Busch Gardens opened its gates to students all over Florida on Friday Sept. 13 for Student Journalism Day.

Annually, Busch Gardens offers journalism students to get a backstage tour of its legendary Howl-O-Scream production. Typically, 1900 people audition for Howl-O-Scream, there are only 900 openings.

Students were given the opportunity to walk through Voodoo Queen’s house, create Voodoo Dolls, view the Howl-O-Scream store and get the inside scoop on what it takes to put on this horror-filled attraction.

Howl-O-Scream’s theme is “The 13.” The 13 include: the possessed, the torturer, the hunter, the butcher, the banshee, Voodoo queen, the surgeon, the demon, the hangman, the zombie, the cannibal, the psychopath and the clown. Each house tells a different story. For example, Desiree Yanes, also known as the Voodoo Queen, found her husband cheating on her one night and ran off into the swamps of Lousiana. The swamplands are where she practicing voodoo. Since then she has vowed to torment her ex-husband and the other woman.

Each house possesses one of the 13, creating 13 houses. the most Busch Gardens has ever offered. Each house is comprised of over 55 actors.

In celebrating its 13th year running, Howl-O-Scream will no longer have “safe zones.” In years past, Busch Garden’s designated zones throughout the park where actors couldn’t scare you. Although there are no safe zones, there are designated “scare zones” where horror and surprises are inevitable. The scare zones include the 13 houses, Harvesters Haunt and Pain Lane.

Howl-O-Scream opens Sept. 27 and continues every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until Oct. 26. One can find tickets here and a photo gallery taken of the event here.

By Elizabeth Gordon

I am the Editor-in-Chief of hilights and will be attending University of Central Florida in the fall.

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