Field of Screams

(By Chris, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four. Originally published Aug. 31, 2006, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Do you believe in ghosts?

In Dyersville, Iowa, there is one ghost story where a dark and stormy night actually would repel ghosts rather than attract them.

Three and a half miles northeast of the small farming town (population just over 4,000) and past the cornstalks lies the town's answer to The Haunted Mansion: the Field of Dreams, in which a team full of Caspers dressed in white play baseball--except, of course, during rain delays.
The field is the same field built for the 1989 movie starring Kevin Costner, "Field of Dreams." The farmhouse, the picket fence and the cornfield are all the same as in the movie, only they are covered in a significant amount more body oil these days.

That's because the field is a free (hobo alert!) tourist attraction, open to the public from April to November. There is a souvenir shop and concession stand along the third base line which even provides baseball equipment at no charge, making one wonder if Dustin Diamond has heard of this place.

And although one can order the souvenirs from the official "Field of Dreams" website,, they won't be delivered by most the famous "Postman." Though Ray Kinsella did make an appearance at the field earlier this month for the first time since filming the movie.

Costner returned to a screening of the movie in the outfield, sponsored by Netflix Inc., which is part of the "Netflix Rolling Roadshow," a 10-city tour showing classic movies in the locations where they were filmed.

Only Dyersville happens to be the only location on the tour which is haunted.

My father first saw the movie, which psychologist David Powell says has "a 95 percent tear factor when a group of men watch (it)," when he rented it on VHS shortly after its release and watched it by himself after work one evening. He recommended I watch it before returning it to the video store the next afternoon.

And in between the "Daddy . . . there's a man out there on your lawn" to "Moonlight" Graham to "That guy sounds just like Darth Vader!", the movie more than has its share of spooks and was slightly more emotionally bonding than "Night of the Living Dead."

But it's the spirits in retro uniforms who are the main attraction that keep people coming after the field was built.

The ghosts, dressed in 1919 Chicago White Sox uniforms, appear only on the last Sunday of the month from June through September. On these four Ghost Sundays, the ghosts emerge from the cornfield at high noon, put on a performance for the fans for two hours and return just as mysteriously to the stalks, presumably to harvest maize to sell at a farmer's market.

(The only exception is Graham, his electronic tracking bracelet and GPS-enabled cell phone, who has to hurry home so Graham's wife Alicia doesn't think he has a girlfriend.)

If he wasn't already a ghost, Alicia would make sure of it if he was late.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

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