Busch Gardens has brought back its most terrifying and also hilarious Halloween event with the 23rd year of Howl-O-Scream, a separate-ticket scare fest.
The after-hours event is not for little kids since they crank up the production value on sets and costumes to highlight the gore and the creeps that aim to make you unsettled.
There are five haunted houses this year, including a new one called D.H. Baggum’s Circus of Fear. With creepy clowns, the midway is menacing. Watch out for the carny lurking around the corner.
There are also scare zones as you walk across the park where you never know if a vampire will jump out of the bushes or a burly guy with a chainsaw will come running at you. There are five of them including two new ones called Sin City Zombies and Big Ed’s Demolition Derby joining Raven’s Mill, Beyond the Veil and fan favorite The Junkyard.
There’s a high-energy show at the Festival Fields stage called “Rock the Grave” that merges the worlds of alternative and classic rock and pop hits into the Halloween theme. Returning live shows include “Cirque X-Scream” at the Stanleyville Theater and “The Rolling Bones” at Dragon Fire Grill. You can also grab a mic and conquer your stage fright at Scare-E-Oke, an all-new karaoke experience at Gwazi Plaza.
The park will also have its coasters running in the dark, and don’t be surprised if you find a zombie riding in the seat next to you on Iron Gwazi, Tigris or Falcon’s Fury.
There are some themed food options as well as drinks named the Poison Apple, Vampire Bite, Screamsicle, Twisted Citrus Punch and the Gin Makes Me Sin. For the really adventurous, try the blood-red Jell-O shot delivered through a giant syringe. They also are peddling a Cold Blooded Chiller Blood Bag Cocktail that you drink straight from an IV bag.
If you go
Howl-O-Scream: Tickets start at $34.99; unlimited visits $94.99. It runs select nights now through Oct. 31. 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Busch Gardens, 10165 N McKinley Drive, Tampa. buschgardenstampa.com.