Hidden Hangouts: Cox Farms

Farm turned haunted forest is sure to scare the toughest of people


Want to be chased down by a clown with a chainsaw? If so, Cox Farms is the place for you.

Fairfax’s very own Fields of Fear and Fall Festival are family-friendly, seasonal events that are open until Nov. 6. During the day, the farm is full of autumn festivities, but as soon as night falls, the ghosts and ghouls start to creep around. Cast members wander the main pathways dressed as skeletons and zombies to sneak up on unsuspecting guests.

The Fall Festival is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., while the Fields of Fear hours are from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Some attractions in the Fields of Fear have assigned-entry times that guests will receive at the door to the park when they purchase their entry tickets.

Fields of Fear incorporates the Cornightmare, Dark Side Hayride and The Forest: Back 40. Between the hanging spiders, clowns grabbing at passing shoulders and voices whispering in people’s ears, one fright is bound to give even the most stoic people a gasp.

For people less inclined to get their pants scared off, the Fall Festival has a six-lane slide to race friends, baby cows to pet and a pumpkin patch. Towards the back of the farm guests can walk through large foam rocks sitting quietly in the exact formation of the Stonehenge.

The Forest is roughly a half-mile walk through a haunted forest full of jump scares, shanty houses and shacks, and witches hanging from the trees. The path is lit by small candles and cobwebs to prevent anyone from wandering off into the woods and adds a touch to the spooky ambiance.

During the day, take a hayride through the park, watch the breeze flow through the corn field and hear families laughing cheerfully. As soon as night falls, the Dark Side Hayride drives guests away from the main park to brave a haunted circus grounds, a fiery explosion and a clown rave.

The Cornightmare is a single pathway through a field of corn. Pass through a camper van, past fences and a small barn, each decorated with a distinct theme and full of unique surprises to startle anyone who passes through. Watch out for the side fences, where zombies are hiding and waiting to chase down unsuspecting guests.

All that scaring will build up an appetite, so don’t forget to take a break with fragrant apple cider donuts. Or as the night gets chillier, take a sip of some hot chocolate or crunch on some fresh kettle corn.

Come on down to Cox Farms in Centreville while the crisp winds of autumn are still blowing.