Knott’s Berry Farm is celebrating their 41stHalloween Haunt this year, transforming their theme park into 160 acres of horror! With over 1,000 monsters, 10 mazes and a series of scare zones, Knott’s Scary Farm is the largest Halloween event to be held at any theme park in the world.
The first seasonal transformation for Knott’s began in 1973 when the park modified one area of the park, Ghost Town, into Halloween Haunt. The Halloween fun was an instant hit, and quickly expanded adding pop culture icons such as Weird Al Yankovic and Elvira. While I wasn’t able to see either of the pop culture icons perform at Knott’s Scary Farm this year, there was still plenty of Halloween frights and fun to be enjoyed throughout the evening, making Knott’s a great Halloween destination for those in the Southern California area.
Upon arriving, guests are treated to spooky music filling the entrance that instantly lets all who dare to enter aware of what lies ahead. Heavy streams of fog produced by giant fog machines fill the area directly past the ticket turn styles hiding the frightening vampires, clowns, ghouls, werewolves and monsters that lurk in the shadows. To say the least, it is a bit frightening at first; but that’s why people come!
Having gone on a Thursday night, there were virtually no lines for any of the rides or mazes, and we were able to try out one of Knott’s most recent rides: The Sierra Sidewinder and one of the most frightening: Xcellerator.
It wouldn’t be Knott’s Scary Farm without the mazes, so of course I managed to get the courage to visit a few of their 10 mazes. Black Magic was the most impressive in my opinion, as the experience begins even before you enter. Using a spectacular digital paint job on the façade, bricks are built one at a time before catching on fire and flowing with blood. Observing the maze from a distance gets your heart racing all on its own, and is part of the reason why Knott’s stays ahead of other Halloween competitors including Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. The most hair-raising portion of this maze is a room where a handful of visitors are sitting around a séance table as the spirit of Harry Houdini is summoned. I don’t get scared easily, but anything involving spirits, demons and séances terrify me. Throughout this maze the attention to detail is exquisite, with everything from knife-throwing gags to a manic room full of rabbits, and a sliding mirror that welcomes a monster to jump right at you. If you only have time or the stomach for one maze, choose Black Magic.
In addition to the mazes and scare zones, one of the must-see events at Knott’s is their controversial live “Hanging” show, which has been a dark humor annual event since 1979. The show pokes fun of pop culture and events, taking on topics including the Paula Dean controversy to Miley Cyrus’ twerking and in the end, they “hang” the worst violation of pop culture that occurred during the year. The live performance is definitely aimed for an adult audience, but the outdoor stage allows observers of all ages to stop and watch during any of their three nightly performances.
Knott’s Scary Farm has definitely adapted throughout the years, as they no longer have mazes built into the lines of rides of Jaguar and the Log Ride, or as many “victims” in the mazes, but having done-so, they’re quality to detail has significantly increased. Gone are the spray painted wooden walls for the mazes and the rubber masks of the monsters, as Knott’s has certainly stepped up their game in providing the best screams for Halloween.
Knott’s Scary Farm is offered nightly until Halloween with tickets, hours are more information available at Knotts.com.
Thank you Knott’s Berry Farm for providing complimentary tickets to Knott’s Scary Farm for review purposes. All opinions remain my own.