Frightening clowns, a haunted voodoo town and a city purged with destruction. These are just some of the things to look out for during a visit to Field of Screams on Friday and Saturday at Taos Countryside Park.
Geared to alter your senses, this half-mile trail has 12 stations to make a visitor’s skin crawl.
This is the third year volunteers have crafted the haunted trail. The community surrounding the Taos Countryside Park has essentially combined their ideas and talents to make the trail as frightening as possible.
Last year, the trail saw about 2,000 guests within a two-night span and had about 150 volunteer actors who participated, including several child actors who play the role of demented asylum patients.
“We have a lot of younger kids in this area that have done it before and they’re kind of creepy actually because my son is in this area and the stuff that they do, they’re all good friends, but the stuff that they play off each other creeps me out,” said Michelle Gabelsberger, a Field of Screams coordinator.
Coordinators are also excited to have some new additions on the trail this year, including a squeeze tunnel where guests will be unable to feel or see anything around them until they exit.
Every prop and station on the trail has also been built by volunteers, many of whom are public workers.
“My wife and I are EMS people, so a lot of our friends come help us that are medics and EMTs, and we have people from the fire department and the sheriff’s department,” said Jim Kline, a Field of Screams coordinator who also one of the original creators of the event.
Kline said the event started with the trunk or treat that is held at the park every year.
“We always did that and we kept bringing more stuff like fog machines and strobe lights,” he said. “The first year, we had five different little things set up here like a doctor’s table and a little tunnel that you walk through, and we had a pretty good turn out. People were really impressed with it so we thought you know let’s try one time to see how far we can go around the park with it and it just kept growing and growing.”
There are multiple volunteer crews that work together with Gabelsberger and Kline to complete this project. Each crew has their own station such as construction, makeup, acting, support staff to make sure everything runs smoothly and two police officers, who will be on duty to secure the public’s safety.
The event will also serve as a fundraiser with proceeds going toward expanding and maintaining the park.
“It’s fun. I mean, we’re giving back to the community, and the volunteers from the community feel like they can make a difference,” Gabelsberger said.
The trail is interactive and two of the stations are not wheelchair accessible, but guests are welcome to travel around any stations they are unable to enter.
Tickets to Field of Screams are $10 at the door (cash only). The event takes place from 8 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. It is recommended for ages 10 and older.
Additional information and photos from previous years can be found on the Field of Screams Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/FieldofScreamsTaos.