Entertainment » Culture

Knotts Scary Farm

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Oct 17, 2017
Knotts Scary Farm

Truth be told, I've lived in Los Angeles for twenty-two years and have never been to Knott's Berry Farm. So having my first experience be their annual Halloween Haunt "Knott's Scary Farm" was an added treat. Set amongst the second most popular theme park in LA County, Knott's Scary Farm might not have movie-themed attractions to draw in the crowds, but that just makes it that much more creative.

Similar to the Queen Mary's Dark Harbor, Knott's spooky maze attraction has a whopping nine mazes to choose from. Unlike Universal, the workers are careful not to let in too many visitors into each maze at a time to maximize the scares. With all original themes, these are some of the most inventive and well-designed temporary attractions around.

While there were things to love about every one of the mazes, a few stood out. "Dark Ride" lets haunters enter a broken down carnival ride that has been taken over by deranged carnival workers. Spooky, authentic, and sometimes downright frightening, this had the best feel to it because you were literally walking through a classic "dark ride." Think walking through a broken down and terrifying "Pinocchio" ride at Disneyland. And while the characters can't touch you, they get close enough to freak you out.

In addition to Dark Ride, there are mazes based on a Paranormal TV show where creepy activity in an insane asylum runs havoc (a great scare happens in this one), Pumpkin Eater and Trick or Treat Lights Out are both classic Halloween-themed mazes that are well-crafted and a lot of scary fun. One of the more original is Shadow Lands, which is based on Asian mythology like ghoulish samurai and those creepy ghoul ladies with long black hair hanging in front of their faces. This was one of the more original and a few scenes utilized some fun strobe effects.

Rounding them out are the farm animals gone bad attraction, The Red Barn maze, and a fun but super disturbing Tooth Fairy creation (fake dead kids abound) that will make you question whether you should allow your kids to leave coins under their pillows. There's also Voodoo, which takes you through a Louisiana Bayou where creepy creatures follow you from hut to swamp beckoning for you to succumb to their witchcraft.

The other maze that stood out was Special Ops Infected where travelers had guns they could shoot infected zombies with. While the mechanism didn't always work, the set-design was terrific and the cast of characters were totally invested in their roles.

But it's not just mazes (although they are some of the best), you can still ride some classic rides and even try out the Timber Mountain Log Ride which swiftly zips you along a mining town that has been altered for the Halloween Season and then dumps you down a steep decline. So much fun! Most of the other rides are also open with a few exceptions.

And don't forget to check out Elvira's final season of shows based on her classic character and Halloween film.

With a lot of fog and creepy crawly creatures running around, stalking you, scaring you, following you... Knott's Scary Farm is a whole lot of fun. Not as over-crowded as other parks it's a guaranteed good time for the Halloween season. And even better if you get the Fright Pass you are guaranteed swift entry onto every attraction!

Go with a group and scare yourselves silly, then ride some rides to scare yourself some more. (The Sierra Sidewinder... never again.)

Knott's Scary Farm runs on select nights through October 31, 2017. Admission ranges from $42-$140.99. For tickets and information, visit knotts.com/play/scary-farm.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


10 Days of Halloween

This story is part of our special report titled "10 Days of Halloween." Want to read more? Here's the full list.


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