Entertainment

Closed-coffin rides, evil clowns, chainsaw maniacs: It’s haunted house season

Prairie Pines owner Kip Scott, second from left, has been operating Field of Screams for 12 years.
Prairie Pines owner Kip Scott, second from left, has been operating Field of Screams for 12 years. File photo

Halloween is creepy enough without any help.

But owners of several haunted house attractions in and around Wichita promise they can make it worse. They’re adding elements that will make their venues even more creepy, more terrifying and grosser than you ever thought possible.

One invites visitors to take a ride in a coffin. A closed coffin.

Another has a section devoted to evil clowns in 3-D makeup.

One has a “chicken exit” for people who can’t endure another step – an exit that is frequently used.

Peruse this list of some of the larger haunted house attractions around Wichita and choose one that offers your preferred level of horror.

Did we miss one? E-mail us at features@wichitaeagle.com.

Field of Screams

Twelve years ago, the owners of Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm thought they’d try to bring in a little extra money in October, and so they started a haunted house.

Today, the Field of Screams is such a big part of the Scott family’s business, they’ve made the farm unavailable to fall weddings during haunted house season.

“It’s gotten to be the biggest part of our business,” said owner Kip Scott. “We’ve started to bring everything around to what we do at Halloween.”

It takes about 35 minutes to traverse the Field of Screams, which is set up outdoors in an actual field on the farm. Visitors pass through several scenes, and most say that the evil clown section is the worst.

“People have a horrible fear of clowns,” Scott said. “I’ll stand up at the ticket booth and people will say, ‘Can we bypass the clown section?’ ”

Scott’s wife, Jody, is a talented artist who has learned to work with 3-D paint, and visitors also pass through a trippy, freaky section where they wear 3-D glasses and try to avoid bizarre characters and scenery that appear to lunge out at them. Part of “Clown Town” also is 3-D.

Field of Screams is becoming known for its liberal use of pyrotechnics, which explode unexpectedly throughout the field.

The attraction drew around 21,000 visitors last year, and it’s staffed by more than 100 actors each night.

Field of Screams also offers “Operation Zombie Hunt,” which is open only on Friday and Saturday nights and invites visitors to shoot zombies with paintball guns. And those who buy tickets online can pay extra for “fast passes,” which allow them to bypass the lines to get in.

Details: Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm, 4055 N. Tyler Road, Maize, 316-722-1145, scaryprairiepines.com. Gates open at 7 p.m. Fields open at dark. Open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31 and Oct. 11, 18, 25 and 29. Ticket sales end at 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and at 10:30 p.m. other nights. Admission: $15-$20 for Field of Screams and Clown Town, $10 for zombie paintball only, $25 combo passes available

Wicked Woods Well of Souls

This is the fourth year that Plant Kingdom is putting on its haunted attraction, and owners say they try to cover every conceivable mortal fear: spiders, clowns and a purgatory filled with tortured souls.

“We try to throw something in there that will scare everybody,” said Daydra Campbell, Plant Kingdom’s office manager. “We try to have things that will cover people’s worst fears.”

From start to finish, Campbell said, the attraction takes about 45 minutes, and it’s all outdoors. One of the scariest parts, she said, is a section that has a “purgatory-type feel to it,” and the attraction also has plenty of evil clowns. The Wicked Woods also has a “chicken out exit,” which is frequently employed, she said.

“Whenever they hit the clown area, a lot of those people will ditch out,” she said.

The haunted attraction is different from others, she said, because the Campbell family – led by her father-in-law, Tim Campbell – works year-round crafting homemade costumes and scenery.

“Our main goal is to be unique, to be different, to give people an experience they can’t have anywhere else,” she said.

The Wicked Woods are populated by about 20 actors, and they attract between 150 and 200 people each night, Campbell said.

Details: Plant Kingdom Greenhouse Outlet, 3640 S. Topeka, 316-524-5311, www.wickedwoodswichita.com. Open 8 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays in October. Admission is $13 or $8 for ages 12 and under, who must be accompanied by an adult.

Forest of Fear

Joyce McQuilken is a self-described “Halloween freak,” and her house and yard were always overflowing with Halloween decorations and scenery. “People kept coming to my cul de sac and saying, ‘You ought to sell tickets to this,’ ” McQuilken said.

Nine years ago, she took their advice. She and her husband, Jim, purchased 35 acres in Udall and turned it into a haunted field. During the off-season, Jim hunts on the land.

“We wanted a more natural fear than most haunted houses had, out here in Udall with no traffic lights and no sounds,” she said.

Visitors are guided through a dark and quiet field filled with actors, animitronics, fog machines and more. During the one-mile walk, they pass through a mortuary, an insane asylum and a meat house.

One of the more popular parts of the attraction isn’t scary at all, McQuilken said. Visitors are transported from the parking lot to the field on a tractor, and the spot where they buy tickets has a big bonfire where they can roast marshmallows, make s’mores and look at the stars. The McQuilkens also project an old, scary movie near the fire.

“They love the fire,” she said. “They walk through the forest and come back out to the fire. Some of them sit there for two hours.”

The attraction is about a half-hour’s drive from Wichita.

Details: 7446 51st Road, Udall, 620-782-4014, udallforestoffear.com. Open dark to midnight Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31 and dark to 11 p.m. Oct. 11, 18, 22, 25 and 29. Adults, $15; ages 10 and under, $10. New FastPass option: $25 for adults, $15 for ages 10 and under.

Haunted Cannery Spook House and Lunatic Asylum

The Walters family’s wholesome pumpkin patch business was already a popular attraction when a neighbor had an idea. There was an old grain elevator on the property that wasn’t being used, and the neighbor – who was close friends with a local mortician – thought it might be a good spot for a haunted house.

“They were just a hoot and a holler,” said farm owner Becky Walters.

About eight years ago, the group teamed up to turn the elevator into a four-floor horror house known for the “exit slide” that visitors don’t even know they’re on until they begin to descend. Visitors also can pay extra for the claustrophobic nightmare of riding in a closed coffin.

The attraction also has a haunted flashlight corn maze that’s better suited for littler visitors.

Details: 10001 NW Highway 77, El Dorado, http://the-haunted-cannery.ticketleap.com. Open 7:30 to 11 p.m. Oct. 3, 10, 16-17, 23-24, 30-31. $20 general admission, $25 combo pack that includes flashlight corn maze, $35 for both attractions plus a ride in an ambulance and in a closed coffin. Discounts available for large groups.

Dead End Zone

This is the fifth year for this haunted attraction, put on as a fundraiser for the Andale High School Booster Club. It’s staffed each night by about 60 volunteers, including some Andale High students. It has a clown house, a chainsaw massacre room and more.

It takes about 18 to 20 minutes to go through it, said Tom Hieger, one of the organizers, and about 400 people go through it each night. Visitors get a hayrack ride to the field where it’s set up.

“I guarantee you they get their bang for their buck,” he said.

Details: 800 W. Breese Ave., Colwich, 316-734-6621, http://deadendzone.com. Open starting at dark Saturday nights in October. Admission is $15.

Maize Hangar of Horrors

This new haunted house is set up in some airport hangars at the Maize Airport and takes attendees through a series of terrifying scenes, including a butcher shop. It takes about 30 minutes to get through it, its organizers said. A part of the proceeds will benefit the Maize Airport Flight Academy, the Commemorative Air Force Jayhawk Wing and Moxi Junction in Maize.

Details: 8001 W. 45th St. N., 316-208-4090. Open at 7 p.m. Oct. 2-Oct. 4, then Fridays through Sundays through Nov. 1. plus Thursday Oct. 29. Admission $15 on Thursdays and Sundays and $17 on Fridays and Saturdays. A fast-pass is an extra $8.

R.I.P.

Horror Wood Haunted Attraction: The haunted house that has filled the old Dillons store at 2525 W. Douglas for the past few years isn’t happening this year. A post on its Facebook page said the owners were not able to secure a location.

HERE’S AN UPDATED LIST:

Theater

“Hitchcock’s Psycho Motel,” comedic homage to Alfred Hitchcock, dinner at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:50 p.m. Thu.-Sat. through Oct. 31, Mosley Street Melodrama, 234 N. Mosley. $20-$30. 316-263-0222

“Evil Dead The Musical,” 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., through Oct. 31, Roxy’s Downtown, 412 1/2 E. Douglas. $25. dinner/show $40. 316-265-4400

“Little Shop of Horrors,” 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays, Oct. 22-31, Wichita Scottish Rite Center, 332 E. First St. $23-$25. 316-618-0444

“The Rocky Horror Show,” 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday through Oct. 31. Additional midnight shows on Oct. 24 and 31. Crown Uptown Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas. Additional performances: Oct. 8-9, 16, 22-24, 29-31. Shows at 7:30 (dinner starts at 5) with additional midnight shows on Oct. 24 and 31. Tickets: $20-$50 for dinner/show; $20-$35 for show only. Call 316-612-7696. www.crownuptown.com

October

1 Ghost Stories of Historic Delano, 6-9 p.m. Ride the trolley between stops. Begin your tour at any of these locations: Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, 300 S. Sycamore; Downtown Senior Center, Burton and Handley; or Amira’s Dance Productions, 1702 W. Douglas. Free.

2 Museum of the Undead 3: Safe Zone. Practice survival skills at adults-only event, 7-11 p.m., Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean. $25; $20 for members. 316-660-0620

9 Museum of the Undead 3: Safe Zone. Practice survival skills at adults-only event, 7-11 p.m., Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean. $25; $20 for members. 316-660-0620

10 Bootanica, face painting, trick-or-treat bag decoration and more, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Botanica, 701 N. Amidon. $8; $6 members. 316-264-0448

22 “Psycho,” an Alfred Hitchcock film, 7 p.m., Orpheum Theatre, 200 N. Broadway. $5.

23 Ghoulish Gala, event for adults with costume party, drinks and more to raise funds for Joyland merry-go-round, 6:30 p.m., Botanica, 701 N. Amidon. $60; $50 members. 316-264-0448

24 Spooky Science, Halloween chemistry activities in honor of National Chemistry Week, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 24, noon-5 p.m. Oct. 25, Exploration Place, 300 N. McLean Blvd. Included in admission. 316-660-0620

23-25 Night of the Living Zoo, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 W. Zoo Blvd. Not-too-scary Halloween activities and candy stations at the zoo. Wear costumes. $7 for members; $9 nonmembers. Advance tickets: $7 at QuikTrip stores.

24 Boo and Brew Ball, 8 p.m.-midnight, Venue 3130, 3130 W. Central. Adult Halloween costume party and fundraiser for Dress for Success. Tickets: $60; $50 if purchased by Sept. 24. www.wichita.dressforsuccess.org

24 Halloween Bash, pumpkin drop starts at 4 p.m., live band starts at 7 p.m., Stearman Field Bar and Grill, 14789 SW 30th St., Benton. 316-778-1612

25 Hay, Hooves and Halloween, Halloween activities for kids of all ages, 4-8 p.m., Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd. Included in admission. 316-219-1871

30 Torchlight tour of the museum, Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main, 6-9 p.m. A family-friendly tour of the museum in the dark. Bring your own flashlight, or one will be provided. Includes a torchlight visit to the interior of the clock tower. Free. Donations accepted.

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