Shoot zombies with a paintball gun or escape a real WWII ship at Tampa Bay haunted houses

Published September 19
Updated September 19

Here’s a look at some haunted houses and Halloween-themed attractions coming to Tampa, Plant City and Pasco County.

SCREAM-A-GEDDON

For the past three years, Scream-A-Geddon, located in a frighteningly dark and woodsy part of Pasco County, has built a reputation even beyond Tampa Bay as one of the best haunts around.

Recommended for teens and up, it’s also one of the most intense and interactive. You can be grabbed, separated from your group and thrown into a cell in Blackpool Prison, or in a secret room in Infected: Ground Zero’s quarantine zone — if you choose to don an optional glow necklace that signals consent.

Three new attractions this year include Rage 3D, a scary clown house that makes use of 3-D glasses, and Demon’s Revenge, a witch-themed haunt with lots of animatronics, a priest and an exorcism.

But the most eye-catching has to be Zombie Paintball Assault, where guests report for duty and are loaded onto Zombie Assault Vehicles (apocalyptic, stripped-down school buses) and driven through the woods into the "red zone," where they’ll defend against zombie hordes by firing paintball guns from the windows.

They’ve also added an ax-throwing range to the Monster Midway, where food, beer and wine are served.

GET SCARED

7:30-11 p.m. daily, till 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 4-Nov. 3. 27839 Saint Joe Road, Dade City. $19.95-$34.95. (813) 452-5412. screamageddon.com.

I-4 FEAR PARK

When Ominous Descent’s highly anticipated Bartow attraction was destroyed by Hurricane Irma weeks before its opening, its creators joined forces with Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail, a huge, outdoor haunt with almost a full mile of terror in the woods of Plant City. Now the whole place is operating as the I-4 Fear Park: Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail Featuring Ominous Descent.

Sir Henry’s was already one of the area’s largest outdoor haunts, but now the place features three upgraded haunted trails (the Carving, Silent Walls and Twisted Souls), plus ’Til Death Do Us Part laser tag and the new Hide and Seek horror-themed escape game, a sort of mini-escape room in which you must flee a farm compound filled with depraved maniacs.

GET SCARED

Hours vary Fridays, Saturdays and select Sundays, Oct. 5-31. 2837 S Frontage Road, Plant City. $30 general admission to all trails; $5 extra for laser tag or escape game. (863) 944-0748. sirhenryshauntedtrail.com.

UNDEAD IN THE WATER

A zombie outbreak has swept across Tampa Bay. Legions of ravenous undead are infecting the innocent, and the only way out is to take to the seas. This all-new, interactive attraction that replaces the former Chamber of Terror takes place aboard the SS American Victory, a fully operational WWII-era ship docked at Port Tampa Bay, making it the area’s only haunt on the water.

Your "courageous leader" will guide your group as you "navigate through the cavernous decks, ghostly hallways and mysterious stairwells" of the ship-turned-museum. It takes 20-plus minutes to complete, and is recommended for ages 12 and older.

GET SCARED

8-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 5-27 and Oct. 31. 705 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $13. Toll-free 1-866-468-3399. undeadinthewater.com.

MURDER HOUSE

Murder House started out as a haunted attraction at a private Tampa Bay home, but became so popular it outgrew its limitations (as well as local government regulations). This year it moves to the edge of Ybor City where it will occupy a former industrial building with 16,000 square feet of haunt space, and a 6,000 square foot "scare party" that will serve as a waiting area with music and vendors.

The 20-minute haunted house is not for children, and requires guests to sign a waiver before entering an abandoned "Murder House" in the middle of Thrill Kill, Tampa, an "uninhabitable, isolated neighborhood populated by criminals, killers, psychopaths, and the corrupted."

GET SCARED

8 p.m. to 2 a.m., select nights from Oct. 5-31. 1400 N Channelside Drive, Tampa. $25 (10 percent goes to Big Cat Rescue). murderhousetampa.com

MORE HALLOWEEN FUN

FAMILIES: Take the kids to these not-so-scary Halloween attractions

MOVIES: 27 scary movies to see at Tampa Theatre this season

THEME PARKS: Halloween Horror Nights, Howl-O-Scream look to the '80s and classics

CALENDAR: Mark your calendar for these upcoming Halloween parties and events

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