Field - No Screams

By Stephanie De Jesus

Greeted by the sound of chainsaws, we arrived at Field of Screams, aiming to fulfill our foremost goal: to let out a genuine scream for the first time. Upon entering, we were greeted by the most horrifying sight of the night —the porta-potties— coupled with the less frightening sound of live music. Being met with this wonderfully spooky ambiance, we had high expectations: although we didn’t scream, we weren’t disappointed.

Of all four attractions, the one that brought us closest to a yelp of terror was the Frightmare Asylum. The dusty air and saggy floors evoked the atmosphere of a decrepit sanatorium, a feeling only compounded by the delightfully creepy actors. The actors made the Asylum particularly memorable; they were creative, snarky, and quick-witted, making the Asylum the most interactive of all the attractions. Compared to the other two self-guided attractions, the intended path was apparent, leaving us with no distractions.

The second-spookiest attraction was the Haunted Hayride. As progression through the frights is outside the control of the passengers, the ride stirred in us a feeling of uneasiness for the duration of the event. Passengers are driven through ten scenes, each a uniquely terrifying assault on the senses, including sections based around rural gunmen, spiders, a hunky mad scientist, and a dizzying tunnel. Loud, banging noises and strobe lights are frequently used, and passengers are touched throughout the different scenes. Actors themselves will join you in the wagon, adding to the terror.

Whereas the Hayride is an assault on the senses, the Den of Darkness is an assault on the knees, employing a long and sparsely padded crawling segment. Overall, the Den is less frightening and less entertaining than the Asylum, the concept less cohesive, the actors less numerous, and the path less clear. Despite some shortcomings, the Den of Darkness makes interesting use of heights in bringing frights; actors often approach guests from above or below in a surprising fashion.

Although the Nuclear Wasteland falls at the bottom of our list, it still makes for a good scare. Guests wander through the forest, encountering scary actors and elaborate setups along the way. Although the path can be confusing at times, it’s still enjoyable; having the Wasteland’s path overlap with the Haunted Hayride was a nice touch. The use of holograms in the Wasteland particularly stands out as an innovative, unique alternative to the more traditional tools used in the other attractions.

Halloween might have already passed, but Field of Screams is still an attraction worth visiting; go check them out before they close! Field of Screams’ Extreme Blackout night, which marks the end of their season, is on Friday, November 11th for anyone up to the challenge. Benefiting PA’s Breast Cancer Coalition, a 5k Zombie Fun Run will be hosted on the premises November 12th: come support the cause!

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