Knott’s Scary Farm
Since 1973, Knott’s has been host to a spooky after-hours event. In 2019 it is better than ever with more special effects, more immersion, and more…puppets?
First, Knott’s Berry Farm is known for some amazing food. It’s what really put it on the map in the first place. For this year’s Scary Farm, not only is there a great Boo-fet that is available before you venture into the fog, but a selection of items are available in the park when the event starts. There are special pizzas, freaky funnel cake, and even a costumed Snoopy cookie!
Let’s face it. The big draw for the event is going through the spectacular mazes. This year has a few returning favorites: The Depths, Dark Entities, Paranormal Inc., Shadowlands, Special Ops, Dark Ride, and Pumpkin Eater. Two new mazes rounded out the selections: Origins and WaxWorks.
Most of the returning mazes had a new feature with them. The Depths featured a mesmerizing introduction where an elevator takes guests down into the caverns. It is a room with some great projection effects but were were amazed at how we entered, then exited the same door with different paths. Dark Entities has a more coherent storyline, and some added sci-fi effects. We are racing to escape the alien AND a self-destruct sequence. The cast inside did a wonderful job at making us feel like we were really in this space atmosphere trying to escape with our lives. Special Ops has groups splitting up in many areas for some extra zombie shooting action. It’s sad to know this is the last year for this amazing attraction.
Dark Ride has a special “exit through the gift shop” sequence, while Paranormal Inc. has added effects. We didn’t get to experience them but are hearing good things from them. They are also just great mazes every year.
WaxWorks, the much-touted new maze has a very creepy atmosphere. It starts outside of the maze in the queue with some videos explaining the history behind this “museum.” On the facade is an eery projection effect of melting wax and a talking devil head. It adds to the terrifying atmosphere. A few workers with melted faces walk around interacting with guests. Inside are some macabre figures and monsters all deformed from the sinister wax workers’ desires. It is a scary walk through to behold.
Origins might be the frosting on the cake of Scary Farm. Scary Farm has famously had a witch character for many years. Now, we find out the start of this ghastly character and it is tied into Calico Ghost Town! It really begins at the beginning of the night where citizens who are ghastly deformed explain how Sarah Marshall, the witch, has cursed them. The Hanging even gets involved in the whole story. But, the maze is what really brings it together where guests explore Calico in its cursed state. Citizens are trying to grab guests because of their madness, and the witch tries to keep all in. The effects made this one of the most immersive mazes as it really felt like going through a monstrous town. It was really fun also seeing the possessed Catawampuses also.
The highlight of the night for us was seeing Puppet Up! It might seem a bit odd to have a puppet improv show in the midst of some crazy atmospheres, but this is a welcome respite in the fog. The show is done by Brian Henson and company and features puppeteers improving to suggestions from the audience. There were a couple of classic Muppet-type performances not improved, and a guest was able to come on stage and learn from Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, himself! We laughed very hard at the performance. Every sketch was hilarious, which having done improv before it is not easy to make it that funny every time. The puppeteers are world-class and very talented. It is something not to be missed by anyone attending!
There are so many things to do at Scary Farm. The Halloween Hootenanny overlay for Timber Mountain is another great addition to any itinerary. And that is just one of many rides available in the night. There are magicians at the Bird Cage Theater to watch and rest from the weary Ghost Town traveling. Scare zones throughout will entertain as you watch victims be frightened from monsters and crazy clowns walking around. A terrific art show – Into the Fog – features great artwork by top-notch artists. It is a wonderful gallery with some amazing pieces that celebrate both the history of the park and the fun Halloween event. We will have a whole post on this great art show later on. All of this to say we didn’t see everything in one night! It might be almost impossible! And we even had Fright Lane to get great access to all the mazes. If you plan on going for one night, definitely get Fright Lane to take advantage of all the mazes. But, I highly recommend getting a Scary Farm Season Pass before they’re all gone and you can return again and again to really immerse yourself in the fog. Plus, Puppet Up! is different each performance! Scary Farm continues to get better and better every year, and this was a memorable time in the fog.