Fall is officially here and that means all things Halloween. Despite being a chicken about most scary things, I love haunted houses and being scared silly. We are fortunate to live near Busch Gardens Tampa and had the chance to attend Howl-O-Scream on opening night.
We arrived about 45 minutes before the event started so we were in line for the first house to be one of the first to go in. From there on out, we were very lucky with our timing and made it through 6 of the 7 houses and even saw the Fiends show all by 10:30. We met a couple while in line for the very first haunted house and they were so nice, we ended up hanging out with them the whole evening. It was a great time!
We really enjoyed every haunted house we went in. The themes were all scary and fun and gross and everything in between. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate clowns, so I had my fill of them. If you love zombies, you are in for a treat. And I had my grossest, most terrifying moment ever in a haunted house in a room taken over by rats. It doesn’t matter that they were fake, I couldn’t get out of that room fast enough. Rat noises, rat skins, rat smells… It was too real for me. Which of course means it was a great haunted house! Two thumbs up for that, Busch Gardens!
Here is my run down on the houses in the order that we went in them.
Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge
This one was very clever. Busch Gardens played on the closing of Gwazi and incorporated it into the theme. The story is, during maintenance at the park, an excavation crew uncovers a centuries-old house beneath the ground and a sinister force is unearthed. The demon, Scarlett, summons creatures of Howl-O-Scream’s past and collects the eyes of all those who enter. This all took place beneath the towering heights of Gwazi. We went in it just as the sun was setting and it was perfect.
Circus of Superstition: The Last Laugh
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.
Think Deliverance on this one. It takes you through Mamma’s Meat’s and shows you all about her award-winning recipes. It’s a family affair indeed. This house even has gross smells. Well played, Busch Gardens!
Dead Fall: Thirst For Blood
Greenhouses are creepy and this one is the creepiest! It’s dark, damp, and smells. Humans and plants are hard to tell apart in this one. I screamed ALOT in this house. Even waiting in line, there was a creepy character that had us jumping.
This one will be the one that haunts me for awhile. You walk through a zombie infested funeral home, as zombies search for fresh flesh and brains of the mortuary owners. Coffins, zombies, a funeral, and what I will call the rat room as previously mentioned. SO. GROSS. Of all the rooms to be in for the line to stop for a minute. I am TERRIFIED of rats and rodents so this scared me the most, even more than the clowns in Circus of Superstition.
Death Water Bayou
Set in the bayou outside New Orleans, the Voodoo Queen torments all those who enter and you have to escape before falling victim to her spell. The New Orleans / bayou theme was well portrayed in this one.
In addition to the houses, hubby went on Crash Test Zombies, riding the bumper cars and avoiding zombies. That was pretty cool.
And lastly, we saw FIENDS, the live show in Dragon Fire Grill. Music, dancing, current events, and more entertain all who watch.
This was also my first time seeing Falcon’s Fury and it’s pretty impressive. It’s not something I would ever go on (Hi, my name is Nanci and I am a big chicken) but it was fun to watch, especially in the dark. Kudos to anyone who rides it!
It’s always fun to see amusement parks at night. Despite being hot and humid and eventually getting rained on, it was a great night and I’m so glad we got to go.
If you are in the Tampa area, you should definitely check it out. It is meant for mature audiences, so I recommend leaving the kiddos at home. Howl-O-Scream Unearthed runs select nights from September 25 – October 31. Event hours are 7:30pm to 1:00 am. Tickets and front of the line passes can be purchased at Howl-O-Scream and you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more information.
**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.