Howl-O-Scream: Things to Do in Tampa BayHey all, its K-Mart again with the latest from the Underworld. On select nights through the month of October, as night falls on Tampa Bay, Busch Gardens is transformed from a family-friendly, African zoo-style theme park to a dark, foggy scare fest crawling with creatures and ghouls with Howl-O-Scream. The houses are louder and darker this year and the scare zones are longer and jam-packed with goblins and werewolves.

The first house we ventured into was “Eat Your Heart Out,” think motorcycle gang meets Rob Zombie movie. The walls are smeared in red and it pretty much looks like a dingy biker bar. The “dead props” weren’t always dead and the motorcycles weren’t just decoration. Without giving anything away, this is the maze that just when you think you’re safe… you're not.

The next maze we went to was the beer line, which was not nearly as scary. Enough said.

Tampa Bay Entertainment: Howl-O-ScreamThis was followed by the longest scare zone I have ever been in. Now I’ve done my fair share of Halloween attractions at theme parks, so I know what’s coming (people jumping from hiding places, shouting, fog, etc.), but the Wicked Woods seemed to go on and on. If the trees weren’t coming to life, then some horrifying creature was breathing on my neck or some walking dead was asking me where I was going.

To get a break (and some food) we went to Desert Grill and watched “One Wild Night,” a musical-esque show that somehow managed to tie in songs from both Katy Perry and Billy Idol among others.

The maze, “Taste of Blood” has probably ruined the bumper cars ride for me. The bad section of an urban city was crawling with vampires and everyone was covered in “blood”. Both “Death Row Vengeance” (a penitentiary where the inmates are set free) and “After Hours” (a nightclub that reminded me of Ybor’s Goth club, The Castle) were literally infested with people. There was nowhere to look away. People were above the maze, on the floor, behind doors, outside secret windows and inside the pictures.

I lost my voice the next day from screaming so much, but it was well worth it. There were enough things for people to do that the lines weren’t too long (especially for a Saturday night in the middle of October). Take a trip to meet the Raven Twins, if you dare. Make sure you come back and tell me how you survived.