Popular Field of Screams at O'Keefe Ranch officially cancelled

'Screams' silenced

A popular Halloween event in the North Okanagan has officially pulled the plug.

Following the announcement last month that O'Keefe Historic Ranch would begin winterizing Sept. 12 and wind down operations for the year by the end of the month, as expected, the Field of Screams event has followed suit.

Glen Taylor of Ominiss Productions posted on Facebook Tuesday:

"Due to the ongoing, current COVID-19 crisis, it is with great sadness that we have announced that the Field of Screams held at O'Keefe Ranch has been cancelled for the 2020 season."

The popular attraction featured actors in zombie costumes and other creepy scares in the ranch's corn maze, with a mellow version for kids and a full-on scary version for the brave of heart.

It had grown to become one of the ranch's most popular events of the year.

"With the ongoing uncertainty, this decision was unavoidable, as provincial health officials are predicting a second wave of ... COVID-19 in the fall, and public health and safety (of) our staff and patrons must come first," said Taylor.

Field of Screams first took place at the ranch in 2013 and "over the last seven years, has taken hold of the emotions of thrill seekers through the Okanagan," he wrote.

"We would like to reassure everyone that we will be back in 2021. Work will continue on reorganizing for next year's event to include the new public health standards to ensure a thrilling and safe experience."

The ranch itself has been forced to close early due to the drop in traffic related to the pandemic.

And because it had to cancel many of its usual events, admission fees were dropped, leaving the ranch desperately low on funding to pay staff and feed its animals.

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