TERROR IN THE CORN

ERIE, COLORADO

ARTICLE BY: ERICA LEONIS

When you work in the haunted house industry, you don't get to experience many haunted houses overall. Getting the opportunity to see them now has allowed me to delight in a category of haunts I never really paid attention to. Corn mazes are absolutely horrifying, and Terror in the Corn is no exception. Located in Erie, Colorado on Anderson Farms, it's a whole experience of its own.

 

Last year, other reviewers in the haunt industry listed this haunted attraction as #1 in Colorado and as one of the top haunts in the nation. Needless to say I had very high expectations going into this experience. 

 

I've also heard rumors throughout the industry that if you want to see this haunt, you will need to book your tickets early as they will sell out. In my personal opinion, I feel like their ticketing system is a bit convoluted. You pick a date, and the ticket options for that day appear below the calendar. However, every single option has several paragraphs explaining everything about the park. When you have 10 ticket options like they do, this can make finding the ticket you want to buy a little difficult. I myself had to go back into the system twice as I selected the wrong ticket the first time around. Once you get past this however, you'll pick a timeframe that you'd like to attend, and it's relatively smooth from there. 

 

The main website lists the ticket prices, which is helpful when you are budgeting for your visit. The general admission passes are $35 on Thursdays, Friday and Saturdays are $39, and Sundays are $37. They also offer quick passes for those who don’t want to wait in line, Thursdays are $50, Fridays and Saturdays are $54, and Sundays are $52. Lastly they offer a “Platinum Pass” which grants you immediate access into the haunt for $125. This option also includes a collectible lanyard and Swag Pack valued at $165. Our group went for general admission on a Sunday.

 

You feel like you're in the middle of nowhere on the drive to this attraction. We passed many fields and saw nothing for quite a while. The first thing to get our attention was a giant pumpkin on top of a grain silo off in the distance. Truthfully I felt like a kid again upon seeing it. 

 

Parking was a breeze, though good shoes are necessary for this outdoor environment. Stepping out of the car it smelled like a campfire, and we soon learned this was due to the fire pits dispersed throughout the attraction. The only comment I have about the arrival experience is that it's a little hard to see the ticket booth. We were all a bit confused and had to follow other patrons as they headed to the entrance.

 

The ticketing staff were extremely friendly and helpful. They had to scan each QR code individually, then printed out respective wristbands for each of the members of our group. I then asked for directions because it wasn’t immediately clear on where to go. The staff were happy to point us in the correct direction. At the entrance there is an attendant scanning each of the wristbands to allow you access.

 

Once inside the Anderson Farms park we were pretty impressed with what we saw. This place is a family friendly environment by day, and terrifying haunted attraction by night. It became evident there were different vendors and activities to do throughout the park, and even a concessions store and picnic tables where people can rest and eat. I also heard this place has a graveyard, escape rooms, a jump pad, and a shooting gallery, although we didn’t get the chance to experience all of this as we came later in the day. 

 

We stopped and got a bite to eat from one of the vendors, which included funnel cake that was well enjoyed by our group. We sat for a brief moment before our ticket time crept up on us, then we hurried towards the sign that read “corn maze” which led us to the Terror in the Corn entrance. Here they have well marked signage for each line and the time you booked your ticket for. They will scan your wrist band once again, and let you into the larger line where there are two skeleton DJs and several line actors.

The actors entertaining the guests in the queue line were obviously having a lot of fun. The youngest of our group definitely threw one for a loop though when she asked them “can I pet your mustache?” He looked shocked, confused, and was unsure how to respond. He would later seek out our group after the rules portion of the line only to have her ask “well if I can’t pet your mustache, can I please pet your eyebrows.” He had a comeback this time, and it was funny enough to get the people around us giggling too. 

 

You are not allowed to touch actors in haunted houses, and this was done out of sarcasm by our group member. Please try to be respectful in this sort of situation, though I did very much appreciate the comebacks this line actors had for us.

The line is then separated into what was reminiscent of a roller coaster line. Staff were asking how many people were in each group, and while I never saw it happen, I assume this is where they might pair groups up together to go into the attraction. The line attendant here also kindly explained that they restructured how they run the queue line just this past year. He also claimed that it completely changed how the flow and crowd control worked in the haunt, and really helped everyone have a good experience. He also alluded that the actors would sometimes choose what groups they wanted to scare, so every group had a different experience. I assume this is to help with entertaining any potential conga lines that may form inside the haunt. 

 

Before I begin into my overall critique of the haunt, I will say Terror in the Corn actors did something very well, and that was give our group an immense amount of memorable moments.

Please keep that in mind as I dig into this. 

 

The first room had something I haven’t seen inside an attraction yet this season, a microphone. The actress was wearing a headset, and we could hear every word she was saying as we scurried through her room. Then we began into the Corn Maze section, and while I am an extremely jumpy individual, some of the scares in this section began to get repetitive. I could tell when a scare was coming based on the environment, and even though I jumped at every scare, I found I could point them out before they happened. Several members of our group theorized this might be intentional, in order to lull us into a false sense of security.

 

I did really enjoy a crowd control point however, where I led my group to get completely lost while trying to find the exit. The actors here did a great job of pushing us in the right direction, I just have a bad “freeze” reaction to their particular kind of scare. Once out of this section we found a warehouse or ranch sort of set, where unfortunately we got caught up in a conga line of 15-20 people, most of which were ahead of us. This did take away a little bit from our experience, however the actors did an amazing job of staying in character and scaring each group. 

 

I’m not sure what happened when we re-entered the corn maze however, because the groups around us seemingly disappeared. This is where their crowd control really impressed me, because even if I could hear other groups nearby, I never saw them again. We walked up to a Romani, or gypsy, camp and from here on out, the attraction was truly entertaining. Sometimes it was still a bit repetitive with the curtain scares. Several of these curtains hit myself and my group, and we left with pieces of burlap on us.

 

This place is also absolutely crawling with security, who I saw everywhere we went. At several points we wondered if they were following our group, but it soon became apparent they were just trying to get from point A to point B. Also, we were sincerely impressed with just how many actors this place had. It honestly felt like every room had 2-3 actors.

 

Remember those memorable moments I mentioned? I really do try to hide the ball on many scares that I experience, so others can experience them too. However these moments had very specific details that wouldn't make sense if went unmentioned. Even with this, I try not to spoil too much, as it really needs to be experienced. Here are just a few that really got the attention of me and my group;

 

The bartender was witty and improvised so well. I was surprised when this scare happened, and the misdirection here between actors worked really well. He used our words in some great banter with us. 

 

At one point in the corn I walked backward for a moment to hear what someone behind me was saying. They told me to stop and when I did I had the movie-like realization of “there is someone behind me isn't there.” The growl in my ear made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and I turned, quite embarrassed, to see a very tall actor looming over me. So learn from my mistake and maybe don’t walk backwards in a corn maze. I have no idea where this actor came from. 

 

There were crawlers that got us several times, and I really appreciated their energy as they worked our entire conga line, crawling out from under structures. I saw them several times in several different locations throughout the attraction. Each of them did a great job targeting those of us that seemed uncomfortable.

 

We also really appreciated a section reminiscent of a cult initiation. The actors here had great dialog, and it was very intimidating as you waited for something to happen. We talked about this scene several times after we exited the haunt. 

 

The barber and his customer were arguing in a way that really made our group smile. He would try to pull others in our group into the argument, while she was actively telling us to stay out of it. Later, a bathhouse worker did what may have quite possibly been one of the best examples of crowd control I’ve seen in a while. He stopped me as a group ahead of us left his scene, and made a point of telling me I smelled and was in desperate need of a bath. He then tried to sell me on one of the tubs in his area, and when I replied that I had no money, he turned to the people behind me and made fun of me for being broke. Well done, great use of the scene in order to space out groups. 

 

So in order to talk about this next highlight, I have to admit there are chainsaws within this haunt. I won’t say where or why, but they set up this next actor beautifully. I was saying out loud “man I really hate chainsaws” as we were turning a corner into a new scene. An actor who was seemingly watching us for a potential jumpscare, switched gears and walked backwards alongside me. This is unnerving enough as it is, however he said “well the chainsaws love you” in a hissed tone. It sent shivers down my spine, and I honestly applaud them for the pivot from jumpscare to psychological scare. There were several actors with moments like this throughout the haunt.

 

The makeup and the costuming in this attraction are top notch. I didn’t see one actor with a bare face. Every single one of them fit into the scene they were in look-wise, even if that area only called for pale skin and sunken eyes. It made sense. 

 

I left this attraction in a bit of a cold sweat and a racing heart, and more memorable moments than I can list here. It took us about 40 minutes total to get through the experience, and it honestly felt like it took so much longer. The tickets mention they are ADA compliant, which after having experienced I can absolutely agree with. However if you have mobility issues please remember this is a long attraction.

 

I can absolutely see how Terror in the Corn was named #1 in the state of Colorado last year, as they put an absolute ton of work into what they do. It’s very professional, with well done sets and actors who know how to not only scare large groups, but banter and do crowd control as well. I do believe other haunted houses are giving them a run for their money though, so I sincerely recommend getting out to see this haunt and making that decision for yourself. 

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Erica Leonis