Last night, Knott’s Berry Farm held a huge announcement event in the Charles Schultz Theatre to reveal all of their dastardly plans for the 41st Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt. Heralding the oldest and biggest Halloween party on the planet, Knott’s held an unprecedented announcement presentation to let people know what was in store for this year. Press and pass holders alike swarmed the cavernous theatre, eager to hear what there was to fear.
In a wonderful display of showmanship, Knott’s rolled out the green carpet and held open house. Jeff Tucker, the P.T. Barnum of Knott’s, engaged the crowd and got everyone psyched to learn what was in store.
Let’s cut to the chase. Jeff welcomed the psychotic minds behind the haunted mazes to the stage.
Trick or Treat (GhostRider)
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. I am sure that the tales of the many Hallows Eve victims are just that. You can come away with a treat, but is it worth the trick? Designer Brooke Walters promised more dead children in the maze this year. Yikes!
Pinocchio Unstrung (Wilderness Dance Hall)
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.
ENDGAMES: Warriors of the Apocalypse (GhostRider)
The world as we know it has ended. The survivors in this barren desert have scavenged to rebuild society. The rich and the powerful have turned all others into slaves for sport. Enter the post apocalyptic arena where gladiators are forced to battle to their deaths for entertainment. Are you game?
In the deep recesses of the mind, on the clouded brink of insanity, lies the hellish wasteland of delirium; a place so gruesome that your imagination fails to comprehend the horrors. Illusion and paranoia are your only anchors to reality. Welcome to your worst nightmare!
Uncle Willy’s Slaughterhouse (Necropolis)
Folks near and far come a-runnin’ for Farmer Willy’s world famous BBQ! Guests are welcome to venture through the Slaughterhouse where Uncle Willy will feed them full of BBQ, slather them with special sauce, tenderize them with his chainsaw and grind them into a tasty treat. Bone appetite! Last year this maze was completely re-imagined and came out a better maze for it. Tighter, with a more linear storyline, it proved that the concept was still disturbing as ever. This is now the oldest maze at Haunt.
The Witch’s Keep (Calico Mine Ride)
Many years ago, The Green Witch uncovered a wicked source of power in the depths of the Calico Mine, and now she’s hell-bent on using this mysterious energy to capture and corrupt all who dare enter. Could this be the origin of her wretched Tricksters? A foreboding warning hangs near the entrance of the mine, “Beware the witch’s keep!”
The New Mazes
DOMINION OF THE DAMNED
The Blood Queen’s reign has ended, but the seductive vampires continue to lure unsuspecting guests into this gothic lair of terror. Ancient vampire lore decrees there shall always be one to rule the damned… Long live the King!
Enter a world where madness is just a looking glass away. What is real and what is an illusion? A cursed mirror absorbs everyone into a mechanical wasteland of despair. Hideous creatures of beauty and horror stalk the mirror world, hoping to draw another victim into a nightmarish labyrinth where you might just get lost forever..
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?
TRAPPED: THE NEW EXPERIMENT
Making its debut in 2012, Trapped was Knott’s Scary Farm’s first reservation only, interactive maze, and was an immediate sell-out. Trapped: The New Experiment returns bigger and more intense than its predecessor. For those lucky enough to secure a reservation, Trapped will offer a longer running time, more challenging puzzles, more mind-bending contraptions, and more in-your-face scares. *Additional fee applies.
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.
Return to the Old West and walk in the bloody footsteps of a betrayed and left for dead gunslinger on his path to retribution against a corrupt township. 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.
The Scare Zones
No real surprises here and nothing new.
The backstreets of Ghost Town are shrouded in moonlight darkness and fearsome howls pierce the silence. In a blur of crimson teeth, werewolves stalk the “Gypsy Camp” seeking revenge for an ancient gypsy curse. Will you be the canine’s next meal?
“Necropolis,” a vampire world of flesh and machine, of gears and steam offers a journey through the streets of a steam punk influenced city of the dead where blood is power.
There is no place quite like “Ghost Town,” home to a whole cast of night stalkers including the notorious Sliders who lurk in every fog-filled corner. Guests attempt to navigate the winding streets that may just lead to the graveyard!
Knott’s Boardwalk is taken over by “CarnEVIL,” where the freak show is the main event and clowns crave your undying attention.
ELVIRA RETURNS with “Elvira’s Sinema Séance”
Elvira then entered the theatre to the thunderous roar of the fans. After taking her proper place on the stage, front and SINter, she announced her return to Knott’s Scary Farm. “Elvira’s Sinema Séance.” The new show, held in Knott’s 1,800-seat Ghoul Time Theatre, will showcase Elvira in all her ghoulish glory as she dabbles in telekinesis, plays the lead in film parodies, and brings her own mixture of sassy and sexy to the stage.
Elvira will be joined by the Academy of Villains, a unique dance team featured on America’s Got Talent that merges hip hop choreography with freestyle dance. The show will mark the first time Elvira has headlined at the Ghoul Time Theatre since 2001.
Elvira’s reign as the “Queen of Halloween” began in 1981 when she became the hostess of the KHJ television show “Movie Macabre,” and went on to become the first horror host to be syndicated nationally.
“Elvira’s Sinema Séance” will be performed twice nightly at Knott’s Halloween Haunt through October 31.
We had a moment to speak with Elvira after the presentation about her return to Haunt. No video was allowed, strangely, so we were allowed only audio:
Mystery Lodge will be the site of the new show, “Possessed” where guests experience a new kind of terror as ghosts of the past are released and possession is their goal. “Possessed” is filled with evil spirits and ghastly special effects that will bring a new dimension to your nightmares.
At Necropolis Theatre guests can watch the ghoulishly great performance of Street Drum Corps “Blood Drums” show. This high energy drumming quartet is known for their unique blend of amazing percussion skills.
In Knott’s historic Bird Cage Theatre, “Carny Trash” offers up Aye Jaye, a sideshow comedian and magician with impeccable comedic timing who is a master of the unexpected. The Gypsy Camp will present “Cursed” featuring the magical and hypnotic powers of the beautiful belly dancers.
Calico Square will be the site of “The Hanging®: A Gothic Fairy Tale.” The traditional “Hanging” goes Hollywood as Hollywood executives, realizing that they have run out of super heroes upon which to base new blockbusters, turn to classic fairy tales.
Sept. 26-29, Oct. 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, 24-27, 30-31, Nov 1-2, 2013 Knott’s Berry Farm closes at 5:30 p.m. each evening and reopens at 7 p.m. as Knott’s Scary Farm. The fear continues until 1 a.m. (2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.)
But, we invite all of you to join us on the MiceChat Haunt night on Saturday September 28th. Last year was an amazing time and this year promises to be even better.
Mark your calendars for a spooky good time at Knott’s Scary Farm on Saturday, September 28th! Let us know if you will be joining us by signing up for our Halloween Haunt list below. We’ll send you an email when more information and tickets are available.
The announcements held a few surprises. This year they are producing an unheard of 5 new mazes, 4 if you don’t count the re-vamping (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves) of Dominion of the Dead. While this is wonderful, it is interesting to note that there will now only be a total of 12 haunted experiences, including the wonderful Mine Train overlay. For so long, Marketing has maintained that there must be a total of 13 mazes. But, really, we are all for more quality and less quantity. Especially with the new Elvira show added, which will be a must-see in our schedule.
Notable too are the mazes that are not returning. No more Virus Z. Adios DIa De Los Muertos. So long Fallout Shelter. Terror of London, we bid thee farewell. Uncle Bobo’s Big Top of the Bizarre, it was nice knowing you. That is a large chunk of mazes being removed. With so many on the chopping block, it is a valid question as to why we are seeing the return of Slaughterhouse. Its reinvention last year certainly gave it a new lease on life. But was it really that strong when there were others that were still pretty young and virulent? But, the new maze concepts are fantastic and we are more excited about this new season than we have been in a long time..
It is official then that there will be no Log Ride overlay. It is understandable, but regrettable that after 40 years there will be nothing in that space for haunt. Yes, they did just spend 5 million dollars to refurbish the aging flume ride. But why not hire Garner Holt to produce an overlay? They have the experience, right? At least we have the return of the wonderfully understated Green Witch overlay of the Calico Mine Train. If you missed it last year, mainly due to it not being promoted, then do yourself a favor and see it this time.
Here is a video of the entire announcement event, in case you want to hear all the gory details yourself!
There you have it, folks! All of the Knott’s Scary Farm Haunt news in one fell swoop. Pretty cool, eh? We’ll see you in the fog!