Field of Screams 2017 Review

Article by Madison Martin

Photographs by Annika Zitto

Our hearts pounded restlessly in our chests and chills traveled throughout all the veins in our bodies. Shivers ran down our spines and the hairs stood up on the back of our necks. The Field of Screams truly is a haunting place for any soul longing for a fright. Located in Mountville, Pennsylvania, the Field of Screams is a place that takes haunted attractions to the next level. It contains the Haunted Hayride, Frightmare Asylum, Nocturnal Wasteland, and the Den of Darkness. All four attractions will leave you looking behind your back every second, as it did for us, the Hanover High School Orange & Black Newspaper Staff.

Our Field of Screams (FOS) adventure began at precisely 7:45 PM, just as the sun had set. Annika, a photographer for the newspaper, and I, a journalist, made our way through the VIP line for the Haunted Hayride. Thanks to the hospitality of the Field of Screams administration, we were given the chance to experience the entire place with free VIP passes! This aided us immensely when it came to the wait time in lines. Without VIP tickets, the estimated wait time for the Hayride could potentially reach up to an hour depending on how late you stay. Once we skipped the extensive line, we seated ourselves among the hay at the front of the tractor. Goosebumps covered my arms as we anxiously waited for the tractor to move through the attraction. As the tractor accelerated, the scares commenced. At every stop on the hayride, the actors and actresses would hijack the tractor and climb aboard the hayride. They would often get in your face, touch you, and speak to you in order to frighten you to the core. Let me tell you, it worked! In the opinion of Annika and me, the Haunted Hayride was the most easygoing for people who do not do too well with being scared. Considering they are not in your face throughout the entirety of the attraction, this attraction is the best choice for younger kids, elders, or easily scared people.

Next on the list was the Den of Darkness. This attraction takes anywhere from ten to twenty minutes to travel through. In this “haunted house”, you walk on foot through a supposedly haunted house that is filled to the brim with ghosts, ghouls, demons, and the demented. The actors and actresses of this attraction will get up close and personal with you and your party. Some may even break character in order to get under your skin. While the experience is a grand one, there are some instances in the Den of Darkness that I believe all should be warned of. If you are claustrophobic, the Den of Darkness and Frightmare Asylum may not be great choices. In an area of the Den you are made to get on your hands and knees and crawl through a dark furnace/fireplace-like space, which quickly became very warm. There are “dead bodies” scattered among the floor, and thus you can barely see where you are going. Finally, at the end of this attraction, you walk through a room of two to three men who sport chainsaws. Beware of how hard they hit! Although the chainsaws themselves are kind of rubbery, they do not go easy when they press the saws against you!

In continuation of the night, Annika and I ventured over to the Frightmare Asylum. This is the shortest attraction of the four, at only approximately five to eight minutes. In this attraction, you faced the demented doctors, nurses, and patients of the dreaded Applegate Mental Asylum. These inhabitants of the shutdown asylum yearn to recruit more people to accompany them among their scare journey. This was a truly frightening attraction! Again, there is a fair warning for those who are even slightly claustrophobic. In my personal opinion, even as someone who is not claustrophobic in the slightest, some parts of the attraction were too tight for comfort! You walk through a hallway where airtight balloon-like bags press against you and you have to force your way through. Several hands will press against you through the fabric and give you an anxious feeling. All in all, just be prepared for this instance when you make the ultimate decision of wandering through this amazingly put together haunted house!

Finally, we experienced Nocturnal Wasteland. This attraction took a very long time (about 40 minutes) and was exceptionally confusing to find your way through. That quality added to the fear factor of the attraction. The feeling surrounding this attraction was one of, “Wow, this sure is muddy!” Annika and I both agree that Nocturnal Wasteland could use some adjustments, but ultimately, it was a fun experience that gave us many memories that we can look back on and laugh!

Ultimately, the Field of Screams is a fantastic trip to make no matter your age. There is food that appeals to everyone, a free photo booth, and bathrooms, which admittedly had very long lines! As you wander the grounds of the field, clowns roam and yearn to grab you to hear your scream. So, beware the next time you decide to risk it all and take a once in a lifetime trip to the Field of Screams!