Right after back-to-school time, you can count on starting to hear details leak out about Howl-O-Scream, Busch Gardens' annual transformation from tame theme park into the scariest Halloween destination in Tampa. Some of the anciliary attractions and buildings are converted into haunted houses while ghouls and zombies chase you around the open areas of the park with chainsaws and other frightening implements.
This could be you and your friends — Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens
For this year's Howl-O-Scream, the park is creating seven new haunted houses, including the Circus of Superstition. The circus is a tour through 13 well-known superstitions and what happens if you break them - all in 3D. There is also Alone, where visitors can no longer rely on the collective strength of the group they are with, and Nevermore, a twisted exploration of Edgar Allan Poe's greatest work.
One of the new additions to Howl-O-Scream is the 3D Circus of Superstition — Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens
The coasters also remain open during the night, one of the rare times of the year where Busch Gardens is open past dark. If you've never rode a roller coaster in the dark, it might be your scariest experience of the night.
Finally, if going through the haunted houses has left you with some excess energy, the park creates Club XIII, a dance club in the old Marrakesh Theater with non-stop music, drinks and surprise appearances from some of the demons and goblins roaming the park.
It goes without saying, but Howl-O-Scream is not appropriate for small children due to gore, violence, and blood. It runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from September 21st to October 27th.