Field of Screams (2021 Review)
Updated: Feb 19
Field of Screams (Kentucky) 248 Darnall Ave Brandenburg, KY 40108 http://www.fieldofscreamsky.com
Date of Visit: 9/10/21 Reviewer: Lindsay
In an industry where the focus is increasingly centered on the fanciest, bloodiest, and most extreme attractions, it's easy to forget about those rural haunts that hold the Fall spirit just a little more closely. Those that carry on traditions like exploring a scary corn maze with your buddies, or sitting in a wagon full of hay bales and going for a spooky ride through the night, all the while menaced by killer clowns and chainsaw maniacs. But they're definitely still out there, and if you're located in or near the state of Kentucky, Brandenburg's Field of Screams has all of the above - and quite a bit more.
The Field of Screams has two primary attractions: the Hayride to Hell, and what they call the Main Event, which includes an expansive corn maze, a haunted barn, and a trail through the woods. A few ticket options are offered to tailor your experience - you can do just the Hayride for $15, the Main Event for $25, or combine both for $35. Lines are long and you don't feel like waiting? You can also grab a VIP pass for an additional $15. Lots of free parking is available on site and their attendants will guide you to a row with open spaces.
If you are doing the combo ticket, I recommend starting with the Hayride to Hell. They do run multiple wagons to get as many guests through as possible, but the line still stacks up for it quickly. Often described by the haunt as the "warm up" attraction, the Hayride to Hell is a great choice for the super scared or groups with young children. There's plenty of room to take a breather in between scenes, and the actors are not too aggressive (they may jump on board and briefly get close, but that's it). That's not to say it isn't worth doing for the more bold of guests; their guides are great entertainers, and there's just something about a wagon ride on a cool, clear Autumn night under a sky full of stars. (One small recommendation for the FOS team: I would add a bit of light to the waiting area. The dividers and signs can be hard to see in the dark and I noticed some guest confusion on my visit.)
Made it through your little ride through Hell safely? Get ready, because the Main Event is waiting for you, and it's going to take a while to tackle this beast! This is the area where you'll really want to plan out time for your night - I would allocate at least an hour and a half to get through all three sections, and that doesn't include waiting. Having VIP will help here, but then you'd be missing out on some awesome line actors. When I was there, they had an impressive stilt monster, an entertaining bearded "lady", and the always fun Freakshow the Clown! (If you're lucky, he might show you his "stool samples". I'm not gonna spoil that.) There's also a stage in the courtyard where the haunt may have a DJ or musician performing on select nights.
Your adventure begins with the corn maze, Field of Screams' signature attraction. Like all of the others at the Field, it follows no set storyline and consists of many different scenes full of things to scare and creep out their customers. Most of what you'll encounter isn't super detailed given that they have to tear it all down and rebuild it every year, but some spots had great set work, like Halloween (so spooky!), a voodoo shack with lots of neat artifacts, and their disorienting butcher maze. I also want to give their creative team points for thinking outside of the box: this is the only haunt I've ever walked through with scenes based off of Pee Wee's Playhouse (yes I'm serious) and Barbie.
After you've found your way to the maze exit, the haunted barn is the next thing you'll have to survive. I say "survive" because this is easily the goriest and craziest attraction at the Field! There are a lot of tricks and surprises in there, and the way out of each room is not always obvious... you'll have to engage with the environment in order to progress. Be advised that this is also a more physical portion of the haunt that includes a crawling section, though I believe there is an alternate route for customers who are unable to do so.
Should you be lucky enough to escape the bloody barn, your final stop on the Field of Screams tour is a haunted trail through the woods. I've seen a lot of guests skip this part, and it's unfortunate because it's always been one of my favorite attractions at this place. Just walking through the woods at night is spooky enough on its own, but the FOS team have added some really cool scenes and special effects, including a huge area pairing up Willy Wonka (told you they're creative!) and many children's stories, and an awesome Texas Chainsaw Massacre tribute, both of which were new for 2021. Warning: if you think you're alone at any point, you probably aren't - some characters do go on the prowl outside of their spots, and may attack at any moment!
Getting into some feedback, the cast found throughout the Field were a mixed bag. Most had decent enthusiasm and at least made an effort, and you could tell they were ready to scare again after having to take a year off. Some were quite good, and a minority either stood and stared at me or only went "hello!" as I walked by. To be fair, I was alone and I can see how that would throw an actor off (they may have also wanted to save their energy for a full group). I was also there on their very first night of the season, and that's an aspect I always keep in mind when assessing a haunt. Something I will give them credit for is that even though I've been coming to see them for eight years, they never fail to get multiple shrieks, jumps, and shouts out of me all night long. The actors in the maze made good use of the corn to conceal themselves, and of the hiding spots built for them in the rest of the haunt's attractions.
I never miss Field of Screams when haunt season comes along. It's gone through many changes over the years, yet still provides an excellent value for the price of admission. If you want to spend a night enjoying some good Halloween fun with your family or a group of friends, this is the place for you.
**This is a non ranked/non rated review**
This does exclude Field of Screams from the end of the year haunt rankings, haunt of the year award, and fan voted haunt actor/actress of the year award.