Cursed: A New Kind Of Scary At Howl-O-Scream

Welcoming Sign at Busch Gardens

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

Fall has arrived and the excitement around Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream is mounting. For thrill-seekers all over the state of Florida, this time of the year holds a special place in their hearts.

One of those thrill-seekers is Scott Swenson, the mastermind behind the Howl-O-Scream experience. A job that involves leading a group that works year-round to assemble Howl-O-Scream is perfect for someone like Swenson, who says working as a team “is so very very exciting.”

For eighteen select nights this fall, guests can witness first-hand the culmination of the efforts produced by Swenson and his team. 2014 brings a new wave of ideas and efforts, all coming together under this year’s theme: “Cursed.”

Along with this new theme are three new houses, including “DeadFall.” DeadFall is centered around a Victorian greenhouse and gardens that is inhabited by evil spirits that were not yet ready to die. Certain parts of DeadFall were created by fans of Howl-O-Scream, which provides another world of excitement for those heading out to Busch Boulevard for the annual event this fall. Like the other houses, the creators intentionally made this one seem claustrophobic, playing to the fears of many park-goers.

Another new house that Swenson is excited about is Zombie Containment Unit 15, which he claims to be “the fastest house you have ever seen.” This house is set three years after a zombie apocalypse, where the captured zombies are being kept under control. ZCU15 brings a new kind of interaction along with it as each guest is issued a zombie eradication device that they must use to navigate their way through the house. This new addition to the haunting Howl-O-Scream lineup has been dubbed by Swenson as “the most interactive house we have ever done.”

Returning to the lineup are some favorites from past years, including The Experiment, The Basement, Death Water Bayou, Blood Asylum, Circus of Superstition 3D, and Zombie Mortuary. The premises of these houses remain the same, but project manager Ben DeWitt mentioned that they touched up on some of the features inside.

Apart from the houses, the dining opportunities add to the experience of Howl-O-Scream. “Fright Feast” is a $75 package that includes a buffet of main courses and desserts that can be enjoyed while watching the popular show “Fiends” at the Pantopia Grill. Following the feast, guests will have early access and front-of-the-line privileges for the houses until 8:30. Reservations for the feast can be made at

Howl-O-Scream first opens up to the public on October 2. For the full schedule of dates, visit