Field of Screams PA – Full Review
Field of Screams PA is a Haunted Attraction located in Mountville, PA.
191 College Ave, Mountville, PA 17554View All Details
Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, Optional Games/Midway, Special Events, You may be touched, Original Characters, Indoor/Outdoor Waiting Line, Indoor/Outdoor Attraction
This attraction was reviewed on September 11, 2021 by Team Haunt Crew.
How Do We Get These Scores?
Final Score: 8.04
How Did We Get This Score?
Welcome to Field of Screams! No, not Field of Dreams, SCREAMS! Yes, you will find yourself screaming your head off when visiting this truly amazing haunt located in Lancaster, PA. The attraction is actually located on what was once a farm that the two owners grew up farming with their families.
With four separate attractions to choose from, there are a plethora of opportunities for those seeking a good scare! At Field of Screams (FOS), you have the ability to pick and choose what horrors tickle your fancy by purchasing tickets for individual haunts. For the truly daring you can always grab a combo ticket that will gain you access to all four attractions. There is also the VIP upgrade option for those that haven’t the ability to wait any longer in line than absolutely necessary for the chance to pee their pants!
The attraction is constantly undergoing changes. There are a multitude of minor changes that are made every year. Any kind of major renovations are planned out and in the works at least one full year, sometimes two, in advance of unveiling the newest terrors. Don’t close your eyes too much, scared as you may be while traversing the trails and corridors at FOS, or you’ll miss out on the incredible amount of detail that creates a horrifying world that envelops you in fear!
What started out as a hobby has become a truly spectacular haunted attraction. The owners and their families have grown the place from a family farm to a truly terrifying Field of Screams!
How Did We Get This Score?
The cast in Frightmare Asylum were ever-present and always in character. Nary a moment went by without a cast member attacking someone in the group. It was obvious that the doctors and nurses had lost their minds and were out of control. The majority of the actors used props such as knives, chainsaws, hammers, and hatchets. Throughout the asylum, we encountered many characters from evil doctors, demented dentists, and creepy nurses to terrified and desperate patients begging for our help.
The actors were believable in their roles. The dialogue suited the scenes. At one point, one of the doctors asked us if he should kill some of his patients who were screaming for their lives! We did not encounter any actors that strayed from their roles. We did notice that they did not expand on their dialogue much, primarily keeping to their scripted lines without improv responses when we tried to further interact with them.
The actors that were present on the hayride were spot-on with their performances! From crazy killer clowns, territorial hillbillies, and a mad doctor performing wicked experiments to mutants in a toxic dump, there were several kinds of characters. On the night of our visit, we took note of a need for more actors on the hayride as there were a couple of sections without actors. However, the actors that boarded the wagon did a great job including the creepy clown that bent over backward and crawled the length of the wagon. One member of our group that is not particularly fond of clowns was quickly discovered and informed by a devilish clown, ‘We’ve been waiting for you! Are you ready to come play with us?’. There were a couple of sections where dialogue was difficult to understand or hear due to how loud the ambient soundtrack was.
The creatures that prowled about in the wasteland didn’t have much to say but effectively managed to scare several in the group with their sudden appearances and stalking. We did notice that the leader was often skipped over and most scares went to the middle and end of the group. This attraction had more actors than the hayride but we did notice a couple of spots that would have benefitted from additional cast members. Within the laser swamp, there was an excellent actor that was able to scare many people by moving around beneath the green fog and popping up unexpectedly. The butcher we encountered was not pleased with our presence in his shop and was using his meat mallet to press patrons against the wall demanding a reason for our trespass.
Den of Darkness:
There was quite a variety of characters within the walls of the Den of Darkness. Initially, we were not entirely sure about the mixed bag of characters. Upon further investigation, we learned about the sordid past of the Den. It was originally a barn transformed into a farmhouse, later a hotel, and eventually a manor. No matter the use of the Den’s wildly wicked atrocities happened throughout its history resulting in a wide range of cast.
Upon entrance, we were threatened by an excellent actor that told us the hammer she was holding had many uses including the removal of our eyes. One actor did stand out with interactive dialogue when one of our group complimented their eyes but stated her teeth needed some work, to which she replied, ‘You can’t have everything!’
How Did We Get This Score?
The costumes throughout all of the haunted attractions were very well done. There were a few areas where we noticed that, perhaps, a mask looked a bit too much like a mask, or a prosthetic looked a bit out of place. However, the wardrobes appeared to be very complete and none of the accessories took away from the believability of the experience. All of the costuming was perfectly suited to the characters and their surroundings. Even the roaming ghoulish fiends that greeted us in the courtyard were dressed for the occasion! Even if they were a bit’ dementedly clownish.
Given the large number of actors (around 200 according to the owner), getting prepared for the night is certainly a herculean task. Everyone has to report early for their tour of duty to ensure that they get checked in, properly dressed, and creepish makeup applied. Before leaving they must go over their lines and roles to ensure that they are ready to scare the pants off of the unsuspecting victims’ um’ I mean patrons, no, actually, victims are right!
Some of the costumes were very detailed. We had a photo taken with the Doctor from the Asylum who appeared to have several stitches throughout his bald head and face. Upon closer inspection, we noticed that his name tag referred to him as ‘Dr. Stitch.’ Occasionally a mask appeared to be a generic one, however, based on the scene this seemed deliberate. The vast majority of the costumes were obviously bespoke for this haunt, as suggested from our experience above. All of the costumes, however, were appropriately ‘worn’ for their occasion.
While it was more difficult to make out some of the makeup due to the darkened surroundings, when we were able to see the makeup more clearly, it appeared to be suited to the scene and well done. One, in particular, is a ghost doll in the Den of Darkness. So realistic was her makeup, we weren’t even sure whether she was a person or an oversized doll, until’, of course, she suddenly moved, making more than one jump in surprise! One of the most striking costume features for many of the actors we came in close contact with was the unnatural and unsettling eye coloration created with special contact lenses.
Customer Service: 8.9
How Did We Get This Score?
When we arrived, we were greeted with a giant Field of Screams sign that would be really hard to miss. Apple Maps made our journey easy. The actual address is 191 College Avenue, Mountville, PA 17554. There was ample parking and the parking attendants were friendly and guided us on where to park. The signage throughout the property was easy to read which made locating everything easy. The bathrooms are located near the entrance, so keep this in mind as you explore the grounds. This haunted attraction is set up like a carnival midway. Anyone can enter this haunt, with or without a ticket, to enjoy the food, shops, and games (now including the FOS 5 Minute Escape Games). Tickets are checked at the entrance of each of the attractions. There is no particular order in which you have to go through the attractions but they do have suggestions on where to go next posted as you exit each one to help control the length of the lines. FOS is not entirely handicap accessible, however, they will try to accommodate anyone with a disability to the best of their ability. They suggest that you call or email them in advance to make arrangements for those with disabilities.
There are also other events held at FOS too. There is the 5k Zombie Fun Run, Extreme Blackout, and during daytime hours, FOS offers some family-friendly fall fun, geared more towards kids age 2-12, with an attraction called Corn Cob Acres. For more information on this go to www.corncobacres.com.
The midway is well lit and filled with excitement. The attractions were very well thought out with just a few safety concerns that we noticed. The Frightmare Asylum has a few low-lying beams covered with foam so if you are tall make sure to keep your eye out for them. In Nocturnal Darkness, there were a few areas with rock steps that were not very well lit. They can easily make you stumble a bit. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable, and easy to locate because of their identifiable staff shirts.
The Field of Screams website is filled with a variety of information. The Scream Pass that allows you to enter all 4 attractions varies in price from $35.00 to $50.00 depending on the day. Via the FOS website, you have to click dates on the calendar to obtain the price for each day which varies throughout the season. Their Facebook page does occasionally offer a coupon code to discount the cost. It is best to purchase your tickets online ahead of time because they do not guarantee entry to walk-up customers. The ticket booth only accepts cash so keep that in mind as well.
How Did We Get This Score?
The main thing that tells you that you have arrived at a haunted attraction is the large sign out front. From the parking lot you mostly just see other cars and patrons heading for the gates. Once you have parked and gotten out of your car at FOS you can begin to sense a growing anticipation and excitement because of the sounds you hear like chainsaws revving and don’t forget the SCREAMS! As you walk past the ticket booth you enter into a huge courtyard filled to the brim with food vendors, carnival games, a terrifying head toss, a 5-minute escape room, a souvenir shop, and several spooky photo opportunities. In one area of the midway, there is a large stage where live entertainment is provided for you to enjoy unless the roaming clown creatures or zombies get you first! The night we were there a live band was playing on stage. One truly unique thing about the midway at FOS is that even without purchasing a ticket you can get into this area; you only need a ticket to enter the attractions. So if you and your friends just want to go grab some grub and watch the free entertainment you are more than welcome to do so at FOS. On busy nights, there are movies projected onto screens along the queue areas to entertain you while waiting in line at each of the attractions.
The Frightmare Asylum facade was a sight to behold with a truly dilapidated appearance to it. The watchful gaze of the stone gargoyles, standing guard around the fence and above the large clock affixed to the front of the asylum, added to the already foreboding anticipation. The Den of Darkness is an old building that has undergone many uses and now stands dilapidated. It looks as though it may fall in upon itself (just take a glimpse at the ceiling on the front porch while in line!). Before entering the Nocturnal Wasteland, you can’t help but notice the abandoned rusted truck equipped for post-apocalyptic combat and a freaky-looking dead soldier waiting for you to enter his territory. The exterior of the hayride would almost be serene enough to lull you into thinking that you are about to go on a nice pleasant ride if it weren’t for the sinister-looking, giant animatronic pumpkin creature off to one side and the flame riddled carcass of an old tractor suspended above the wagons.
All the attractions had TV’s displaying visuals of the horrifying terror that awaits within each attraction along with the rules of the attractions such as no touching actors, no smoking, no drinking, and photo/flash photography. The screens with these notices didn’t really do much for the vibe while in line but, they are a necessary evil in this day and age. All in all the atmosphere around the grounds and queues of FOS are quite something to take in because of all the incredible attention to detail!
Special Effects: 8.35
How Did We Get This Score?
Looking at the outside of Frightmare Asylum one would never know that the place used to be a chicken coop on a farm! When approaching the asylum one is instantly drawn in by all the details. There are overgrown vines adding to the already dilapidated appearance, ornate fencing surrounding the courtyard of the asylum (naturally this is where you enter the line), and menacing gargoyles watch over the crowd. The outside of the place is nothing compared to what you experience on the inside! You immediately feel as though you have been transported to another era inside with the realistic detailing. Old style medical equipment, musty odors, a dentist’s chair (a terrifying place for many, even on a good day!), shelving with rattling medicine bottles, shelves that suddenly fall, and plenty of strobes, as well as dark places, keep you on your toes. Speaking of toes’, watch your step because some of the floors suddenly make you think you’re walking on quicksand!
On the evening we visited you could not have asked for better weather. Nestled into the hay on the wagon, surrounded by cornfields, enjoying a slight breeze, and gazing at a crescent moon over a quaint red barn we were almost lulled into a false sense of security, as though we may be going on a simple hayride. Then the burning wreck of a tractor over the entrance to the hayride trail suddenly flames up drawing you back to reality! There are loads of special effects throughout the hayride including pyrotechnics, waterworks, animatronics, and ominous sounds/music coming from a speaker on the back of the wagon. The music and ominous sound effects from the speaker were perfectly timed with the events of each scene. However, it was quite difficult to hear what the actors were saying. While riding along, it is easy to get lost in the detail of all the separate scenes from a glowing toxic dump with barrels threatening to topple onto the crowd to demented hillbillies hanging their days catch out to drip blood on those in the wagon.
You will never not have something to look at while you are traversing the trail through the woods of Nocturnal Wasteland. You’ll also never not have something to smell’ You enter the wasteland through an old abandoned truck, make your way through what seems to be an old dump (sure smells that way too!), cross over the hayride through the inside of an old school bus, and try to escape the devilish creatures within. Do mind your step because even when sticking to the path one never knows when your catwalk may fall out from under you or the floors may just start sliding around under your feet. One of the most impressive areas within the wasteland is the laser swamp with the eerie, murky green glow, sounds of crickets, and swirling mists making it easy to feel like you are wading, chest-deep, in a toxic swamp!
Den of Darkness:
Let us just first point out that the morgue in the Den of Darkness stinks. No, we don’t mean we disliked the morgue, it literally STINKS in there, it is perfectly putrid! (Hmmm’ almost sounds like a cologne; Perfectly Putrid by FOS, Get Your Stink On!) One special effect that is sometimes overlooked is the effect that olfactory senses have on people when they enter a place, but this is not the case here! Stenches aside, there are plenty of other gruesome things within the blood-covered walls of the Den. The sounds of saws were plentiful and earsplitting, morgue doors opening and closing on their own, flashing lights, and there are an incredible amount of details within every room.
How Did We Get This Score?
At the Frightmare Asylum, you will check in, but might not check out. Looking to glean what the theme might possibly be? Just look at the name! After years of mistreatment by doctors and nurses, the inmates have gone crazier than you could possibly imagine. Of course, at times, the doctors and nurses seem crazier than the inmates! This abandoned, dilapidated, and incredibly haunted Asylum theme is carried on throughout the attraction.
Although the Haunted Hayride had no definitive theme, it encapsulated a variety of scenes. A terrifying slaughterhouse, where you are the next prime selection of meat on the chopping block may seem appetizing. Maybe you prefer the company of joyously demented clowns on the attack. Or maybe you prefer to be the next test subject in a mad scientist’s lab? Can’t forget the hillbillies either, gotta stop by those creepy SOB’s territory to be interrogated before they have YOU hanging up with the rest of their kills!
Nocturnal Wasteland is not your typical ghost and ghouls haunt, the deeper you go into the junk-filled woods the more you want to get away from the terrifying creatures within. From the moment you arrive, you get a sense that you are in a post-apocalyptic menagerie of chaos. The creatures contained within have mutated into something that will make your blood run cold. These malevolent creatures attack purely for the pleasure they obtain from it. They hunt you through the woods and right into a swamp where they can attack from every angle. There is no questioning the theme contained inside these wickedly torturous woods.
Den of Darkness:
To get a true understanding of the menagerie of creatures inside the Den of Darkness you need a bit of backstory. This was one attraction we felt didn’t really tell us what the theme was exactly. It is definitely a terror-filled walk! As it turns out the building has had a multitude of uses over the years, starting as a barn turned into a farmhouse, farmhouse then became a hotel, the hotel converted to a mansion. All the horrific characters are derived from the haunted past of this building. We were definitely scared but the theme was not apparent even after going through the entire attraction. We had to check the website to become illuminated on what brought together the variety of creatures and scenes displayed.
Scare Factor: 8.04
How Did We Get This Score?
The mad doctors, nurses, and patients really brought their ‘A-game’ in this category. They asked us if we wanted to keep our teeth and coaxed us to get into the dentist’s chair. There were other incidents with actors asking us if we wanted to play and stay with them in the crazy house. One of our members even had their hair pet and played with telling them that they are, ‘a nice one!’.
At one point, one of our members was separated from the group and led ahead of everyone by an actor chanting ‘I got one for you!’ After running down steps and around corners, (which seemed to take an eternity) she entered a room with lots of crazy patients with chainsaws that chased her right out of the attraction. In fact, it was so far out of the attraction it led her into the main part of the midway. Needless to say, after running away and being separated from the group, it left our crew with a member, who was definitely out of breath and was a little dazed and confused about what had actually just happened.
Although there were loads of good scares, we did notice that not everyone in our group was scared evenly. At first, it seemed as though the first few members of the group got the majority of the scares. When going through the next attraction, we switched up the order we were walking in. Suddenly, the leaders were basically ignored and the members in the back were attacked more often. We felt that this was mostly luck of the draw. For the most part, we felt that most of the scares were jump scares, where actors would seemingly appear out of nowhere for a surprise attack. Not that there were not other kinds as well, as noted in another section there was one actor that did so well at holding still, paired with perfect makeup, that we did not realize she was real until it was too late. The creators at FOS are particularly good at creating narrow passages, as well as, lots of twists and turns to disorient patrons and enhance the scares.
The hayride offered scares from all sides. The scenery leads to some amazing surprises such as dead animals strung above you (they are nice and fresh too, still dripping blood), people and animatronics above you, falling barrels of toxic goo, and, of course, actors climbing on the sides and in the wagon. We did notice that, at times, it felt as though the elaborate props, but mainly the soundtrack, dominated the actors a bit. The actors did their best to scare the crap out of those in the wagon. We witnessed a mad doctor moving, like a graceful cat, sliding into the wagon with an instrument scaring several people on the ride. There were many incidents of other actors such as hillbillies and clowns jumping on the sides of the wagon further terrorizing guests. We had a friend with us that night that was terrified of the clowns. When the evil clowns noticed his weakness, they prayed upon him making his experience more terrifying.
Due to the lack of scare actors, the scares on the hayride were somewhat predictable, the hayride would stop at specific times and we waited for the ghouls to jump out. We did notice that one side of the wagon seemed to get more scares than the other. One particular actor that shined through was an evil clown on the wagon that somehow managed to contort themselves incredibly. As the hayride was moving, this clown quietly hung onto the wagon and lingered long enough to make one of our members jump in fright.
This attraction did a fantastic job at grossing you out. There was a smell of feces in places, bugs, and really filthy scenes. It made us want to run for the hills. Like the Frightmare Asylum, our group did notice that not everyone was scared equally. The actors in Nocturnal Wasteland tended to concentrate on the middle and back of each group. The leader didn’t get as much attention, however, this attraction did have some of the best scares.
Two outstanding actors come to mind, the butcher and a swamp creature. The butcher did his best at trying to scare anyone who trespassed through his space. If you were an unfortunate victim, you were pushed against the wall with a meat mallet to prevent you from further trespass. His actions created an etude of screams from other patrons. The swamp creature jumped up out of a murky laser green swamp. This jump scare was so fantastic that it startled one of our usually steely members so much that she actually jumped back and screamed with her arms flailing.
Den of Darkness
If blank stares and freaky-looking creatures turn you on, then this is the haunt for you! This place produced a really uneasy feeling. One room, in particular, stands out’ the morgue. The morgue had an awful smell and made us want to get out of there as quickly as humanly possible. The scares varied in type, some actors stared at you with blank stares and others yelled at you menacingly saying, “A hammer has more than one use, like pulling out your eyeballs!”. The scares were a mixed bag. Not only did you have the blank stares, but you also had surprise scares from actors popping out from behind the scenery. For example, a room filled with hooded mannequins may still have an actor or two hiding underneath. Similar to the asylum, actors pulled a member away from our group asking him to crawl down a tube. Some of the scares provided weren’t from actors but from animated items such as collapsing shelves and violently moving morgue drawers.
Entertainment & Value: 8.04
How Did We Get This Score?
Not only are the haunted attractions entertaining, but Field of Screams is also a mini destination. As we earlier stated in the Atmosphere section of this review, the courtyard (aka: the Field of Screams Entertainment Area), which anyone can enter, is filled to the brim with entertainment, food vendors, carnival games, a 5-minute escape room, and souvenir stands. Our team was well entertained for the four hours we spent on the premises. And let’s not forget, anyone can enter the Entertainment Area, you only need to purchase a ticket to enter the four main attractions. The night we were there a band was playing rock & roll music and we spent a total of approximately eighty-one minutes going through the four main attractions.
Field of Screams offers movies on the busier nights. There were movie screens at all the attractions to entertain audiences while they wait to tempt fate inside the attractions. The night we were there was mid-September so the lines were relatively short. While we waited in line, we also noticed actors walking around the crowds entertaining audiences. In fact, it seemed that everywhere you went, a deliciously well-placed actor was looking for the perfect scare opportunity.
The fee for all four attractions ranges in price depending on the day from between $35 to $45. The VIP upgrade also ranges in price from $10 to $25 depending on the day. For more details about pricing and hours of operation see their website. The handy calendar gives you a quick color-coordinated idea of which day fits best in your budget and time frame. Given the length of time we spent, the fact that we had VIP tickets, and the other entertainment opportunities available; we believe that the $50 ticket price was well worth it and that, even with the upgrade, this haunted attraction is very reasonably priced.