'Blair Witch' producer scares at Howl-O-Scream

Lloyd Sowers reports

Busch Gardens is getting a dose of the 'Blair Witch Project.' One of the filmmakers who produced that blockbuster horror flick in 2000 is helping create this year's Howl-O-Scream event.

"It was the first time that I could create characters that you could literally come face to face to," explained Robin Cowie, who was one of the  former UCF film students who made Blair Witch.

He's made eight films since, but the Busch Gardens project also allows him to create characters that will not only  be in a film he's created for the event,  but also be portrayed by  live actors in haunted houses at the event.


Blair Witch was a low-budget production with a realistic look that became the top independent film at the box office. Published reports say it was produced for around $20,000 and made nearly $250-million at the box office.

Nearly a year before its release, a website provided realistic accounts of the Blair Witch story, causing some to believe it was real.  For Howl-O-Scream 2015, Cowie created a short film that was released online in episodes telling the story of a 200-year-old house that was discovered buried under Busch Gardens. It's called "Unearthed."

"There's a lot you can explore online, but it truly steps up when you come here," continued Cowie.


Howl-O-Scream opens Friday and runs through Halloween at Busch Gardens Tampa. To see the movie and get more information visit: http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa/howloscream/event-info/story/

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