Halloween is right around the corner, and if you’re not feeling the scare yet, then these local haunted houses are sure to scarify you.
Located in Dade City and Winter Haven, Scream-A-Geddon and The Shallow Grave offer a terrifying experience at a more affordable price. While Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream are very popular attractions during this time of year, these local attractions are holding their own.
“Scream-A-Geddon was a blast,” said visitor Garrett Causey. “I think the interactive aspect really sets them apart.”
Contrary to the theme parks, Scream-A-Geddon has a feature that allows guests to chose if they want to be touched by scare actors or not.
“I loved how you had the option to wear a glow stick around your neck in order to make the experience “interactive” and hands-on,” explained Causey. “Meaning, if you had a glow stick around your neck, it means that you are allowed to be touched and interacted with by the scare staff.”
The Shallow Grave, owned and produced by Joe Phillips, is located in Winter Haven and also offers some contact but it’s not always guaranteed. Phillips gave more insight into how his haunted attraction scares its guests.
“We are the most technologically advanced Haunted Attraction in the state, we spare no expense when it comes to putting on a great show,” said Phillips. “There is an art to the scare that most seem to miss or take for granted. We create a symphony of Chaos and then drop you in the middle of it.”
Though no comparison in size to Universal and Busch Gardens, these local attractions offer a variety of houses and trails for guests to enjoy.
Scream-A-Geddon offers three houses: the Blackpool Prison, Bedlam 3D, and Infected Ground Zero, which is new to the attraction.
While keeping your wits through the haunted houses, there is also a haunted trail and hayride offered at Scream-A-Geddon.
“They did a great job making it as creepy as possible. However it can always be scarier,” said Causey. “They definitely could have done more unexpected scares where they jump out and surprise you. Just not enough of those in my opinion.”
The Shallow Grave offers two haunted houses, which covers about 1/4 of a mile of walking distance and is over 13,000 sq ft.
“We offer a more personalized experience; small groups spaced out to help avoid the backups although its impossible to control completely. Plus we invade your space, make you question the reality of it all and your safety,” said Phillips. “We try to trigger your fight or flight response, and sprinkle in entertaining sometimes comedic aspects to offer a little something for everyone.”
Unfortunately, this is the last year for The Shallow Grave after five years running.
“It is our final year, but there are so many reasons it has to end here, creating an attraction on this level is very expensive, and with all the financial roadblocks we have to worry about codes,” explained Phillips.
The Shallow Grave
will remain open until Nov. 4 but be sure to check each attractions website for hours as some days will be closed between now and Nov. 4.