Haunted houses: Wicked island is wicked scary

CLOWNS LURK IN the trees at Wicked Island. Courtesy photo, Wicked Island

This is a series that will run throughout the month of October, reviewing haunted houses in Wichita and surrounding areas:

Halloween is almost here and there’s no better way to get into this Halloween spirit then going to “haunted” houses.  If getting scared is your thing, you’re going to want to pay attention to The Vantage this month to find reviews on all the best locations around the city.  

Wicked Island is located in OJ Watson Park, off of McLean Boulevard.  This haunted forest is run by the Campbell family, which has been spooking the Wichita area for the last five years.

The forest is open on Fridays and Saturdays throughout October from 8 p.m. to midnight with gates closing at 11:30 p.m.  They will also be open on Halloween from 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.  Tickets start at $20 for general admission or $35 for a fast pass.  

After having purchased our tickets, we went to wait in line for the scare.  The total wait time was about 20 minutes on opening night.  There were not that many people there and the wait still took that long.  If you don’t mind waiting, then you’d be okay with picking up the general admissions ticket.  Otherwise, depending on your financial status, the fast pass could be worth it. 

Upon starting the trail, you’ll find yourself greeted with chain saws everywhere.  This was horrifying to me. Yes, I know they take the blades off of the chainsaws, but when you can feel the heat of the saw getting close to your leg it may freak you out as much as me.  The whole trail had perfect hiding places for them to jump out at you.  This was definitely the scariest part. I’m a real jumpy person as it is, so when I’m least expecting it, I jump even more.  These were not those two inches off the ground jumps either.  We’re talking ugly, spastic, hand flailing jumps.  Plenty of screams and profane words escaped me during those 25 thrilling minutes.

Prepare to run into clowns, doctors, faceless people, and other creepy characters as you make your way through the island.  Have fun dodging the plethora of body bags hanging around, going blind and confused from the strobe lights, and squeezing through different mini caves.  This was not tall-guy friendly.    

As we were tracking our way to the exit, some kids ran by horrified.  One of them said, “The Field of Screams ain’t got nothing on this place.”  If you’re looking for something fun to do over the weekend, try hitting this place up.

This year, they are also featuring an Escape Room, so if you’re curious to see if they’ll actually let you out or not, I’d recommend taking a shot at this attraction.  Look out for next week’s Vantage to hear about the Forest of Terror.  

This story first appeared in the October 5, 2017 issue of The Vantage.