Zoo Miami isn't about lions and monkeys anymore -- at least not during the month of October. Now, it's about the bloodthirsty ghouls and deranged psychos serving up body parts in Dr. Wilde's Creepy House, one of the many attractions Zoo Miami's cooked up for Halloween.
Though it's billed as a frightfest not for the faint of heart or health-complicated, Dr. Wilde's is tame enough for most older kids, as long as they like getting scared. We saw children making their way through the maze of roaches and sanguine walls who clung onto their father for protection and reassurance -- something he seemed to have trouble providing.
At first glance, the entrance area looks like your typical spooky graveyard display. But as soon as you turn the first corner, you'll regret that assumption. The hallways are crawling with spiders, ghouls and other gross-out spooks that go bump in the night. The montage of scenes varies from your average schlocky "boo!" setup to frights realistic enough to scare people into involuntarily body-slamming against walls to escape. The folks at the zoo say that's a completely normal reaction; in fact, they had to reinforce the haunted house's walls after building it for just that reason.
Imagine the worst possible things you might never want to encounter in a 7,000 square-foot location, like walking into the kitchen and finding human remains overtaken by roach sludge or heading to the bedroom to see the neighborhood cat lady's lost her mind.
Once you make it through the house, obviously alive, there's an utterly disgusting farewell montage that will have the kiddies both grossed out and giggly.
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Your mind will play tricks on you, your shadow will betray you; you will have close encounters of the demonic kind. The staff members masquerading as ghouls undoubtedly enjoy scaring the breath out of zoo patrons. Dr. Wilde's has frights more suited for youngins', but that's not to say this adult reporter didn't let out a few screams.
Dr. Wilde's Creepy House runs from Wednesday, October 17 through Wednesday, October 31 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Miami Metro Zoo, 12400 SW 152nd Street, Miami, with a $5 admission fee once inside the zoo.