Howl-O-Scream returned for its second season in 2001, continuing its evolution into the type of haunt event guests continue to enjoy today.
- Escape from Insanity
- Curse of Tut’s Tomb
- Screaming Reality
- Creeper’s Crypt
- Night Stalker in 3-D
- Jungle of Doom
- Grisly Gardens
- Inferno Express
Howl-O-Scream’s second season ran 14 nights in 2001 from September 28 to October 31. The event ran each Friday and Saturday evening from 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Howl-O-Scream 2001 also operated on Thursdays October 18 and 25 from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday, October 28 from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Wednesday, October 31 from 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Building upon the first season’s success, Howl-O-Scream 2001 was marketed as scarier and edgier, with parental guidance suggested for the event. There was also more to see and do with five new haunted houses, three new scare zones, and two new shows.
Howl-O-Scream 2001 featured three icons – Torment, The Mangler, and Pernicia Gloom. Torment was a “creature spawned from evil,” responding to the voices in his head with violent and erratic outbursts. The Mangler was a creation of Torment, a guest of Howl-O-Scream 2000 named Frank who didn’t make it out of the park. The half-man, half-creature was forced to roam the park with two hooded “Keepers” keeping him in chains. The last icon, Pernicia Gloom, took inspiration from characters like Elvira and Morticia Adams, combining sexy and scary with red hair, curvy lines, and tight clothing made from the skin of her victims.
There were a total of five haunted houses at Howl-O-Scream 2001, all new for the season. Escape from Insanity had guests dealing with crazed creatures in Sunny Meadows Asylum. The other four houses were Curse of Tut’s Tomb, Screaming Reality, Creeper’s Crypt, and Night Stalker in 3-D.
Three scare zones were also featured at the event but were not identified on the map. The Haunted Jungle Trailmaze from the previous year became Jungle of Doom zone. Grisly Gardens featured scare actors in ghillie suits and similar costumes, startling unsuspecting guests. The third scare zone was Inferno Express, located around the Nairobi train station.
Two shows were introduced at Howl-O-Scream 2001, including Fiends, the perennial favorite of many guests that has continued to be performed each year for two decades. A second show, RIP-TV, parodied contemporary music artists and was the entertainment during Fright Feast, which included dinner, the show, and early access to the haunted houses.
At the beginning of the marketing campaign for Howl-O-Scream 2001, the tagline was “This time terror takes control.” After the terrorist attacks on September 11, the campaign was changed to “You want scary? Be careful what you ask for.” More than $100,000 was spent to change the theme, pulling ads from media outlets like television and newspapers, changing the branding on the park’s website and billboards, and remaking promotional items for the event.
Not everything was destroyed before being used, including in the first week of October when a Busch Gardens marketing representative drove a company car around Orlando with the “terror” slogan on a sign. The representative stopped at locations including the Orlando Sentinel to hand out buttons with the same “terror” theme.
On Halloween, the final night of the event, a wedding took place inside the Crown Colony Restaurant. A local couple exchanged vows surrounded by family, friends, animals including a snake and vulture, and several media outlets. Howl-O-Scream icons also participated, with Torment serving as best man and Pernicia Gloom as maid-of-honor.
Additional details on Howl-O-Scream 2001 may be added in the future.
Last update: December 8, 2020