Field of Screams at O’Keefe Ranch runs Oct. 18-21 and 24-28. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

O’Keefe maze a tour through terror

A foreboding silence looms over the corn stalks that reach high into the midnight sky

A foreboding silence looms over the corn stalks that reach high into the midnight sky.

Distant screams penetrate the silence as brave souls traverse the blackness occupied by dark, twisted beings seeking to instill terror in the masses. Flee if you can, but whatever you do, don’t lose your way in O’Keefe Ranch’s Field of Screams, Dante’s Inferno: The Descent, or you may lose your mind.

After ghouls open the large wooden gates to the maze at timed intervals, blackness envelopes you. A pale glow is seen in the distance, acting as your only reference point through the haunted fields.

Winding paths cut through the corn where actors don grotesque masks, bloody face paint and wield chainsaws, waiting in the darkness at each corner.

The haunting of Dante’s Inferno’s tortured souls seep into you, and as your heart beats faster, louder, you’re met with a choice: two doors stand before you as you seek to pass the old barn. A welcoming light pours from the space beneath the door and footsteps are heard within.

As the door creaks open, shrill sounds fill the air as a pig-headed butcher sprints toward you, meat cleaver in hand. He’s trapped by the table, but as he hammers the cleaver against the wooden surface, a ghostly visage appears in the corner with blood oozing from a cleaver embedded in her skull.

Run.

The pig-man slams into the wooden door that barres him from exiting his hellish butcher shop as you flee in terror through the back door, only to be greeted by total blackness and silence.

As the path winds on, pig-men, ghosts, ghouls and the devil-incarnate chase you through the darkness.

The horror brings confusion, and with it, the hope of finding the exit vanishes.

And with only one way out, there is no avoiding the terror found within the Field of Screams.

Two distinct mazes are set up at O’Keefe Ranch for the not-for-profit’s Field of Screams fundraiser, which runs Oct. 18-21 and 24-28. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the mazes are open from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 per maze and are available at the door. On Oct. 24, admission to both mazes is just $15. Food vendors are on-site every night.

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