Anyone who knows me knows I’m a pretty big fan of the KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze in Gardner, Kansas. What many people don’t know, however, is how frightening things can truly get there. While the Patch and Corn Maze are totally kid-friendly, there’s a spooky not-so-secret life of the KC Pumpkin Patch… it’s on-site sister, the KC Fear Farm.
Loaded with 5 extreme haunts and a bonus optional add-on, the brand new Zombie Apocalypse, you’re in for an evening of fun as soon as you get there.
I decided the best way to make my way through the KC Fear Farm for the first time would be to bring a gaggle of teens, because, well, they’re easy to scare, but have that tough “I’m not scared” exterior. It’s the perfect fit for a haunted, spooky attraction.
We arrived at 6:30, and I’ll be honest, we may have been getting there a bit early. The KC Fear Farm doesn’t open until dark, for good reason– it’s just better in the dark. However, the perk of getting there early is being first in line for every attraction, so you have literally no wait once you’re inside. It’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons and decide if you want to wait in line BEFORE you get there, or wait in line once you’re inside the gates… a fast pass, of course, can get you through so you don’t wait either time.
Since they don’t allow a camera inside, I’m going to give you a run-down of each haunt and tell you all about the KC Fear Farm, sans photos, and try not to give too many frights away. With that said, there may be a few spoilers about some of the haunts below, so if you DON’T want to know about specific things you might encounter in the KC Fear Farm, then you will definitely want to skip to the very end.
This was the first attraction we went into, and, since it’s been years since I entered a haunted house, I didn’t know what to expect. With blaring music, fog, and flashing lights, the chain link fence maze doesn’t seem like much at first… until you realize you can’t see. Literally, 3 inches in front of my face, I couldn’t see. Not only does it make it nearly impossible to wind through the chain link maze, you find yourself at dead end after dead end, with creatures like werewolves lurking around every corner. While not scary in the darkened haunted house sense, this was pretty scream-inducing because you simply didn’t know where to turn next. I didn’t expect it to make me as scared as it did. Easily the scariest part was coming to a dead-end, turning, and being face to face with a monster you didn’t know was there. That whole not seeing further than 3 inches can really throw you off. I give it a 5/5 for being unexpectedly creepy.
By far the shortest attraction that KC Fear Farm has, I was surprised at how there wasn’t much to it. On the bright side, it was really one to throw off my equilibrium, and I honestly nearly fell down from being so disoriented inside. I’d give this one a 3/5… it was so short, but so enjoyable, that it left me wanting more!
We all had ourselves really psyched out for this one before we went in, to the point that one of the girls was almost to the point of panic attack, it seemed. Once we got in, it was just… confusion and chaos. There were curtains everywhere, You’d turn to go to the next space and… just a wall behind a curtain! We started to get turned around, didn’t know which way to go. It was a little confusing, and then you’d pull back a curtain and… BAM! Clown. Horn right in your face. It almost felt like we were going out ways we came in because we got really turned around inside. This will definitely freak out anyone who is terrified of clowns, just sayin’. Since I’m not scared of clowns, I give it a 4/5. Once again, being disoriented was what really led to the freakouts… it felt a little never-ending, and that added to the creep factor.
This one started out pretty mild… tombstones, bugs, and body parts that weren’t too terribly frightening. However, as you go on, the smells, sounds, and sensory experiences start to get scarier, and scarier, and before you know it, your heart is racing. The pinnacle of this attraction is the part that freaked me out the most, to the point that I was overcome with claustrophobia. I honestly wasn’t sure if I could go any further forward, but I knew if I turned back, I’d be in the same situation… it was continue on, or just stay inside forever. With the walls totally closing in near the end of this haunt, you truly get the sensation of being buried alive. It was arguably the most panic-inducing moment of the entire experience at KC Fear Farm. I wanted to go in a corner and cry. But don’t take that as a bad review at all– I went hoping to be totally scared. And trust me, scared I was. Since it’s technically against the rating system rules to give Buried Alive a 6/5, I’ll give it a 5/5 because it was easily my favorite (and also least favorite because of the scare factor!) attraction of the entire experience.
Field Of Screams
The highlight, the centerpiece, the focal attraction of the night, is obviously the field of screams. It’s the longest of the attractions, and also a good note to end on. You start out at the beginning of the maze and wrap your way through the corn maze, winding along. Being alone, in a field, at night, surrounded by corn, you start to get a bit nervous. If it’s been awhile since something jumped out at you, you start to get paranoid. Literally, to the point that one of the members of our group jumped and screamed, then said “Oh. That was corn.” Yeah, the paranoia adds to the scare. As you weave your way through, there are some people hidden in the corn, and then there a few walk-throughs where you enter buildings for short little freakouts– like a psych ward where the doctor just might be crazier than the patients, a bus that clearly has some messed-up passengers, and a hall of snakes. At times, you’ll end up on springy surfaces, shaking bridges, and inside of things where you worry you won’t quite make out. Prepare to duck, twist, and wind through the corn for this extended-length haunt. We even hit a dead end at one point and struggled to find our route in the dark. The field of screams was an easy 5/5 because it just truly was a highlight of the entire evening, and the perfect note to end the frightening terrors on.
The Zombie Apocalypse was the final activity of the night, and requires a separate entrance fee from the haunted portions. You start out in a bunker watching some military training videos to get you prepped for the adventure. They’re campy and hilarious, truly getting you in the mood for the experience. After two training videos, you’re finally issued your rounds and safety goggles, which are required for everyone to use. You then enter your reinforced bunker, load your ammo (paintballs) into the weapon, which is attached to the board in front of you. Once you’re given the allowance to fire at will, the wall raises and you start shooting at the zombies who are trying to attack. It’s fun, fast paced, and an enjoyable way to end the evening on a fun, interactive note. I’ll give it a 4/5 because it was short, but it was so much fun. I easily would have loved to buy a second ticket and go back through this experience again.
Video Credit: Bruce McRoberts and the Blue Valley CAPS
So, to wrap up…
KC Fear Farm is a must on your fall bucket list, especially if you have teens in the family.
You can buy tickets JUST for the haunted portion, JUST for the Zombie Apocalypse, or, online, purchase a combo ticket for both experiences. The haunted portion does get a little scary, so I advise it for tweens and older, but definitely teen-safe. As for the paintball, it’s definitely kid-friendly, so I’d recommend it as a good attraction for families with younger kids who aren’t quite ready for the haunted attractions. Obviously, the haunted attractions take considerably longer than the paintball-only portion, but if you split up and decide to have part of your party do the Zombie Apocalypse and part do the haunted attractions, there are some concessions (nachos and kettle corn) and picnic tables where you can wait and meet up later.
I find that the KC Fear Farm is comparable in fright factor to the major KC haunted houses, but has a major advantage that the others don’t– it’s outside, and the atmosphere with the fog, the chill in the air, and the moon above is just perfect to set the mood for a fright.
Your best purchase would be the combo ticket sold online, because it gives you access to all 6 attractions at a discount versus buying Zombie Apocalypse separately at the opening.
I’d say the Fear Factor is kind of on par with seeing a PG-13 movie, so if you’d let your child view a PG-13 horror film, they’d be alright going through KC Fear Farm. The KC Fear Farm will be open Fridays and Saturdays through October 26th, so get there quickly! You can purchase tickets on the website at http://www.kcfearfarm.com. Also be sure to connect with them on facebook and twitter, searching for KC Fear Farm. You REALLY don’t want to miss it.
Disclosure: I received tickets from KC Fear Farm in order to do a blog post about them. However, all opinions above are my own and are 100% honest.