Is Howl-O-Scream Actually Fun?


Bella Mangione

Howl-O-Scream is an event put on by Busch Gardens and invites all thrill seekers to visit. The attractions at Howl-O-Scream include “Sinister Shows”, Halloween decorations, haunted houses and more.

Howl-O-Scream is an event at Busch Gardens that happens once a year from September 9-October 31 (Halloween), and it is not for the faint of heart. Howl-O-Scream starts at 6 pm every day and runs as late as 2-3 am, depending on the day. Busch Gardens website specifically says that Howl-O-Scream is not intended for kids to participate in because of the intense amount of gore and violence involved in the park’s Halloween fun. 

As for me, I am 18 and am still terrified every time I attend Howl-O-Scream. However, Senior Remy Vinueza adds, “Howl-O-Scream is definitely worth going if you like to be scared. It’s a great way to bond with friends and have a good time!” 

Once you arrive at the park, you are surrounded by monsters, some of which are on stilts. As you continue in, you will begin to be chased by these scarers, some holding chainsaws or machetes. Furthermore, the people that do the scaring target the weakest ones in the groups, so try not to look vulnerable. It is best to stay in a group, so you are not a lonely target to be scared or, worse, chased. 

Howl-O-Scream also includes haunted houses with different themes. For example, last year, the ones I went in were zombie and witch-themed. These houses are realistic and much more frightening than the park in general because when you are in the house, there is nowhere for you to run. You are forced to go toward the monster/ thing scaring you. 

Another attraction is the “Sinister Show.” These are productions put on by the Busch Gardens crew. These shows include different Halloween characters like Frankenstein and Zombies singing and dancing on stage. 

While the rides are still the same, Busch Gardens projects Halloween colors on the rollercoaster tracks. The last time I went, Sheikra was lit with orange lights, and Congo River Rapids had lights in the water. All the trees are primarily red or purple, bringing some beauty to the haunted park. 

When it comes to buying tickets, the regular one-day ticket is $44.99, and the fast passes are $79.99, and the deal included is you get to skip the line once per ride, and the same goes for the haunted houses as well. Also, if you have an annual pass, you get a discount on the one ticket; the price goes from $44.99 to $39.99, but there is no discount for the fast passes. 

To conclude, this attraction is worth trying if you are a thrill seeker and love the spirit of Halloween. With all the jump scares included in the haunted houses and just walking around in general, you will not be disappointed. 

Where to buy tickets: