Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream 2013: The Story of Ripper Row


The dank, dark alleys of Ripper Row.
Photo: Busch Gardesn

I love a good storyline. Whether it’s a movie, a themed restaurant or the completely immersive feel of a well set theme park, the story behind the setting is almost as good as the activity, situation or event itself.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg does a great job with the settings of their European villages and depictions of everyday life in Germany, France, England, Scotland and Italy. With Howl-O-Scream, they go over the top to give guests a scare with perfectly placed ghouls, ghosts and fiendish frights that match the village/country in which they’re located. If you thought a walk around the park was, well, a walk in the park, before, get ready for Terror-tories.

Terror-tories replaces the roaming hordes of last year’s Howl-O-Scream. England, France, Germany and Italy have been ripped apart and stripped to the bones to give guests a taste of the past horrors left lying in the cracks and crevices of the country. England’s Ripper Row is the first Terror-tory to reveal its bloodcurdling back story.

Howl-O-Scream opens on Friday the 13th of September (Yeah, Friday the 13th. How cool is that?). The new, immersive area of Ripper Row will greet guests when they enter the halls of Howl-O-Scream through what was once a quaint and calm English village. It has now been taken back to another time and place. Loosely based upon the terrifying reign of the Whitechapel Murderer, Ripper Row will grab guests and take them into a cinematic experience infused with horrifying plot twists and turns. As the main attraction in Ripper Row, beware or become the Ripper’s next victim during this time of terror.

From the Busch Gardens’ press release, the story behind Ripper Row goes as follows …

Ripper Row: The Story

Tendrils of fog curl lazily around those who walk the dark streets and cling to tattered bits of black parasols, forlorn reminders that the denizens of this forsaken place are in mourning. The wailing keens of those who’ve lost someone dear punctuate the air of a city shrouded in darkness and despair. Shadows lurk everywhere. Everyone is a stranger and no one can be trusted. The yellowed newspapers plastered on sides of buildings shout the dire news in bold headlines: patrons of the Ten Bells Pub are disappearing . Whispers permeate every shadow-filled corner and foreboding alleyway, rumors of a dark figure stalking the streets plucking unsuspecting souls who fall victim to his nefarious whims.

Bobbies rush in and out of Scotland Yard, their brows furrowed with anxiety and their eyes averted from the citizens they are helpless to protect. Their efforts to warn away potential victims has all been in vain as more and more people seem to flood the streets each day. The locals are starting to call it the Autumn of Terror and no one knows when the horrors will stop and England will be safe once more. How do you save people from a villain with no known identity? For weeks he has been taunting the police by mailing them grisly notes detailing his murderous crimes, all signed with the same shudder-inducing name: Jack the Ripper. One thing is clear, this is his city now and the suffering is far from over for those who visit Ripper Row …

These horrors, and three more equally-frightening experiences, await those brave enough to become the main characters in Howl-O-Scream’s thematic Terror-tories settings, where spirits and fiends of the past walk amongst the living. France, Italy and Germany will also be transformed into over-the-top experiences that take guests to another time and place full of startles and frights. Keep checking back for more updates.

Howl-O-Scream runs from Friday, September 13 through Sunday, October 27, 2013. Read more about all that Busch Gardens and Howl-O-Scream have to offer by clicking here.


  1. […] of pirates and murky waters. Vampire Point in Germany has vampires and underworld creatures, while Ripper Row in England harkens back to the days of London’s East End and Jack the Ripper. Meanwhile, Paris is […]

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