and I grabbed on to my husband. This was my favorite house!!
It actually started to rain while we were in line for this house, but we were having such a good time that we didn't care. We braved it, and stayed in line. It was just a little Florida drizzle anyway. We were happy we did. This house had you walking through a funeral, a morgue, an area full of body bags - pretty much everything associated with the dead. And of course there were scares at every corner. And then there were the rats. If you have a fear of rodents this house will FREAK you out!
Deadfall - Thirst For Blood
This house was full of monster plants... that are out to get you. It's an overgrown Victorian garden full of scares and screams. Who would have ever thought plants could be this scary?? I may have been caught off guard at the end and let out a bit of a scream once again.
Don't let yourself be turned into dinner in this haunted house!! Food being served here would not be to a vegetarian's liking, because all the screams are from people being cooked into the meals. Human bones ground into flour anyone? I was a little jumpy in this house.
Unearthed - Scarlett's Revenge
I really liked the story behind this haunted house. Basically since the roller Gwazi is now closed, the crew doing construction around it UNEARTHED a demon named Scarlett who summoned a bunch of other creepy creatures to come haunt you. Using their sinister forces they try to get revenge by stealing the eyes of people who enter this haunted house.
Again, I was creeped out, jumpy, and loved every moment in the house.
The two houses I didn't get to see were Circus of Supersitition - The Last Laugh, and Zombie Containment Unit.
Here's Some Info On Those:
Circus of Supersitition - The Last Laugh
Here's what Nancy from This Crazy Life of Mine
had to say about this haunted house. (And you could check out her whole review of the event at her blog as well). "Clowns. Clowns EVERYWHERE. Including outside while you are waiting in line. And once you enter the house, you are wearing 3-D glasses. Clowns in 3-D are way creepier and scarier than normal.All the superstitions you can think of are in this house. Black cats, sidewalk cracks, cracked mirrors. And did I mention clowns? I was positive I would have nightmares for days after this one."
How creepy does that sound? Clowns are scary to begin with but in 3-D??
Zombie Containment Unit 15
This is supposed to be a house based on a containment failure of the undead. It is an interactive house, where you get a Zombie Eradication Device to help hold off the mob of zombie that have you as the next target. Sounds like a scary good time to me!
In addition to the haunted houses you can get themed adult drinks, like the one I'm holding pictured above, called the Scarlett. It was a rum concoction in a fun blinkie souvenir glass. That was fun to carry around in the dark!
You can also ride the awesome roller coasters in the dark!! We rode Kumba, and walked right up to the front of the line!! You can also ride Sheikra, Montu, Cheeta Hunt, and Falcon's Fury.
There's crash test zombies...bumper cars were you get to avoid zombies, and even a show called Fiends!
I had an amazing time and I would highly recommend getting to Busch Gardens for the Howl-O-Scream experience. You won't be disappointed.
Howl-O-Scream runs select nights from Sept 25 - Oct 31. For more information click here
**As part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers, in conjunction with Busch Gardens, I was provided two tickets to Howl-O-Scream in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.