Field of Screams MD – Full Review

Field of Screams MD is a Haunted Attraction located in Olney, MD.

4501 Olney Laytonsville Road, Olney, MD 20832
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Haunt Type(s):

Multiple HauntsHaunted HayrideHaunted HouseHaunted Trail


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Food/Concessions, You will NOT be touched, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction

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This attraction was reviewed on October 15, 2020 by Team NOVA Necropolis.

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Final Score: 8.08

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This particular journey was groundbreaking for us, as we had no experience with Maryland haunts, mostly due to the fact that driving in Maryland gives me extreme anxiety and I try to avoid it like the plague. But, it’s 2020, and we already have the plague, and you can’t be a northern Virginia haunt review team and not include the ‘M’ in the DMV. So, we hopped in the car and made our way over to Field of Screams Maryland. Field of Screams is situated in Olney, on the western side of the triad between D.C., Baltimore, and Frederick, and boasts a large 40+ acres. They’re arguably one of the most popular haunted attractions in Maryland and, indeed, when I asked my peers at work that day, they all exclaimed that it was a must-see.

After several missed turns thanks to a glitchy GPS and an almost fender-bender, we finally made it to the Field of Screams. As we made our way onto the winding road of the property and found a parking spot relatively easy, we masked up and made our way to the ticket booth. Upon first glance, you could possibly miss the attraction as it’s situated deeply into the dark recesses of an empty field. From the distance, you can make out several buildings and the bright glow of bonfires. The scene seemed to echo an eerie stillness or quietness up to the ticket booth, almost like you were staring at a painting. So, as the fog from our necropolis begins to nip at your ankles, we ask you to join us in discovering that if a trail is as large as this one… can anyone hear you scream?

Cast: 8.25

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One of the stronger categories for Field of Screams, the cast was definitely committed to their roles. You’d have to be in order to sit out in a dark stretch of trail all night in the mud, but you can definitely tell that these guys enjoyed what they were doing, which is always fun to experience. You often get actors who are really good, but probably teeter on the edge of being too serious, or you get the ones who are super low energy and seem like they don’t want to be there. Even though there were moments related to the dialogue of some of the cast that felt a little typical of things you’d normally hear at a haunt, it was overall balanced by this overwhelming sense that they were there because they loved to scare you.

Many of the cast would interact with you and were not afraid to banter back and forth. One point, in particular, was with the ‘hillbilly’ portion of the trail, where you had a character who was singing a folk song live and talking to you about his ‘boys’ who would, no doubt, make us feel right at home. A lot of the times once the cast was on you, that same cast member would get you two to three times through various points during their zones, so they were clearly adept at knowing their space, and curiously knowledgeable about where you were in the haunt at any given time. And with a trail as large as Field of Screams, you can bet that they incorporated every single type of character you can imagine, making a diverse character cast that will have something for everyone.

Costuming: 7.6

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The costuming, for us, wasn’t the strongest point of interest that Field of Screams had to offer, as we noticed a couple of looks that felt a little unfinished in regards to shoewear. And several of the characters seemed to wear similar outfits in the way of distressed gowns/dresses/ that probably looked cool standing alone, however, didn’t necessarily connect us back to the environment they were in. This wasn’t always the norm, as most of the actors in the larger scenes definitely looked like they belonged in the mausoleums, midways, and massacres that they were stationed in.

The makeup was the standout element here, as actors were often close enough for us to get a decent view of their faces, and we could tell that a lot of talent went into the airbrushing techniques that were used.

Customer Service: 8.7

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Undoubtedly another strong pillar for Field of Screams, we were really impressed by their level of customer service in every part of the experience. The directions were easy enough to follow, and the rather large sign at the entrance that reads ‘Field of Screams’ was a clear indicator of where to turn into. Signage directed you where to park, and we were able to get a spot near the ticket booth fairly easy.

Upon entering, we were greeted by a makeshift security station, with an associate informing us to have our tickets ready and prepared us for what to expect during the search up ahead. They had spaces marked for people to fill out their waivers for COVID, and further up they had ‘social bubbles’ marked on the ground for you to wait in line in. Upon passing through security and having our tickets scanned, we made our way down the field where we saw more of these bubbles marked on the ground.

Again, we were greeted by a staff member who told us what to expect before going down to their midway, and then throughout the haunt. We had a personal escort then walk us down to the midway, as it was still a short walk away. This person was there to answer all of our questions and directed us to our personal fire pit and haystack sitting area. This was a really cool and unique touch that we’ve yet to see at other haunts, and we really enjoyed the personal touch it added since we were able to have that one on one moment with a staff member. Another staff member came by shortly and directed us to the ticket line, where yet another staff member was leading the queue line. That made a total of 8 staff members from before the ticket booth to the queue line that was there to inform us of everything we needed to know and get us situated, as well as be there for any questions. Hands down this was a truly well-oiled experience, but we will note that we didn’t see anywhere to sanitize your hands so you may want to bring your own personal bottle just in case that’s something you’d look for.

Atmosphere: 8.3

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Like we said, Field of Screams had a nice area set up in the vast darkness of this clearing next to the woods. We were personally escorted to our own seating area, which consisted of small hay bales surrounded by a fire pit. This was the set up for the entire midway area, which was really cool because it definitely gave you a campout vibe. When you’re seated, a member of the staff will come by and you can either wait to go get in the queue line, or sit and order food.

We didn’t stay and eat because we had dinner plans, but I saw something about fried Twinkies and Oreos on the menu board and couldn’t help but to look back longingly as if I was a soldier leaving my wife to go to war. A rookie mistake, obviously, because the design is set up to be one long path from the start all the way back out to the parking lot, so once you enter the haunt you’re disconnected from any deep-fried deliciousness. Thanks, COVID.

Special Effects: 7.98

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Field of Screams is set up so that you’re walking a trail that is punctuated by many different scare zones, usually consisting of a small structure, cabin, or building, each with its own vibe and theme. Field of Screams does an excellent job of keeping you in the moment, even if it’s only for a few minutes before you head out down the trail and on to the next one. The scenes are all well laid out and detailed and it was here where the FX really came into play.

There were lots of great color choices and spotlighting to amplify certain aspects of a room. There were great practical effects with the floors that I, personally, hadn’t experienced before. And there were even times where it felt like the entire haunt structure was being tossed around. What we appreciated the most about all of this, is that it all felt really well balanced. Both the actors and the FX and animatronics seemed to have their own spaces and it didn’t feel like one was overpowering the other.

Theme: N/A

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Field of Screams has no one running theme throughout the trail, but is instead punctuated by smaller haunt experiences all with varying themes and vibes.

Scare Factor: 7.88

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Field of Screams definitely earned its name, as it captured plenty of screams from us throughout our visit. The thick woods add to your sense of unease as you traipse down what feels like a never-ending path of terror. You’re never quite sure what’s lurking in the darkness and when something will come out to get you. You’ll always feel like you’re being watched. I received one of my favorite scares of the season while being watched from a window while inside one of the cabins. They really did a great job at luring you into a feeling of easy before snapping the lid shut on you. There were several moments that played with your sense of vision, as you walk into a pitch-black makeshift space and have to feel your way around. There were times I wasn’t even sure I was in the right spot, but I kept pushing along anyway.

Another fun fact was that we were spaced out enough so that our group could experience the haunt by ourselves, which only increased our sense of isolation. There were several moments where I couldn’t even hear other patrons screaming or laughing and found my heart racing more so than usual as I tried to lead us through. The cast was phenomenal at hiding in plain sight, so you could be walking towards the next house and then turn your head, and all of a sudden you’re faced with an actor who had been hiding near you all along. We will say the end of our journey didn’t give us quite the send-off we were hoping for, but overall the team did a fantastic job at scaring us. Again, it was clear that they really enjoyed what they were doing and it showed.

Entertainment & Value: 8.1

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We spent what felt like an eternity walking through the woods at Field of Screams, to the point where we wondered if we had died and gone to hell and this was how we were damned to spend the afterlife. From what we understand, the haunt typically has four attractions, and this year they connected the two trails to make one long experience while excluding the other two, presumably for COVID reasons.

Tickets are being sold in groups of 6 for Fridays and Saturdays, and groups of 4 for Sundays and Thursdays. Tickets run about $41-$47 depending on the night you select and your group size, so make sure to plan accordingly. This has been typical of some of the haunts in Maryland, so we feel that it’s appropriately priced given the current season.

While the bonfires and food (I’m still daydreaming about my long lost friend twinkie) was an extremely nice touch, we didn’t notice any roaming queue entertainment or anything outside of that to really give you that extra entertainment value. But, overall, with the length of the trail and the level of scares you get, it’s definitely giving you a decent bang for your buck in a group setting and we can understand why Field of Screams has the reputation it does in the DMV area.

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