As summer draws to a close, Halloween is just around the corner to greet us, and with it comes all the scary thrills of horror. Knott’s Berry Farm is ready with their latest lineup of mazes, shows, haunted houses, and other attractions. From September 22 to October 31, the park will become Knott’s Scary Farm.
It was my first exposure to the yearly event, and to the park as a whole. I had always found it ironic that the name, when said quickly, sounds like “Not scary farm.” The theme of fear also clashes comically with their yearly family theme of the Peanuts gang. Hearing that the zombie hunt will be held around the Snoopy Camp Store has an odd ring to it.
But they manage to pull it off every year as one of the most celebrated haunted parks, and as I watched the presentation, I could see why. They have clearly put a lot of effort and money into this six week event.
What you will be haunted by depends on the midway through which you’re walking. There will be Fiesta De Los Muertos in Fiesta Village where dance music accompanies monsters dressed in colorful costumes past larger than life stilt walkers, CarnEVIL, where you will be stalked by clowns and other carnies, and the Hollow Scare Zone, where the Headless Horseman and his minions wander the fog-filled scare zone.
Some of the returning mazes include The Tooth Fairy, which plays upon the fears of the dentist, and adds the concepts of a demented tooth fairy; The Gunslinger’s Grave: A Blood Moon Rises, a sequel to last year’s Gunslinger show where they add werewolves and other monsters of the night; and The Dead of Winter: Wendigo’s Revenge, which is a sequel to last year’s Dead of Winter maze. This time, the queen has been ripped apart by her minions, which are now going after the guests.
Additional mazes include Voodoo – Order of the Serpent, an open maze without walls set in the swamps of Louisiana; Trick-or-Treat, a maze based on the idea of the scary house down the street where the evil old witch lives; and Paranormal, Inc., which uses the concept of a found footage film to place guests in the middle of a poltergeist haunting.
Patrons who pay an additional $75 will be given the skeleton key, which grants them priority access to the rides, mazes, and shows, and lets them into four exclusive rooms. These include Vision, a paranormal house where guests will be provided with “Phantom Finder augmented reality devices through which they can see the ghosts in the house; Slasher, a throwback to slasher movies of the ’70s where guests are chased down by serial killers; ZOZO, a house haunted by a demon that emerged through a Ouija Board; and Prey, a hey maze completely in the dark with only a faulty lantern to guide the guests where beasts are released into the maze every 30 seconds.
If you want something similar to Slasher, but don’t want to throw down the extra $75, there is the Red Barn where a group of Hillbilly’s are chasing down people with chainsaws, pitchforks, and other farm equipment. There are also two fantasy historical themed parts of the park that look like a great deal of art direction went into them: Shadowlands and The Hollow.
Shadowlands is based on feudal Japan where a disgraced Samurai searches for an honorable way to die. The Hollow, meanwhile, places guests in the middle of the tale of the Headless Horseman.
And finally, if you’ve ever wanted to live through The Walking Dead, there is Black Ops: Infected. This is a popular returning attraction in which guests go with a special ops team to rid an area of zombies. It’s a live action, interactive game in which players have to discern the zombies from the live people while accomplishing certain tasks. This year’s version will be different from previous years in that they have taken it out of Camp Snoopy and built a large city set in which players can “live out their zombie warrior dreams,” as described by one of its designers.
With all of these on top of the usual fun at the park, it should make for an intense and exciting season for Knott’s Scary Farm.
Let us know about your experiences at Knott’s Scary Farm this season in the comments below!
Image credit: Knott’s Berry Farm