On Friday, September, 22nd, 2017, I visited Field of Screams, located in Mountville, Pennsylvania, with three other individuals, two of which had never been there before.
Unfortunately, my overall experience was not particularly pleasant, which was due to more than just a lack of scares.
This review will address some of the events that occurred that night.
Having visited Field of Screams five times prior to my most recent visit, its original attraction, Haunted Hayride, was already very familiar to me.
That being said, not much has changed since last year. All of the scenes are essentially the same, and the attraction’s scare factor is rather low.
During the experience, there was basically only one actor that genuinely scared me: a clown that was crouched in front of me on the hay wagon when lights were flashing on and off during the well-known circus scene.
Overall, the attraction was understaffed and, in my opinion, outdated.
The second attraction that we visited, Frightmare Asylum, was also relatively unchanged from the previous year.
In addition, the issue of pacing that the majority of those who visit Field of Screams encounter was still present.
During this visit, however, the repercussions of the pacing issue were more serious.
A group member with epilepsy was informed by one of the actors that she wouldn’t have an issue with the attraction’s strobe lights if she could handle the ones used throughout the hayride, but this was later proven to be false.
Though that group member’s decision to enter the attraction is not the fault of anyone associated with Field of Screams, a completely preventable situation occurred that subsequently impacted their physical health.
One of the actors was talking with another group, resulting in my group being stuck in the attraction’s clown-themed strobe light room for an extended time (long enough for me to say something about it, which I don’t often do).
Ultimately, as a result of poor pacing and inconsistent acting, the attraction was not only a failure but also somewhat of a safety hazard.
Den of Darkness
Despite the disappointment of the first two attractions that we visited during the course of that night, the third attraction, Den of Darkness, proved to be a fairly entertaining (although still not particularly scary) experience for me.
Similar to the previous two attractions, there weren’t many noticeable changes; however, I found it to be more memorable than the other three attractions at Field of Screams, especially during the attic scene that involves guests crawling over dead bodies in the dark.
The issue of poor pacing is still present, but I do recommend that guests visit this attraction over the others, based on my most recent experience.
Throughout the course of the night, the lines at Field of Screams were very short. My overall wait time didn’t seem longer than 10 minutes or so for all four attractions combined, which is an extremely rare occurrence.
Upon approaching the entrance to Nocturnal Wasteland, the fourth and final attraction of the night, I was welcomed by an empty line.
My group had just taken our photo by one of the two green screens, and I was talking with someone that was with me as we were walking toward the attraction’s entrance.
Suddenly, in the midst of my conversation, an actor that was sitting in a chair in front of the numbered lines interrupted me and my friend, telling both of us(?) — or maybe just me — to stop talking and hurry up.
Then, when we were at the front of the line (which was empty), he made a comment about me not knowing how to count after telling me which line to stand in (please note that he said this as soon as he told me where to go).
Upset but not wanting to start an argument with him — I wasn’t sure if being disrespectful to guests was just part of his character, but it didn’t seem like it was — I positioned myself where he instructed.
Not long after the bizarre incident occurred, my group was granted entry into the attraction (by a polite worker).
But the most serious issue of Nocturnal Wasteland (and of the entire night, for that matter) was yet to come.
Once my group entered the attraction, we were greeted by a gun-wielding actor who threatened to fire his weapon if we didn’t hurry along the path.
Shortly after warning us, he walked straight up to me and fired the gun next to my ear, causing both my hearing and my nearby friend’s hearing to become muffled.
Genuinely upset by what just happened, I proceeded to speak out loud about it, which resulted in him firing it off close to my right ear again, seemingly just for spite.
My hearing and my friend’s hearing remained muffled for the remainder of the attraction and didn’t improve much for quite some time (more than an hour).
I experienced pain in my left ear when someone would talk too close to it (which was sometimes necessary for me to hear them) and ringing in my right ear.
In summary, the major lack of actors and poor pacing of the attraction weren’t the most significant issues for me to discuss, courtesy of one unprofessional actor who either wasn’t trained or abused his role.
Pumpkin Rating & Conclusion
Scare Factor: 2 / 5 Pumpkins
Price of Admission: 3 / 5 Pumpkins
Duration of Event: 4 / 5 Pumpkins
Pumpkin Rating: 2 / 5 Pumpkins
Field of Screams advertises itself as “America’s #1 Haunted Attraction” but fails to prove itself worthy of the title, despite being in operation for 25 years, according to promotional material.
The attraction continues to suffer from a lack of updates, poor pacing, and amateur performances, and, as a result, I do not recommend attending during the 2017 season.