On November 13th, 2015 (Friday the 13th), Field of Screams hosted a one-night adult event, titled “Extreme Blackout.” I attended with two others, one of which had never been to a haunted attraction prior to that night. All participants were required to sign a waiver before they were permitted entry. Below is a detailed summary of my overall experience.
Having visited the regular Field of Screams three times in the past (including once in September 2015 and October 2015), it didn’t take long for me to notice one particular addition: a giant black tent.
Once we provided each of our waivers to the ticket booth staff, the group was instructed to make our way over to the tent, where another staff member was waiting for us.
He provided us with information about the nature of the event and the like, and we were then allowed to choose from one of four altered attractions to start with: Haunted Hayride, Nocturnal Wasteland, Frightmare Asylum, and Den of Darkness. We started with the Extreme Blackout hayride.
Out of all four attractions, the Haunted Hayride seemed to be the least changed; however, the changes that I did notice were rather significant. Unlike previous visits, the actors had become noticeably more physical.
During the duration of the hayride, I witnessed an actor climb onto my friend and get in his face, and I was sprayed with water multiple times, in addition to being manhandled.
Besides the general increase in physical encounters with actors, there was one change that I was most definitely not expecting; there were two separate instances where several flashlight-wielding actors boarded the temporarily stalled wagon to bring a select few into the cornfield, either hooded or handcuffed.
Those who were taken off of the wagon and required to participate in unknown activities in the cornfield were later retrieved by the next wagon to make a stop.
As we exited the hayride, I was ready to experience one of the first of three Extreme Blackout walk-through attractions: Nocturnal Wasteland. After waiting on the line for a fair amount of time, I boarded an ice cream truck, where me and everyone else on the inside were subsequently hooded.
From there, we were instructed to hold onto a rope, which would guide us through the dark forest (that we couldn’t even see). Out of nowhere, someone ripped the black hood off my head, and I found myself standing in front of a questionable building in the middle of the woods.
Shortly after, the first of my two friends was separated from the group. The only two still remaining, me and my friend watched as an actor lit matches at a rather close proximity, dropping them into a wet puddle by our feet. We were then separated in a tire maze, and I met up with two girls from the line, after having an actor cough in her hand and wipe it across my face.
Despite finding some familiar faces, the reunion was short-lived when an actor instructed me to get into a somewhat claustrophobic cage with a complete stranger. We were both taunted for a bit, and she was released after stating that she needed to pee, leaving me in the cage by myself.
Crouched behind bars, I watched as she was tickled by one or two of the actors who captured us; they wanted her to pee herself. Once she had proceeded down the path, the female captor approached me, unlocking the cage and allowing me to exit. My freedom didn’t even last for a full minute, though, because just as I was exiting, she abruptly handcuffed herself to me.
A few moments later, I was being forced to follow her down the wooded trail, the metal cuffs keeping us together. I found myself locked in a prison cell inside of a sewer, where she smiled at me and began to foam from the mouth. Things proceeded to take a stranger turn when she asked me to sing for her (not my best skill), declaring that I was her boyfriend.
She subsequently broke up with me for not being very cooperative, and I was released from the rundown sewer cell.
The lines had grown significantly by the time I reunited with my group outside of Nocturnal Wasteland, so we decided to upgrade to Extreme Blackout VIP tickets for an additional $15.00 before continuing.
Frightmare Asylum started off by requiring us to consume a faux pill, which was nauseating enough to make me consider spitting it on the floor (I ultimately decided against this).
Moving forward, I was thankful to be laid against a slightly tilted table and have what tasted like Hawaiian Punch “injected” into my mouth via syringe. Side note: I don’t really like Hawaiian Punch’s taste.
Navigating my way through the darkness, I found myself completely isolated from both my own group and any others. This was when the experience became genuinely unsettling; I had absolutely no idea where I was going, it was pitch black, and all I heard was what sounded like carnival music.
Having pushed through a claustrophobic section, I found myself staring at something behind an object in front of me, although I couldn’t exactly tell what it was. After a brief period of staring at what looked like a skeleton face, an actor (whose face was painted to look like a skeleton) slammed something down in front of me, providing the most notable scare of the entire night.
Despite that moment of complete, genuine terror, the highlight of the attraction was the finale. I was led outside by an actor — high above those waiting in the long line below us — who proceeded to spin me repeatedly and push me into a checkerboard room with intense strobe lights.
From there, I stumbled across the checkered floor, crashing into several walls before reaching the exit.
Den of Darkness
Upon completion of the previous attraction, there was only one left for the group: Den of Darkness. I was almost immediately separated from the group after a brief introduction, being pulled into a cell by an actor who required me to loudly beg to be set free in order to be released.
Later into the experience, I was pushed backwards into a room with chain-link fences for walls, where an actor instructed me to scream as he moved closer and closer to me with a device creating sparks on the walls.
Interactions with the actors continued as I was required to climb onto an operating table to be pumped with air; dance with an enthusiastic actor to “Tiptoe Through the Tulips“; drink a pickle juice shot from a bar; and “find” a key in a bucket filled with unknown contents.
The Extreme Blackout finale, which was one of the best out of the four attractions, consisted of having an instrument with sound-activated lights blown in my face and being held against a shock wall for a brief period while a group of actors watched.
Pumpkin Rating & Conclusion
4 / 5 Pumpkins (very entertaining, but not too frightening)
– Noticeably altered attractions; a whole new experience
– Very physical actors and plenty of interactive environments
– Separation of group members adds to the overall level of fear
– Younger crowd has a negative effect on the atmosphere
– Long lines make the VIP upgrade feel like a necessity
– Too many people in certain sections of walk-through areas
– Presence of glow sticks and more resulted in too much light
Extreme Blackout, the one-night event at Field of Screams, is returning for the 2016 season on Friday, November 11th, 2016.