Theater often explores frightening situations (see: O’Neill), existential horror (see: Beckett), and just plain misery (see: Chekhov). But it’s not too often that you see intestines spilling onto the stage and blood gushing from actors’ throats. The Twin Cities Horror Festival is here to change that. It’s back for a fifth year of things that go bump — and sometimes more than bump — in the night. Without World War Z-size budgets, count on creativity to spur the scares in this mini-festival for theatergoers who aren’t faint of heart. Though the tickets are affordable (with discounts for those who are down for multiple doses of dread), these aren’t cheap thrills. The 10 productions taking the stage at the Southern include shows by some of the area’s best and most creative small theater companies. Savage Umbrella, Four Humors, Dangerous Productions, and others will present works with words like “zombie,” “severed,” “revenge,” “shadows,” and “hot dog” in their titles. Prepare to be pleasantly — which is to say, unpleasantly — surprised. Tickets and showtimes can be found at tchorrorfestival.com.