Florida on a Tankful: Final season for Shallow Grave

By Scott Fais, Feature Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 11:38 AM EDT

Originally posted on: 5:34 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 05, 2017 

Meg Allen from Palm Harbor, Florida doesn’t scare easily.

“They said to come here, it’s really good,” she said before screaming at the top of her lungs when a Zombie approached her.

Meg didn’t find much protection from her son, who stands 6’8”, when running from the monsters at The Shallow Grave in Winter Haven.

“How can you scream and laugh at the same time?” Scott Fais asked, realizing each time Meg shrieked, she giggled.

“I know, it’s sorta silly, isn’t it? I’m so scared, but I know it’s silly, so I make myself laugh,” Meg replied.

Under a full moon in Polk County, the creeps arrive, literally. Monsters and characters roam the plaza leading to The Shallow Grave in Winter Haven. Some like Meg scream, others pose for selfies that get posted to social media.

“This all got started in my backyard and got carried away,” said creator Joe Phillips.

“We do what we can to give you those heebie-jeebies,” Joe said of year five of this haunted tradition.

The Shallow Grave haunted house offers two different haunts under the same roof, stretching a quarter mile.

“We like to stay away from the cliché and keep it original,” Joe said of the scares.

Visitors are let into the house in groups of six or less, every 90 seconds or so. Make no screams about it: although there’s giant puppets, this haunted house is rated PG-13 by Joe.

“It’s parental discretion. There are several scenes I wouldn’t want my child to go through,” he said. Several adult situations and themes will be found inside. Posted warnings outside warn of “emotional injury.”

While many find it fun like Meg, The Shallow Grave put the final nail in their own coffin.

“Unfortunately to become a butterfly, we have to go into a cocoon for a bit. See if we can’t come up with a better business plan and a better location.”

Facing rising lease costs and a parking lot across the street that Joe says is scheduled to be a construction zone in 2018, he made the decision this will be the final fright. It’s something Meg will miss next year.

“We want to come back next year. But it might not be here,” Meg concludes, while hiding from a roaming zombie at the exit. She’ll take away memories, nightmares and a new companion with a bloody lip.

“It’s my friend,” she said jokingly, while keeping an eye on the Zombie who looks like he walked off a movie set.

Know Before You Go:
Parents beware: The Shallow Grave is recommended for those 13 and older only. Several themes and scenes presented will not be suitable for children. Warning signs reference “emotional injury” from the content inside.

Find opening times, prices and the address here.

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