I'd already tried to experience Haunted Field of Screams twice before the weather finally cooperated on my third trip to Thornton, but this haunt was definitely worth the wait.
The place is massive, but as it transitions to a thirty-acre scream park, it's also massively muddy on the trails and in the parking lot when rain starts to fall. Make sure you check the Haunted Field of Screams Facebook page for possible closings, and even if it's open, you'll want to wear warm, water-resistant shoes.
After parking, you enter the corn field beneath the sign pictured above. (If you see people exiting the same way you’re entering, they didn’t use the prescribed exit and went out the entrance.) Hit the ticket booth or bypass this stop if you already have a ticket card or digital tickets, which you simply flash at the entrance to each attraction. (If you run out of time or the place closes because of bad weather, your unused QR codes will continue to work for the rest of the season.)
As at most haunts, be prepared for lines and waits, especially if you arrive late in the evening. Haunted Field of Screams is definitely popular with a more mature crowd, and you don't see many families roaming around. Alcohol is for sale, which can help pass the time if you don’t get too loaded and injure an actor, as someone had foolishly done the night we were there.
You get to pick the order in which you'd like to experience the attractions. One is an actual maze, while the others are simply paths through the field. But holy shit! These may not be mazes, but they're terrifying and disorienting. Unquestionably the scariest haunt I’ve been to yet, Haunted Field of Screams is not for people who spook easily. It’s a roller coaster of excitement, terror and vulnerability that’s going to make you scream, jump and probably laugh a lot.
We began with Condemned, which starts off strong, putting you face-to-face with a murderous pig man before you're thrust into a room full of laser beams challenging you to step over and under them, or risk setting off an alarm. Once back outside in the corn, you’re safe…but don't let your guard down. Actors are hidden in the corn and appear sporadically, which elevates the element of surprise.
We walked through a dozen structures as we explored the haunts, and met tons of crazies along the way. Whether stationed inside or out, the Haunted Field of Screams actors are top-notch. With masks that are actually scary and makeup so believable that I kept doing double-takes, every new monster we met was a different experience from the last. You won’t find familiar haunted-house tropes and hear stale lines: These freaks are the real deal, and they all own their characters.
The little boy in the morgue who barely moved but was still clearly alive gave us a good rush, as did the little girl with a Glasgow smile who planned her attack while perched on top of a refrigerator. I especially loved the forbidding clown with pure black eyes who cornered us as we tried to find the exit from a particularly foggy, dead-end room.
While this is a no-touch attraction, prepare to have your path blocked and your ear screamed into. When you turn to see if your friends are there, you’ll instead find evil creatures practically on top of you. They may not be able to physically touch you, but they will taunt you, invade your space...and many will play back if you want to engage verbally.
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This is the first year that Haunted Field of Screams is only offering its full suite of attractions (four in all) for one ticket price. Doing away with à la carte options means the $39.99 general admission price may put this experience out of reach for some people, but scrape up the money if you can for an experience that will give you the adrenaline rush you’ve been craving.
This is definitely Denver’s scariest haunt.
Haunted Field of Screams
10451 McKay Road, Thornton
Tickets: $39.99 general admission, $54.99 VIP, $69.99 instant access
Open at sundown October 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31; Pitch Dark: A Ride to the Riverdale Gates of Hell special event runs November 2-3.