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Enjoy an Evil Encore at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream!

Posted by Steve Barton on August 10, 2016

Each year Busch Gardens puts on one helluva Halloween-themed event, and Howl-O-Scream 2016 is getting set to haunt another October with all manner of ghouls and ghosts! Live near one of their locations?  Then read on for the details!

From the Press Release:
This fall, no soul is safe from the Evil Encore at Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens® Tampa, Busch Gardens® Williamsburg, and SeaWorld® San Antonio. A Halloween rite of passage since its inception 16 years ago, Howl-O-Scream is an after-dark event featuring over-the-top haunted houses, roaming creatures, and live shows.

This year’s theme, Evil Encore, is inspired by a childhood toy gone horribly wrong. A troupe of demon dolls has taken on a life of its own. Once the charming creations of “Mr. Karver,” they’ve developed a dark side. With an insatiable hunger for souls, these dolls are on the prowl.

Each of the parks has one or two new houses and scare zones, known as Terror-tories™, transforming the parks into dark and sinister places that are certain to deliver tormenting and unexpected scares. Each park is rejuvenating fan-favorite houses adding new elements and surprises, ensuring that even the most seasoned Howl-O-Scream fans are frightened.

Howl-O-Scream takes place on select nights in September and October at Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and SeaWorld San Antonio. Dates and times vary by location; for specific details, pricing and tickets, go to Howl-O-Scream.com.


The post Enjoy an Evil Encore at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream! appeared first on Dread Central.

Robin Cowie Talks Bringing the Frights to Howl-O-Scream

Posted by Matt Boiselle on September 18, 2015

RobinCowieLet’s face it – some of these theme park Halloween celebrations over the past few years have been dusty, stagnant, and frankly not enough to make even a young child wet his pants and cry for his mommy. Busch Gardens, however, has opted to call in a little professional reinforcement for its annual Howl-O-Scream event in not one or two of its parks, but three (Busch Gardens Tampa, Williamsburg, and Seaworld San Antonio).

Robin Cowie, the producer of such spine-chillers as The Blair Witch Project, V/H/S/2, and Lovely Molly, will lend his talents to bring “Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge” to life, and he managed to squeeze in enough time to give us the lowdown on just what he’ll be bringing to the table this Halloween, so settle in and enjoy!

DC: For the people that plan on attending but aren’t aware of what they’re getting themselves into, can you give us a little description?

RC: Howl-O-Scream is something that Busch Gardens has been doing for almost 16 years now, if I’m correct, and it takes place in three different locations. I got brought on, and we did a brainstorm to talk about the event. I’d been to it before as a fan, and one of the things that I love about it is they’re very serious about their scares, so that was very interesting to me. That then developed into me helping them create a theme, and that started to grow, and they’ve never before brought all three parks together where you have the same theme, and that theme flows through everything online, from the marketing message to the experience that happens when you come to the park, all centered on that theme. For me it was the opportunity to go from 2D filmmaking to a 4D surround, terrifying experience.


DC: What did you see as the biggest difference between producing films to now working on something as expansive as this?

RC: There was a lot of material that we delivered in a traditional film sense. We made four fake documentaries, and we created a website that a story was behind, and then a short film, then onto commercials, and then filmed material that will play inside the houses, and in a way that was traditional. The difference was all of the design and set dressing that’s usually contained to what’s inside my camera, it had to be designed with the idea that when you walk into the house, now you’ll be able to look 360 degrees, and you’ll be able to get up close to it, so the story really had to surround you. In addition to that, a haunted house experience is a very different kind of experience than that of a film where you’ve usually got 90 minutes to build up tension and scare people. In a haunted house you’ve got very different demands that have to happen within that space, so it was challenging and so much fun to work these guys that have done haunted house setup for a long time. I was able to bring in people from my film world like cinematographer John Rutland (Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension) and production designer Andrew White (Goosebumps), and the theme park guys could be brought into the film world, so it really worked out well.

DC: You were obviously in close contact with the people at the park on this one – were you allowed full creative control, or was there a point where you had to reel it in a bit?

RC: In any creative endeavor there’s always going to be physical constraints, based on time, budget, geography – all of those types of things, and right from the beginning, I said that one of the things that I love is that you guys go for it – this is a full-on scary thing, and if you’re cool with me going a ways with it, I’m going to push it as far as I can to make it as intense as possible.  I can honestly say that in every park we’re doing some crazy things – don’t bring your kids – don’t bring your little ones! We also tried to mix up the scares so that it’s not a traditional house. Yesterday I came from the third house… and I’m so psyched – it turned out really well.


DC: After the Halloween season has passed and this event is over, what can we look forward to from you?

RC: I’m still making films, although I’ve got to say I really enjoyed working in the theme park world, and I’m really interested in that. I’m currently developing a series of 360-degree short films, and I’m really interested in virtual reality and what can be done in the horror world with that. I think that being part of Howl-O-Scream and getting the opportunity to really explore other mediums – I’ve had a wonderful 22 years working in other spaces, but I really love what I’m doing right now.

For all information pertaining to the events, be sure to check out HowlOScream.com for all the details!


The post Robin Cowie Talks Bringing the Frights to Howl-O-Scream appeared first on Dread Central.

Blair Witch Project Producer Teams Up with Howl-O-Scream

Posted by Todd Rigney on August 12, 2015

With Halloween just around the corner, a lot of spooky events and creepy attractions are starting to take shape. To set itself apart from the competition, Howl-O-Scream teamed up with The Blair Witch Project producer Robin Cowie. In short: Expect some seriously creepy shenanigans.

Cowie and his team created something called Unearthed, an attraction that is reportedly “rooted in dark magic” and “unexplained phenomena.” The end result is a “haunting, hair-raising story” that should put the fear into those have lots of experience with haunted houses and spooky mazes.

The official press release has all the information you need.

“I jumped at the chance to work on this project,” said Cowie, who began talking with the parks last summer. “As filmmakers, we rely on emotional and psychological elements to get audiences out of their seats. With Howl-O-Scream, we’re dealing with a crazy convergence of 360-degree storytelling, merging physical experiences and technologies to create a sort of hyper-virtual reality. It’s live, immersive terror and it can take your breath away.”

The collaboration between Cowie and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is a first for both. It’s also the first time all three parks will have the same theme, the same house concept and the same villain: Scarlett. According to Cowie’s storyline, Scarlett was a village healer who turned to dark magic to avenge her husband’s killers. As her powers grew, she was hunted, trapped and buried alive deep beneath the park … but now has been “Unearthed” to summon death and destruction on unsuspecting guests.

“Scarlett is a tragic figure, but at the same time lethal and merciless,” said Cowie. “She’s very powerful, sort of the quintessentially strong female character, except she’s summoning demons and collecting body parts to reincarnate her dead husband. Scarlett will make your skin crawl.”

Critically acclaimed and described as an “extraordinarily effective horror film,” The Blair Witch Project debuted at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival and went on to become one of the most profitable movies in history. Cowie was one of two original producers on the film.

“Working with Robin and his team has added a whole new level of horror to Howl-O-Scream,” said Janet Wagner, corporate director of entertainment/executive producer at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

The Howl-O-Scream event takes place at Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and SeaWorld San Antonio. For more information, swing by the official website.




The post Blair Witch Project Producer Teams Up with Howl-O-Scream appeared first on Dread Central.

Vote For YOUR Favorite Halloween Haunt: Knott’s Scary Farm, Halloween Horror Nights, and More!

Posted by Uncle Creepy on February 22, 2013

Vote For YOUR Favorite Halloween Haunt: Knott's Scary Farm, Halloween Horror Nights, and More!Each Halloween we all sit back and take on the herculean task of trying to decide which haunt would give us the most BOO for our bucks. Now, thanks to a new readers poll on About Travel, you can let your shriek be heard!

Voting is simple - just click here and cast your vote. This is a pretty interesting poll and one we're going to be keeping a close eye on. They're all on there just waiting for you to judge, from Knott's Scary Farm to Universal's Halloween Horror Nights to Florida's Howl-O-Scream. The only thing missing is a write-in option, but hey, you can't have everything, right?

Voting began on Tuesday, February 19, and will end on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.

We'll let you know when the results come in. Stay tuned.

Got news? Click here to submit it!
Start screaming in the comments section below!