[[quoteright:350:[[Creator/VincentVanGogh http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crows-cornfield.jpg]]]]

->''"He began to walk in that direction, not having to bull through the corn any more. The row was taking him in the direction he wanted to go, naturally. The row ended up ahead. Ended? No, emptied out into some sort of clearing..."''
-->-- '''Creator/StephenKing''', ''Franchise/ChildrenOfTheCorn''

There's just something about a field of corn that spells creepy. Maybe it's the fact that corn stalks grow very tall and seem to go on endlessly, preventing anyone who happens to be wandering among them from seeing more than a few feet ahead at a time. Also, each stalk looks exactly the same, so good luck finding your way out. Combined with the fact that they are only found in rural areas, this means that you could be out in the middle of nowhere and no one would see you disappear, or even be around to hear you scream on the off chance that you are not alone.

If characters find themselves in a cornfield, they will almost always get lost. Frantic chases through cornfields are popular in the {{Horror}} genre, and double points if it happens to be at night.

Note that despite the trope name, scenes like this don't necessarily have to involve corn. Long grass is also popular, especially in wilderness settings, and this trope can apply to other kinds of vegetation where it's hard to see anything below neck level. Compare TheLostWoods, where non-domestic plant life is overwhelming or spooky.

This is also the place to find ScaryScarecrows or CropCircles.


* The above painting, "Cornfield with Crows", is generally agreed to be the last thing Creator/VincentVanGogh painted before he killed himself.

* In an issue of ''ComicBook/TheMazeAgency'' comic book, a murder is committed in a cornfield maze and the body strung up as scarecrow to hide it.
* A villain in the ''ComicBook/HackSlash'' miniseries ''My First Maniac'' used a cornfield (formerly belonging to a farmer he killed) as a hunting ground, having turned it into a deadly maze. It's full of traps and surrounded by barbed wire, and nails through the stalks that rip into anyone who tries to just run through them.
* A semi-annual event in ''ComicStrip/SallyForthHoward'', leading one year to the characters meeting [[http://sallyforth.com/comics/october-10-2015// themselves]].

* Subverted in ''Film/FieldOfDreams'', in that the Iowa cornfield is supernatural and mysterious, but it's awe-inspiring, not scary.
* There's a scene involving a chase through a cornfield in the movie version of ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince''.
* ''Film/{{Signs}}'': the priest lives next to a very creepy cornfield; he ends up being chased through it at night.
* ''Film/TheXFilesFightTheFuture'', with the bees in cornfields...
* ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'' uses the tall grass variant. Doesn't make much of a difference, though, 'cuz everyone knows that [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs Everything's Scarier with Velociraptors!]]
-->[[MemeticMutation "DON'T GO INTO THE LONG GRASS!"]]
* The crop-duster attack in ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'' takes place in and around a cornfield.
* In ''Film/ForrestGump'', as a little girl, Jenny runs into the cornfield behind their house to hide from her drunken abusive father ("Dear God, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far, far away from here").
* Also, the scene in the 1967 ''Film/BonnieAndClyde'', where Bonnie runs away through one because [[spoiler: she misses her momma.]]
* The cornfield rave massacre in ''Film/FreddyVsJason''.
* In 2010, a horror movie all about murders in a corn maze (at night!), [[SarcasmMode creatively]] called ''The Maze'' was released. Though in actuality, viewers probably do see more corn than murder.
* ''Film/CryBabyLane'' has this in the climax.
* ''Film/TheMummyReturns'' has a scene where a bunch of {{mooks}} are ambushed and killed by pygmy zombies in waist-high plant life.
* In ''[[Film/SyfyChannelOriginalMovie The 12 Disasters Of Christmas]]'', two teenage girls flee from a tornado through an orchard of Christmas trees.
* In ''Film/{{Casino}}'', [[spoiler:Nicky and his brother]] are lured to a meeting in a cornfield where they are [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown brutally beaten]] and then buried alive.
* In ''Film/ColdMountain'', after deserting the Confederate army, Inman is on a road through a cornfield when a group of fugitive slaves emerges from the corn near him. He tries to buy an egg from them, but they ignore him and move silently down the road until they're hidden by a clump of trees. Inman keeps walking and then [[SoundOnlyDeath hears screams and gunshots coming from the trees]], forcing him to make a panicked dash into the corn. The eerie thing is the [[DaylightHorror sunny, serene tone of the scene]], with several idyllic-looking shots of the trees and cornfield undisturbed by what's happening to the characters.

* The ''Literature/{{Goosebumps}}'' book ''The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight'' has this, naturally.
* In Dorothy Canfield Fisher's short story "Sex Education" a town preacher lurks in a cornfield waiting to jump and rape any young girl dumb enough to wander nearby. It's heavily implied by the female characters that a number of other men in their town have similarly questionable hobbies, also involving young girls and cornfields.
* Averted in ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', where the term "corn" actually refers to wheat.[[note]]"Corn" in general means any cereal grain, or indeed anything small and edible, as in "peppercorn" and "corned beef" where the "corns" involved are actually the large grains of rock salt used in the process; outside North America, the word used to refer to the kind of corn Americans usually mean when they say "corn" is "maize".[[/note]] This doesn't stop many American readers from getting a mental image of Death toiling in a creepy cornfield when they read this Literature/{{Discworld}} novel.
* In ''Literature/TheLovelyBones'', Susie is [[ShortCutsMakeLongDelays cutting through]] a cornfield on her way home from school when a neighbor lures her into a secret underground room, rapes her and kills her.
* The Jerome Bixby short story "Literature/ItsAGoodLife", where the RealityWarper Anthony Fremont literally buries people who do anything he doesn't like in the cornfield behind his family's home. Served as the basis for a memorable ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode.
* Creator/StephenKing's short story ''Franchise/ChildrenOfTheCorn'' served as [[InNameOnly loose inspiration]] for an endless string of movies which are probably the example that a lot of people remember, and contributes a great deal to cornfields being associated with creepiness. The page quote above, from the original story, gives an example.
** In King's novel ''Literature/TheStand'', a number of characters dream about being chased through a cornfield by the Dark Man.

* The series finale of ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'' has the climax take place in a cornfield, with Brother Justin chasing after Ben with a [[SinisterScythe scythe]], no less.
* An episode of ''Series/TheMiddle'' had the teenaged son lose his little brother in a cornfield maze, and he kept running into the creepy [[CrustyCaretaker caretaker]] who told him about how he had lost his own little brother in a cornfield all those years ago.
* The ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "Middle Man", and the end of "The Big Game".
* [[http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1k7nu_mtv-human-giant-corn-maze-leak_fun This]] eerie sketch from ''Series/HumanGiant'' exemplifies the mystique of the Corn Maze.
* The ''Series/{{Bones}}'' episode "Mummy in the Maze".
* The Pawnee Harvest Festival had a maze in ''Series/ParksAndRecreation''. When Li'l Sebastian wanders in there, it leads to a massive manhunt. When [[ButtMonkey Jerry Gergich]] gets lost during the manhunt, everyone forgets about him.

* Music/SufjanStevens' ''Illinois'' album has a short track about a RealLife corn maze, titled "[[DroneOfDread A Conjunction of Drones]] Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze".

* There was a field in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'' where some guys would scare intruders through ghostly images [[ScoobyDooHoax to keep them away]]. I ''think'' it was a corn field...
* The game ''VideoGame/{{Maize}}'' begins with you waking up in the middle of a cornfield, and traversing it becomes one of your initial goals while sifting through the puzzles and dealing with the oddly talking corn.
* ''Videogame/{{INSIDE}}'' has a decaying farm with a cornfield. The protagonist doesn't get lost, but the cornstalks do hide [[spoiler: a hatch leading to the Secret Ending.]]
* The fourth campaign of ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' has a "crescendo event" (scripted horde sequence) in a corn field in the last level.
** The sequel has a section set in a field of sugar cane. Not only that, you have to go through it in the middle of a howling storm, so while the sugar cuts your vision to a few feet, [[InterfaceScrew the storm cuts your hearing.]]
* Never touch the cornfields in ''VideoGame/MediEvil''. You'll die very quickly. We're probably lucky they don't show ''what'' kills you...
* In the horror AdventureGame ''VideoGame/{{Sanitarium}}'', there's a creepy pumpkin patch in one chapter that fits this trope.
* There is exactly one frightening scene in ''VideoGame/LandOfTheDeadRoadToFiddlersGreen'' and it involves having to run through a cornfield as you hear zombies crashing around you unseen.
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanDoom'', one such maze pops up near the beginning of the level with the Scarecrow boss fight. It's full of gangsters and even spotting the passages is a problem (the automap helps). Once you're past this part, the rest of the level is thankfully free of confusing view-obfuscating maize.
* A chase through a corn field takes place near the end of the playable demo for ''VideoGame/OutlastII''. Although there are pathways in between certain sections, along with trash cans and pools of water to (temporarily) hide in, it doesn't make it any less terrifying when you see the flashlights of Knoth's followers coming from ''somewhere'' to hunt you down.

* The [[HalloweenEpisode Halloween-themed]] ''WebComic/SkinDeep'' story "The One-Eyed Bear" centers around a road trip to an annual haunted corn maze attraction in Verona, MO referred to, appropriately enough, as [[http://www.themaize.com/sites.php?ID=&username=moverona The MAiZE]]. (See RealLife, below.) In keeping with getting lost, they stumble onto the attraction while fleeing from a nightmare and a [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demon]], only to be menaced by a [[HockeymaskAndChainsaw hockey-mask-wearing, chainsaw wielding maniac]] [[spoiler:who is actually both a performer in the haunted maze and a bugbear in human guise]].
* In [[http://nedroid.com/2015/10/beartato-in-the-maze/ this]] ''Webcomic/{{Nedroid}}'' strip, Beartato gets so hopelessly lost in a corn maze, he begins to remember ''only'' the maze. The AltText claims that anyone still in a corn maze at the end of autumn becomes a scarecrow.
-->'''Reginald:''' Beartato! [[spoiler: I'm so glad you found me!]]

* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer once got lost in a corn maze.
** When Marge went to a therapist to deal with the roots of her fear of flying, one of her childhood memories was of her mother showing her a cornfield, only for a [[Film/NorthByNorthwest crop duster to show up and fire at them]].
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' had villainous sunflowerman El Seed raise an army out of an evil cornfield maze.
* ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'', in its episode "Johnny, Real Good" (a parody of ''[[Series/TheTwilightZone It's A Good Life]]'') has this as one of the torments that the RealityWarper boy inflicts upon Johnny: teleportation to an actual cornfield (not really that horrible, but still a minor annoyance for Johnny who has to walk back home), which becomes a RunningGag. [[spoiler:At the end of the episode, he teleports sleeping Johnny in his bed onto [[FarSideIsland a lonely island]]--covered with maize.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Fillmore}}!'':
** "Two Wheels, Full Throttle, No Brakes". Of course X Middle School has its own corn maze. Why wouldn't it?
--> "The corn! IT ALL LOOKS THE SAME!"
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBusyWorldOfRichardScarry'', [[RoadSignReversal an inadequately supported sign flips]] and sends people looking for a stall selling corn into the middle of a cornfield, where they can't find their way out again.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' episode "Roadside Attraction", Soos is accidentally left behind by the Pines in a Corn Maze tourist trap.

* Actual cornfield mazes are built in real life as attractions, and often give people the chance to go through them at night. Occasionally the cornfields are 'haunted' by people dressed in costume.
* After the crash of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_232 United Airlines Flight 232,]] many of the surviving passengers got lost in the cornfields next to the airport.
* Averted in previous centuries, when corn hadn't yet been selectively bred to stand taller than a human. At least one Civil War battle's events [[DatedHistory had to be re-examined by historians]] when it was pointed out that corn grew only waist-high in the 1860s, hence couldn't have provided concealment to standing soldiers.
* Could become a ForgottenTrope as modern farming techniques plant corn too densely for a human to walk through.
* Grandparents born before TheGreatDepression who grew up on farms have told stories about how farmers of that day were afraid that gypsies would kidnap their children, and instructed their children to hide in cornfields whenever gypsies were around. The children were told to stay in one row of corn to avoid getting lost, themselves.