Screams ring in scariest time of the year at Staheli Family Farm

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Each year a seemingly quiet, but large farm turns away from it’s homage to Little House on the Prairie and takes a dive into the dark and sinister.

Staheli Family Farms is a sixth-generation family owned, locally sponsored estate which opens its doors to hundreds of visitors each year. From group parties and events to Easter egg hunts and nativity scenes, this larger-than-life location offers something to see for every season or holiday.

But as the leaves begin to turn from vibrant greens to rusty oranges, the farm undertakes a harsh transformation from spirited to spooky, allowing all those who dare to enter to try their luck through hay rides, corn mazes, entertainment and more.

One of the farm’s most popular attractions is one the owners warn may not be suitable for all ages. If you are the recommended 12 years old or older, Field of Screams offers a truly terrifying evening full of jump scares, monsters and more.

As thrill-seekers drive over a small hill, they can smell the farm long before they can see it. The seemingly mundane farm is illuminated in the dark by old-fashioned string lights and lanterns littering the grounds. Not-so-far off in the distance, strobing lights dance and chain saws scream as the Field of Screams waits for its next tractor-load of victims.

Perhaps even scarier than the haunted attraction itself, however, is the never-ending line that welcomes each visitor to the family farm. For the first hour, people can expect a series of stop-and-go motions until they are met with the friendly faces of box-office employees ready to provide you with your ticket—or in this case wristband—to jump scares and pure terror.

Guests are then able to follow dirt trails toward the tractors used to usher those willing to their fright-filled destination. After waiting in line, tractors are filled to the brim with people, mostly middle school students, taking each guest to yet another line.

While waiting in one of these lines, we met Megan Huard, a St. George local who used to visit the Staheli Farm when she was little.

“I’ve [chickened] out in the line [to Field of Screams] ever since I was a little kid,” she said. “This is the first year that I’m going to be able to say I’ve actually done it.”

Huard said although haunted attractions are not “her cup of tea” she thinks the best way to spend any free time is to be with friends. Her friends convinced her to brave the lines and fright and join them at Field of Screams this year, she said.

Finally, groups are broken down into a maximum of six individuals, a theme within the haunted attraction where each person is welcomed to the eerily-lit entrance to the Field of Screams with a “666.” Dare devils are warned to put away their phones in a secure area and told there will be no effort to look for lost property until the following morning.

The Field of Screams attraction is not for the faint of heart. Getting through the scream-filled activity took about 30 minutes, though we desperately needed to take breaks amongst the ghoulish corn stalks to catch our breaths.

The actors, garbed from head to toe in anything from bloodied garments to clown suits and anything in between, were committed to their roles and actively exploited any show of fear one might have.

Aimee Rogers worked at Staheli Family Farms within the Field of Screams as an actor for two seasons.

“The highlights were definitely the people I worked with,” Rogers said. “Not a lot of people who worked there didn’t like the Halloween season. [We] were all weird and I loved them.”

Rogers said when she worked with the company, actors were not paid hourly but more by the amount of tickets sold.

“It was more of a fun experience than it was a job,” Rogers said.

Rogers said although her experience working at the Field of Screams was amazing and one she will never forget, she remembers times during the season in which guests would scare the actors in a different sense.

“There were times were we had people who [needed] to be removed,” Rogers said. “We’re not allowed to touch you and people would definitely tried to touch us in ways we didn’t know [how] to react to.”

When going to the Field of Screams, or any haunted attraction for that matter, remember the actors are there to make your experience the best it can be. Do not antagonize them, touch them, hit them or threaten them.

The field is riddled with makeshift buildings housing any one of the most popular phobias, including spiders and clowns, but zombies, chainsaw-wielding men and more await already terrified guests within the corn fields.

The entire attraction was a continuous show of horror and intimidation which left participants soaked in sweat and out of breath.

“It’s a really long maze, which is nice [because] you get what you’re paying for,” St. George local Eryn Campbell said. “It’s full of surprises. There are scary parts and parts where [people] interact with you; it’s pretty amazing.”

This was Campbell’s first year going to the Field of Screams, but she has plans to return in the following years.

Field of Screams tickets start at $13, but for $3 more those ready to kick off Halloween at the Staheli Family Farms can also go into the “Corn Maize,” a not-so-haunted option for the more sensitive audiences. Beware, however, once you step foot within the maze there is no promise of avoiding a “corn war,” where unwitting customers are pelted with ears of corn by what we dubbed “the children of the corn,” or the youngest of the local population.

Tickets include a one-time pass to the Field of Screams as well as access to the petting zoo, pumpkin patch, hayride, dirt hill, kid’s play area, farmland, ball zone, jumping pillow and the weekend entertainment.

The Field of Screams begins its operations ominously at “dark” and ends promptly at 11 p.m.