Field of Screams 2020: Still a great scare

Jalene Dixon, Staff Writer

The Haunted House attraction is one of the most popular attractions at Field of Screams. This photo was taken in 2019, but this attraction is still open.
Photo by Michael En.

Have you ever heard reviews of a place that makes you question whether it’s worth going to? Well, for Field of Screams that’s the case.

The first time experience of an amusement park is surely one to remember. But a first time experience during a pandemic? That is one that’s not going to be forgotten. In the unique circumstances, COVID-19 has provided lots of obstacles for workers and volunteers to still provide the best experience possible for their guests.

As some may know, Field of Screams is America’s number one rated haunted attraction. I wanted to test that rating myself to see if it lived up to the scare factor. I have never heard of or seen this park,  so it was my first time. While I was there, I met other people who were also there for the first time.

“It was pretty cool. Once again I think I would enjoy it more if there wasn’t a pandemic happening,” said Kayla Shipley, another first-timer. 

Shipley was at a loss for words because she thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Her experience was definitely one to remember and worth coming back for the following  season.

“Just be prepared for anything.” said Donna (last name unknown), a volunteer at the park, to the guests of the 2020 season.

 Certainly, this is good advice to anyone, first-timer or not. Briefly talking to other guests at the park, some said it did not live up to last year’s hype, while others said it was the best experience they have ever had. 

It was noticeable that the park was understaffed. Throughout the rides, people around us had looks of dissatisfaction. 

“Sometimes we are a little short staffed so we kind of just go where we are needed,” said Donna.

The hayride, for example, provided insight to just how understaffed they were. We noticed that when everyone entered the building, they had anticipated more than what they received. The crowd would look for people as they entered each building, thinking there would be this big swarm of actors around them to provide a good show, but there would be one or two people, or maybe none at all. 

  The crowd left each building thinking that it didn’t feel right, and that it wasn’t scary enough. This goes for all four of the attractions, not just the hayride. 

“Where is everyone? It didn’t feel as scary as I thought it would,’’ multiple people said at the park. This was common to hear throughout all attractions. Everyone’s curiosity peaked at this thought. Certainly this was scarier to some guests than others to think about. 

Overall, the lack of volunteers affected the experience for first-timers and returning guests, but Field of Screams is the place to be if you want a good scare, pandemic or not. But the real question is which is scarier? The pandemic or Field of Screams?