Knott’s Berry Farm transforms into Scary Farm once again for the Halloween season! After the hiatus that has been shared by many due to the pandemic, Knott’s Scary Farm is back in full swing with some new features and scares.
The DAPs Magic team was on hand to partake in the haunts during the opening night. Among the many returns after skipping 2020 were a few mazes: Dark Ride, Wax Works, Dark Entities, The Depths, Origins, Paranormal Inc, and Pumpkin Eater. CarnEVIL, Forsaken Lake, Ghost Town, and The Hollow return as scare zones. The two new features to walk through are the Gore-ing 20’s scare zone, and the Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind Maze.
We have often enjoyed the scare zones with stories of depth that enhance their areas of the park. Forsaken Lake has had a great bayou feel with a story of a mysterious lake that incorporates a New Orleans style wake. Ghost Town Streets is a classic area where the residents of Ghost Town come alive…or is it die…to meet guests. Gore-ring 20’s is an immersive scare zone that tries to have guests incorporated into the story of a prohibition era street. Gangsters threaten passerby’s while dancers seem innocent but beckon people to possible doom. There is something sinister happening and it makes it a bit of a mystery. It is a lot of fun to see a not quite ghoulish scare zone. There is live entertainment that adds to the story while also providing a break from the scares. Overall it feels like Ghost Town Alive as the Roaring 20’s. Which also pays homage to the former land that the scare zone occupies.
As far as the new maze, Mesmer, goes, it is a very welcome addition! The sideshow creepiness has guests going through a fun house-like environment. It was challenging in an exciting way to get through some optical illusion rooms while also avoiding the jump scares of hypnotized sideshow characters. A haunting narration permeates throughout the maze, which adds to a rather long and winding place to get through. I really enjoyed going through for its unique take on a scare maze.
There is entertainment abound throughout Scary Farm. Some is more creepy than others. Many will notice the absence of The Hanging, yet it is nice to have a huge selection of other respites throughout the night. Wicked Drums is a great performance of percussion set in The Hollow. The percussionists are amidst a witch conjuring that brings background to the Hollow story while being a fairly low scare upbeat performance.
Another new addition is the Invitation to Terror which takes place in the Mystery Lodge theater. The audience is transported back to the 80s for a trade show presentation. But, things are not as they seem, and the CEO is really more sinister than he seems. With digital effects and a surprise ending this is a show that shouldn’t be missed. It has a classic theme park show feel to it with great performers and special effects. The show is more of an attraction with continual performances throughout the night instead of exact showtimes, which make it more of a sit-down maze.
Carnaval du Grotesque and Doce de la Noche are two musical performances that are wonderful breaks amidst the heavier scare environments. Carnaval features great bands while Doce has amazing dancers.
The real hit for us is Puppet Up! returning again. This was such a highlight at the last Scary Farm and we looked forward to it coming back! The Jim Henson Company puppeteers improv their way through a hilarious show brought on by suggestions from the audience. It can get rather obscene, but still is full of heavy laughs. The puppeteers are incredibly creative and witty with what they come up with based on suggestions. It is absolutely a must-see, and can be a bit like a substitute Hanging since they sometimes use contemporary references.
Other features of Scary Farm include Into the Fog, which is an annual art show with local artists. These artists produce amazing pieces that pay homage to both the park and the heritage of Scary Farm. The artwork and prints are available for purchase as well. Definitely check out Annie Hobbs’ piece. There may or may not be a connection to the site with that artist…
There are also many rides and attractions open during the Scary Farm night. Timber Mountain transforms into a Halloween Hootenanny and Calico Mine Ride has become Calico Candy Mine for the Halloween season. Both are fun and a bit relaxing compared to venturing through scare mazes. They have wonderful original songs, and Candy Mine has several candy smells throughout!
With so many things to see and do, we did not get through it in one night. Even with a Fright Lane pass that let us skip the line on mazes, it was hard to get through everything. And we even split up at one point to cover more! It is worth checking out not just once but several times to see everything! The mazes have great effects and animatronics while the entertainment is going to be fresh everytime. I’ve though about getting a whole season pass just to see Puppet Up several nights.
You won’t want to miss this return of a Halloween favorite! Tickets and more info is available at knotts.com!
DAPS MAGIC was given an experience or product free of charge to review that was used for this coverage. The opinions given in this review were that of the reviewer. There are no claims of being an expert. This is simply a review given with honest opinions.