Zombies overrun Freedom paintball park
By Kristy Locklin
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
There's been a prison break and the inmates have escaped to Freedom … Pennsylvania.
The “prisoners” now stalk the countryside.
Luckily, Ryan Krischke of Wexford has 240,000 rounds of ammunition in his garage.
Krischke owns Three Rivers Paintball Park, in Freedom, one of the state's largest paintball facilities.
To celebrate his 30th year in the business, Krischke wanted to add a new, family-friendly element to the experience. After attending TransWorld's Halloween & Attractions Show in St. Louis, he decided to turn his 70-acre property into a field of bad dreams - complete with a makeshift prison.
Zombies of the Corn allows patrons to fire paintball guns, called markers, at the undead without becoming targets themselves.
Modified wagons transport groups of 24 people, safari-style, through a wooded area teeming with “ghouls.”
Each rider is armed with a stationary marker and 120 paintballs, which are gelatin capsules filled with a non-caustic, water-soluble liquid. When the zombies attack, fighters are encouraged to aim for the head.
Art Shirvani, 27, a Three Rivers Paintball employee, doesn't mind playing dead.
“When Ryan (Krischke) asked me if I wanted to be a zombie and get shot at I said, ‘Yeah, I'll take one for the team,'” he says with a laugh.
Shirvani and his fellow zombies will be wear helmets, goggles, neck protection and padded suits under their costumes. Anybody interested in playing zombies must take a two-hour training course and have a flair for theatrics. The gig pays $8 an hour.
Zombies of the Corn doesn't rely on blood and guts; it uses mood lighting, sound effects and old-fashioned scare tactics.
“It's not extremely gory,” said employee Phil McPeak, 20. “Kids are not going to be traumatized. We want the younger crowd to enjoy it and introduce them to paintball.”
Turning the tables on the monsters is a bonus, he said.
“When you go through a haunted house and you see a zombie, what's the first thing you want to do?” he said. “You want to shoot it. Well, here you can.”
In addition, unarmed visitors will take a stroll through a one-and-a-half-acre, zombie-infested corn maze.
Krischke says the darkness - coupled with the rustling of the cornstalks - is guaranteed to send shivers up and down the spine of even the most macho man.
After a night of thrills, guests may warm themselves by campfires and visit the refreshment stand, where hot dogs and marshmallows will be available for roasting.
Storytellers will spin spooky yarns every 20 minutes and horror movies will be projected onto a big screen.
“If it all goes well, we'll be expanding greatly next year,” Krischke said. “We've come up with a lot of ideas during our brainstorming sessions.”
Kristy Locklin is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Orpik out; Neal to have phone hearing
- Kovacevic: Enough of these Steelers already
- Highlands students eager to stuff a bus with Toys for Tots
- 5 vehicle crashes reported on wintry day in the Alle-Kiski Valley
- Spending increase benefits Frazer police
- Penguins players are not out looking for fights
- Apollo Elks reopens after reaching agreement with national organization
- McKeesport boys split pair of tournament games
- Motorists caught in Highland Park Bridge bottleneck
- High school roundup: Connellsville girls basketball team gets 1st victory
- Steelers WR Brown says ‘I thought I had it clean’ after wild, near-miss finish