Oct 25, 2021 - Things to Do
Haunted house hacks for Halloween 2021
An evil bunny at Little Nightmares scare zone at Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream.
An evil bunny at Little Nightmares scare zone at Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream. Photo courtesy of Gianna Settimi

We asked Ben's teenage daughters and a friend to hit two of the area's major Halloween events and give us the guano on super scares.

  • They braved Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream ($74.99 per ticket day of) for three hours Saturday, then let Ben tag along to Scream-A-Geddon ($60 per ticket day of) in Dade City.

Here are their tips for navigating local haunts:

Howl-O-Scream
Asher and Morissey Montgomery and Gianna Settimi at Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream
Asher and Morissey Montgomery and Gianna Settimi at Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream. Photos courtesy of Morissey and Asher Montgomery

Overview: The houses were lacking and the lines so long we only got into two in three hours.

Cell Block Zombies

  • Review: Good jump scares and lots of actors, but the costumes and rooms were repetitive.
  • Highlight: Gross prison toilet with guts in it.
  • Gore factor: 🔪🔪🔪🔪
  • Fright factor: 👻👻

Death Water Bayou

  • Review: Cool decorations and costumes but no jump scares and only lasted about two minutes. Kids play.
  • Highlight: Vortex tunnel
  • Gore factor: 🔪 out of 5
  • Fright factor: 👻 out of 5
Scream-A-Geddon
A collage of scene from Scream-A-Geddon in Dade City.
A collage of scene from Scream-A-Geddon in Dade City. Photos courtesy of Morissey and Asher Montgomery

Overview: Scarier houses than Howl-O-Scream, much shorter lines and less walking between the houses. Well worth the drive. Demon's Revenge

  • Review: This was better than all of Howl-O-Scream combined.
  • Highlight: My dad ran into a wall and dramatically slid down to the ground, screaming "IT'S A DEAD END."
  • Gore factor: 🔪🔪
  • Fright Factor: 👻👻👻👻👻

Blood Water Bayou

  • Review: This was eight minutes of terror, featuring the classic chain-saw chase.
  • Highlight: My dad crawled through some of the house. He said, "I felt like y'all were getting sucked into the green light, so I crawled below it, just in-case."
  • Gore Factor: 🔪🔪🔪🔪
  • Fright Factor: 👻👻👻👻

Rage 3D

  • Review: Lots of flashing lights and very disorienting but not very many jump scares.
  • Highlight: A clown jumping out from around the corner and my dad laid down on the ground screaming. A medic came over to see if he was okay.
  • Gore Level: 🔪
  • Fright Factor: 👻👻👻
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