Every year from, early September through Halloween, a portion of gentle farmland in Lancaster County Pennsylvania becomes its own sort of Transylvania. They call it Field of Screams. I call it the best haunted attraction Ive ever seen.
Recommend this product?
Thats going some. Although some may contest the point, I wasnt born yesterday.
Id wager the average age of Field of Screams visitors to be around twenty years. I felt as if I were the eldest person on the grounds Saturday night, Sept. 15. Well, there appeared to be one older woman; a hag carrying a dead cat, but my children told me she was in disguise.
A couple of Baby-Boomers sidled up to me. I dont think they were in costume. They said theyd come to see their children, nearby Millersville University students, play the roles of a couple of ax murderers. Field of Screams is loaded with actors ... and props, lights and signs, concessions, stages, wagons, castle walls, corn stalks, bats, gremlins, guitars, haunted mansions, and hoodies.
I was there, sans hoodie but wearing a jeans jacket, as a guest of my photographer son, and his wife, who had press passes that allowed us to advance to the head of lines (which werent nearly as long as they will be this time next month), and, I had a sensational time.
Attire, Days, Hours, Admission, and Feature Attractions
Although I observed plenty of skin just above young womens waistlines, most visitors wear layers to cut the chill of the autumn night, and, since the ticket booth is open, rain-or-shine, Friday and Saturday nights and Halloween from 6-to-10:00 P.M., and Sunday evenings from 6-9:00 P.M., some come packing rain gear, hoods, or pocket-ed garbage bags.
Field of Screams remains open until the last ticket holder emerges from one of its four main attractions, and -- since the spooks aggressively detain select victims -- that can take a while. If you go in the company of a fetching young screamer, be prepared to wait.
Theatrics at the major haunts, which include the ...
-- Den of Darkness ($10),
-- Frightmare Asylum ($10),
-- Haunted Hayride ($12),and
-- Little Screamers ($10) non-scary hayride,
... are fabulous. Little expense has been spared in staging, and I was pleased to see an abundance of safety and security measures being taken.
There are no spoilers, here.
Let it suffice to say:
The attractions dont disappoint.
Anyone who has a genuine fear of clowns should
steer clear of Frightmare Asylum; and
This is no place to challenge a pace-maker.
There are discounted ticket buys for two or more attractions, and $10-15 buy-ups for VIP advancement to the head of the lines.
Meanwhile, theres an essentially free entertainment area at a meeting point among the main attractions. While my hosts were off shooting photos, I spent time there observing the crowd.
It was a well behaved crowd. The kids were cool. They put their trash in waste bins that were regularly emptied and re-lined. There were no little brawls; no audible foul language; no taunting, or spectacles. Considering it was a Kid Nation of sorts, I was pleased with the crowds demeanor; moreover, it was a diverse crowd.
Those werent just Lancaster County young people. My own two had come from Wilmington, Delaware, and I saw quite a few other out-of-state plates in the HUGE, grassy parking area; so, it goes to follow that some of those vehicles came from other parts of Pennsylvania as well.
Speaking of the parking area, theres plenty of handicapped parking. Also note that its a grassy lot. Id expect it to be muddy in the rain.
Back at the entertainment area: If youre not much of a walker, or come with a crowd of younguns in tow, youre going to rejoice at the amount of picnic tables and seating available. Sit and enjoy the minor attractions which include:
THE FIELD OF SCREAMS PERPETUAL BANDSTAND ...
Where theres always a performance, DJ, game or some form of activity, such as Interactive Electric Chairs, Toxic Head Toss, Bottle Break, Wacky Wire, Mousetrap, or a three-legged race, taking place; and, from tee-shirts to trips, there are prizes galore.
I enjoyed a battle of five local bands rewarded for their efforts with all sort of goodies donated by both a local radio station and travel agency.
THE SCREAM SHOP
A unique gift shop offers Field of Screams souvenirs such as branded T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies (naturally), hats, shot glasses, mugs, key rings, magnets and assorted spook shop paraphernalia.
I think I saw eyeballs for a penny a pop! Maybe it was ten pennies a pop. Cheap souvenirs for little screamers.
Theres a SOUVENIR PHOTO SPOT where ...
you also can get your picture taken with a Field of Screams Caretaker Illusion.
MAGIC & JUGGLING SHOWS
This year (2007), visitors are treated to free, live, magic shows by world renown Magician and Illusionist Mike Snyder and Donna, his wife, every evening.
World Champion Juggler Chris Ivey performs every Saturday evening this October.
The Field of Screams Prize Cannon, that shoots out prizes all night long, sits high atop a magnificent set of well-lit castle walls. I got a kick out of standing in the crowd kind of hoping a T-shirt or cap would fly my way. None did, and I would have tossed whatever might have right back into the crowd, but, the anticipation was fun!.
Two arcade style games allow you to activate and view a nearby scare of an unsuspecting victim in the crowd. Heh-heh-heh. If you've read this far, you might surmise how much I enjoyed that!
BIG SCREEN MOVIES
Two huge movie screens entertain the multitudes with trivia questions, intriguing behind the scenes footage, scenes from popular horror movies, and music videos.
While queued-up in lines (and the fairer the weather and closer to Halloween, the l-o-n-g-e-r those lines become) visitors get to catch a glimpse of victims, shot by hidden infrared cameras, inside the haunted houses. Thats a treat.
FOOD & OUTHOUSES
With over 50 varieties of food and beverages from licensed and professional food vendor's operating out of four concession trailers, no one needs to go away hungry, or thirsty. I paid $1.50 for a cup of coffee with extra cream.
Several concessions sell hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, French fries, funnel cakes, soft pretzels, hot and cold drinks, snacks, and desserts at what I found to be typical pricing for this sort of venue, and ...
... Signs to outhouses were clearly visible. There are an adequate number of unisex porta-potties, but they might have been the one attraction not lighted to my satisfaction. Perhaps that was a good thing.
Then, There are the SPECIAL EVENTS
Yes, as if Field of Screams doesnt offer enough for no money, there also is a schedule of special events which includes:
Battle of the Bands
Stupid Human Tricks "Freak Show"
A Pumpkin Eating Contest
Field of Scream IDOL
Wing Bowl (fastest to eat 12 wings advances in
heats to win gift certificates to Hooters)
Blood Bath (while immersed in a pool of blood, 13
finalist search for an item that will win them a
trip to Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Please check fieldofscreams-dot-com for dates and times; but, Id highly recommend saving up on your own for a trip to Ft. Lauderdale. The Blood Bath isnt pretty.
The exact location of the destination is: 191 College Ave., Mountville, PA. Its ¼-mile south of PA Route 30. For additional information, visit fieldofscreams-dot-com where you often can find discount coupons. Save your Field of Screams ticket stubs. Nearby Westfield Inn Suites offers discount rates to those who have the stubs. ($69/night in 2007)
We had a very good time. Field of Screams is tailor made for the Trick-r-Treatster in any of us. I hope you get a chance to enjoy it sometime.
The Field of Screams in Mountville puts the awe in awesome Halloween attractions."
- The Patriot News
Field of Screams is an innovative and carefully choreographed production that provides its visitors with nefarious chills and thrills.
-Lebanon Daily News
Many thanks to CL SurgRN911 for the speedy creation of placement for this review, and thanks to all who read, rate and comment, here.
BOO! -- Sunpot
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Best Suited For: Students
Best Time to Travel Here: Sep - Nov