2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando plunges into the depths of fear

2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando, photo by Cristine Struble
2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando, photo by Cristine Struble /

While the waters might seem calm, the sirens are stirring under the surface. At 2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando, guests will be challenged to face their fears. For those willing to spin the wheel of chance, the result might be the most cathartic scream yet.

As the sun fades and the night rises, the sirens call and open the gates to 2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando. Since its inception, guests have learned that the sirens are very protective of their realm. In this year’s installment, it is more than just the battle to save the watery depths from disrepair. They are calling everyone to cross over to their evil ways.

Throughout Orlando, the frights are taking over the conversation. For people looking for a more intense scare, the 2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando event is for them. From the haunted houses to the scarezones, these experiences are not for the timid.

For this year’s event, the five haunted houses are a combination of new and returning stories. Even with the returning themes, there are some changes that create a slightly unexpected walk-through. For example, the Captain’s Revenge starts where last year’s story ended. These seafaring characters are still out for vengeance.

New this year is D3LER1UM666 Laboratories sets the tone as soon as the group enters the elevator to the deep. While this lab might feel more than six feet under, there are unexpected twists and turns that will confuse the mind and leave people a little unhinged once they exit.

While the haunted houses bring the big jump scare, the scarezones are the moments that leave a lasting impression. New this year is CarnEVIL. The demented carnival is far from fun and games. The ring master has a devious plan, if people dare to enter. The clowns might be laughing, but a piece of yourself might be on the chopping block.

Another new option is the Blood Light District. Although some people might have longed for a mistress of the sea to be performing in the grotto this year, the stroll this red light district calls to people’s unspoken desires. The red light might be glowing, but it will take a strong soul to resist these temptations.

Other scarezones include Witchcraft Bayou, Terrors of the Deep, Portal of Passage, Toxic Turmoil, and Alive in the Ice. When the dense fog takes over, the scareactors are ready to pounce. That subtle lurking turns into a quick pounce in the moment.

For those people wanting to scream, it will happen in the scarezones. There is no avoiding those sparks on the ground or the noise piercing the darkness. Although there is a “boo-free” light-up necklace, it can be more fun to interact with these characters after that guttural sound escapes your mouth.

2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando CarnEVIL Scarezone
2023 Howl-O-Scream Orlando CarnEVIL Scarezone, photo by Cristine Struble /

Fortunately, the scareactors are really into their characters. Ask them a question, make reciprocal comment and enjoy the moment. It makes that journey around the theme park even more enjoyable.

While the frights take center stage, there are plenty of delights to enjoy. From the specialty food and beverage options to the performances throughout the park, the spooky evening passes in a flash. More importantly, it leaves people wanting, yearning for more and ready to schedule a return trip.

Howl-O-Scream Orlando runs now through October 31 on select evenings. Check with the website for ticket pricing and availability.

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