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Run for your life and leave your kids behind at Field of Screams

A large man wielding a chainsaw is chasing me down a wooded path. I don't have time to think. I run headlong into the October darkness. My co-worker is just ahead of me, and in my panic I push him aside, yelling, "Take this guy, instead! He's younger and more tender!" I fly past my 14-year-old daughter, all maternal instincts now dissolved in terror. I shove her backward in a flimsy attempt to create a buffer between me and the stalking madman. But it's no use. The chainsaw's buzz grows louder and the hard bar of machine strikes my thigh. In a final fit of anguish, I scream, "Curse you PennLive for sending me to Field of Screams! Curse you all to heck!" Luckily for me, the chainsaw is chainless. My co-worker and my daughter trot toward me, laughing in fits, as the grisly woodsman trudges away in search of another victim. When we finally find our way out of the Nocturnal Wasteland—one of four haunted attractions at Field of Screams in Mountville, Pa.—we each breathe a sigh of relief. Our trip to Field of Screams began in the Den of Darkness, a walk through an "indoor three-story horror barn" (according to the about page at, and we then braced ourselves for The Frightmare Asylum, a horror house where one of the ghouls offered to remove my tongue with a pair of pliers. Tempting, but no thanks. After escaping once more, my brave companions and I took a break and downed a hot apple cider. We braced ourselves for the Haunted Hayride, a nighttime ride through a corn field teeming with live ghouls and gruesome animatronic monsters. Before visiting Field of Screams, I prepared myself by reading the frequently asked questions listed on the website. However, other than providing accurate directions, tips on best days to visit and whether or not there were bathrooms (no worries, there are plenty), I found the FAQ page to be woefully lacking. So, to help future victims--I mean, visitors--I came up with my own FAQ for Field of Screams. Enter at your own risk! Is the Field of Screams on a real farm? The corn field is real. The mud is real. The animal manure smells real. Wear clothing appropriate for walking around on a farm. Ensure your footwear is suitable for running for your life. If you are being chased by a zombie and you trip because you're wearing flip flops, your friends will leave you behind. Well, first, your friends will take a photo of you sprawled in the mud, and then they'll leave you behind. Will there be scary farmers at Field of Screams? No scary farmers, but you will meet up with long-bearded moonshiners who carry rifles and declare a profane attraction to pigs. Most frightening of all, you will be subjected to banjo music. I don't like crawling on my hands and knees through cramped, dark spaces. Will I have to do any of that? No, you won't. Leave your claustrophobia at home. Hold on, let me try saying that again without laughing. Nope, no pitch-black, closed-in spaces where you will have to crawl on your hands and knees with someone's backside in your face. I am afraid of clowns. Will there be any clowns at Field of Screams? If Bozo the Clown makes you uncomfortable, just imagine Bozo chasing you through a neon-lit room filled with dismembered Barbie dolls. Also, Bozo has a hammer. Field of Screams is your nightmare. Will the ghouls touch me? The actors will touch you—they will play with your hair and grab your ankles—but the actors won't grope you. If you want to be groped, you should hang out in the mosh pit at a Fall Out Boy concert. Can I touch the actors? No, you may not touch the actors. Don't be a creep. If you want to touch strangers, get a job as a podiatrist. Anything else I should know before going? Field of Screams is loud—very loud. You will be subjected to a high-decibel soundtrack of screaming, banging, buzzing and howling--and that's just the Guns and Roses CD playing on loudspeakers while you wait in line. You would not be foolish if you wore earplugs. Also, Field of Screams stinks (quite literally, a scent of manure, blood and meat permeates each attraction), and you will need to walk through foggy rooms and flashing strobe lights. You should be prepared for a sensory-overload experience. Most of all, be prepared to have a frightfully good time. And don't forget to show us your best scare face on Twitter and Instagram using #FieldOfScreamsPA. Read the whole story at Email Josette at