This post is part of a series comparing the best haunted houses in the Seattle area. Be on the lookout for others in the coming days. Share your opinions in the comments, if you'd like!

The long jaunt up to Snohomish, WA was our first haunt visit this year. With light traffic it only took 40 minutes from Seattle, which seemed fairly reasonable. One of the best things about haunts in Snohomish is that you're close to the middle of nowhere, so getting lost in a field of corn is a nice change from the bustle of city life. Stalker Farms is almost like an amusement park when it comes to a haunted farm—four different attractions plus a fantastic selection of food and drinks. The kettle corn was perfectly filling after two hours of fear and excitement. The apple cider, made by Seattle Street Donuts, was warm and comforting, as were the wonderfully sweet and spicy cardamom donuts.

  • NO PETS!

Although there was a steady stream of drizzle the whole night, our extra clothes were sufficient for comfort—I suggest wearing boots or heavy shoes and a few layers. Though the lines never seemed overwhelmingly long, standing in the dark crisp night can make a person rather cold. Wear some gloves! Bring an umbrella! And although it goes against my middle class upbringing, you might want to spring for the VIP ticket on Fridays and Saturdays to bypass the lines, if the weather is bad, it's worth it.

Field of Scream entrance.
  • Field of Scream entrance.

Our first excursion took us to the Field of Screams, which seems like the main attraction at Stalker Farms. I suggest a group of four people or less to get the full benefit of each scare—I visited Stalker Farms two years ago with a large group and was in the back, I didn't get scared once! Though Stalker Farms' website notes that you're supposed to take the haunted path at your own pace, you should be conscientious of those behind you.There's a chance that you may get too close to the group in front of you, if that's the case, pause and let them get ahead. Field of Screams has a dizzying array of trails and shacks to weave in and out of—it's wonderfully eerie, with quiet stretches of just corn and fog. The scares come when you least expect them, not when they would seem typical. One room was decorated in fake meat and another in actual garbage. The actors and costumes are totally professional and spooky, you will yell and scream!

Outside of the Last Laugh
  • Derek Erdman
  • Outside of the Last Laugh

After the terrifying conclusion of Field of Screams, we took a break from the yelling/heavy breathing and decided that we all liked the scares and were satisfied with how long it lasted. Our VIP pass allowed us to go right to the front of the line again, this time for the secondary haunt, the Last Laugh. Tickets for this can only be purchased after you've bought Field of Screams, and you also get access to the un-haunted corn maze for an extra $5. If I'm not mistaken, you can get access to all of these things and line jumping access for $30, which is a pretty good deal for all of the excitement provided. And let me tell you, I found the Last Laugh to be totally a lot more scarier and creepier than most all other haunted houses that I've ever been to. The best parts were long, extended hallways and trails through the corn. It was quiet in the immediate area, but you could hear faint screams coming from other parts of the farm. There was excellent use of quiet audio playing from the fields—backwards music, whispers, music boxes. The ground was intermittently fake mushy and there were two mazes where you could take wrong turns and get lost. One was an outdoor chain link fence maze that was inhabited by a terrifying baby monster. She mocked us as we made wrong turns, which was both funny and horrifying. The other maze was nearly pitch black and seemed to go on forever. The Last Laugh probably took 10-12 minutes, and was completely brilliant. This was the highlight of Stalker Farms for me, especially the person dressed in a tight all-black body suit who just stood against walls hissing.

In line for the Zombie Hunt.
  • Derek Erdman
  • In line for the Zombie Hunt.

New to Stalker Farms (and apparently other haunts in the area) is the Hunt For Zombies ride. There was quite a line for this attraction and you can't VIP pass your way to the front, so we waited for close to 45 minutes. A truck with a covered trailer bed leaves every 15 minutes or so carrying 20 or so people, each with a turret-style paintball gun. There's a short explanation of events by a military man that you're going to shoot at zombies. The truck bounds through a trail surrounded by corn stalks, sheds and mannequins. Every so often a person dressed in what must be a lot of padding appears and gets shot by everybody on that side of the trailer. It's interactive and amusing and over very quickly.

I interviewed 6th and 7th graders Anuj and Filip who were in line for the Zombie Hunt, they kept asking the random ghouls that entertain the lines if they could have hot dogs. It was their first of many haunted houses for the season, and they were both looking forward to the hunt. When I asked them both what the worst part about school was, they answered in unison, "learning!"

Overall, Stalker Farms is a great value, with a ton of fright. You'll be there for a while, so it's worth the drive. If the weather is crummy, bundle up and maybe bring some cover. A great haunt for everybody!

Stalker Farms: 8705 Marsh Road Snohomish, WA 98296 (360) 568-7391