Last week we learned about the ins and outs of operating a haunted attraction, but when one looks at the macabre displays shown at the greatest haunts, it begs the question of where one draws such inspiration to cause fear and carnage. For Twisted Fields of Terror's, Southern Maryland's largest and most successful haunted attraction, creator, Jack Beckwith, that inspiration comes from personal life and interests. Jack says that every now and then current events and his own phobias will inspire aspects of the trail's terror. Music such as that by Midnight Syndicate, Rob Zombie, and Marilyn Manson have helped him drum up the rhythm and vibe of Twisted Fields, while films such as “The Hills Have Eyes,” and “Deliverance” have had the greatest visual and story line inspirations. “When I watched 'Deliverance', it was not what I expected,” Jack says with a half grin as he thinks about his star characters, the Griner cannibal family. “If you can find the name Griner in that movie, then you get five points.” Ultimately, Jack warns, your haunted creation needs to be your own. Twisted Fields may be inspired the some of the greatest minds in the business, but it is very much Jack's own personal terror.
The name, “Twisted Fields of Terror” comes from the rural atmosphere that the attraction is a part of in Calvert County, Maryland. Playing off of the idea of the farm that surrounds the trail, Jack added a play on words. This tactic also came in handy when developing his latest attraction creation, Cirque de la Mort, which will be revealed at Twisted Fields for the first time this year. It is all about combining the scary with the creative, much like drawing up the floor plans for the haunt itself. One must have a name that rolls off the tongue for a commercial reason, but also one that strikes a certain artistic chord. These names, Jack says, will be the brand recognition for the company.
Twisted Fields is home to dozens of a particularly macabre brand of characters. In the daylight these creations are masks created by the top names in the industry using silicon and other materials that help make the imaginary that much more real. However, “what will become crowd favorites come down to the actor. I do not create the character by buying a costume... it is the actor's passion for the arts that does,” Jack states while pondering which of Twisted Field's characters is his favorite, “You go into the attraction creating something you want at the top, but it isn't. Sometimes that star is unexpected.” Auditions for Jack's Twisted Fields of Terror open on September 8 and 9. If you want to become part of the magic, more information can be found on their Facebook page.
With the haunt season quickly approaching, those who have a passion for all things Halloween look on with fervor and anticipation. The haunted attraction industry is an ever increasing icon of the season, and becoming a part of one is an experience that is unparalleled. Whether you like scaring others, or have a love of fright yourself, Jack Beckwith gives this final invitation: “If you're looking to get out of the grind of everyday life, come down to the country and maybe you'll make it out alive. You'll venture out into the creepy, dark woods, then go into an evil clown carnival. Also be ready to pick up a gun for the Z-Pocalypse Zombie paint ball.” Spider Hall Farms in Prince Frederick, Maryland is about to open its doors once more for those who are willing to make the pilgrimage to come. Check out Twisted Fields of Terror, and tell them that CGYEN sent you. Take this author's word for it, you'll be in for the fright of your life.