Knott’s Scary Farm sincerely carries on traditions for it’s 2018 Halloween Haunt. With two new mazes, returning popular mazes, and shows Knott’s will get (keep) you in the Halloween spirit all night long.
We do our best not to spoil the mazes for those who’ve yet to experience them, so we won’t provide scare-by-scare reviews, but we will share highlights and our overall opinions from our own experiences in the mazes. Haunts are rated on a 1-5 “skull” system.
New Mazes and Attractions
A heavy fog drapes over an abandoned port village where ancient creatures lurk inside the pitch-black underground caves hidden below the seaside shores. The Nightwatch Mining Crew has mysteriously disappeared and village rumors point to the eerie tunnels the town sits upon. Myths of the terrifying horrors that lurk within the cave have often been whispered but never confirmed. Did the crew meet their demise at the hand of vicious creatures that live within the cave? Journey into the ominous caverns and follow the crew’s path into The Depths, discover if the superstition revolving around the cave is true or not. But be warned! All who have entered have never resurfaced.
The Depths is another visually invigorating maze added to this year’s lineup. Similarly to mazes like Shadowlands and Dark Ride, this maze has a very distinct theme that we’ve never seen anywhere else showcasing some stunning scenes, effects, and set pieces. There are also some distinct scares such as a scene with sea creatures jumping out from below the surface of the water as you’re descending underwater, which is effectively pulled off with low lying fog and laser light effects. There’s also massive Kraken monster that rocks the hull of the ship back and forth as you make your way through. One of the final scares features a giant zombified shark whose sharp teeth and jaws get terrifyingly close as you try to pass. The story is a little hard to follow as you somehow start off in a mineshaft going through the barracks of some ill-fated miners and then end up underwater. Nonetheless, we liked this maze and think it’s a solid new entry to the Scary Farm line-up.
Teleport beyond earth and into a realm where the darkness is absolute. In the depths of space, a lone station faces terror beyond all imagination. An extraterrestrial mutation has invaded the station, and it’s on the prowl for new hosts. The unearthly inhabitants’ force increases as it feeds on its unwilling victims. Escape the dark entities before its deathly force eliminates all living form aboard the station. There’s nowhere to escape when time is running out!
This maze has so much potential that it never lives up to. Perhaps we went through at the wrong time but there were hardly any monsters or scares inside. The attempted scares it did have were all the predictable “monster around the corner” type. The settings and props were fun and interesting, reminding us of the old school maze Alien Attack (which was far scarier). This maze would be so much more with better lighting, scare timing, and the monster talent. Dark Entities disappointingly failed to make any significant impact and really needs some reworking to make it something worthwhile. They get a solid ‘B’ for effort but it falls far below average for the execution.
Many of the big theme-park haunts are creaking open their gates this weekend and we’ve carefully assembled some Terror Tips for getting the most screams and bang for your buck out of the night. As you begin your planning and preparation for the season of the witch, this list of tips will help you experience every maze, attraction, and maybe even the dumb shows at these mega-haunts. So pay attention, please. We don’t want you or your money to be left behind.
Trust us, we know how to Haunt Stalk.
1. GET THERE EARLY
This is the number one tip. Seriously, if you follow only one recommendation on this page, this should be the one. This will make or break your entire night. TRUST US. Get there before the haunt opens; we recommend at least a half-hour early. Remember you need to plan time for parking and to get through any security checks so you can queue up to get inside at opening. Some haunts will actually start letting people in before the posted official opening time. Universal has started opening some haunts as early as 5pm. If you get there early you might be able to go into a maze with almost no one else in it. Other haunts have “opening scare-amonies” that are worth watching and set the mood for the night (but skip them if you can get into the mazes ahead of the crowds). At Knott’s Scary Farm we’ve been able to get into three mazes within the half-hour before the haunt even opens, and we’ve never bought the early entry or “pre-scare dinner” option.
Related to this: Buy your tickets in advance if you can. Waiting in line for tickets wastes valuable time. Why add another queue to your night?
2. Go Early in the Season
Haunts get more crowded the closer it gets to Halloween. They hit their peak on the weekend before Halloween. We suggest attending as close to the opening weekend as possible. The actors are also fresh and ready to scare. We’ve witnessed “monster fatigue” when we’ve gone near the end of haunt season, when we’ve noticed monsters talking to each other inside the maze or drinking a soda as they lean against a wall. The only downside with attending early in the season is that some scares might not be completely worked out, and actors might just be finding their groove. The second or third weekend of a haunt is usually the best time to visit.
3. Haunt Stalk on “Off Peak” Nights
From our experiences, you’ll find much shorter lines by going to haunts that are open on Wednesday and Sunday nights. Thursdays can be lighter earlier in the season. However, do pay attention to the local school holidays as those can have a significant impact on the crowds’ sizes during these “off nights” as the haunt will be filled with pre-teen brats who were dropped off by their parents so that the ghost and ghouls can babysit them for the night. The Sunday before Columbus day is especially risky.
4. Consider a Front-of-the-Line Pass on Friday and Saturday Nights
…if you insist on ignoring the previous tip. Perhaps this tip should have been titled “Avoid Friday and Saturday Nights,” but we know that’s not realistic for most people. Work and school get in the way of attending haunts during the week. Sunday night could be a good compromise—lines will be much shorter, and you’ll still be able to arrive early (see tip #1) to avoid more of the crowds (your co-workers are used to seeing you looking hungover on Mondays anyway). But if you absolutely must go on a Friday or Saturday night, we recommend upgrading your ticket to a “Front-of-the-Line” pass (don’t forget to buy in advance!). Time is money, however, we realize that these passes can be pricey, so if you follow the other tips, you might be able to bypass the upgraded ticket and still see everything. After all, there are a lot of great haunts to attend, and you don’t want to blow your budget on a single ticket.
5. Bone Up on the Rules
With the terrors of the real world growing rampant, the security measures at many of these haunts has increased significantly. With this increased security comes annoying policies and rules that can make it even more time consuming, difficult, or even preventative for you getting inside; even if you have no intentions of being a haunt evildoer. Therefore, bone up on the rules at the respective haunts before you arrive. You don’t want to be the one who has to go all the way back to your car to return your forbidden camera, spiked jewelry, or switchblade. We also suggest that you travel light as there’s usually express lines for Haunt Stalkers who aren’t trying to enter with purses, bags, clothes (j/k), etc. Anyway, you’re just going for a night and not moving in… unless the haunts choose you to fill their residency quota.
6. Eat Before You Get There—Or Wait Until You Leave
Do you really want to wait in line for a crappy hot dog that costs $8? No, you don’t. As part of the “GO EARLY” plan, you should have an early dinner near the park. If you get hungry, grab a snack and eat in line. Don’t waste valuable time queuing up for theme park food. On the other hand, you could also wait and eat afterward. For example, Knott’s usually has a “midnight breakfast buffet” (12 am to 3 am) at the Chicken Dinner Restaurant next to the park that might be a good option.
7. Keep Your Group Small
“The More the Merrier” does not apply to haunts. Hitting all the mazes, scare zones, shows, and rides in a single, crowded night requires coordination, and the more people you have in your group, the less likely it is that consensus will be reached about where to go and what to do. Some people will want to go on the rides first, some will want to hit the mazes, some might be hungry and want food (see #3 above). We recommend keeping your group to no more than 6 people unless you’re willing to accept that you won’t get to do everything.
8. Tackle the Haunts Front to Back
Note: this works only if you’ve arrived early. You might think going straight to the mazes in the back of the park is a good idea, but you’re wrong. Sure, there will be no one in the back when you get there, but when you circle back to the mazes in the front of the park, they’ll be packed. Almost everyone else will be working from front to back, so as long as you’re ahead of the pack (by getting in early, see #1 above), this approach works best. If you’ve arrived late, forget it. You’re screwed, no matter what approach you take.
As a side, with Universal Hollywood’s unconventional layout they tend to allow early entry for the mazes in the lower lot, at the back of the park, so follow this plan doing the first mazes you encounter on the lower lot and then keep working your way to very back. You’ll likely get through all those mazes, which is a majority of them, with a significantly reduced wait time. Just be prepared to wait a little longer for the few on the upper lot. However, your overall wait time for the night should be reduced with this plan.
9. Don’t Loiter in the Scare Zones
… well only if you’re talking about our website. You will most likely pass through the scare zones as you make your way to the mazes. This absolutely adds to the overall experience but don’t get caught up hanging in the scare zones until you’ve already been through all the mazes/houses. As while you’re busy running away from and taking #selfies with a ghoul, the crowds will be surging past you and filling up the #longlines. You can always go back later in the night and leisurely scream through the scare zones.
10. Go On Rides and See Shows Only After You’ve Been in All the Mazes
It’s Halloween season, and mazes/houses are the main attraction. These are open only 5 or 6 weeks at most during the year. You can go back and to get on all the coasters and E-Ticket rides some other time. And let’s face it, most shows at haunts are pretty terrible. Save all of these “dis-ttractions” for last, or at least until after you’ve hit all the mazes you really wanted to go through.
ScareLA returns this weekend with a brand new creative direction and theme.
Set to thrill audiences this August 25 & 26 at the Los AngelesConvention Center, this year’s pre-Halloween convention will take place with the lights off. Revealing the world’s first summer Halloween pop-up theme park under the title “Descend Into Darkness.”
ScareLA continues to push the envelope of the horror genre and deliver on the ultimate fan experience. The con’s new format is an exciting departure into the world of themed entertainment and a first of its kind. Guests will explore the show floor in a low-lit environment immersed into the night of Halloween as soon as they cross the doorstep.
Established in 2012, ScareLA was the first fan convention dedicated to the Halloween season. The show has become known for its signature immersive and interactive format bringing together fans and famous from around the world to celebrate Halloween in the summer. This year ScareLA’s Founder and Executive Producer, Lora Ivanova, is taking her vision even further in a groundbreaking move to intensify the show’s experiential trademark.
“At ScareLA, we pride ourselves on truly pushing the boundaries of what a convention can and should be,” said Ivanova. “After quickly becoming the largest event of its kind, we are now setting our sights on a new goal – delivering the ultimate scare fan experience. What better way to do that than by truly embracing what Halloween is all about – complete immersion, engagement and dark fun! We cannot wait to welcome fans to our new summer Halloween pop-up theme park, it truly will be an experience unlike any other.”
As ScareLA prepares to celebrate its sixth anniversary, it promises to do so with thrills and chills for all ages – from full size haunts, experiences, and rides to original activations, panels and attendance from leaders in the haunt and horror world.
Situated in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, ScareLA spotlights the rich Southern California scare industry and community, from its iconic seasonal theme park events, to haunted attractions, home haunts, theater, film, escape rooms, AR, VR, interactive experiences and much more.
For more information visit www.scarela.com or follow ScareLA on social media at Facebook @ScareLAcon, Twitter and Instagram @scarelosangeles. Join the conversation using #ScareLA.
With some chaos Knott’s Scary Farm‘s 45th Halloween Haunt brings back many popular mazes, revamps others, introduces a couple new ones, and gives a final send off to the first Mistress of Haunt.
Well, we decided to forego the early season visit (and our own advice) and went to Knott’s Scary Farm on a mid-October Saturday night. You know, a night when everyone else in Southern California typically visits. Actually we just couldn’t find another time to go this season as we’ve been prioritizing haunts that are offering newer experiences. We also wanted to mix it up a little and report on what it’s like for real-everyday guests (with Fright Lane) and not a press media outlet that has the red carpet rolled out for them, to which there’s a significant difference in the experiences.
So after 45 years one would think that Knott’s would have it’s haunt operations running smoothly but sadly chaos ensued from the moment we arrived at the front gates. We lucked out a little on parking but even that was a mess (so was our car after paying $20 to park in a dusty lot). The process to get through the turnstile, using their mobile tickets, and getting a Fright Lane wristband was frustratingly slow. It makes no sense as to why they don’t just hand out the fright lane wrist bands to guest who’ve purchased them as they enter the park as the system for the getting the passes at designated stations within the park is aggravatingly slow and disorganized. It completely diminishes the value of the Fright Lane’s triple admission price and causes a big crowd of confused and angry people form right inside the park’s front gates.
In addition, many employees we encountered seemed clueless as to what they were doing, where things were, and what was going on in general. Line control and crowd flow was confusing and chaotic all over the park. These things matter just as much as having good mazes. The fun spirit of the evening can be quickly killed for guests if they have to endure what seems to be unnecessary frustrations. It nearly killed it for us. Being “sold out” is not an excuse for guests to have a shitty experience.
Perhaps they need to reduce the cap on the number of nightly admissions. Or maybe they need to hire more operations employees and if they’re hiring a lot of seasonal help during haunt they should take the time to properly train ALL of them. This would really make a difference on how efficient everything is ran inside the park. Compared to Universal, Magic Mountain, and Queen Mary, Knott’s lands in last place for its operations this year… a solid buried skull. Just go onto social media to see the never ending guest rants about this year’s operations.
Now on to the good stuff. While most of it is the same things we’ve all seen and loved before at Knott’s Scary Farm, part of the charm is the Halloween tradition that carries on year-after-year at the park. The new maze themes and the traditional Halloween ambiance that’s showcased across the foggy landscape is actually even more captivating this year with top notch park decorations along with high caliber and some truly scary maze designs. What distinguishes Knott’s in the Southern California theme park market is the originality of their mazes that are not confined to structured movie themes like Universal’s.
In particular, the new Dark Ride maze is probably one of the best themed and designed mazes we’ve ever experienced at Scary Farm in our past 25 years of visiting! Paranormal Inc. also continues its reign as the most terrifying maze at KSF with Shadowlands, Pumpkin Eater, and Trick or Treat: Lights Out rounding out the slate of our top mazes this year. We’re very happy that they brought back an overlay to the Timber Mountain Log Ride, even if it’s just “family friendly”. Now we hope they can get the Calico Mine Train back on board. Finally, rounding out the festivities, the anything but family friendly Elvira goes out with a (double) bang for her final season at Knott’s… sad so sad.
Now here’s our full Knott’s Scary Farm maze reviews featuring some incredible full maze videos from our friends at Theme Park HD.
New Mazes and Attractions
Journey through an abandoned carnival ride where cruel characters still linger in the shadows in the NEW maze, Dark Ride. The carnival attraction has become a refuge for sideshow freaks and now those shunned performers have created an ominous world where they plan to unleash terror on those who enter.
This is the Scary Farm maze everyone has been screaming for! Dark Ride looked spectacular and is probably one of the most imaginative and well designed mazes we’ve ever seen at Knott’s. Paying tribute to the old school carnival haunted – fun houses, Dark Ride takes guests on a twisted pathway through and behind the scenes of one of the most elaborate mazes in the history of Scary Farm. There are some fun scares but this maze is more about the story and design. It’s almost ironic how a maze based on a simplistic carnival haunted house ride features the most incredible special effects we’ve seen featured in a KSF maze. The scale of the sets, use of animatronics, music, and craftsmanship is definitely Knott’s warning shot back at HHN and others who have tried to run off with the haunt maze blueprint that they originated. A few more scares might have made this maze beyond perfect but we’re almost glad it wasn’t any scarier as we may have then missed seeing the full glory of this awesome maze by trying to cover our eyes (lol). All in all this maze definitely earns the trophy for haunt theme of the year and for the first time in our Knott’s Scary Farm history, it earns our top 666 skull rating for Haunt Design.
Daring guests will attempt to survive the wrath of the murderous 7-foot tall creature that haunts the old woods surrounding The Hollow in this year’s NEW MAZE, Pumpkin Eater. The notorious creature is on the prowl, hidden within the dark confines of the haunted town he once terrorized. To escape the sinister Pumpkin Eater’s wrath all who enter must go on a quest through the silent town of victims, face a cave of crawling insects and solve the labyrinth of thorns that blocks the only way out.
The nursery rhyme of Peter Peter Pumpkin eater is brought to life (and death) in this very imaginative maze concept. It reminded us of a mix of 1992’s Mother Noose and the more recent Cornstalkers mazes. Just like Dark Ride, Pumpkin Eater demonstrates that Knott’s has really graduated up into a new level of immersive maze theming, storytelling, and design. This maze also had quite a few good scares throughout with a high energy cast that really knows how to work within the maze’s long layout. The makeup and costuming were also well done with monstrous pumpkins and people with carved faces lurking about. There’s also some grotesque scenes but nothing that’s over the top like in the the Red Barn maze. The spiraling journey through the rotted pumpkins that requires guests to push through dripping wet passageways was a highlight of the maze. Due to many of the outdoor sections this maze is much scarier at night but all in all it really is a fun and fright inducing Halloween maze adventure.
Are you afraid of the dark? You will be. Armed with only a faulty flashlight, explore the creepy house at the end of the street, in the upgraded Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out maze. Face the terrors of the house in complete darkness as your interactive flashlight reveals the horrors hiding in the shadows. Featuring new state-of-the-art effects, unexpected scares and other eerie surprises, Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out will terrorize you like never before.
When we first heard about this maze we thought that it was going to just be the same old Trick or Treat maze where all they’ve done now is shut off the lights so that they could promote it as something new. While this is somewhat true, it works really well with the result being more than just a gimmick. ‘Trick or Treat’ actually has never really been a scary maze to us but the “lights out” element adds a new layer of suspense and scariness to the maze this year. Each guest has their own flashlight so the rooms and settings are somewhat illuminated as the groups walk through but now the ghouls and monsters have the full advantage of seeing you before you get to see them. They also added some fantastic looking new characters and set redresses. Trick or Treat has established itself as one of the most popular Scary Farm mazes that doesn’t seem to get old. With the new lights out Trick we expect it continue to be treating guests for more years to come.
This season the Timber Mountain Log Ride becomes the Halloween Hootenanny. This is a family friendly Halloween overlay to our classic Timber Mountain Log Ride. This attraction will be open every day during the Halloween season and features a brand new original song sung by Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies.
After a hiatus that lasted for a few years, it’s so good to finally have the haunted log ride back at Scary Farm. For us this was always one of the quintessential and unique haunt experiences. This new version isn’t designed to be an overly scary experience but the upgraded props, effects and soundtrack make it one of the funnest things to do at Scary Farm and a nice break from walking around. We also appreciate that in spite of the stricter OSHA regulations they still managed to get a handful of live monsters to lurk about in the dark corners around the flume.
This year marks our 24th year of attending Knott’s Scary Farm, which adds up to a lot of monsters, mazes, and Elvira shows we’ve experienced along with miles upon miles of walking (running) in the fog.
When we first went to Knott’s Scary Farm we were young, naive, and easily scared teenagers. Everything about Scary Farm was terrifying, fresh, exciting and new to us. Now as “adults” we sometimes ask ourselves “is there really anything more that they can do that will really wow and scare us after all these years?”. I mean, we’ve pretty much perfected our haunt POV to the point we can easily detect where all the monsters are hiding in the mazes or predict what they’ll try to do to scare us in the scare zones. Plus we’ve toured the country and have expereinced all the different types of haunt scenarios you could imagine.
There even was a period when Knott’s had become the dated “granddaddy” haunt that held a nostalgic value but very little else; especially when compared to the new renaissance of high production, ultra suspenseful, and personalized haunt experiences that have emerged within the past ten years. Add in Universal who got very serious about its Horror Nights events in the mid-2000’s and we saw the bar for theme park and local haunts get raised so high it seemed that Knott’s should just do like they do in Calico Square and hang it up.
However, when you’re an originator that created the game you can redefine the rules. So not being unaware of the competitive changes, a few years ago the creative team at Knott’s Scary Farm embarked on a pleasantly dark path where they wouldn’t necessarily try to compete with what everyone is doing but instead move to further perfect what they’ve started. With this came the emergence of some incredible new maze themes and concepts that are designed the capture the imaginations and fears of today’s teenagers (and adults). In recent years we’ve watched as each season they’ve created unique maze themes and haunt concepts that showcase just about every frighting and fun aspect of Halloween. What Knott’s uniquely possess in comparison to other haunts is the soul of the Halloween Season.
To us they may no longer be the scariest haunt in town but for others, especially the new generation of haunt goers, they could easily hold the terror crown. We believe that it’s the wide variety of themes and enhanced story-telling that brings Knott’s Halloween Haunt to life. Where else can can you go Trick Or Treating in a witch’s house, investigate Paranormal activity inside a haunted hospital, battle zombies with laser guns in a post apocolyptic city, and try to escape from demonic Samurais or gun sling with cowboys and werewolves? It’s all pure Halloween season fun.
This year we continued our tradition of visiting the Scary Farm and like Elvira it still hasn’t gotten old. This was the first year we’ve attended on their opening night. Usually we like to wait for a week or two to give the monsters and performers a chance to perfect their scares. While it was noticeable in some areas that they could improve over time, overall we are impressed by how well managed and produced this year’s Halloween Haunt is. The tagline for this year is “Whatever, you’re imagining is here” and trust us, there was a lot of imagination put into this year’s show.
The event we’ve all been waiting for this year is just about here! The original Halloween Haunt, Knott’s Scary Farm, returns for the 44th year starting on Thursday, September 22nd with more than 1,000 monsters roaming the park and lurking in the fog.
We consider Knott’s Scary Farm to the best theme park Halloween celebration with a park completely blanketed in fog and crawling with monsters. There’s multiple scare zones, mazes, new virtual reality experiences, shows, rides, and Elvira, “the most popular ride in the park”.
As the terrors of Scary Farm inches closer we think that now is the perfect time for us to take a first peek in the fog to see what they have in store for 2016. As they say “Whatever you’re imagining, It’s here…”
Haunted Attractions (New for 2016)
Four all-new nightmarish haunted attractions will debut this year; each featuring unearthly surprises, ghoulish monsters and frightening legends that come to life as you step inside:
Black Ops: Infected: Armed with cutting edge laser guns, brave guests will face off against hordes of zombies in the groundbreaking all-new Black Ops: Infected interactive maze. Small units of guests will battle the zombie apocalypse through blood soaked city streets and an underground sewer system crawling with nearly one hundred ravenous zombies. The high tech innovative experience thrusts guests into the middle of a live-action video game complete with live actors, real time scoring system, kill streak rewards system and interactive targets, including a juggernaut boss zombie. The new attraction is one of the largest mazes ever created in Knott’s Scary Farm history so form your squad and put your zombie apocalypse survival skills to the test in this action packed, one-of-a-kind experience
Shadow Lands: A fulfilling life ensures a soul safe passage into eternity, but what happens to the souls of soldiers slain in battle? Enter the hair-raising Shadow Lands maze and fight off demon samurais whose souls are cursed to rot within the depths of purgatory. Guests will embark on a quest through a sacred shrine, an ancient Japanese temple and into the midst of the shadow lands.
Red Barn: Take a trip to a blood-soaked barn filled with carnivorous animals seeking to prey on human flesh in the Red Barn gore maze. Legend has it the farmer who owns the barn was transformed into a heinous creature that sends his sadistic sons to ensure his legacy. None dare enter the barn, for those who enter never escape.
The Hollow: From within the fog, the legendary Headless Horseman and his army of the undead are ready to unleash a reign of terror in the new scare zone, The Hollow. Guests entering the frightful 6-acre area will be terrorized by the souls of fallen soldiers and local farmers that have escaped their shallow graves.
FearVR: 5150: New for 2016, enter the mysterious Meadowbrook Institute and witness the abnormal case of a terrifyingly unusual patient named Katie in the groundbreaking virtual reality horror experience Fear VR: 5150. Using Samsung GearVR powered by Oculus and strapped to a hospital wheelchair, come face- to-face with the deadly chaos unraveling around you. Disturbingly vivid sights and sounds invade all of your senses. Encounter the darkness that has taken over the medical staff during your fully immersive hospital stay. Patients beware; it is easier to check in than out.
Standalone Skeleton Key Rooms (New for 2016):
For the first time, Knott’s Scary Farm will feature standalone Skeleton Key Rooms that are independent from mazes. The four Skeleton Key Rooms will each feature a unique story and theme delivering unparalleled scares, interactive secrets and terrifying surprises:
Slasher: Guests are invited to step into an 80s’ slasher horror film. The masked Angel Maker Killer is on the loose. Every lead has run cold and that’s when you step into the picture. Will you become his next victim?
Prey:Navigate a hay maze full of dead ends with only a faulty lantern as your guide. You are not alone. Mutant beasts are lurking around every corner.
Visions: Guests must investigate the Green Witch Museum in Ghost Town where it is not the building that is haunted, but the various items contained within. Using a Phantom Finder augmented reality device, guests will be able to identify and witness paranormal activity connected to items from the Sarah Marshall Witch Trial.
ZOZO: People from all over the world claim to have been visited by the demon ZOZO after a spirit board session. Is the demonic entity known as ZOZO real or are spirit boards just a myth?
This weekend at ScareLA the folks at Knott’s Scary Farm revealed the first details for this year’s Halloween Haunt, which begins in only 45 days on September 24th. This year’s event will feature 2 shows, 3 Scare Zones, 5 Skeleton Key Rooms, 11 mazes, and 1,000 monsters! There’s also a ‘Scary Farm Pass‘; a haunt season pass available for “only” $80. A great deal for local fans. Tickets are on sale now starting at $39.99.
Here’s The full Scary Farm lineup for 2015…
DEAD OF WINTER:
Escape the icy grasp of the chilling Snow Queen in the The Dead of Winter. Backed by a ravenous beastly army of resurrected Viking warriors, she is hellbent on avenging her beloved family’s murder, and preys upon any unsuspecting visitors who foolishly enter the borders of her icy domain.
In this groundbreaking new maze featuring high flying aerial stunts and scares, guests investigate a haunted hospital where the patients were tortured for decades by deranged doctors and nurses. Demonic spirits of the murdered victims have been detected throughout the mysterious halls, while evil medical staff hunt for new patients to torture.
MY BLODDY CLEMENTINE:
There is no tale more vicious and vengeful than that of My Bloody Clementine. Take a grim ride through the transformed Calico Mine where Clementine and her father were brutally murdered centuries ago. Their wretched spirits roam the tunnels in search of those who killed them. This year, the ride through maze will feature live monsters out for revenge at the train track’s every turn.
This twisted tooth fairy steals more than just baby teeth as he drags his victims out their bedroom window and into a world of deranged dentistry. Unbelievable special effects include a blackout room through which guests must feel their way out, a disorienting x-ray strobe light room, and a final encounter with the massive tooth fairy, himself. Say aahhh.
THE GUNSLINGER’S GRAVE: A BLOOD MOON RISES:
“A Blood Moon Rises” continues the story of The Gunslinger. The Red hand gang has disturbed a burial ground that contained a SkinWalker relic, that has transformed them into Werewolves under the Blood Moon Curse. Return to the Old West and walk in the bloody footsteps of a betrayed and left for dead gunslinger on his path to retribution. This journey back in time takes guests on a trail of terror through abandoned gold mines, a treacherous corral, a seedy saloon and a final showdown at town hall.
SPECIAL OPS: INFECTED – PATIENT ZERO:
Survive the Zombie Apocalypse in an All-Out War! Back by overwhelming demand, guests can enlist to fight the zombie apocalypse in an all-out war against the undead in the interactive experience, Special Ops: Infected – Patient Zero. In this ambitious attraction groups must work together to fend off zombies and complete terrifying missions before time runs out. Special Ops: Infected seamlessly integrates interactive gaming technology with an immersive mountainous landscape, delivering a breakthrough interactive haunted experience that is as terrifying as it is challenging. Missions will take guests through a variety of wilderness terrains, including the unpredictable barrel bridges across the rushing river, through the dark caverns, and through mysterious backwoods. Six acres of the beloved theme park is now home to mutinous, scream-inducing zombies, and the time has come for a harrowing Special Ops survival mission.*There is no additional charge for Special Ops: Infected.
Years have passed since the blue fairy denied him his final wish, but Pinocchio has returned with an army of murderous marionettes intent on killing his former masters. The purpose of his killing spree – human flesh to cover his twisted wooden body. Revenge comes with no strings attached.
The twisted mind of Edgar Allen Poe comes alive as the “Forevermore Killer” works his way through one haunting tale after another. All the victims unwittingly find themselves a part of “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” The Masque of Red Death” among other horrific stories. Guests will want to catch up on their reading to stay a chapter ahead of their demise.
The veil between the living and the dead is severed when Houdini’s ghost materializes during a séance and ushers a host of demonic illusions to play tricks on anyone who intrudes on his theatre. From the prop room to the main stage this dilapidated theatre will make visitors skin crawl. Will you be part of the disappearing act?
VOODOO – ORDER OF THE SERPENT:
Beware the cursed swamps of New Orleans, where mindless zombies trudge through the murky bogs in search of bloody sacrifices and demons use Voodoo curses to possess innocent souls. Choose your path carefully children, for one wrong turn and you will be hexed forever. This year’s maze is even longer featuring a new finale.
TRICK OR TREAT:
Trick or treat, which will it be? Step forward and ring the witch’s doorbell. Oh, she is home, but where? You are not quite sure. Don’t be afraid, her minions will guide you. You can come away with a treat, but is it worth it? This year’s maze features a new attic scene and a witch’s potion room to conjure up more scares.
GHOST TOWN STREETS: Ghost Town Streets is the original – and still most terrifying scare zone – that started it all. Bands of half-human, half-animal monsters prowl the streets and inhabit the fog. Beware the notoriously startling Sliders who lunge from every fog-filled corner of the land. New for this year, Ghost Town Streets has been expanded to the backstage maze area to create the largest scare zone in Scary Farm history, full of new surprises.
FIESTA de los MUERTOS: Fiesta de los Muertos fuses dance music, colorful costumes, and larger than life stilt walkers in a dance party scare zone with even more characters than last year to create the ultimate late night celebration of Dia de los Muertos.
CARNIVAL: Knott’s Boardwalk is taken over by “CarnEVIL,” where the freak show is the main event and countless clowns crave your undying attention.
DEADLY 7: Prowling the darkest corners of Scary Farm’s midways and scare zones, the Green Witch and her Deadly 7 are a sadistic crew guilty of more terror than meets the eye. Each of the monsters represent one of the seven deadly sins and make terrifying surprise appearances throughout the park each night.
ELVIRA’S ASYLUM: Elvira, the legendary Mistress of the Dark, returns to Knott’s Scary Farm in a spectacular all-new nightly show, Elvira’s Asylum, which transports guests to an asylum of music, dance and comedy.
THE HANGING: – Haunt’s traditional show (that we only watch while waiting in line for Calico Mine Train or The Log Ride) in Calico Square will continue its’ irreverent look at the year’s pop culture with special effects, pyrotechnics and stunts.
ELVIRA MEET & GREET: In honor of Elvira’s return to Knott’s Scary Farm, the Nautilus merchandise shop will become Elvira’s Boo-tique, where fans can purchase stylish apparel and sinfully fun products featuring and inspired by the Legendary Mistress of the Dark. Each night, a limited number of guests who spend at least $50 at Elvira’s Boo-tique during Knott’s Scary Farm will get a chance to meet Elvira between performances of “Elvira’s Asylum” and collect her signature on one of the purchased items.
BOO-FET WITH EARLY ENTRY: Knott’s Boo-fet dinner invites guests to feed the beast before Knott’s Scary Farm opens each night. Dine on a frightfully delicious buffet meal while monsters scare and delight you throughout your meal. Meals include a collectible 2015 souvenir cup, which provides unlimited complimentary refills during the night of first use, and 99¢ refills for the rest of 2015. After dinner, enjoy early entry into select parts of Knott’s Scary Farm before it opens to other mortals. Boo-fet dinner is $26.99 online / $32.99 at the door (plus applicable taxes and fees).
Today we wish a very scary and happy birthday to our favorite goth gal, Elvira!
As our Haunt Stalkers know, we love Elvira and have been big fans since she first made her big impressions on the 80’s boob tube with her infamous Movie Macabre TV series. Elvira has had an enduring career in the horror and haunt worlds and the ageless Mistress of the Dark has no signs of laying down on the retirement couch yet (at least in the face down position). This year she continues her reign as the Queen of the park after dark at Knott’s Scary Farm as she returns to titillate and frolic all over the stage. And she’s doing a show too, which always gets the crowd’s blood pumping.
We think Elvira’s shows at Scary Farm are as good as it gets when it comes to theme park Halloween shows. She always gives it all up in her spooky Vegas style variety shows that fully mounds… rounds out the Knott’s Haunt entertainment experiences. In past years she also had her own Knott’s Scary Farm mazes– Elvira’s Nightmares and Elvira’s Red Moon Massacre – a haunted log ride (her favorite kind of ride). There’s also a 3D Elvira stimulation… simulation ride call Superstition that can be found at other theme park haunts across the country.
Elvira’s looking great and we appreciate that she’s continues to provide scares, fun, and so much love to the Horror and Haunt community. Now we just hope we can get to see more of her… on the boob tube again.
You can keep up with Elvira’s other haunt season appearances by visiting her site Elvira.com
To further celebrate, here’s Elvira’s birthday cakes in action at Knott’s Scary Farm!
ScareLA premiered in 2013 as the first Los Angeles convention dedicated to celebrating Halloween. Situated in the entertainment capital of the world it combines the city’s top talent and unique cultural setting with a twist! Drawing fans and haunt entertainment professionals, the event features top attraction designers and operators, manufacturers, artists, filmmakers and more. The weekend-long Halloween season teaser celebrates California’s hottest scary faire with attraction unveils, workshops and classes, top industry panels, haunt tours, screenings and activities. Share, inspire, play – ScareLA.
Here’s some of what you can expect to see this weekend:
Today the “remake, revisioning, retelling, etc.” of Poltergeist arrives in theaters. As all of you know, the original Poltergeist is considered one of the top classic movies in the horror genre. Therefore, we had to say a little something about it.
For those of us who were fortunate enough to be around in the early 80’s, the original movie successfully tapped into the fears kids and adults carried with them during those times. These fears included, child abduction as Caroline was sucked through the TV set into the “other side” away from her family. There also was familial dysfunction and displacement as the events of Caroline’s abduction lead to the unraveling of the family unit with strained relationships and distrust emerging among the members. For kids, there are also the terrors of all the things that go bump in the night from monsters (and clowns) under bed to the scary shadows of trees reflecting (and crashing) through our bedroom windows at night. For adults, the horrors of being vulnerable in moments of crisis, not having cable TV, and bad real estate investments also manifested in this successful, low gore but high scare movie.
Since Poltergeist came out in 1982 many movies have taken (ripped off) from its story pages, including it’s own 2 sequels. Now 33 years later it seems that they’re baaaack. Current reviews have been fairly positive and we believe in the notion that good ghost stories always deserve to be retold. However, our hope is that the storytelling has evolved enough to capture some of the things that keep us up at night in today’s world, especially us 80’s kids who are now adults. Perhaps instead of the TV, the little girl should be sucked into a mobile phone or iPad?
The one big flaw we see in this movie is the lack of Tangina, the Poltergeist lady herself. Sadly, the original actress Zelda Rubinstien looked into the light and is now on the other side herself but her character was a big part of the movie as she reminded us what we’re afraid of and why. She also provided the wisdom to lead us all to better understand ourselves and learn why we can’t let our own fears get the best of us. Without this central character in the movie we’re not sure if it can recreate the horror magic of the first but we’ll still give it a try.
All in all what we will be watching the movie for is it’s potential to become a haunt experience. While it has always been harder to transform ghost movies into haunts versus slashers and monsters, there have been some successful ghost mazes in recent years. Of course, Universal’s HHN as successfully created some very creepy and scary haunted houses based on ghostly occurrences such as Dead End, and Dead Silence, and Insidious. Poltergeist itself was also featured in a few rooms inside Knotts Scary Farm’s Horrowood Hotel maze back in the early 2000’s.
We’ll follow up and let you all know what we think of the Poltergeist’s return and look forward to hearing all of your thoughts as well.