Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2016: Step Right up to the Big Top

It’s the most wonderful time of year … for those who enjoy having the stuffing scared out of them. Teasers and trailers are starting to pop up with news about Halloween haunted houses, mazes and attractions for the upcoming season.

Every year, theme parks and scare attractions around the country try to up their games with new and more chilling scares than before. The epic Howl-O-Scream event at Busch Gardens is no exception, and it’s back with an all new haunted house and Terror-tory.

Bizarre, creepy and bone-chilling are just a few of the words you could use to describe what’s in store for guests of the Williamsburg theme park this Halloween season. We won’t mention the “c” word that will no doubt be a big part of this new theme.

Monster Stomp on Ripper Row Photo: Sandy Allen

Monster Stomp on Ripper Row
Photo: Sandy Allen

What’s new for Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens?

Busch Gardens is urging guests to “Step right up” to Circo Sinistro, where only the truly disturbed are allowed to perform in its tent of terror. On the way to this all new house, a new terror-tory, Sideshow Square, will make your jaw drop as it puts you right in the middle of a three ring nightmare. Have you guessed what that “c” word is yet?

In Circo Sinistro, guests will encounter a Big Top experience like nothing they’ve ever seen before. As a fun and freaky twist, Busch Gardens is asking fans to help choose the theme for a room in this house. Theme ideas can be submitted online from July 18-24. The best ideas for Victims’ Choice will be selected for a final vote online from July 26-31.

These new attractions are located in the Festa Italia section of the park, and they replace the pirate-themed terror-tory and haunted maze from previous years.

Paris is burning on Demon Street. Photo: Sandy Allen

Paris is burning on Demon Street.


Ripper Row Photo: Sandy Allen

Ripper Row


Seen on Ripper Row

For those not in the know, a “Terror-tory” is a section of the park that has been re-vamped and “scarified” with music, decorations and scare actors. Busch Gardens has taken the scariest and most sinister parts of the past and turned them into scream zones. For example, the England section of the park is known as Ripper Row during Howl-O-Scream. The quaint village is complete with fog, reporters, British bobbies and even Jack the Ripper himself. Watch out, he likes to lurk in the shadows and chase unsuspecting guests. The scare actors portraying these characters are incredibly talented and really take their roles seriously.

"Fiends" presented in Abbey Stone Theater Photo: Sandy Allen

“Fiends” presented in Abbey Stone Theater
Photo: Sandy Allen

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream 2016 features five Terror-tories, three live stage shows, themed dining and bar options, shopping and behind-the-scenes tours. Visit Howloscream.com/va for more information.


Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge

Howl-O-Scream 2016 haunted houses

  • NEW Circo Sinistro (Festa Italia) – Once the tents rise, all who see them are drawn to find out what curiosities lie inside. This Big Top is not of this world or time. Beware … because what you see, you soon will be.
  • Catacombs (France) – Deep within the underground tunnels of France lie secrets more terrifying than the country’s worst revolutions. Rat-infested remains, walls of bones and mysterious voices follow you through mile after mile of darkness.
  • Bitten (Germany) – This 1800s manor sits by a road that all travelers must pass. Very few return. Legend and lore tells the tale of vampires and the undead preying upon innocent victims. Brave the suspicion, darkness and fear of the Bitten house.
  • Dead Line (Italy) – Construction on the Pompeii Metro was going smoothly until an ancient pipe was accidentally struck. Now, a mysterious mist has become a sinister gas, leaking quickly and trapping everyone inside. All communication to the outside world has been cut off. The infection is spreading and the Dead Line is off the grid.
  • Cornered (back lot near Germany) – This 1977 farming community is in an uproar over the disappearances of residents. An intricate corn husk doll is left behind after someone goes missing. Local corn farmer Jasper McCobb is the main suspect. Join the search party and head deep into the McCobb farm’s winding maze of corn.
  • Lumberhack (enter beside Das Festhaus) – There is a terrifying secret deep within the woods. More than 50 years ago, a logging camp was abandoned after a horrific accident where saws ripped into human flesh. The loggers perished … only to mysteriously awaken years later filled with a rage not of the human world. The lumberjacks are waiting for unsuspecting hikers.
  • Unearthed: Scarlett’s Revenge (Ireland) – A park excavation crew has uncovered a centuries-old house buried deep in the ground. A sinister force was unleased when the door was opened. Journey inside where you may just come in contact with Scarlett, a furious and scorned demon who carries a deck of magical cards used to summon her evil minions.
Ripper Row Photo: Busch Gardens

Ripper Row
Photo: Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens 2016 Terror-tories

  • NEW Sideshow Square (Festa Italia) – Step right up to the Big Top. Busch Gardens’ new Terror-tory is full of haunts, creepy curiosities and other frightening features to make you scream.
  • Ripper Row (England) – Jack the Ripper could be anywhere on the bustling streets of Ripper Row. Keep your head (literally) and obey the authorities, or you might not make it out.
  • Vampire Point (Germany) – Vampire Point is the destination for bloodsuckers of all sorts. Watch your every step (and your neck) as dawn is hours away. And the vampires are out for blood.
  • Demon Street (France) – The smoldering ruins of Paris light your way as you try to avoid the fiery fiends lurking around every corner of Demon Street. They’ve got chainsaws, and they’re not afraid to use them.
  • Wendigo Woods (New France) – This former state-of-the-art research facility is haunted by the mysterious sounds of the Wendigo, once thought to be just a legend. A security team has come in to shut the place down and (try) to contain whatever is out there.
A devilish DJ spins tunes on Demon Street in the France village Photo: Sandy Allen

A devilish DJ spins tunes from a giant skull on Demon Street in the France village
Photo: Sandy Allen

Howl-O-Scream opens September 23 and runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October 30. The park opens at 10:00 a.m., but the scary stuff doesn’t take place until 6:00. Guests are encouraged to consider the elevated scare levels when brining young children to the park. During the daylight, it’s completely fine. But the low light, spooky sounds and scare actors may be too much for some children once it gets dark.

What are you most looking forward to running from at Howl-O-Scream 2016?

Wendigo Woods entrance Photo: Sandy Allen

Wendigo Woods entrance
Photo: Sandy Allen

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