With only three months until All Hallows Eve, speculation on the internet has been rampant about the make-up of one of the greatest Halloween events in the state of Florida; Howl-O-Scream. This year, the creative forces behind the event, held at Busch Gardens Tampa, have started to introduce 13 “icons” who seem to be the basis behind all the evil madness that takes over the parks 300+ acres.
So far, five of the icons have been revealed; the hunter, the butcher, the cannibal, the voodoo queen, and the surgeon. Each of them have their own unique backstory, and leave the huddled masses who plan their fall vacations around the event begging for more.
According to the Howl-O-Scream website, “When Herbert Jeffries (the cannibal) visited Fiji, he explored the lush highlands, met some hospitable tribesmen and unknowingly sat for a meal with a unique menu.
He walked away with an insatiable hunger…Upon returning to the states, he walked away from his architecture practice and became a night watchman at a small New Hampshire morgue – allowing him wholesale access for dining.
But his tastes have become more refined and he requires ever fresher flesh – sashimi grade, tartar quality. You.”
The surgeon has an almost equally diabolical story. “It was supposed to be a simple procedure. She can fix you with every slow, slice of her scalpel. Don’t let her good looks fool you. Behind that mask is woman out for blood.
Unfortunately, you aren’t the one she wanted and she doesn’t have time for you. It’s already too late when you realize the anesthesia hasn’t kicked in. Accident? We don’t think so.
She’s ready to operate, even if you aren’t.”
Of the icons introduced so far, the Voodoo Queen seems to have the most heart-wrenching biography. “Desiree Yanes came home one night and found her husband with another woman. Enraged, she ran off and disappeared inside the dark swamplands of Louisiana. There, she crafted voodoo dolls and swore then to torment them…with unspeakably sadistic tortures. The Voodoo Queen continues to hide in the swamps of the bayou and perform her twisted Voodoo rituals for others seeking revenge.
Brave souls can test their fate at the new house, Death Water Bayou, where the #6 Voodoo Queen mystically transforms lost wanderers into her minions of evil with black magic. Here, her night servants roam with a zombie-like hunger and seek to grow her collection. The darkest evils lurk in shadows. Get out before you fall victim to her spell.”
Of course, no haunted maze is complete without the butcher, who seems just a little bit off. “Momma’s always been proud of her son, the Butcher. He’s always been there to protect her and help with the family business.
But all that chopping has kept him from finding a love of his own. Now he’s looking for someone and he’d love to hack his way into your heart.
Are you ready to meat your fate?”
The latest icon to be revealed is the hunter, who feeds on our collective fear of being followed, and hunted! “The unnerving sound of leaves crunching behind you. Something just doesn’t feel right.
Forcing yourself to believe it is your imagination, you continue on. Your heart beats faster as you try to navigate your way through the maze of dead trees. More sounds creep up behind as you begin to run through this twisted nightmare, tripping over fallen branches.
The soundtrack of your heart and heavy breathing is paused when the piercing sound of an arrow speeds past you. Then, another one grazes your leg. As you lay there, startled, you see a figure get closer with a bow and arrow pointed at YOU.
#3 The Hunter. To him, you are the game. And he’s winning. “
There are still eight more icons to be revealed. What are your guesses for the remaining ones? Put your best ones in the comments section below. I’m dying to see what you think!
Remember that Halloween is a time for fun and frivolity. It is a time to come out of your shell, and to acknowledge the mischievous spirit that resides within all of us. Be sure to keep following this column for news on other spooky events and more. If you know of another local event that needs additional undead light shone upon it, please tell me about it!
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