Linnabary: Frights for a Friday night


Manny De Los Santos

An actor with a chainsaw poses for a picture at the Wicked Island at OJ Watson Park. The Wicked Island is located at 3022 S. Mclean Blvd.

Field of Screams 

The first thing I was greeted to at Field of Screams was a line. This one was to get tickets. Subsequently following was another – a line for the tractor ride to the actual attraction. Once there, I was put in a queue line. At the end of this line was a jump to another queue line. So, at 1:30 in the morning (after getting there at 11), I finally made it to the attraction.

Needless to say, two-and-a-half hours of waiting is ridiculous. That is my one major complaint with Field of Screams – the wait is obscenely long. By the time I was walking into the elevator that begins the attraction, I was almost too tired and bored to care.

Yet once I got going in the field, I almost forgot about the wait. It’s obvious that Field of Screams has by far the largest budget of any local haunted house, attested by their multitude of actors and different scenes (and the length – clocking in at roughly 30 minutes). There are some genuinely cool moments here, from the 3D sections of the Clown Town to a claustrophobic scene where attendees have to resort to squeezing through cracks nearly crawling on their knees.

Kudos to the actors for still seemingly giving their all at two in the morning. Even during the lines, actors are jumping out and scaring guests, and none of them ever broke character or lost any of their gusto. It’s no wonder that there was such a long line – it’s obviously the biggest and best haunted attraction in Wichita.

For those able to deal with a long wait, your patience will be paid off. For those with a lack of, steer clear of the Field.

The Wicked Island  

The Wicked Island at OJ Watson Park returns this year. It doesn’t seem like the word is out, though, as there was a lack of attendees when I visited the attraction (especially in comparison to Field of Screams – the amount of people in attendance at the Island when I went was maybe a tenth of the Field).

After about a 30-minute wait, I made my way onto the Island (which is actually a peninsula). The first few minutes or so were pretty underwhelming, with the only sight to see the surrounding trees and the fake candles lighting the path. Things picked up soon after, though, with typical jump scares by somewhat-convincing actors happening every minute or so. It’s obvious that the Haunted Island isn’t packing a budget like Field of Screams, with actors and scenes somewhat sparsely spaced.

The Island makes due with what it has, though, and there are a few standout moments mixed in with the typical. Of note is a dark tunnel entrance that was particularly ominous. I had to have a member of our party take the lead at that point, which ended up being the best decision I made the whole evening.

At $20, The Wicked Island seems a little steep in price for the amount of scares inside, but on the flipside, the wait is pretty short. If you’re looking for a decent haunted house without too long of a wait, the Haunted Island may satisfy. For those willing to wait and looking for something more intense, opt for Field of Screams.