Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights
Jack the Clown is back to celebrate "25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem," promising ghosts of Halloween Horror Nights past with nine houses, five scare zones and two live shows.
Fans of lycanthropes can test their wits in 2013's most popular maze, An American Werewolf in London, revamped with minor tweaks. Creative director Mike Aiello said designers were able to get original molds of the wolf used in the 1981 film to create the terrifying hell beast puppet.
Now in its fourth year at Halloween Horror Nights, the Walking Dead maze brings the season five's bloodiest scenes to life. Guests can try to escape the Terminus slaughterhouse, dodge water-logged zombies in the food bank and avoid booby-trapped trucks at the Del Arno food warehouse.
In the Freddy vs. Jason maze, fans creep through the sleeping cabin at Crystal Lake and make their way over to a scale replica of 1428 Elm Street. Aiello only cast performers between 6 feet 3 and 6 feet 7 to play the towering Friday the 13th menace, Jason Voorhees.
Those fond of ghastly seances and paranormal realms can explore the new Insidious maze with characters like the Red-faced Demon and the Bride in Black. Rounding out the new mazes is the Purge, where the real monsters have a thirst for ridding the country of the weak.
Halloween Horror Nights runs select nights through Nov. 1. Tickets start at $49.99 for Florida residents. halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando.
Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream
Horror fans can experience the brainchild of Blair Witch Project producer Robin Cowie at Howl-O-Scream's Unearthed houses.
Cowie was one of the first people to see his Scarlett's Revenge haunted maze in action, and the scares even surprised him. The maze was built in the bowels of the now-closed Gwazi roller coaster.
The story of Scarlett is rooted in love but ends with vengeance and murder. Racked with grief over her husband's murder, Scarlett goes on a killing rampage before she is cornered and buried alive by the townspeople.
Guests can explore an archaeological dig where Scarlett's home has been unearthed, revealing the past horrors that have lain dormant there. People who sprint from danger will miss details like Scarlett's wedding dress and antique lace curtains on the bed.
A well-thought-out experience with a ghoul at every turn, it can be hard to process what exactly you're afraid of at the moment.
Howl-O-Scream runs select nights through Oct. 31. Tickets start at $60. howloscream.com.