Hollywood Gothique last reviewed Field of Screams: The Haunted Stadium two years ago, when it was going through an overhaul of sorts - it was discombobulated, and the mazes did not make sense. We decided to return this year because the Sinister Valley Halloween attraction has taken up residence in the Haunted Stadium, and we very much enjoyed Sinister Valley's inaugural commercial haunt in 2017 at the Vail Ranch Parkway in Temecula (reviewed here).
Field of Screams 2018 offers 4 Mazes, all under Sinster Valley's creative direction: Miner's Paradise, The Rocking Horse Tavern, Hallowed Grounds, and Silver Bullet Lodge. How does Sinister Valley's Field of Screams fare against the 2016 Field of Screams? Read on to find out...
Field of Screams: Sinister Valley 2018 Review - Hallowed Grounds
As we entered the gates of the Haunted Stadium, we paused for a photo opp next to a hearse and coffin, then entered the pathway to the right. There were so many twists and turns and walls that we thought we were in a maze until we met the line proctor - the pathway was the actual line to the first maze, Hallowed Grounds.
It is a nice touch to make it so that you have to go through the first maze in order to gain access to The Haunted Stadium. We appreciated this sudden shock and forced feeling of fear with no time to look around or check for scare zones or safe spaces. We walked through a dark jungle with a few pop up scares, human skulls stacked up to form a small mountain, and mutilated bodies. Darkness has its advantages: we ran from an unexpected geyser, then cowered from a threatening roar by an impressive animatronic lion. Though it was short and sweet, Hallowed Grounds should have delivered a little more. However, it was a good preview of the longer mazes that were to come....
Field of Screams: Sinister Valley 2018 Review - The Rocking Horse Tavern
In the Rocking Horse Tavern, we saw a barren and abandoned tavern with drinks still on the table. Ghosts of former patrons, dressed in wild west clothing, threatening: “He's gonna get ya!” With each twist and turn, we encounter either decapitated heads or ghosts warning us of what was to come. The sets are impressive, putting you inside an abandoned tavern with what looked like a cold storage area containing hanging body bags and rattling cages. In the final room, we encountered The Butcher, who happily exclaimed: “He's Dead!” while pointing to a body with an empty cavity in its chest.
Field of Screams: Sinister Valley 2018 Review - Miner's Paradise
Miner's Paradise takes us on through caverns inhabited by dead miners. One threatens to detonate dynamite in our face; then we see mist and orange light - a good simulation of an explosion. Next, we approach a “Keep Out” sign with an impressive gremlin-like animatronic creature warning us: “You should not have come here, filthy humans!” Ignoring the harmless-looking creature, we journey on - until another explosion catches us off guard. On the left, a miner is plastered on the wall, his flesh missing, showing only bones. Explosion follows explosion, each time seemingly bigger - until all we can see is smoke and all we can hear is that gremlin sneering and laughing. Sifting through the smoke, we find ourselves walking to a place of vegetation and greenery - Miner's Paradise indeed.
Field of Screams: Sinister Valley 2018 Review - Silver Bullet Lodge
Indicated by an Ox skull and horns, this is the final maze of Field of Screams, and it also feels like the longest route. We enter a lobby/waiting room of the lodge, where an animatronic skeleton at the reception desk intones: “More souls looking to test their wit, better hurry and join the others; the hunt will begin shortly.”
This set is impressive with couches, furniture, and skeletons, indicating the caretakers have been dead for sometime. We continue roaming the halls of this once glamorous and affluent hunting lodge, packed with expensive paintings and grandfather clock. It soon becomes clear that the members were the ones being hunted! An evil has clearly possessed this once great lodge - an evil that turns out to be...the spirits of the animals that once were hunted. A hunter with the face of a lion or panther invites us into a chapel, where a hooded figure with the skeletal head of a deer asks: “Who wants to die?” In the casket next to him lies a human skeleton - we humans are clearly being taken out one by one.
As we escape unscathed through the ammunition room, we find ourselves out in the woods, where we encounter a scare actor from the first maze; perhaps he has been following us the whole time, and he is some voodoo warlock who conjured up all this mess. We ditch him and keep exploring the woods while passing empty tents and campsites with skeletal remains. Then out of nowhere, a real living human girl, holding a shotgun, sobs out: “Why are you here? He'll get you!” A gunshot reverberates in the background while a hunter with a raccoon face comes after us. That gunshot, presumably, was meant for the raccoon hunter/monster. We survive - saved by a Silver Bullet.
Field of Screams: Sinister Valley 2018 Review - Conclusion
Last year's Sinister Valley was a “BOOMIN' bargain” because of the length of the mazes and the number of scares. This year, the same rings true - plus more! This multi-haunt attraction is only $20 for all 4 mazes with parking included; we have yet to discover a deal this good anywhere else in the Southland area. Though the Hallowed Grounds maze was a bit disappointing, the other three more than made up for it - we would have gladly paid $20 for only Miner's Paradise and Silver Bullet Lodge, which we felt were the highlights of this year's Field of Screams.
We were lucky enough to go through the mazes in order of increasing size and quality. With extra space allotted, Sinister Valley has let their creativity flow, expanding on their stories and themes in a way that was not possible with only one maze last year. Sinister Valley has breathed new life into the once forgotten Field of Screams.
All photographs copyright 2018 by Linda Truong.
Field of Screams: Sinister Valley 2018 Ratings
At $5 per maze, the Field of Screams: Sinister Valley offers the greatest deal for your Halloween dollar in the Southland.
Field of Screams Featuring Sinister Valley continues at the Lake Elsinore “Haunted” Stadium on October 19-20, 25-27. The address is 500 Diamond Drive, Lake Elsinore, 92530. Call 951-245-4487 for more information, or visit: hauntedstadium.com.