The Psychology Behind the Fear of Forests

Haunted Forest

Darkness, rabid animals, loss of direction—everyone inherits these collective fears from deep biological programming. Yet one particular setting incorporates them all: the deep woods. Our ingrained survival instincts as well as the stories we set in dense woodlands inspire both real and imaginary horrors. Come Halloween, thrillseekers attend haunted forest attractions for doses of excitement, suspense, and screams! In the DMV, Field of Screams Maryland provides just such an outlet.

A top-rated screampark by the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun, Field of Screams Maryland delivers devilish scares every year throughout the Halloween season. They offer individual and group tickets for the brave souls who wish to explore their Slaughter Factory, Carnival Town Games, and Super Screams Haunted Trail attractions. Visitors must pass through dark woods filled with unspeakable horrors during their visit, so prepare for a nerve-shredding experience when you sign up. Reserve your tickets online or over the phone at (888) 720-1112!

Below, we enter the mind’s darkest regions and traverse the psychology behind haunted forests:

The Historical Fear of Forests

From an evolutionary perspective, aversion to dark forests helped our ancestors survive. The ancient wilderness held savage animals, lawless criminals, and enemy soldiers. It also lacked the warmth, comfort, and community of homes and villages. Towns had order and laws, whereas woods offered chaos and danger.

At that point in history, endless forests covered continents. Individuals and groups could easily lose their way in such places and never return home. These fears inspired early storytellers and gave rise to fairy tales like “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and more. The old illustrations of forests in fairy tale collections have trees drawn dense and ominous, suggesting danger around every corner.

The Modern Fear of Forests

Modern human brains still possess all the survival instincts of early man. Even though primeval forests were tamed over the past few centuries, their legends and the old fairy tales have influenced popular writers—such as Stephen King—and continue scaring eager audiences. We can also encounter the thrills of deep forests in movies like The Blair Witch Project.

Horror movies make for great date nights, and ghost stories remain a pastime around campfires. Yet many people want a more direct experience of fear, and Halloween attraction organizers are happy to provide one. Haunted house and woods attractions offer an immersive, face-to-face experience that movies cannot. Even seasoned horror movie aficionados may reel from the shocks of Halloween attractions.

Haunted Forest Attractions

Haunted Forest

Of course, attraction organizers leverage people’s inborn fears as much as possible. For instance, Field of Screams Maryland’s Super Screams Haunted Trail is an hour-long trek through their compound’s dark woods. Among the trees, costumed actors lie in wait to jump out at visitors. Eerie sets and props also enhance their haunted woods attractions by inspiring general dread.

These details—the dark, the woods, strangers jumping out unannounced—provoke the fight-or-flight responses programmed deep into our minds. Such experiences attract and compel many visitors, as our daily lives don’t often include such thrilling encounters.

Come Brave the Haunted Forest at Field of Screams Maryland this Halloween!

Ready for a good scare? Reserve your ticket for this year’s Field of Screams Maryland attractions. Their team aims to deliver a devilishly good time in their haunted forest and house settings. Discover whether you can brave the cold and dark night: call Field of Screams Maryland at (888) 720-1112 or visit their website to book your ticket now.