Knott's Scary Farm Turns 45 with a Frightnening Bang
Knott's Scary Farm Turns 45 with a Frightnening Bang
Hard to believe this legendary So Cal event got it's start from the low budget T.V show Fright Night and their desire to promote the show. Knott's Berry Farm had a theatre that could hold 2,100 people and from that partnership the countries largest haunt was born. For three nights in October 1973 the Knott's staff decorated the streets of Ghost Town with cobwebs and smoke, had a maze built inside the Haunted Shack, played some eerie music and found monster costumes for the 10 or so street characters who worked at the park. One was given the role of a witch and the infamous Green Witch character still seen in the Trick or Treat Maze was born. Tickets were $4 in advance, $4.75 at the door.
Fast forward to 2017 and this epic haunt is turning 45. Another year older but definitely not another year less frightening! There were many changes made to this year annual haunt at the farm and a final farewell to one of it's beloved acts as well. I was there opening night to see, smell and scream through it all as the fog rolled in. I've become a huge fan over the past few years of our local haunts but Scary Farm, well it's in a class all of it's own transforming the 160 acre park into several twisted themes that are sure to make your inner child cry for their momma and run in fear.
Under the watchful and highly skilled eye of the new Director of productions Mitch Atkins, the park has been making some serious improvements and it shows! Nothing short of perfection was what I experienced as opening night went off without a hitch for it's die hard cult like fans! I still miss the Calico Mine Ride overlay but the Timber Mountain Log Ride makeover for the haunt was fun and offers a different feel from day to night with all the special lighting and effects! Check out what's new, improved and my tips on getting the most screams.
New for 2017!
- Trick or Treat: Lights Out Maze Step inside the Green Witch’s haunted home and carefully make your way throught it. No big deal right? Oh I forgot to mention it’s lights out kids and you only have the use of a not so reliable flash light. This new twist on this classic was very cool and was one of my favorites this year!
Pumpkin Eater: Maze Dare to attempt to survive the wrath of the murderous 7 foot tall creature that haunts the old woods surrounding The Hollow? In this new maze, you must escape the sinister Pumpkin Eater’s wrath on your journey through the silent town of victims as you face a cave of crawling insects while trying to solve the labyrinth of thorns that blocks the only way out. Loved the entire maze from the point of entry to the scare actors interactions inside to the finale escape!
Dark Ride Maze: Enter at your own risk through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel characters take refuge and still linger in the shadows just waiting to evoke terror on all who enter. E-Ticket maze to screams for sure and if you have a thing like me about clowns, fair warning!
The Hallow: Scare Zone From within the fog, the legendary Headless Horseman and his army of the undead are ready to unleash a reign of terror in the newest scare zone, The Hollow. Guests entering the frightful 6-acre area within Camp Snoopy and are terrorized by the souls of fallen soldiers and local farmers that have escaped their shallow graves.
Timber Mountain Log Ride: Halloween Hootenanny A family-friendly twist to a park favorite. Every year the citizens of the Timber Mountain invite the mysterious creatures that live out in the woods and caverns of the area to join them as they celebrate the season at the Halloween Hootenanny. There are new surprises at every turn as you venture past the Calico Coffin Creeper band, the town’s green witch and splash down Skull Mountain through a labyrinth of jack-o-lanterns. Open for day but awesome in the dark, this is a perfect family ride.
Returning again to this years haunt:
- Voodoo (reversed this year)
- The Red Barn
- Special Opps: Infected (unlimited ammo/upgraded guns)
- Shadow Lands
- The Tooth Fairy
- Fiesta De Los Muertos
- Ghost Town Streets
- DJ in Ghost Town
- The Hanging: Fake Noose
- Elvira's last Show
My Tips and top Picks! With so many mazes, shows, rides and scare zones I can't recommend enough to get the Fright & Fast Lane pass! This event is beyond popular and to experience it all it's THE way to go, cutting wait times down to almost zero! This year also marks the final appearance of Elvira, there are 2 nightly shows to catch at 9:00 & 11:30. With the amazing talents of the lighting director Matthew Cotter (Emmy winner for Dancing with the Stars) the show never looked better making the Mistress of the Dark shine. The Hanging went all out this year, raunchy as ever holding nothing back and taking no prisoners, shows at 8:00, 9:45 & 11:00! Always funny the stabs they make at the 'other" park characters and current media notables. I also loved the new Hallow Scare Zone in Camp Snoopy, lots of scare actors and lots of fog!
Best mazes? I'd have to go with Pumpkin Eater, Paranormal INC. and I loved the concept of Trick or Treat Lights Out but missed seeing the Green Witch more. The addition of aerial scare actors within several of the mazes was awesome and added that next level of shock, not gonna say where to find them, wouldn't want to spoil the fun for you! Also remember to be kind and don't touch or mistreat the monsters. Due to intense nature of the event, children under 13 are not advised to attend (though I still see really young kids there). So if you are contemplating going this year I'd say what are you waiting for? Knott's Scary Farm runs 25 select night now through October 31 from 7 pm till 1 am/2 am select nights.