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Find Haunted Houses in Florida including Halloween haunted houses, haunted hayrides, corn mazes, Screamparks, Haunted Hotels, ghost tours and much more. Florida features some of the scariest haunted houses and even real haunted houses in America. Use our directory to find a haunted house near you!
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Winter Haven, Florida - The Shallow Grave

By Hauntworld Magazine


Florida Haunted Houses are some of the scariest and best in America! rates and review the best and Scariest haunted houses, haunted attractions, and Halloween events in America!  The Shallow Grave is located in Winter Haven, Florida which is actually right between Orlando and Tampa Bay, Florida.   Prepare to scream!  This Halloween you can't miss the scariest and best haunted attraction in the entire state of Florida, The Shallow Grave.  Two of the biggest theme parks in America Tampa Busch Gardens and Universal Studios produce two of the biggest Haunted House Events and sitting directly between these two massive haunted house events is The Shallow Grave.  Orlando and Tampa are only 90 miles apart so Shallow Grave is less than 45 minutes from Orlando Florida and Tampa Florida.  To make people scream in the shadow of these two major Halloween Horror Attractions Shallow Grave must produce something scarier!  Now learn how by reading  our review of The Shallow Grave near Orlando and Tampa Florida.
To learn more about Florida's The Shallow Grave visit their websit below:
In Florida, you typically think of sun tans and flips flops, but in a darker part of Florida there lies a haunted house so sinister, you’ll never think of Florida the same again. Oh sure, for years Florida has had Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights and Busch Garden’s Howl-O-Scream, but til now, have they ever really experienced that grungy in your face, high intensity, wet your pants, riveting experience you can only seem to find in other states like Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana & Missouri, just to name a few? Well they do now! The Shallow Grave in Winter Haven Florida combines a haunting blend of over the tops sets, animatronics, and high energy actors to make a fear cocktail few in Florida ever get to experience at the big parks.  Located deep in the sticks between Orlando, FL and Tampa, FL, The Shallow Grave comes to life. The horror geniuses at Shallow Grave have taken a 30,000 sq ft warehouse built in the 50’s and made it home to the most talked about haunted attraction in Florida since the great ‘Terror on Church Street’.

Backstory:  The Shallow Grave and the mayhem within orbits around its resident trouble maker, Thaddeus Van Buren, a good guy gone bad with a tragic ending. Sound familiar? Not so fast… Thaddeus, a jack of all trades (when it comes to the dead that is), was a caretaker of the old cemetery on the hill around the time of the Great Depression. Things were good for the Van Buren family until that dark day. Poverty set in, then famine, followed by the horse of death. With more bodies to bury, it seemed as though Thaddeus was in high cotton. Only one problem…There was no money to pay ole Thaddeus for his services. Eventually, the same dead that fed his family were now starving them. Torn between his sense of duty to the community and the responsibilities to his family, Thaddeus came to a conclusion. He would continue to put the dead to rest, only in another way. Thaddeus thought he had it all figured out. Since no one could pay for his services with money, they would pay in flesh. One way or another, Thaddeus was going to feed his family. He pretended to bury the unfortunate all while loading the coffins with bricks and serving up the bodies to his otherwise clueless loved ones. Things were good for Thaddeus again. The community was happy, his family was doing just fine, and things started to get back to normal. But eventually the dead weren’t as plentiful, and food became scarce for Thaddeus again. Driven mad by his cannibalistic ways, the once gentle man just trying to do the right thing turned savage hunter. His thirst for flesh outpaced the dead, so he decided to tip the scales in his favor. With this came more problems; the souls of the dead were restless. They became furious with Thaddeus and his lust for the living as well as the dead, so those fortunate enough to be laid to rest refused to do so. They rose from their slumber to seek vengeance against Thaddeus and his family. And that’s exactly where you will find yourself, when you visit The Shallow Grave…Caught in a war between the dead and YOU the living.

How it all started: The Shallow Grave is the brain child of owner/producer, Joe Phillips. Joe always had a deeply rooted love for horror, but never imagined he’d be in the haunted house industry. Joe was raised in Orlando, FL and frequented the classic ‘Terror on Church Street’ haunted house often, but actually building his own haunt never even crossed his mind. Until one day, Joe found himself diving head first into the passionate yet stress filled grinder of haunted houses.

After driving home one day in October to prep for his upcoming Halloween house party, Joe took a peek at his groundbreakers from the big box stores in his front yard and the embarrassment he felt was demoralizing. That evening he hit the internet. “There has to be better decorations,” Joe thought. That night he came across Distortions’ Spitting Debbie and Poison Props’ Lunging Spider, plus he picked up an air blaster. “Well now what?” Without a haunt, a plan was crafted to booby trap the house for the party.  Just one problem… Joe didn’t know how any of this worked. Hours into internet research, he stumbled across Home Haunting. Puzzled, he watched a few videos about them. After about 100 hours or so of scouring the internet, he learned what NOT to do. From those lessons, he did what so many others have done; he started a home haunt. Not having anyone else to share his madness with, he began obsessively rigging his house with as many animatronics as possible in his free standing 725 SQ FT haunted joke (as he called it). With dark walls, $5 strobes, and whatever props he could muster, Joe quickly decided it wasn’t gonna cut it. It reminded him of how he felt that day driving home and seeing the pitiful attempt in his front yard for the party. But by year three and some help from friends, Joe went from 725 SQ FT to nearly 2,000 SQ FT with fully-equipped animatronics and ADA compliance, ALL in his backyard. Little did he know that the municipalities had caught wind of his venture into the dark world, so that didn’t last long, but Joe had three years in with hooks set deep. What’s a guy to do? As it turns out, there was another local home haunter in the same predicament.  “Chad Ashley (current house manager for The Shallow Grave production) stopped by my house on my last night open that season. He too was being forced to close his home haunted house due to complaints from neighbors that live to ruin things for everyone,” jokingly recollects Joe. So, the pair did the only natural thing. They teamed up and started planning a professional haunt.

Getting started:  “No amount of seminars at the tradeshows could prepare me for the coal raking I was in store for from the local powers that be,” said Joe. All the same, he pressed forward. Joe and his team aspired to bring Central Florida something they hadn’t seen before. He had been to HHN once before and enjoyed himself, but the bug never bit him until his first year at Midwest Haunters Convention. There the bug kicked him in his face when Joe was lucky enough to experience the Haunted Hoochie in Ohio. “Holy Cow,” he thought. “Florida is getting robbed!” Being a perfectionist, Joe knew he was going to set high standards, which is great for the paying customer, but typically not so great when it comes to setting a budget and trying to stay within budget. So YES, Joe broke the cardinal rule of setting a budget and sticking to it from year one.  

Fight or Flight:  At Shallow Grave, realism is paramount. “Just scaring people was never the plan. There is an art to being scary, the setting must be just right,” said Joe. At The Shallow Grave everything is done to trigger the “fight or flight response”. Even the props must serve a function. This is a fear symphony with every part in concert with another, constantly pushing those closer to the edge.  

High Praise as SCARIEST haunted house:  On one Friday night alone in 2014, Haunted Hills had over 40 people in one night quit. The Shallow Grave quickly gained the reputation of being the scariest haunted attraction in Central Florida. That’s high praise considering the competition. In fact, Orlando Weekly said, “I was impressed by the length, scenic detail and gooey gore of The Grave which rivaled or exceeded Universal’s mazes in most respects.” The Shallow Grave is by no means an “extreme” haunt, nor do they have any desire to be, but The Shallow Grave haunted house does allow controlled minor contact with some of its patrons from some of the more seasoned actors. Almost everything done is through a tactical filter, all to squeeze every bit of discomfort from the customers.

The Players: The design team and haunt ‘think tank’ at The Shallow Grave consists of Joe Phillips, Chad Ashley and Eric Dodson. Three very different people with very different views, which gives The Shallow Grave a plethora of ways to extract fear from the customers looking for more than beer and high prices elsewhere. The Shallow Grave has an all-volunteer staff of almost a 100 strong. The Shallow Grave pours everything back into the attraction in an effort to weather the storms. The building is leased year round so the design and build team can create breathtaking sets full of realism that can rival even the major theme parks in the area. Joe Phillips (owner), Chad Ashley (House manager), Eric Dodson (character DevelopmentWardrobe i.e. “Fabric Wizard”) along with Mike Grenfell (Technical Advisor i.e. “Prop Ninja”) all work their usual 9-5 grind only to hit the haunt for another 4-6 hours a day preparing for the next season. Together with Eric Lonski (make-up director) and Mike Ashley & Jeff Kistler (lead contractors), they hope to bring enough nightmares to quench the thirst of those willing to test their mettle with what The Shallow Grave has to offer.

The Future: With a third attraction in the designing stages, The Shallow Grave crew hopes to continue to push the envelope and feed the cravings that have been neglected for so long. Central Florida is becoming quite the hot spot for haunted houses as of late, and that can only mean good things for the industry. The Shallow Grave offers 2 attractions, and in 2015 (which is only their 3rd year), they will have Haunted Hills: The Rage and ADHD (Attention Deficit Haunt Disorder). “Haunted Hills is home to our beloved Thaddeus Van Buren, and unlike Halloween Horrors Nights or Howl-O-Scream only 6 or fewer at a time are subjected to our brand of torment,” informs Joe.


Haunted Hills - The Rage:  You will be dropped off outside the Van Buren two-story farmhouse next to the once quiet uneventful old cemetery. As you approach the porch of this playground from Hell you can see the living dead roam back and forth in the upstairs windows from the front yard. Enter the foyer and make your way through the house that holds so many evil secrets, as you lumber through the Van Buren house you will witness the havoc that Thaddeus wreaks on his victims as you try to keep from becoming one of them. Make an effort to survive where he prepares the meals or follow the stench of rotting flesh to the blood stained morgue and see where evil thrives. Thaddeus is everywhere in this old house. If you happen to make it through his abode, you still must trek through his backyard, work sheds and graveyard. Make your way through a fully themed environment of an 18thcentury, above-ground graveyard complete with fully scaled tombs and crypts laced with oversized monsters and enough walking dead to make the most seasoned Call of Duty player nervous.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Haunt Disorder):  This is a completely different drink of water for your haunt thirst. ADHD is a litany of nightmares experienced by the few victims that escaped the wrath of Thaddeus Van Buren, but never truly escape his grasp. It’s a phobia based haunt that blends all things: fear of being choked, snakes, spiders, clowns, serial killers and a dash of Voodoo. Then, sprinkle in a zombie or two, and ADHD is sure to have something for everyone. ADHD was added in 2014 to rave reviews and is a nice complement to the rustic, classic horror movie feel that Haunted Hills offers.

At Shallow Grave the scares are plenty yet the prices are way more competitive than the big parks. For the price of their parking alone, you should instead attend The Shallow Grave. Plus the length of attractions at The Shallow Grave haunted houses will blow away any competition. In fact, the Haunt per minute is equal to about 6-8 of the big guys individual events, so do yourself a favor and take the plunge into The Shallow Grave this Halloween season!



Hauntworld Reviews Florida Haunted Houses

Welcome to our Florida Haunted House and Halloween Attraction page where you can find all sorts of haunted houses in Florida. Some of our favorite haunted houses in Florida are located on this page.  Listed below are some of the best haunts you can find in the state of Florida.  If you know of a haunted house, haunted hayride, ghost tour, real haunted house, haunted attraction, scary attraction, or Halloween attraction in Florida please refer those attractions to our site so they may create a FREE listing.  If you you would like to review one of the attractions we have listed please create an account.  Once you create a user account you may post your reviews and rate any haunted houses on our system.

Another haunted house just outside of Florida is, Netherworld haunted hosue in Atlanta, Georgia- Well worth the drive. Featuring the Bottomless Pit, The Vicious Wolf Pack, The Slimepit and so much more. To see what other scares there are and for ticket information click here to visit Netherworld online

Florida loves to scream so please be our guest and click on the profiles for Halloween attractions in Florida listed above.

To read more about the haunted house industry subscribe to HauntWorld Magazine

To find Corn Mazes and Pumpkin patches in Florida go to



Howl-O-Scream 2009 Proves That Evil Never Goes Out of Style

Florida’s top-rated Halloween event debuts a new kind of nightmare with launch of 

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2009) – Busch Gardens Tampa Bay kicks off it’s tenth season of gut-wrenching scares by launching the Howl-O-Scream 2009 website,, expanding the event to seven horrifying haunted houses, and introducing the beautiful new face of evil itself – the fashionable Ms. Vayne and her deranged models. 

For 17 select nights, Howl-O-Scream 2009 will prove that evil never goes out of style. The devious creatures that infest all-new haunted houses, scare zones, thrilling shows and even the streets themselves will have guests watching their backs, and bone-chilling roller coasters keep the screams coming all night long. 

Howl-O-Scream 2009 is a separate ticketed event, and the general admission price is $69.95. Savings are available on advance ticket purchases for Passport Members and Florida Residents. Discounts are also available through promotional codes provided on Bud Light, Domino’s Pizza and Applebee’s products statewide. 

The event runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night during October: Oct. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 22-24 and 29-31. Freaky Preview lets guests sink their teeth into the scares a week early on Sept. 25-26 for discounted rates as low as $29.95 for general admission and $24.95 for Passport members. Operating hours are 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. during Freaky Preview and on Thursday nights. Friday and Saturday hours are 7:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Howl-O-Scream 2009 has more haunted houses than ever before, designed to tease your deepest, darkest fears…

·         NEW!  Delta-Epsilon-Delta: Pledge Week  For decades, the most mysterious sorority on campus has invited only select girls from the top families to join. But this year, it’s open rush, and the sisters are welcoming new members with open arms. Can you escape before you fall victim to the sinister secrets of this twisted sisterhood?  No one does it like a ?E? girl

·         NEW!  Nightshade Toy Factory  By day, the old Nightshade Toy Factory appears abandoned. But as night falls, the mysterious manufacturing plant glows and hums as it creates the diabolical dolls, terrible teddy bears and possessed playthings of your childhood nightmares.  These twisted toys are alive…and they are coming after the adults who have forgotten them.

Some of the most demented houses ever are back by popular demand with some horrible new twists. These returning favorites are sure to terrorize first-time visitors and die-hard fans alike:

·         Reconstruction: The Doctor Is In Dr. Edger VonAngst has the skill and technology to make you over…but what will you become?  This mad reconstructive surgeon has set up shop, putting human parts back together with mechanical pieces and combining flesh, bone and steel in the most hideous ways.  Nip/Tuck has never been like this!


·         Death Row Vengeance  The inmates at Grey Echo Penitentiary are slated for execution, and they blame you. With their last breath, they curse those who do nothing to save them from the electric chair or lethal injection and vow to haunt those who watched them suffer. Will you make it out alive when they come back to make good on their dying promise?


·         13  Each October, the underground members of The Messengers come out of hiding to seek out 13 unlucky victims, who are tracked down and tortured before the gang feasts on their flesh. This year, they have already claimed 12 lives so far… will 13 be your unlucky number?


·         Taste of Blood  Once revered as royalty, hordes of undead vampires have now been forced underground into the subways and sewers to avoid the sunlight. By day, they feed on rats to survive. But as night falls, these fanged fiends take to the streets to seduce fresh blood. 


·         Trapped in the Walls  The gruesome fate of an innocent family made headlines when it happened. Years later, evil still lingers in the rooms where the tragedies happened. It has seeped into the walls, trapping dark demons and infesting a house that can’t let go of its horrible history.

At Howl-O-Scream, even the sidewalks aren’t safe from the things that go bump in the night. Four scare zones and nine bands of roaming hordes will keep guests watching their backs as they explore 335 acres of fright:

·        NEW! Unearthed  Ancient evil rages when archeologists unearth the tomb of a feared Egyptian ruler, releasing his spirit into the world of the living.  Ahmenhotep and his underworld minions will carry out a dreaded curse, seeking revenge on those who dared to defile his final resting place.


  • NEW!  Banshees  According to legend, a banshee will wail around a house if someone there is about to die. When several banshees appear at once, it is said to foretell the death of someone great or notable. Here, Banshees glide through the darkness, preying on the living and looking to make their screeching songs come true.

  • NEW!  El Carnaval del Muerto In the small town of Decada de Sustos, the locals come together once a year to celebrate death.  But in the midst of the wild revelry, visitors to this tiny village unwittingly play an important part in this macabre party by becoming the victims of the raucous and bloodthirsty townspeople.

  • NEW!  Werewolves As night falls, a hoard of restless half-man, half-beast monsters patiently wait for innocent guests to stumble into their lair. Those who are not worthy to join the clan will be preyed upon as dinner. These scavengers’ insatiable hunger is matched only by their cunning and determination to satisfy their need to feed. 

·         You never know where your next scare is preparing to pounce. Just when you thought you were safe, Roaming Hordes of clowns, zombies, monsters and more take their terror to the streets and sneak up on unsuspecting victims. Who’s watching your back?

After braving bone-chilling coasters in the dark such as SheiKra, Montu, Gwazi and Kumba, you can catch your breath at these twisted live shows:

·         NEW!  Full Moon Cabaret: The Magic of Jason Byrne As darkness descends on the Desert Grill each night, The Academy of Magical Arts’ “Stage Magician of the Year” Jason Byrne takes to the stage with tantalizing tricks and ominous illusions as he presents his unique brand of award-winning killer magic.

·         Fiends  Is there a doctor in the house?  These captivating creatures of the night will infect you with dance fever and keep your pulse pounding with their deranged dance party. But when Dr. Freakenstein’s naughty nurses start operating, the diagnosis is always “code pink.”

Looking for a killer party or the perfect souvenir to round out your evening of evil?

  • NEW! Club enVy – Take a break from the terror to stop by Howl-O-Scream’s new, exclusive 21+ dance club, featuring unlimited access to exclusive cocktails, drink specials, character meet-and-greets and great music all night long. A special “Happy Hour” option also includes hors d’oeuvres and exclusive early access to haunted houses.


  • NEW! Howl-O-Scream Shop of Horrors – Remember your evening of evil with the perfect Howl-O-Scream souvenir, including signature House of Vayne jewelry, “10 Years of Terror” commemorative t-shirts and other Halloween-themed gifts. Then, smile through the pain and snap the perfect party pic with the DED girls at an exclusive photo op that’s not for the faint of heart.

Take advantage of the best way to see Howl-O-Scream with All-Inclusive Fear Tours that include your admission ticket. Fear Tours offer three levels of terrifying special treatment: “The Viewing” is a three-hour group tour of haunted houses and major thrill rides. The five-hour “Funeral” group tour adds reserved show seating, and “The Embalming” includes the Fright Feast dinner buffet, preferred parking and a private “Ghoul Guide” for your party of three or more. All tours include commemorative photos and complimentary beverages, and packages start at $89.95.

For those who want to skip the lines and get right to the screaming, the Front Line Fear pass offers no-wait access to your choice of seven haunted houses as well as photo and merchandise discounts – all for $35.00. The Front Line Fear Plus pass also includes front-of-line access for your choice of four major coasters for $45.00.

The Thrills & Chills Weekend Pass lets true Halloween fans face their fears over and over again with a long weekend (Thursday through Sunday) of unlimited access to Busch Gardens’ thrills by day and Howl-O-Scream’s chills by night – all for just $79.95!

For out-of-town guests, Gory Getaway vacation packages are also available, featuring Howl-O-Scream admission and accommodations at one of Busch Gardens’ preferred partner hotels. Prices start at $238.04 per person plus tax, based on double occupancy.

And if there’s one thing worse than being terrified, it’s being terrified on an empty stomach. Fright Feast is the most deranged dinner show in town, featuring a buffet of monstrous main courses and devilish desserts, plus an exclusive performance of Full Moon Cabaret: The Magic of Jason Byrne. Fright Feast guests are also the first to brave the dark with a half-hour of early access to the haunted houses. Fright Feast is $24.95 per person, with group rates and discounts for Passport members available.

Howl-O-Scream is a separate ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed. For guest information, visit or call 1-888-800-5447.

Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This year's event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore and blood.


Busch Gardens Tampa Bays’ Howl-O-Scream:

Face Your Fear


            Howl-O-Scream, presented at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, wins, in my opinion, being an overall top notch Halloween event. Every single detail was in place and I was not disappointed by anything that I saw there. This was the first year that I attended this event and I wasn’t expecting much, due to the fact that 99% of the people that I talk to here in Central Florida about Halloween always bring up Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. This event presented several live shows and six mazes. Each and every maze was extremely well done with attention to detail from the sets, lighting, costumes and sound. I was truly blown away with each and every maze.


The first maze, and one of the best I have been through, was Escape From Insanity. Our trip through “Sunny Meadows Asylum” begins in the reception room, where we are told by the head nurse, with her Tammy Faye makeup job, that we have been “expected”. We then travel outside of the asylum to see several inmates wondering around the dumpster and a hospital guard that has obviously had a bit too much coffee. We then enter the Asylum through a back door and are assaulted immediately with smells, sounds, and sets that are incredible. No detail was missed. Each and every scare was well thought out, coming from every direction. I noticed that the actors in all of the mazes at Howl-O-Scream are extremely well trained, as I never noticed one actor out of place, out of character, or simply just chatting with one another. Everything was very theatrical. We work our way though the kitchen, electrical rooms, medical wards and even the bathrooms as the crazed inmates and staff constantly assaulted us. Eventually, we hear that there is an escape attempt and that the facility has gone into lockdown. The atmosphere gets tenser and we see that the inmates have broken through a wall and are now roaming free outside amongst broken pipes and debris. We ourselves finally escape through a giant sewer pipe back into the safety of the park. This attraction, as well as all of the others had a COMPLETE story line that they stuck to and that you were able to follow throughout the entire maze. The ONLY complaint I have here at this maze was towards the end, when all of the inmates are supposedly going into lockdown, and the atmosphere is getting more tense, there were several dead spots where nothing much was happening. It needed just a little more “beef” towards the end to make it really climatic.


            Ripper Row was another great example of story telling in a maze. We are transported back in time to the age of Jack the Ripper, as he is slashing his way through the alleyways of London. Again, sets, lighting, costumes and sound were all well implemented. Each and every time we saw Jack, he was accompanied by the sound of a church bell that gonged loudly, marking his presence. It was an excellent little touch that carried throughout the maze. The bar scene with the bartender sprawled out on top of the bar was a great scene, not because it was necessarily scary, but that it was very theatrical. The bartender, whom we presume is dead, makes a quick reach out to us as we pass by. As he is reaching up at us, Jack appears from behind the bar, shows us his knife, then proceeds to slash the bartenders throat at the same time that we hear his famous bell toll. Incredible timing on the part of the actors and the whole scene takes about four seconds. It doesn’t frighten, but it just adds that class and theatricality that I believe is important in an attraction.


            The Mortuary was the next stop visiting The Reaper and Grimm Funeral Parlor and unfortunately, they haven’t been doing a good job of keeping the bodies in the ground. Again, the sets, costumes, lighting and sound were all excellent. The scares in here were probably the most thought out, and well executed. Actors dressed as flower pedestals, hiding in the Pipe Organ pipes, underneath piles of ashes, inside of staircases and hidden amongst the plethora of hanging corpses. You had no idea where any of it was going to come from. The ending was well done as we exit the Mortuary and end up in a cemetery, where a “preacher” is telling us HIS “gospel”. As we walk along the stacked up coffins, we keep our eyes on him, listening and watching, which is a great distraction for the five or six scareactors hidden amongst all the coffins and debris to give us one last startle before we exit.


            The Scare Zones in this park were also well done, ranging from “Cursed” which had Witchdoctors, lepers, omens and superstitions abound, to the “Grisly Gardens” with monster plants and statues that if you pay attention, will move as you walk past. Very theatrical again, and the actors here did a great job. Whoever did the actor training for all of the mazes and the scare zones should win an award, for as I mentioned earlier, not one actor was out of place, or out of character.


            The only complaint I have overall for Howl-O-Scream was the marketing. It was barely mentioned at all here in Central Florida, and if they want the numbers that they are expecting, they are going to have to get their name out there, and entice people to the park. They have an awesome product with Howl-O-Scream, and a lot of people don’t even know that it’s there, which is a shame. It’s a great event, and it needs to be publicized better.


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