Howl O Scream is getting into the full swing of haunt season, with just over a month away before the event opens at Busch Gardens Tampa. From releasing house information, to scare zones and even getting a look at Trickster this year’s Icon, the park has been very busy. Now the Dark Side of the Gardens is opened once again as Trickster takes to the commercials.
The official Twitter feed HOSInsider has been teasing all kinds of information, including pictures with little snippets of dialogue. Last year we got a very dark child-like lullaby in a sweet soothing voice. This year we get something a little more sinister, but still childlike.
So from a story standpoint, this looks fun. We have Trickster dangling the key to the garden tempting people to come in. As we walk through it, we see a statue for last year’s “lady of the garden” which makes it look like she’s no longer with us. Then we get Trickster putting this guy in a grave.
As for continuity in the event, Howl O Scream Icons traditionally have very little to do with the event. They act more like a beckoning beacon out of the night, luring curious victims in. Once you’re in, very rarely do you see anything else from them. The big exception was in 2010 with Sylvie and the band My X. They had their own house, and had a very strong influence in all of the houses and scare zones that year. Will Trickster have an influence? We have a hint that we may get to see a little more of him in Circus of Superstitions, as he is prominently featured on the logo.
We can only wait to see on that one. Howl O Scream Tampa also has launched their very own website, TheDarkSideofTheGarden.com which has been updated to include all of the houses, a scare zone, dates, times and extras including Fright Feast and tours. The annual club is also back, this year under the name Club XIII. It appears that Trickster is also lurking around every corner of the website as well.
Here’s the list of all the fun this year:
- NEW! Blood Asylum – As lightning rages and thunder crashes outside, “The Creature” escapes from his holding cell in a high-security asylum for the criminally insane. Now this sadistic deviant is running rampant, skinning his former cellmates and turning the mental hospital into his own torture chamber. This serial killer’s bloody playground will drive you out of your mind with fear.
- NEW! Circus of Superstition 3-D – You’ve tried to avoid black cats and sidewalk cracks, but Trickster will make sure that all those years of bad luck catch up with you! Under his command, crazed circus clowns challenge you to survive 13 superstitions in their 3-D Tent of Terror, but it will take more than luck to escape this whole new dimension of fear
Some of the most demented houses ever are back by popular demand with some horrible new twists:
- Ultimate Gamble: CONDEMNED – Vampires have fallen out of vogue and the Ultimate Gamble casino has been shut down. The power is off, and the neon signs that once lit up the sky have gone out. Only the bravest guests dare visit the empty carcass of the once-vibrant casino, grabbing their flashlights to “enter at their own risk.”
- Nightshade Toy Factory: MUTATION – The old Nightshade Toy Factory has long been patrolled by diabolical dolls, terrible teddy bears and possessed playthings, but recent containment issues at a nearby nuclear facility have started to affect these terrible toys. Now, the mutations will stop at nothing to devour the humans that have “enslaved” them for so long.
- Nevermore – Beating hearts, swinging pendulums and a raven’s cries haunt the manor of Lenore, creating a demented and twisted nightmare. Step inside to experience the gothic terror that maddens the lord of the house. and feel delusion overcome reality. Find your way out of this horror story before paranoia authors your final chapter.
- Zombie Mortuary – No one remembers how the epidemic started, but now, zombies live here. The undead that infest this small town funeral home feed on the fresh flesh and brains of mortuary mourners to satisfy their insatiable hunger. Avoid the walking dead or you may find yourself deeper than six feet under.
- Alone… (A personal experience in horror) – The deranged Master Alexander Daedalus opened Minotaur Storage to house his vast collection of “cultural” remains. But now his sinister obsession with hoarding has expanded to stockpiling people. Escape this lunatic’s labyrinth or you will become part of his collection. Can you make it out ALONE?At Howl-O-Scream, even the sidewalks aren’t safe from the things that go bump in the night.
ALL NEW scare zones and bands of roaming hordes will keep guests watching their backs as they explore 335 acres of fright:
- Faded Memories – Thirteen years of horror-filled memories come swarming back as the most sinister icons, diabolical characters and disturbing scenes from your favorite Howl-O-Scream haunted houses and scare zones from the past converge to create the ultimate “best of” scrapbook of scares.
The event will run on Thursday through Sunday Nights starting September 21st and will run until October 27th.
The event starts September 21st for select nights, and is not included with daily admission. It is not recommended for children under the age of 13.