With HowlOScream starting on September 26, I was fortunately enough to get a sneak peek of one of the new houses, Dead Fall, a day early via Scream Cam. I’m a major haunt fan, and as my regular followers know, I’ve had the opportunity for several years now to head out to Busch Gardens Tampa, strap on a camera rig, and have it capture my every move and word as I stumble my way through a haunted house by being randomly attacked by ghosts and ghouls.
So what is it like to actually do the Scream Cam experience? Click the slideshow accompanying this article for some behind the scenes photos. If you’d like to see my actual Scream Cam video, jump to this article, which also features an interview with Scott Swenson.
Scream Cam always takes place before the event is open to the public, and it typically involves one of the year’s new haunted houses. This year it’s Dead Fall, which takes the place of the Poe house. It’s been transformed so completely that you won’t recognize any bit of the former Nevermore inside.
Those who do Scream Cam have no idea what to expect, other than knowing which house they’re going to experience. When you arrive, you wait until it’s time, then proceed to the house to get strapped into the camera rig, as you’ll see in the slideshow. Scott Swenson is always on hand to start you off, and he tends to show up at the end as well, usually in some manner that adds a final scare. There are also usually ghouls lurked around the entrance to give you a proper send-off
Once you’re strapped in and Scott sends you on your way, you’re on your own in the confines of the haunted house. You go from daylight into darkness, and it takes your eyes a while to adjust so you’re pretty blind in the first part. This year, I was also battling a cold, so I managed to loose my way due to the combination of darkness and a fuzzy head. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever make it out, but I got back on track and managed to dodge all the spirits and emerge unscathed at the end.
Those outside the house are watching you on the camera, as you can see in the slideshow. I’m sure I put on quite a show, between my my screams, leaps of terror, and general disorientation and aimless wandering. You only get to see the first half of the house, so it always whets my appetite for the rest of the event.
If you’re planning on attending HowlOScream yourself, it runs on select nights all the way through November 1 this year, so you have plenty of choices. I plan to get there several times during the season, and I know my screams will be plentiful on every visit.