Howl-O-Scream 2023 Haunted Houses Revealed for Busch Gardens Theme Parks

The annual Howl-O-Scream Halloween haunt event returns to Busch Gardens theme parks in Williamsburg, Virginia and Tampa, Florida next month, and the 2023 lineup of houses and scare zones have been revealed.

At Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Howl-O-Scream returns, giving victims something to scream about with all-new scares to the extreme. Your fate awaits with five newly-reimagined haunted houses, leaving no tale of terror left unturned. There’s no escaping the frights with five terror-tories™ and four sinister shows throughout the park. Beyond the haunts, fuel your fear with six BOOze bars and take horror to new heights on world-class coasters, including the all-new DarKoaster. There’s nowhere to hide at Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream, Virginia’s premier Halloween event.

This year’s houses include the brand new Lost Mines: The Descent, where deep in the depths of an underground gem mine, once-human inhabitants shield their riches after being trapped below the earth for generations. This mutated community now bears supernatural skin, daggerlike claws and disturbing sores doubling as a disguise. As you journey deeper, the shimmer of precious stones reflects in their vile eyes, revealing a dark hunger for both wealth and the flesh of the intruders who dare to tread their forsaken realm.

The other four houses are “revamped” versions of some returning favorites:

  • Death Water Bayou: Full Moon – As devilish devotees are beckoned deeper into the bayou by an unseen force, this swamp walks the line between our world and the next. With the flame of death looming from above, the Voodoo Queen reaches in desperation for her next sinister sacrifice, and the water’s dismal surface shivers with restless spirits yearning for the souls of the living.
  • Nevermore: Chapter 3 – The pages are turning for another chapter of the Nevermore saga. Tales of torment and terror take frightening form as Poe’s poignant prose returns with a bloody twist and an even darker reality. The walls whisper with verses of madness, and every step unravels a new stanza of dread in this nightmarish literary labyrinth. Will you make it out of this horrifying epilogue alive?
  • Witch of the Woods: Scorched – After decades of destruction and damage from the devious Witch of the Woods, the villagers united to scorch her forbidden forest. Their cold-blooded plan failed, and the menacing ringleader is back with vigor and vengeance. Her cackles echo through the charred trees, a chilling reminder that even fire couldn’t put an end to her malevolent power.
  • KILLarny DIEner: Infested – Order’s up! Patrons at this demented diner will soon learn that their bistro has been overtaken by bloodcurdling bugs and ghastly creatures. Amidst the crawling horrors, the jukebox eerily springs to life, playing twisted tunes that seem to mock the impending doom. With exterminators enroute, tonight’s blue-plate special may be your last.

The 2023 scare zone Terror-tories include the new Fest-Evil, where sinister secrets from the bayou spill into the streets by the sounds of merriment, a Mardi Party corrupted by an evil energy within the spirits of the swamp, as well as returning favorites Gorgon Gardens (pictured above in 2022), Scary Tale Road, Meat Market, and Ripper Row, in addition to four sinister live shows.

According to a press release, at Busch Gardens Tampa, guests can officially start warming up their vocal cords (it’s called Howl-O-Scream for a reason!). Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is slated to awaken the guests’ innermost fears and make them scream to the extreme with the ultimate parkwide terror including an all-new haunted house, two new scare zones, and all-new interactive entertainment offerings. Six spine-chilling scare zones, five hair-raising haunted houses and four elaborate entertainment productions will have guests screaming at the top of their lungs. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Howl-O-Scream takes place select nights from Sept. 8 through Oct. 31, 2023.

This year, new terrors hailing from the afterlife and iconic frights will make even the bravest souls whimper in fear. Fan-favorite haunted houses such as Stranglewood Estate, Witch of the Woods and The Residence: Home for the Holidays will return, as well as infamous scare zones including The Junkyard, Beyond the Veil, The Shortcut and Ravens Mill. These returning favorites are just a few of the experiences that will complement the following fear-inducing new additions:

All-New and Reimagined Haunted Houses and Scare Zones

  • All-New – D.H. Baggum’s Circus of Fear – Come one, come all, to the most terrifying show you’ve ever seen. D.H. Baggum brings you all his monstrosities that are sure to make your spine tingle and your blood run cold!
  • Reimagined – The Forgotten: Uprising – Be Brave. Be Fearless. Survive the Night. Rise up against the vampires before they take back the city and kill every human in their way.
  • Big Ed’s Demolition Derby – Step into the twisted and adrenaline-fueled world of Big Ed’s Demolition Derby. He has pulled together some of the roughest, toughest, and meanest baddies from all over Howl-O-Scream and brought them here to compete— but there’s always room for some surprise guests. Step up and see how long you can survive and navigate this automotive nightmare.
  • Sin City Zombies – On the outskirts of the Vegas strip lies a rundown motel, home to some of the best entertainers to ever live and overrun by zombies who run rampant. Try your luck and hope your number wins because this is one town you don’t want to lose in.

Eerie Entertainment and Sinister Spectacles

Performing live at the Festival Fields stage, guests will be mesmerized with the all-new Rock the Grave, an explosive, high-energy live stage show that merges the worlds of alternative and classic rock and pop hits into an unforgettable experience. Rising from the grave, this year’s Howl-O-Scream sees the return of the high-energy and pulse-pounding live musical performances by The Rolling Bones at Dragon Fire Grill, the death-defying acts and stunts from Cirque X-Scream at the Stanleyville Theater.

This year, Howl-O-Scream fans can take their turn behind the mic at the all-new “Scare-E-Oke” experience at Gwazi Plaza. Guests can select their song of choice and take a memorable photo of their experience. At the Coke Canopy, guests can dance the night away until the clock strikes twelve in the all-new Raveyard featuring an electrifying atmosphere with music and specialty cocktails.

Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event, taking place on select nights Sept. 8 through Oct. 31 after 7 p.m. Parental discretion is strongly advised as Howl-O-Scream contains graphics and mature content that may not be suitable for children. Costumes are not allowed.

The event takes place at both parks on select dates September 8 through Halloween, October 31. Tickets are on sale for Williamsburg here and for Tampa here.

You can watch our full walkthrough of all five haunted houses and terror-tories on from opening night of Howl-O-Scream 2022 below.

For more Halloween news, follow @HalloweenDaily.

Matt Artz

Founded Halloween Daily News in 2012 and the Halloween International Film Festival in 2016. Professional writer/journalist/photographer since 2000.