The fog crept around my ankles and ghouls raced up and down the aisles of the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. A massive werewolf growled in my ear and leaned over me in my seat. I slunk down trying to catch a photo as teenage girls giggled behind me taking selfies with a sharp-toothed monster. Outside it was a sweltering August night, but inside the mood was chilling for the annual Knott’s Scary Farm Preview.
Jeff Tucker, Supervisor of Park Shows, was dramatically wheeled onto the stage masked and bound in a straight jacket like Hannibal Lecter. He stripped off these props to reveal a long red Ringmaster’s coat and energetically began to lead us through the lineup of eleven mazes, three scare zones, and two shows.
Pinocchio Unstrung. Pinocchio and his murderous marionettes return with an all new Pleasure Island and Skeleton Key Room. “Revenge comes with no strings attached”, said Tucker.
Black Magic. Back for the third year, this popular maze follows Houdini’s ghost through the Faux Theater where illusions and tricks lurk around every corner.
Trick or Treat. Step up to the witch’s doorbell and ring it if you dare. This returning maze features an all new potion room and bewitched attic.
Forevermore. One of my personal favorites is back as we track the “Forevermore Killer” through his crime scenes inspired by the works of Edgar Allen Poe. This time, according to Tucker, with a Skeleton key guests will get to “witness the work of the Forevermore Killer firsthand”.
Voodoo – Order of the Serpent. A beautifully creepy walk through the Louisiana swamps, this maze follows Papa Legba as he tries to conjure a serpent demon goddess. Guests with a Skeleton Key may fall prey to a voodoo ritual. Featuring an all new finale.
The Tooth Fairy. One of the goriest mazes at Knott’s Scary Farm is back with a brand new Skeleton Key room and ending. Tucker promised enhanced special effects and a blackout room where guests will have to “feel their way out”.
Special Ops Infected – Patient Zero. This interactive zombie apocalypse killing spree is back with a longer route. Instead of dividing the area into A and B zones like last year, the game now covers six acres of park. New upgraded guns allow for kill streaks, level ups, and respawning just like a video game. This popular experience does fill up quickly. Get to the park early, so you don’t miss out. There is NO upcharge to play.
Gunslinger’s Grave – A Blood Moon Rises. Knott’s is known for their western theme, but how do you update it and keep it fresh? With werewolves, of course!
The Dead of Winter. This unique “high contrast” maze will lead guests through blinding white rooms splashed with “lots of red blood”. Escape the icy grasp of the Snow Queen and her army of Viking warriors. With Skeleton Key room.
Paranormal Inc. – Case 1. The Haunting of Hayden Hill. Lara Hanneman, Director of Entertainment Production, told me that this maze is different than anything they have done before. Guests are taken on an interactive ghost hunt investigation with the Paranormal Inc. crew. The maze “combines show elements with high energy flying aerial stunts” . Unlike a traditional walk through maze, this has two branching storylines which will be determined by the actions of the guests as they walk the halls of a haunted hospital.
My Bloody Clementine. Set inside the Calico Mine Ride, this story takes guests on a ride where Clementine and her father were viciously murdered. Now featuring live monsters reaching out for you at every turn!
Now 160 acres of scare zones! This year, Tucker warned, “there is nowhere to hide except maybe in the bathroom and they will probably wait for you outside”. Monsters can be seen everywhere. There are three returning zones, and then one special group of monsters led by the Green Witch.
Fiesta De Los Muertos. Stilt Walkers, dancers, and colorful calaveras return to the dance party scare zone themed for the Mexican Day of the Dead.
CarnEvil. Clowns. Evil clowns. Lots of them.
Ghost Town. This year the original Knott’s Scary Farm scare zone is back and it is the biggest ever.
Deadly Seven. Seven wandering scare characters who follow the Green Witch and represent the seven deadly sins. When they were announced cards showing each of the characters rained down on us from the sky. These characters will make surprise appearances in different areas of the park through the night. They could pop up in any of the scare zones or midways.
The Hanging – Straight Outta Calico. A favorite pop culture send up where the most infamous celebrity is hanged in Calico Square. Will Justin Beiber get the noose again? This time Tucker said The Hanging will be “smartphone enhanced… where the audience writes the script”. I don’t know how this is going to work, but he joked “if you are going to have your faces in your phones the whole time, you might as well help out”.
Elvira’s Asylum. Elvira joins Knott’s Scary Farm again with her devilish brand of comedy, dance, and spooky fun. Meet and greets with the Legendary Mistress of the Dark will be available in Elvira’s Boo-tique for guests who spend at least $50 on merchandise.
MORE WAYS TO SCREAM
The Knott’s Scary Farm Pass is available now. Get all 24 nights for just $80 (discounts for passholders), while supplies last.
Fright Lane with Skeleton Key. Starting at $70 this offers priority access to all mazes and unlocks five secret Skeleton Key rooms which tell backstory or show guests exclusive maze scenes. (Separate admission ticket required).
Knott’s Scary Farm runs from September 24 – October 31. Tickets available now.