Howl-O-Scream 2023 Unveils New Haunted House, Scare Zones, and Entertainment

Howl-O-Scream 2023
Here is the Haunted Attraction Industry News for August, 21st.
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Theme Parks

Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay (Tampa, FL) will return select nights September 8th – October 31st with an all-new haunted house, two new scare zones, and new interactive entertainment offerings. This year’s event will feature six spine-chilling scare zones, five hair-raising haunted houses and four elaborate entertainment productions. Fan-favorite haunted houses such as Stranglewood EstateWitch of the Woods, and The Residence: Home for the Holidays will return, as well as infamous scare zones including The JunkyardBeyond the VeilThe Shortcut, and Ravens Mill. New for 2023 are scare zones Big Ed’s Demolition Derby & Sin City Zombies, and haunted house, D.H. Baggum’s Circus of Fear. The Forgotten: Uprising haunted house has been reimagined with all new chills and thrills. Eerie entertainment will include the Rock the Grave stage show, musical performances by The Rolling BonesRaveyard dance party, and Cirque X-Scream‘s death-defying acts & stunts. Join in on the musical fun with the all-new Scare-E-Oke experience – where fans can sing along to their favorite tunes. Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event. Tickets, upgrades, and packages are on sale now on the event’s official website. 

Howl-O-Scream at SeaWorld Orlando (Orlando, FL) returns select nights September 8th – October 31st with three new houses, three new scare zones, five sirens, and the return of four fan-favorite attractions. New houses D3LER1UM666 Laboratories, BENEATH THE ICE – The Meltdown, and DEAD VINES: Nawlin’s Nightmare, join the reimagined Captain’s Revenge: Drowned in Darkness and Blood Beckoning. The three new scare zones: Toxic TurmoilBlood Light District, and Carn-EVIL Pier, join returning favorites Portal of PassageFrozen in Terror: Alive in the IceWitchcraft Bayou, and Terrors of the Deep. The Howl-O-Scream experience would not be complete without SeaWorld’s darkly entertaining, high-energy shows like the haunting “Siren’s Song” and award-winning “Monster Stomp.” Guests can quench their thirst for fear at a variety of fiendishly interactive bars – CarnEvil Curiosities (new for 2023), Longshoreman TavernTormentedPoison Grotto, and Siren’s Last Call. Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event. Single-day and multi-night tickets are on sale now on the event’s official website. 

Prepare to delve into the enigmatic world of Grammy-winning artist The Weeknd at Universal Studios Singapore Halloween Horror Nights (Sentosa, Singapore). After successful houses in Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood last year, this new house will feature chart-topping hits from The Weeknd’s albums After Hours and Dawn FM. The Weeknd: After Hours Til Dawn Nightmare promises a spine-tingling journey into the singer’s mind, where guests will traverse through the eerie corridors of his nightmarish nightclub. The house will feature five new rooms inspired by Dawn FM. “Halloween has been significant to my music and that makes Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights such a fun and novel stage to bring my music around the world. I’m thrilled to have a haunted house in Singapore and share this experience with my fans in Southeast Asia,” Abel Tesfaye (The Weeknd) said in a news release. Universal Studios Singapore Halloween Horror Nights 11 will span 18 select nights from September 29th to November 4th. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $79 – $89

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL) held its opening night on August 11th. This separately-ticketed nighttime event features spellbinding entertainment, trick-or-treating, festive foods, photo ops, Disney characters dressed in their Halloween best, and more. Entertainment highlights include: Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade, Disney’s Not-So-Spooky Spectacular (featuring projections, special effects, music, fireworks, and the Pumpkin King himself, Jack Skellington), and the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular stage show. MNSSHP runs select nights through November 1st. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $149 – $199 for adult admission. 

Taste of Terror at Universal Studios Orlando (Orlando, FL) opened on August 10th and runs select nights through August 26th. The special event features an exclusive all-you-care-to-enjoy preview of select items that will be featured at Halloween Horror Nights and options for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets are on sale now for $135.99 per person. 

Castle Park (Riverside, CA) will celebrate 15 years of Fears this Halloween Season as it transforms into Castle Dark, Fridays – Sundays, September 22nd – October 29th. For its 15th season, Castle Dark will feature five all-new experiences: Cinema of Fear and Night Shift haunts, Shipwreck Cove and Slider Alley interactive shows, and Haunted Highway antique car ride overlay. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $24.99. 

U.S. Haunts & Events

Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment and Egan Escape Productions have joined forces once again to bring fans a second installment of Escape IT (Las Vegas, NV). Escape IT Chapter 2 features over 16 interactive rooms that bring the hit film to life. From the Jade of the Orient restaurant to the Derry Canal Days Midway and Pennywise’s lair, the escape room utilizes special effects, lighting animatronics, and live actors to create a creepy and immersive experience. In addition to the two escape room experiences, the venue hosts a lobby area with props from the films, carnival-style midway games, and a full-scale “IT” themed retail store with photo ops and exclusive custom merchandise. Tickets for Escape IT Chapters 1 & 2 are on sale now, starting at $54.99 for single experience general admission, $74.99 for single Private VIP Admission, $89.99 for Chapter 1 & 2 Combo GA tickets, and $129.99 for Combo VIP tickets. Learn more about these escape rooms and their creation from our interview with Jason Egan from March 2023. 

Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre Group is thrilled to bring Urban Death Tour of Terror back to North Hollywood, California, select nights October 6th – 31st, 2023. Part twisting haunted house and part theatre attraction, Urban Death Tour of Terror will reach into the depths of the darkest corners of the human psyche to bring you their most horrifying show yet. The monstrous freaks are here to terrify and shock you to your core! After facing the spine-chilling and often risqué maze upon entrance, guests will be treated to a captivating live show consisting of a series of shocking and bloody wordless vignettes and mind-blowing physical performances. Guests will then face frightening new creatures hiding within a reversed version of the scream-inducing Tour of Terror maze on their way back into the real world. Tickets are on sale now starting at $22 for advance ticket purchases ($27 at the door). 

Dark Harvest Haunted Attraction will be housed in a new location for 2023 – a 3 acre lot in Garden Grove, California. The expanded location will allow for 2 fully-themed walkthrough attractions, photo ops, and entertainment. This year’s haunts include a sequel to the event’s 2022 maze, “Shady Pines Asylum: The Escape,” and “The Scary Clowns.” Celebrating its 8th year, Dark Harvest will employ 25 actors, high-tech scares, and spooky sets to startle and scare the communities of Orange County. Tickets are on sale now starting at $30 for General Admission and $45 for Express Queue. 


Midnight Syndicate have released their 15th studio album, “The Brimstone Club”. Featuring the “soundtracks to imaginary films” concept the band helped pioneer, The Brimstone Club blends orchestration and sound effects to take listeners to a shadowy theatre club where the strangeness of its exotic entertainment and libations are matched only by its peculiar clientele. “The album was inspired by the Parisian Cabaret de L’Enfer, a 19th century hell-themed cabaret that was a forerunner to the haunted attractions and themed restaurants and taverns of today,” said Midnight Syndicate founder and co-composer Edward Douglas. “Sometimes a piece of history can prove to be as fascinating as anything one might imagine,” added Midnight Syndicate co-composer Gavin Goszka. Similar to Midnight Syndicate’s other albums, The Brimstone Club utilizes music and sound to tell a story whose details are left up to the listener. “We hope people can listen to it at least once from start to finish in a quiet darkened room. There’s a lot in this world to explore in your mind’s eye,” said Douglas.

Conventions & Mixers

All set for Summer Camp? Creep It Real OC (Santa Ana, CA) returns to the Heritage Square Museum of Orange County on September 16th-17th 2023 with a creepy camp theme and a celebration of 30 years of Disney’s “Hocus Pocus”. In it’s 4th year, Creep It Real is presenting its largest event to date – filled with over 120 spooky vendors, live music & entertainment, food trucks, spirited drinks, photo ops, scareactors, and a tribute to the fan-favorite film Hocus Pocus. The “Hocus Pocus Museum,” will be a curated exhibit showing off actual props, costumes, and creative treatments from both original feature films. Also, meet with stars of the 1993 classic “Hocus Pocus,” Vinessa Shaw (Allison), Omri Katz (Max), and Jason Marsden (voice of Binx Cat). “Our goal is to create and share an environment where local artists, vendors, DIYers and Halloween enthusiasts will join together as the season ramps up to further ignite the excitement of the spookiest time of the year” Co-Producer Kevin Valantine says. Tickets are on sale now starting at $15 for single-day admission, $25 for weekend passes. Admission is free for children 10 and under.

Film & TV

The Food Network released their 2023 Halloween programming lineup. The network’s devilishly delicious slate of programming will include five returning favorites: Halloween Baking ChampionshipHalloween Cookie ChallengeHalloween WarsKids Baking Championship: Bloodcurdling Bakes, and Outrageous Pumpkins.  


Upcoming Events: August - October 2023

September 16 – 17Creep It Real OC Expo (Santa Ana, California)
September 23 – 24West Michigan Halloween Expo (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
October 13 – 14Son of Monsterpalooza (Burbank, California)

Auditions / Casting Calls

7 Gates Screampark (Niagara Falls, NY) – August 26, September 2, 9
The Darkness (St. Louis, MO) – August 28,29, September 5, 6, 9, 16
Demon Acres (Hannibal, NY) – August 27
Erebus Haunted Attraction (Pontiac, MI) – August 26, 29, 30, September 1
Frightworld America’s Screampark (Buffalo, NY) – August 25th – 27th
HalloWeekends (Sandusky, OH) – August 23
Haunted Calgary (Balzac, AB, Canada) – September 9
Nightmare on Edgewood (Indianapolis, IN) – OPEN Online
The Haunted Hotel (Beaumont, TX) – August 24, 26
The Howl at Mead Open Farm (Billington, UK) – September 2 – 3
Jail of Terror (Newark, OH) – August 27
Spooky Ranch (Columbia Station, OH) – August 23 – 24, 30 – 31, September 6 – 7, 13 – 14
The Village: Evil Harvest (Fairburn, GA) – August 27, September 2

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