Review of Terror Field Haunted Attraction

Review of Terror Field Haunted Attraction

Review of Terror Field Haunted Attraction

Terror Field

Terror Field is a Haunted Attraction located in Clyde, NY.

7 Columbia Street, Clyde, NY 14433
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Haunt Type(s):

1HauntedHouse

Links:

Terror Field Facebook PageTerror Field Website

Contact:

Message Terror Field on Facebook Messenger

Features:

Free Parking, Restrooms/Porta Potties On-Site, Food/Concessions, Gift Shop/Souvenirs, “Old-School” (Low Tech), You may be touched, Original Characters, Covered Outdoor Waiting Line, All-Indoor Attraction

Team Skelegore reviewed this Haunted Attraction on October 9, 2021.

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Final Score: 8.88

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Summary:

Back in 2019, one of the owners of Terror Field had requested a review. Naturally, not having been a reviewer at that time, I didn’t know anything about their show. In 2020 when the world stopped turning, they were closed for the season in accordance with local restrictions. Now in 2021, I’m here, I have no fear, get used to it. Having now seen Terror Field in all its glory, I am a changed man. I think my soul may have actually been extracted within these walls, and placed in a jar with everyone else’s; but that’s beside the point. Terror Field is challenging the norms of the haunt industry regarding how a haunt should go about scaring its patrons. The website is upfront about what this show is – hands-on, in-your-face raw energy. It should be noted before seeing this haunt that you WILL be touched, but we’ll come back to that. Despite the 18+ content of the show, it was so refreshing to find something other than the standard jumpscares and smattering of unrelated scenes.


Cast: 9.01

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From the very first scene, all the way through to the finale, there was not a single scene without at least one actor. And while you might think that’s to be expected, you also have to remember that there are a lot of staffing shortages in the haunt industry and beyond in 2021. Actually, to say that Terror Field has enough actors is an understatement. Terror Field has almost an excess of actors, and every single one has a well-defined role.

I spoke with one of the owners, Brandon, after seeing the show and he said that they have on average 40 actors on any given night. 40 actors spread across about 6000 square feet means you’re seeing or hearing someone at every turn. Not only are they plentiful, but I’d be willing to bet they were plucked out of the backwater of the Alabama swamps mere moments before we arrived. That being said, I did hear a few faked and forced southern accents, but we are in upstate NY after all. The choice of dialogue was right on the nose, too. Having spent some time growing up in the south, I’m very aware that southerners sometimes take great pleasure in using certain four-letter words, and the cast at Terror Field made prominent use of such language. Some of the actors were also very good about staying in character while interacting with guests. The receptionist at the beginning of the asylum area was able to roll with the punches as I gave silly answers to her questions, and she did so in a very thick Scottish accent. Another notable actor is the orderly who preps you for your lobotomy and was able to go on and on in a very convincing Long Island accent.

In one scene the song “Nightmare” by Avenged Sevenfold was playing, and me being the unstoppable idiot that I am, had to start singing along. Badly. It was at this point that the actor asked me “hey, who sings this song?” to which I replied “Me. I am. Right now. Aren’t you listening?” and it opened up a fun little back and forth with the actor. It’s not often that an actor can be quick on their feet and engage in non-scripted dialogue with a guest, but it sure is fun when they do.

As I mentioned in the introduction, you WILL be touched when visiting this haunt; a few scenes that come to mind where this is inevitable are the jail cell scene which requires guests to walk down a very narrow hallway being harassed by detainees that are very eager to be released of their confines, and the dentist office scene where the dental hygienist really wants a good look at your teeth, and will grab ahold of your face to see them. The variety of characters, while limited, is very intentional. You are being told a story from the moment you enter to the moment you leave and the characters in that story have to make sense. Much of the first half you will live through hillbilly hell, smells and all. During the second half on the upper floor, guests meet a wider variety of characters. From the asylum orderly and detainees to the dentist and Satan himself. As I said, the variety may be a bit limited, but I would much rather see the same type of characters in a well-defined plot, than a large variety of characters that don’t fit their scene at all.


Costuming: 9.1

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Just as with the cast, the costuming is seriously on point here. There is not a single character out of place, and everyone looks the part for the role that they play. Overall, costumes looked very well detailed and specifically chosen for each character. I did notice a few oversights throughout, some actors wearing masks with bare skin underneath, some t-shirts peeking through costumes, and some obvious makeup applications. However, my guess is that 99% of patrons probably wouldn’t notice these things, as they occur in either very dimly lit scenes, or the actor is moving quickly enough that a few blemishes would go unnoticed.

Makeup overall was done very tastefully, and not drenched in blood throughout, which is another nice refresher. It was however visibly obvious that some characters were wearing fake blood as part of their makeup, and varying the application method of blood would really push this aspect over the top.

The hillbilly costumes seemed a little too culturally appropriated, and very “Hollywood hillbilly” in that I definitely saw some denim overalls, and plaid flannel. That’s not to say hillbillies don’t wear those things, because they absolutely do, but perhaps a little more variety and research into the fashion trends of the modern yokel could go pretty far. I imagine going that route would involve a lot of t-shirts depicting bands like AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Overall, the small details that were missed are negligible and easily fade away considering how scared you will likely be.


Customer Service: 8.51

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Right away we were greeted with a warm and welcoming ticket booth attendant. She was engaging in conversation with guests waiting in line and seemed genuinely happy to be there. We did overhear her mention that she is one of the owner’s moms. That would certainly explain the level of support she exuded when chatting with us. After we picked up our tickets, the next staff member we encountered was a ticket taker, who would tear off the end of the ticket, and usher us towards the waiting area before entering, and would do wonderfully dressed up as a ghostly lady in white, saddened and alone. The last person we met before bravely venturing into certain doom gave the choice to head in alone or to go with the group of 4 behind us. While I do enjoy a good personalized scare, we opted to head in with the others because they looked like they’d scream a lot, and I do take amusement in seeing people get really scared in haunts.

Upon arrival, we were told of the concession area, and black-out events every Sunday. Not being too much a fan of paying money to walk through complete darkness, I took note of the Sunday shows as a point of interest and made a mental note to grab a drink after the show. The only problem is that I had no idea where the concession area was. No signs, no smells of food, no staff member offering a stop at the gift shop, nothing to really direct my attention to this space. Sure, I could have asked the line attendant when we exited the house where to go, but by then it had completely slipped my mind. It’s also possible that there was a sign that I completely overlooked; I’ve been known to do that before. On the ride back home, my review partner brought up the fact that we didn’t visit the concession stand, and I realized that I had no idea where it was. My only theory was that it was the area to the right of the house entrance, but I recall looking in that direction before going in, and thinking that it looked like a staff-only area.

Other than the case of the missing snacks, we knew we’d found the right place. There was a line of people outside, and the big signs with “Terror Field” emblazoned on them let me know I had arrived. Parking was a little bit tricky, but there is a parking lot directly across the street, and it seemed most people were using it. The website didn’t mention anything about where to park, but I had scoped out the area ahead of time with a satellite view map. Even without checking a map, I’d have figured out where to park. Being in the middle of a village, Terror Field doesn’t have their own on-site parking. The website does mention an attraction called “School on Elm Street” which sounds like an escape room, but we did not see or hear any mention of this on site. Perhaps it’s an off-season attraction inside the haunt.

The website overall is straight to the point, showing operating dates, location, history, and a link to buy tickets. We found just about everything we needed to know on the website, and my partner read the story of how Terror Field came to be while we drove out. It also mentions that this show is hands-on, in your face, and high energy; all very true things.

As I mentioned before, the line wraps around the front of the haunt onto the sidewalk. This is nice, as guests aren’t left standing in the road while they wait in line. Inside the house, we encountered two flights of stairs; one going up, and the other going down. Both had handrails, and the steps were adequately lit to avoid any trips. I spoke with Brandon after the show, and he mentioned that in the event of an emergency a “code green” call will be made on the radio and that he, and other personnel would respond. This is important because it shows that no matter how gruesome and aggressive the show comes off, safety is still the top priority. However, I feel it is my duty to make note that Terror Field does not require its actors or staff to be vaccinated, masked, or to disclose vaccination status. If this is a concern, guests should be aware of this before purchasing tickets, as unmasked actors will come within inches of your face, and even touch your face with bare hands. As of the time of this writing, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask when in close quarters, and it doesn’t get much closer than this.


Atmosphere: 7.98

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On the score sheet that we fill out for every review, there is a section labeled “obviously a haunt before entering”. I like to think about that question in terms of if I were driving down the road, and I stopped in front of this place, would I know right away that it’s a haunted attraction? And in this case, yes. I think I would know that I had come across a haunt, or at the very least, something Halloween-related. The front of the building has large signs prominently displayed, a photo-op where guests poke their faces through holes cut out of a board that’s painted with a Halloween scene, and a ghoulish prop hung up on a window. Without any other knowledge, this is definitely a place with something spooky.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that the exterior of the building totally prepared me for the horrors that lie within. We didn’t see any queue actors, and the decoration on the outside aside from the signs, reminded me of charity, and kid-friendly haunts. That is, until we got closer to the building, and could hear the screams coming from within. We knew something really scary was in there, we just didn’t know what. The covered queue area was a nice touch, though. It helped darken the area, and began to set the scene while keeping guests dry from any rain or snow that might be falling.


Special Effects: 9.25

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Right away, every single scene in this attraction is so incredibly detailed. In the first half, guests will find themselves walking through a house that’s inhabited by some deranged hillbillies, and having lived in and around places like this, the scene is painfully accurate. Everything from broken stuff that never got thrown out because “paw paw can fix that” to the piles of junk that gets carelessly tossed wherever it lands, to the gaudy wallpaper and furniture that seems to be a standard feature in a trailer that’s been left to rot. I’m not kidding when I say that every detail was true to life for poor hill-folk.

That is, until we reached the shotgun scene. Now, I know that this can be a traumatizing scene for some people, but I don’t want to give too much away. It’s pretty obvious when you enter the scene what’s about to go down, and guests will have enough time to either turn away or push through to the next scene. Now, with the trigger warning out of the way, the shotgun blast could be significantly louder, and the fog effect that comes afterward could be better timed to look as though it were smoke coming from the gun. I also noticed that the placement of the fog machine was somewhere near the actor’s waist, rather than the barrel of the shotgun where you would expect some smoke to be coming out. Another touch could be to use a squib or air cannon to splatter blood on the wall behind the actor to finish off the effect.

One of the best-looking scenes in my mind is the dentist office on the upper level of the house. It’s a small room with two actors that seem very eager to use the back-alley dentistry they’ve just learned on you. The exam chair looked like a relic of the past, and the small details like the teeth on the counter really added some finishing touches.

I did not notice any speakers, fog machines, or personal belongings in the open except for one scene where a couple of cell phones were apparently set up to play sounds in the scene, but the screens had been left on, face-up visible to anyone that looked in the sink.

Overall, Terror Field is an actor-driven show that doesn’t have to rely on special effects to scare guests. What’s really nice is that I didn’t encounter all of the haunted house tropes like overly foggy scenes, or laser shows, or an onslaught of chainsaws. At least one actor did have something that sounded like a chainsaw, but had I turned around to see what it was, the group of four we went in with would have run me over.


Theme: 8.95

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So, we need to address the elephant in the room. The name of the haunt is Terror Field, but there is no field in sight. In fact, this is a strictly indoor attraction in the middle of a village. To be fair, Terror Field Productions is the name of the company as a whole, and the name of this year’s attraction is the “Stabbin’ Cabin” which fits a little bit better but is still not authentic to the location. Once you move past that little indiscretion, the story unfolds in a coherent manner beginning with the first scene. The premise is that you’re following the story of a person that’s living in this hillbilly hell, and goes crazy. They are then sent to an asylum where all manner of medical procedures and experiments happen, and then you die and wind up in literal hillbilly hell. It really is a gruesome story from start to finish. I enjoy the way it’s told, making all of the scenes in each “act” flow as if they are all part of one larger scene. While we did ask what the theme was, I think it would be intuitive enough to follow the story as it unfolds.

The story definitely seems to be set in a time where people were sent to asylums for all manner of mental deficiencies, and in one scene you’re told that you’re getting a lobotomy. This is reminiscent of the late 1800s or early 1900s, but the music playing in a number of scenes is distinctly modern, with at least one track being as recent as 2010. Perhaps there is no defined time period, and the asylum is really an abandoned facility where nobody ever told the staff. That would be more sinister if it were the case.


Scare Factor: 9.18

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Just how scary is it? Well, I’ll tell you after I get done crying in this corner over here. Being an actor turned reviewer, it’s really hard to get more than the occasional jump scare on me, which is why I tend to follow groups that will scream while I’m reviewing. With that being said, the cast at Terror Field did not let up for a second, bringing raw energy, and had we gone in without the other group, it would have been that much more intense, and now I regret not doing so. The passion that the actors bring to their roles of inbred maniacs really shines through in how they present the scares, and it is very much appreciated.

Being that the entire group was comprised of six individuals, we had a unique opportunity to see how scares are presented to groups, and what we found was that no matter where in the line you were, there was an actor ready and very willing to give you all they’ve got. This is so important for haunts to get right because everybody that’s inside paid for a ticket, and nobody should be left without some entertainment. I think about how dads and boyfriends are often forgotten about and ignored while actors prey on the low-hanging fruit that are teenage girls, and Terror Field makes sure that everyone wets themselves a little bit before leaving.

As with any haunted house, a majority of the scares will be of the jump scare variety, surprising guests with an unexpected actor or effect right in their face. We found that a higher-than-average number of scares came from the implications of the scene or just the fear of what’s to come. At the beginning of the asylum section, an orderly heightens the tension by keeping guests in one scene before they are allowed to move forward. Her dialogue and the anxiety of what lies around the next corner help to really sell the next few scares.

A good jump scare is one that nobody, not even a seasoned veteran, will see coming. This is what we experienced more often than not as we cautiously moved from scene to scene. On a few occasions, we were able to figure out the scare before it happened, such as the shotgun scene, or the cannibal scene, but it was rare. Every scene delivered the same high energy and passion as the one before it, but for some reason, there was just not a strong finale. The last couple of scares are a reappearance of the devil character asking what we’re doing there, and a jump scare that while good, was just not what I expected to close the show on. I think that the talent and resources are available to provide a bigger scare to resolve the journey.


Entertainment & Value: 8.68

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Now that we’ve talked about opinions and thoughts, let’s look at Terror Field by the numbers. This is a two-story building with around 1800 square feet of usable space, and it took us 11 minutes on the nose to walk through. There is only a GA option available for tickets, and that costs $16. I suspect that the average walkthrough time is probably closer to the 15-20 minute range, as I do move rather quickly, but it did not feel as though we moved too fast, and we were stopped in a few spots to watch a scene play out, or to interact with an actor. Regardless, given our walkthrough time, we land at roughly 41 seconds per dollar (.69 minutes per dollar). Or as I’ve been pushing for, boos per buck. I think this is a fairly good value, given the intensity of the show and the personalized nature of sending one group at a time, rather than allowing a conga line to form. The 1800 square feet are definitely stuffed to the gills, and I doubt much more could be crammed into the space. Perhaps rearranging how big or small each scene is could make the overall flow more ergonomic, but I believe efficiency has been reached.

As I mentioned in the customer service section, we were told about a concession stand on-site, but we could not find it. We also noticed a distinct lack of queue actors, or anything else to entertain guests who are waiting in line. I suppose the screams of the tortured souls currently touring the attraction count as entertainment in some form, though. Having an actor mingling amongst the waiting guests, or attracting patrons towards the concession area would be a big plus in my book, and help keep guests on the property a little bit longer, too. I realize there is probably a city ordinance that prevents this from happening, but surely there must be some workaround to keep waiting patrons entertained. Maybe a banjo player?

Overall, Terror Field delivers a very high-quality show for a reasonable price of admission.


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Photos from Review Trip:

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Guest Reviews
Guest Average: 10 out of 10

Kristy corey – 10/10 – October 9, 2021
They were passionate about what they were doing ! Had a great time and went through it again right …show more after ! The actors really went out of their way to get the jump scares on you . Even when you knew it was coming you would still jump ! Really , really great job !

Candace delong – 10/10 – October 24, 2015
The guys put so much love and time into scaring the crap out of people!! Definitely a great time, …show more but not for kids…. can’t wait to see what they come up with to terrify us with this season. Not for the faint of heart!

Elizabeth Britton – 10/10 – October 15, 2015
Packed with surprises and the actors were awsome. Lots to take in

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