As the clock strikes 6:00 on Friday the 13th the calm and quaint European villages of Busch Gardens Williamsburg will cast aside their charming personas to reveal their dark sides. Howl-O-Scream 2013 is shaping up to be the most terrifying to date.
Following are some of the new and returning attractions and experiences, including an all-new haunted house, new dining locations and the introduction of Terror-tories for Howl-O-Scream 2013. Howl-O-Scream runs Friday, September 13 through Sunday, October 27, 2013.
New for Howl-O-Scream 2013
Spirits and ghouls walk among the living in this all new and immersive aspect of Howl-O-Scream. France, Germany, Italy and England turn into over-the-top themed experiences that will transport guests to the darkest sides of their respective pasts. Terror-tories is similar to the roaming hordes of last year’s Howl-O-Scream, but themed to each individual country in the park.
Demon Street (France) – Paris is burning and full of flames. As the smoldering ruins light the way, beware of the fiery fiends lurking around every corner. The smell of a burning inferno fills the air and rumor has it that unsuspecting souls will be roasted on a spit. It’s about to get very hot in Paris. Stay cool or you may find yourself going up in smoke.
Ports of Skull (Italy) – The Jolly Roger has risen over a ship graveyard filled with lost souls. As you chart your course through Cut Throat Cove, or cozy up to the Pirate Baarrrgh, keep an eye open or you may find yourself keel-hauled by cut-throat buccaneers.
Ripper Row (England) – England is beginning to look unsettled as a murderer is on the loose plucking unsuspecting victims from the streets. No one knows what Jack the Ripper looks like or who he will pick next.
Vampire Point (Germany) – Even vampires need a vacation every hundred years or so. Vampire Point is the perfect destination for bloodsuckers. Watch your step, and your neck, or you might end up as the main course. Dawn is hours away and your last salvation lies in escaping the vampire village before the inhabitants sink their fangs into you.
Howl-O-Scream 2013 Haunted Houses
- NEW Cut Throat Cove – Proceed with caution. Cut Throat Cove is where the buccaneers and scoundrels go for shelter and seclusion. Within this macabre market, the pirates have been slaughtered and mutiny is afoot. The secret to the way out lies within the buried treasure, and the blood curdling screams you hear just might be your own.
- Bitten (Germany) – Suspicion, darkness and fear surround the Bitten house, which is set in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s. Full of legend and lore of vampires and the undead, this manor sits by the road upon which all travelers must pass, and few return. This is a favorite from last year.
- Catacombs (France) – Through a ruined cemetery filled with statues lies a tunnel that leads to an underground city. Its history is more terrifying than that of France’s worst revolutions. Deep within the tunnels lie mile after mile of bones – a final resting place for the buried above. However, all is not as quiet as it appears. As guests venture into the dripping corridors of rat-infested remains, the dead begin to speak. And some have taken shape.
- Dead Line (Italy) – An ancient pipe was accidentally struck deep beneath the newest line of the Pompeii Metro. At first, it seemed like steam. Then, the mist became thicker and more sinister. Now, the strange gas is leaking quickly and everyone trapped inside is infected. All communication to the outside world has been cut off. The Dead Line is off the grid.
- Root of All Evil – Venture into a maze of foliage where the seeds of evil have been sewn. Experiments in this grisly greenhouse have not gone as planned and the plants have taken control. As botanists, landscapers and gardeners have all been poisoned by the plants they created, you are ripe for the picking. Root of All Evil was my favorite house at last year's Howl-O-Scream.
- 13: Your Number’s Up (Scotland) – The seal has been broken and the tower is open once more. On the 13th floor, the darkest of fears and phobias come to life. Are you brave enough to face them, or is your number up?
Howl-O-Scream 2013 Dining
- NEW Blood Banquet – Visit Count Vlad’s hotel and meet a variety of paranormal characters for an all-new interactive dining experience. The spooky atmosphere and unexpected twists and turns offer guests the chance to sink their teeth into a whole new way of dining. Blood Banquet has an eclectic menu, haunting music and an atmosphere to die for.
- NEW Buccaneer Galley – Join the hostess as she and her cutthroat crew serve up a buffet fit for a buccaneer.
- NEW Fright Feast – Dine with the surgeon, his assistant and their freaky monster at Freakenstonia Castle. The drinks are flowing faster than an I.V. drip in this entertaining and live-action experience.
Howl-O-Scream 2013 Bars
- NEW Demon Drinks – On Demon Street, everything sizzles. Join the club and throw back a cold one as the Demon Drinks’ DJ and his too-hot-to-handle hosts serve guests all the fun they can handle.
- NEW Pirate Baarrrgh – When the gale winds blow through the dreary docks, it’s time for dead men to tell tall tales at Pirate Baarrrgh. Grab a gulp of grog and mingle with the likes of Peg Leg Pete and Blackbeard.
- Inoculation Station – No appointments are necessary for the shot of a lifetime with your favorite fiends in pink. The famous test tube shot and photo op are always a hit.
- Open CASKet – The dead are alive and so is the fun at the Open CASKet bar. Hang around, watch your neck and toss back a specialty brew or two served by the coolest vampires this side of the Rhine River.
Howl-O-Scream 2013 Shows
- Dig It Up! – Ancient relics have been buried in the vaults of the Museo di San Marco. They have recently been dug up, dusted off and brought back to life through song and dance numbers. Egyptians, Romans, cavemen and even an alien make their musical debut in this energetic, live show.
- Fiends – The devious doctor and his nurses are creating the ultimate Fiend. With high voltage song and dance numbers, there’s not a bad seat in the lab. This show is the operation of a lifetime.
- Night Beats – Join the things that go bump in the night as they sing, dance and transport you on a musical journey. From the sounds of the roaring ‘20s to the vamped up music of today, this show that will leave your heart beating.
Howl-O-Scream begins Friday, September 13 and continues through Sunday, October 27. For more information and a complete operating schedule, please visit HowlOScream.com/va or call 800-343-7946.
Bush Gardens discounts and coupons
- Coupons - Wendy’s restaurants in Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Northern Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina have discount coupons for the fall season at Busch Gardens. Papa John's Pizza in Norfolk and Richmond, Virginia have the same coupon. Both offer $7 off of general park admission, or $14 off if purchased online. The Papa John's coupon also donates $1 to breast cancer research.
- Fall Fun Card - Similar in spirit to the Summer Fun Pass, the Fall Fun Card lets guests pay for a one-day admission and enjoy unlimited admission to Howl-O-Scream for the rest of the season.
- Waves of Honor - Click here to read all about SeaWorld Parks' online military discount offer, and here for the park's free military admission offer.
Tickets to Busch Gardens can be purchased online.
To parents of young children: Busch Gardens becomes a seriously scary place during Howl-O-Scream. It is recommended for older teenagers and up. Please consider your child’s scare tolerance when bringing young children to Howl-O-Scream. The park does offer lots of fun for kids during the daylight hours. Heed the warnings and the tick-tock of the clock as it nears 6:00.
It sounds like there will be plenty of new and returning frights to scare us all out of our wits at this year’s Howl-O-Scream. I can't wait. How about you? Will you be entering the dark side of the gardens?