Friday the 13th starts rumors of haunt season


“Well lookee what I found….” rang across the Facebook page of Busch Gardens Tampa’s Howl o Scream. The one that calls themselves “the HOS Insider” posted a single small part of a larger image. It was small, simple, and fit in with today’s date and “holiday”.


What appears to be the number 13 worked into the metal of a gate sat taunting fans. While it’s not uncommon for haunts to plan their events months or even years in advance, it is a little rare to get teased this far in advanced. However, The Insider likes toying with fans emotions, and working would be attendees into a frothing frenzy before the event starts.

But what does the 13 mean? As fansites have pointed out, it is because of Friday the 13th. What they failed to realize is that this year marks the 13th year of Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa. The event has grown in leaps and bounds since it’s original inception. The event has seen loads of nightmarish creatures from demented clowns, disfigured twins, and sexy vampires. So what can we expect this year? Nothing official has been released, so all we have to go is nothing more than whispers and speculation.

Last year, sister park Busch Gardens Williamsburg celebrated 13 years with tons of new features, so the hope is the same for Tampa. A slew of new houses were part of the fun last year, including 13, a curse of sorts. It’s very possible that Tampa will inherit this house and theme since last year the two parks shared “The Dark Side of the Gardens” which worked brilliantly in Virginia, but had many in Tampa feeling it was a dud. But here are some rumors swirling around.

13 new attractions-The event has a habit of recycling old houses, which is great if you’ve never been, but seems stale for many veterans of the event. So it could be a fresh new start
Alone returns-The house first appeared in 2010 and was the first upcharge house at an event which is already an upcharge event. While it received great reviews the first time around, many who repeated said that not much had changed. Could it be a success a third time around?
Newer houses return-Last year the event saw three new houses. Busch Gardens is known for recycling their houses for up to five years, so its no surprise we could see them return.
Roaming hordes-Last year the park departed from the traditional set scare zones and instead had hordes of characters moving throughout the park. Many loved it, personally it made the event feel sparse. But again, no scare zones means the park doesn’t necessarily have to come up with new props.

More houses-Last year the park dropped the number of houses, due mostly to construction. We are hearing the number will jump back to 7, and possibly 8 houses that will not be upcharge houses.

Tigers-One option the park has not utilized are the live animals. The biggest issue being the liability. But this year we are hearing the park is going to station an attorney at the park and you will have the chance to sign away all your rights for the chance to become hunted. That’s right, you running from the tigers in a dash for your life! Could this be mere rumor? Of course it is, so relax. What would you expect from knuckleheads and a silly little blog? Lighten up.

Again, these are rumors, and until the park announces anything, these should be taken as fun.

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