If you thought Busch Gardens was all about thrilling roller coasters and exotic animals, wait until you experience its annual Halloween event Howl-O-Scream. Beginning Sept. 29 and running for 15 days throughout October, Tampa Bay’s thrill park will be turned into one giant house of terrors where over-the-top haunted houses and bone-chilling scare zones reign supreme. And this year, guests will take a walk on the dark side of the gardens and test their physical endurance and mental strength to see if they can escape the evil gardens alive!

Imagine experiencing all of your fears in one place. That’s what you can expect at Howl-O-Scream 2012 as this year’s event takes everything you’ve ever been scared of and puts a gorier and more terrifying twist on it for a night you’ll be dying to escape! To ensure you’re screaming at every turn, Busch Gardens has seven horrifying haunted houses in store, including two new houses: Blood Asylum where “The Creature” has escaped from a holding cell in a high-security asylum for the criminally insane and is torturing every inmate that gets in his path and Circus of Superstition 3-D where crazed circus clowns challenge you to survive thirteen superstitions in their 3-D Tent of Terror! Will you be able to escape the madness?

Returning Howl-O-Scream haunted houses include Nightshade Toy Factory: Mutation; Ultimate Gamble: Condemned; Nevermore; Zombie Mortuary; and the very popular Alone House that gives guests the very scary opportunity to walk through the house, you guessed it alone!

If you think you can find refuge outside of the haunted houses and in the streets of the park, think again! Also returning this year to scare the pants off of guests escaping the haunted houses are Howl-O-Scream’s scare zones. And to commemorate Howl-O-Scream’s 13th anniversary some of the scare zones will incorporate a few signature set pieces and props from the classic haunted houses of Howl-O-Scream’s past!

And just when you think you’re all screamed out, you can board one of Busch Gardens’ many thrilling roller coasters for a white-knuckled ride in the dark!

Please keep in mind Howl-O-Scream is a separate ticketed event. If you wish to explore Busch Gardens’ many wild animals and exciting roller coasters by day and walk the evil gardens at night where tortured souls and demented beings roam look for discounted tickets to both Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and Howl-O-Scream 2012 right here on Best of Orlando.

Howl-O-Scream runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night beginning Sept. 28 through October 27 with a Freaky Preview Sept. 21 & 22.

Orlando, FL 09/05/12