Field of Screams Haunted Forest – Full Review
Field of Screams Haunted Forest is a Haunted Attraction located in Nixa, MO.
2142 North Sports Complex Lane, Nixa, MO 65714View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You will NOT be touched, Movie Characters, Original Characters, Uncovered Outdoor Waiting Line, Family Friendly
This attraction was reviewed on September 22, 2023 by Team Graveyard Shift.
About Our Reviews and Rating System
Final Score: 7.98
Final Scores – By Category
Final Scores – By Attraction
Field of Screams Haunted Forest and Lost Trail are celebrating their 5th season bigger and better! This year, we took the team to experience Nixa’s haunted attraction to see what’s new!
They kept fan favorites, upgraded lots of areas, and, of course… got scarier! You can spend a whole evening at this attraction with the Lost Trail Corn Maze and the Haunted Forest attraction, as well as all the vendors to check out and fires to relax by!
I brought my team with me this year to go through the Lost Trail and the Haunted Forest. Please keep reading to hear our team’s thoughts on their 2023 season!
Cast Score: 8.75
Cast Scores – By Question
Cast Scores – By Attraction
Lost Trail: The Lost Trail offered a larger cast this season, ranging from crazy hillbillies and werewolves to chainsaw wielders! They also offered a lot more dialogue this go around, and many of them were happy to talk and interact with us. We had a fun moment with a clown girl (Eva, I believe?) when we talked about how the scariest thing can be social interaction! Then, of course, we loved Smiley. He was a very fun trickster who we knew was leading us in the wrong direction, but decided to go with what he wanted anyway because he was just so likable! I was thrilled to see Leroy this year, who I got to introduce to the team. He was back with his unnerving dialogue, getting up close and personal, and this time had a chainsaw with him! This enhanced his character that much more. A lot of the characters’ actions were leading us in the right or wrong direction. We would like to see what else they could do to add more diversity in character actions! There were also quite a few empty moments where there were no actors and thus nothing really going on. They had a couple of scene setups last year that were absent this year, so we would like to see those return!
Haunted Forest: The main attraction, the Haunted Forest, was loaded with characters from original creations to classic horror movie villains! The circus continues improving, and their clowns are wacky, scary, and fun! There was a very entertaining moment at the beginning when a clown girl asked my teammate Clara to hold her hand, and when Clara reached her hand out, the clown gagged and said, “Sorry, I can’t, or I’ll die.” After being chased out of the circus, we ventured into a spider’s territory with a monster lurking at the end of the web tunnel. There was some space in between where there was a swamp and empty space with a bit of an out-of-place clown hiding in the grass, but he did get a jumpscare from us! Michael returned this year, standing ominously at the front door, which really impressed and geeked out my team members who have never been through Field of Screams previously! Past the laundry lines, we were chased directly into Camp Crystal Lake, with an updated set design format that provided an EXCELLENT jumpscare when we were a bit preoccupied with the music!
Other returning favorite characters included the cartoon devil, who was slightly out of place in the grass area. Still, I believe should have his own inky realm, and Pennywise, who was as menacing and creepy as ever, and the rabid pig men who enjoyed terrorizing our group with snorts and chainsaws. I also liked what they updated this year, including the toxic wasteland, where instead of one monster, there were three who ganged up on us! Their makeup was DISGUSTING in the best way, and they made horrible sounds that made me want to stay FAR away, but they made sure to get nice and close to make us more uncomfortable.
One of our favorite additions this year was Leatherface. He was ON POINT! He had the movements down by swinging his chainsaw around, and making the same disturbing sounds. He was incredibly believable! The Riverside Asylum made its return this year. While I enjoy the unhinged nature the actors and actresses had, with this being the final part of the attraction, we would really love to see more interaction and intensity in this area. The lead Doctor who pops out of his room has SO much potential for interaction with us, as well as his fellow nurses and patients, to create some disturbing scenes. We were hoping to see more from them because they looked amazing and there were so many actors in there we wanted to see more from!
This doesn’t get into everything that’s in the Forest this year, so if you want to see what’s more in store, go check it out for yourself!
Costuming Score: 7.76
Costuming Scores – By Question
Costuming Scores – By Attraction
Lost Trail: While being in the dark of night, it was easy to tell who was what as they popped out of the corn. There was a team of clowns, wolves, and faceless beings. They had appropriate clothing to move within the foliage and to cover themselves from the rain that had fallen previously that day. They weren’t the most detailed costumes, but were identifiable in their environment. However, it was noticeable that some actors wore a simple t-shirts and jeans, and their masks were not tucked in to be made very believable.
Haunted Forest: There were so many scenes to take in! Everyone matched their sections perfectly. Seeing so many identifiable characters within their homes in the media they’re from was such a treat. Sweet Tooth from Twisted Metal Black was a great callout, as well as the very convincing Michael Myers.
Everyone put a ton of thought and detail into their costumes, bringing their characters to life.
Customer Service Score: 9.24
Customer Service Scores – By Question
Customer Service Scores – By Attraction
Customer Service Review:
The signs and the staff in the parking lot make it very easy to find parking! They also have staff and signs leading up to the attraction and ticket booth as well, so it’s hard to get lost! The staff here are some of the most friendly folk you’ll come across! They are easy to converse with, and they are very open to direct feedback about the attraction and your thoughts on them!
Safety-wise, as far as the Lost Trail, the tram that took us there was going very fast. Faster than I (Kassidy) have ever seen it go. We went on quite a bumpy ride on a tram that we weren’t entirely confident that it could handle. Otherwise, the trail itself is dark and can get really, really muddy. There are times when all of our shoes got stuck in the mud. This can be a trip hazard if the trail is not treated properly in those areas. The tram back was less chaotic, but still going quite fast.
The Haunted Forest wasn’t nearly as muddy as its counterpart attraction, so it was much easier and safer to navigate throughout. Just watch your step and make sure you are wearing proper shoes!
Information regarding pricing, open dates, directions, and more can be found on their Facebook page or on the website! Just be advised if you visit in person, you can only pay with cash at the ticket booth, if you want to pay with a debit card, you must buy tickets online!
Immersion Score: 8.49
Immersion Scores – By Question
Immersion Scores – By Attraction
Lost Trail: As far as immersion goes, the Lost Trail does immerse you in corn, and gets you lost. Perhaps a bit more lost than you might expect to get when you walk through the remote gate and are directed to walk toward the red light to remain minimally lost. In the dark, you start feeling like you’re pretty far out there, especially with the fun and slightly chaotic shuttle out to the starting point. It’s hard to tell exactly where you are in relation to the rest of the attraction, and that’s cool.
For most of the experience, we didn’t run into other parties, which I think is a simple way to keep you feeling immersed(though, at the end, we made a wrong turn and wound up in a large pile-up). That being said, I think the immersive aspects of this attraction would be even better if, the characters that appeared fit more of a theme and stayed a little more in “scare-ector.” I did enjoy the interaction with the characters, but there were just a few solid scary moments. I’d love a more specific theme to this trail to add some intensity and build more of a story around the experience. Maybe keep some characters exclusively scaring and some others for giving directions; sometimes, I felt the characters were just a smidge too friendly. That being said, I do think the Lost Trail would be a fun starting place to someone new to haunts or groups looking for a casual, budget-friendly activity that’s not as long as the Haunted Forest. (Like a first date or something, how cute!) The actors did a good job hiding in the corn at times, and I liked being able to chat with the other people in our group a bit more than with a typical haunt.
Haunted Forest: I love how they keep evolving over time and how they use the setting to the advantage of immersion. As a theme park nerd this year, I was a little too excited for the queue tunnel that featured a themed pre-roll “orientation” with guest guidelines. For me, that really shows a level of professional polish and makes me feel like I’m about to walk into a theme park-level attraction. I loved rule number 4 especially, so make sure you listen to the whole video if you come through.
I love that the Haunted Forest has beloved horror properties represented throughout the attraction, like the Halloween franchise, The Ring, and more. I also appreciated that Michael acted like Michael, as I’ve been in a few haunts where he was waaay out of character. I like the calmer, less intense sections in between the highly themed sections that help to transition between themes. And I love that as you’re walking through, you see the details of the decor begin to change as you enter a new themed zone and the gates and signs that let you know you’ve entered.
I think the Haunted Trail would get even more spooktacular with a few large-scale, distance scares during the cool down sections of the path, like eyes in the darkness, or Slenderman, or something like that. I also think smell is a powerful tool for immersion, and it’s cool that the folks at Field of Screams thought to include it. However, the smell that scented the air during the section with some clowns was not a good smell for an immersive experience. It didn’t smell intentional, and the only reason I knew it was was because one of the characters referenced it in their interactions. I think there are some more effective ways to include smell, like burning smells, cooking smells, even sickly sweet smells. This scent mostly smelled like decaying vegetables to me, kind of like kitchen trash, which just made me wonder if we were near something stinky, like a dump or a dead animal. It actually took me out of the story, and broke the immersion. There were also one or two moments I was expecting a few more actors, like the graveyard, and the hospital scenes.
There was so much to enjoy during our walk through the haunted forest. You really do feel very separate from Springfield, and whisked away to a spooky magical forest. The massive props, buildings, themed decor, and obstacles are on an awe-inspiring scale here. There is always something to see, up, down, and all around, and that is not an easy thing to pull off. I love that the trail leads you through mazes (like the one with the Pig man character, who is always a very menacing figure; shout out to him), vehicles, whole buildings like the “hospital,” and sets dressed up to the max. It adds a lot of variety, carries the themes through, and puts you in some different environments for scares. My favorites were the Myers home, Camp Crystal Lake, Doll Island, and the toxic waste kind of zone. The fine details, like the tea lights that line the trails, also immersed me. I have mad respect to y’all for putting those out and turning them off and on.
I also like the entrance and exit details being just as themed as the inside. The Haunted Forest is a ton of fun, and one of the most re-visitable haunts I’ve been to because of how much detail and pizazz it has.
Special FX Score: 7.64
Special FX Scores – By Question
Special FX Scores – By Attraction
Special FX Review:
Lost Trail: The Lost Trail remained pretty consistent from last year regarding special effects. However, there weren’t as many props as there were last year, besides some barrels for the characters to hit. They also had the occasional strobe light that worked for a good distraction and to disorient us. The Trail is pretty quiet besides the sound of other actors and chainsaws. While this adds to the eerie vibe, with the maze being quite long, it would be nice to see what else they could add to the trail to give customers something more to experience as they make their way through the trail, as well as other ways to hide their actors besides the corn itself or hiding behind barrels.
Haunted Forest: I LOVED the effects at this haunt. Because it’s an outdoor haunt, there is so much space to play in and the opportunities are endless. There were so many cool sets for each area. Some of my favorites included the circus in the beginning and the junkyard towards the end. In the circus, they utilized a hazy smoke and punching bag-like tubes to disorient hauntgoers. They also had a smoke cannon that blasted smoke rings at us as we passed!
Through each section, the use of lights, car horns, and fog are all used to help tell the story and set a creepy scene. Some of my not-so-favorite areas included the graveyard and the mental hospital. I felt that the well was a little out of place in the graveyard, and I was sad to see that Samara didn’t get her own area again this year. The hospital has a ton of potential! I think that some better lighting, a few more actors, and a stronger finale would take this haunt up and over in my book! That being said, as far as the formatting for the asylum, it’s definitely a lot more interesting from last year, with the addition of side rooms as you move through the halls, with actors hiding inside with props making up the space. It makes the asylum more believable and brings life to it that wasn’t there before. There was also a laser field effect that could’ve used more fog to really sell the swamp effect.
Scare Factor Score: 6.67
Scare Factor Scores – By Question
Scare Factor Scores – By Attraction
Scare Factor Review:
You can tell that Field of Screams is really getting the hang of bringing fear to their attraction. It’s only gotten better in their 5 years of operation, and we can only see them improving as time passes.
The Lost Trail has a lot of potential. There are more actors and more dialogue this year, but it still feels pretty long, with not much happening in between scenes without actors. It would be great to see how they can revamp this area more to make it scarier overall!
Moving over to the Haunted Forest…The circus this year was excellent! It only gets better and better and is a great opening for the Haunted Forest. We’re glad they changed where certain areas were placed this year, such as Pennywise’s sewer, as it helped with pacing and overall spacing to make the experience much more consistent throughout. The ever-improving set design also enhances the experience throughout to keep us on edge. We’re also glad they upgraded some areas like the toxic wasteland, as that was a pretty small area years prior, and it got a complete overall with extremely scary (and gross) characters within it!
There are so many different kinds of scares to experience, from jumpscares to up close and personal encounters and distractions. In some areas one character will stalk you throughout and take all the control in their space, and other areas, you’re absolutely SWARMED by monsters and ghouls! There is a little something for everyone here. While we wish the ending was stronger, it was overall a great improvement, and they continue to get scarier and scarier every year!
Entertainment & Value Score: 7.99
E&V Scores – By Question
E&V Scores – By Attraction
Tickets are $15 for the Lost Trail, and $25 for the Haunted Forest! It took us around 20-30 minutes for both the Lost Trail and Haunted Forest, respectively. Be on the lookout for upcoming events! They also have various vendors at the attraction, including a Fortune Teller and a small business selling horror-based merchandise and accessories, as well as Masqueraide Workshop returning this year with their impressive masks!
Buy tickets online to avoid long wait times, and make sure to visit in their early season to catch them while they’re slow!
We loved celebrating Field of Screams 5th year anniversary, and we are looking forward for many more seasons to come! They have truly made a name for themselves in the Ozark/Nixa/Springfield area, and this is a MUST visit if you are a fan of all things horror, fun, and spooky!
Pics We Took From Our Visit:
Leroy - Matthew Vashaw (Given by: Team Graveyard Shift)
Christing Dahmer - Sara Nicole (Given by: Team Graveyard Shift)
Leroy - Matthew Vashaw (Given by: Team Graveyard Shift)
Christing Dahmer - Sara Nicole (Given by: Team Graveyard Shift)
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