Field of Screams set to scare up 25th year of fear

Cast of characters visited 69 News studios Tuesday

READING, Pa. - Field of Screams is promising to give fear a whole new meaning in its 25th year as "America's #1 haunted attraction."

The creepy cast of characters paid their annual (and always much-anticipated) visit to the 69 News studios in downtown Reading's Entertainment Square on Tuesday.

As always, they made sure to terrorize and torment the newsroom as deadlines neared, messing with Producer Megan Park's 5:30 show rundown, taking over Executive Producer Kevin Fitzsimmons' Twitter page, and interrupting a sales call in Account Executive Jamie Wenrich's office.

The freaks of fright don't have much time to mess around, with Field of Screams beginning its 2017 season on Saturday, September 9.

Featured this year are updates to Field of Screams' four main attractions -- the Haunted Hayride, the Frightmare Asylum, the Den of Darkness and Nocturnal Wasteland.

"Field of Screams has been hard at work since last season, incorporating new and epic changes to our show for 2017," said Jim Schopf, Field of Screams' co-owner. "New rooms, scares, scenes, and characters have been added to each and every attraction."

And Schopf said Field of Screams is the first haunted attraction to incorporate two separate events into one, weaving together the Haunted Hayride and Nocturnal Wasteland.

"Terrified customers will grip the rails of the overhead walkway as explosions ring out all around them and they watch the live action unfold below," Schopf said.

Also new this year is a 25th anniversary celebration package. Billed as a "one-in-a-lifetime" opportunity for Field of Screams fans, it includes a 45-minute "behind-the-screams" tour, the chance to scare other guests, and various anniversary souvenirs.

Field of Screams' fair-like atmosphere includes a midway of food, games, entertainment, with performances by the Reading High School Dance Team on September 22 and 29 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.

November 10 will be Field of Screams' annual "extreme blackout" evening, when the "lights will be turned down and the intensity cranked up."

"On this night only, all four attractions will be darker, more intense, and hands-on!" Schopf said.

That will be followed by The 5K Zombie Fun Run on November 11, with part of the proceeds benefiting the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

For those looking to skip the scare this Halloween season, the same farm that hosts Field of Screams at night will again host Corn Cob Acres for families during the day.

"This year marks our eighth season and the popularity of Corn Cob Acres has grown by leaps and bounds," Schopf said.

Opening September 2 and continuing through October 29, the "field of fun" features more than 40 activities, adventures, and games geared toward children ages 2 to 12.

Additions this year include corn cannon blasters, a straw bale pyramid, a spider web traverse, and an inflatable corn maze obstacle course.

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