Do you hear that faint noise in the distance? The sound of fog machines hissing, filling the air thick with a murky haze. The deep growl of monsters and the shrill screams of their victims. Halloween Season is coming and the grand daddy of all theme park haunt events returns in 2014 as Knott’s Scary Farm begins its 42nd year of terror.
Deep inside the mouldering depths of the 1,800 seat Charles Schultz Theatre, Knott’s Berry Farm today invited press, season pass holders, and haunt fans to be the first to hear what frightening monstrosities are in store for us this year. What was announced brought back the familiar, the loss of a few favorites, and a new, first-of-it’s kind in North America experience.
We now present a video of the entire presentation
The lights dimmed… further as it was already a spooky tone of red, and the screens surrounding the stage flashed graphics for the “Creeples choice awards”. What followed were clips from last years hysterical Elvira movie send-ups. After the clips ended, a spotlight hit stage right and the P.T. Barnum of Haunt, Jeff Tucker, escorted Elvira, Mistress of the Dark to center stage. She’s back folks, and looking amazing.
The Haunt reveal began with the live entertainment offerings. This year, the shows have been paired down significantly.
Elvira’s Big Top: Ring-Mistress of the Park
Back by overwhelming demand for 2014 is Elvira – the legendary Mistress of the Dark. Elvira will headline her all new show Elvira’s Big Top, in the 1,800 seat Charles M. Schultz Theatre twice nightly for the entire run of Knott’s Scary Farm. In her new show, Elvira becomes the Ring-Mistress of the Park as she hosts a circus carnival of macabre freaks and sinister side show acts. The show also features explosive dance performances by The Academy of Villains, who return to the stage in 2014 fresh off their appearance on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance?
In honor of Elvira’s return to Knott’s Scary Farm, the Ride Warriors merchandise shop will temporarily become Elvira’s Boo-tique, where fans can purchase stylish apparel and sinfully fun products featuring and inspired by the Legendary Mistress of the Dark. Each night, a limited number of guests who spend at least $50 at Elvira’s Boo-tique during Knott’s Scary Farm will get a chance to meet Elvira between performances of Elvira’s Big Top and collect her signature on one of the purchased items. Knott’s Scary Farm is the only place Elvira can be seen this Halloween season, and Elvira’s Boo-tique offers fans a once in a lifetime meet and greet opportunity!
The Hanging® – Everything is Gruesome!
Before Tucker had a chance to catch his breath, a shotgun blast thundered from the audience and the audience jumped. In the center aisle, the Sheriff from Calico addressed the crowd “Are you ready for a hanging?”
The live stage show in Calico Square irreverently looks back at the year’s pop culture with killer comedy. Notorious for its special effects, pyrotechnics and high-flying stunts, The Hanging is a no-holds-barred assault on pop culture’s most infamous moments of the past year. A must see parody!
Instead of the sprinkling of maudlin entertainment throughout the park, this year will feature just two major shows. Is this a good thing? We will have to wait and see. But what is being offered promises to be very, very good.
So we had heard about the shows. But we all know that the draw for haunt fans are the mazes. Knott’s paced the information carefully by announcing what would be returning while holding the new information for last. Next, Jeff introduced to the stage, the creative minds behind haunt. Perched on directors chairs they commented on the mazes as each were announced.
Not at all frightening, but wickedly beautiful and spooky, Brooke Adair Walters’ Trick or Treat returns for its third year. Step forward and ring the witch’s doorbell. You can come away with a treat, but is it worth it? They promise a reworked finale in the Witch’s dining room and new scares along the way. Still one of our favorites.
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. Our favorite maze from last year is back for round two. Daniel Miller elaborated that a new scene would be created for this maze. We can only assume the teleportation scene is gone and that this new scare will pick up the slack there.
One of the longest mazes ever created for Knott’s Scary Farm, Forevermore, returns for a second year. The “Forevermore Killer” works his way through one haunting tale after another, reenacting Edgar Allen Poe stories through a series of brutal murders.
One of our biggest concerns about this maze last year was the missing element of terror. We were walking through crime scenes, and seeing the aftermath of a monster we never came in contact with. This year Walters explained “There will be more ‘live’ kills throughout the maze.” You will be in immediate danger from the second you walk in. Now we are excited. The clever nods to Poe are a very erudite way of going about a scare. But now, those who don’t get the references will still be terrified. Let’s hope this puts the fear into this lovely creation.
The Gunslinger’s Grave
Another sophomore maze, the innovative Gunslinger’s Grave, comes back for a second helping. Return to the Old West and walk in the bloody footsteps of a betrayed and left for dead gunslinger on his path of retribution against a corrupt township. You may have visited Knott’s historic Ghost Town, but it’s not until you’ve followed the blood lusting gunslinger that you know the real dangers that lurk in the old west. Krueger explained that the ending will be re-worked depicting an all out gunfight that guests must pass through. This along with a new finale and Skeleton Key room give us reason to be excited.
Dominion of the Damned
Resurrected for a second year, the reworked vampire maze Dominion of the Damned is back. The Blood Queen’s reign has ended, but the seductive vampires continue to lure unsuspecting guests into this gothic lair of terror. Truly a beautifully haunting walkthrough, they are promising a new finale.
Another Daniel Miller masterpiece, the twisted wooden puppet, Pinocchio Unstrung, returns for a third year. Now under the creative direction of Gus Kreuger, he assured the crowd that the maze will be “gorier and more disgusting”. The sound design in this maze with the creaky wood, the rusty saws, all of it works so well. We are eager to see what Gus brings to the table here. Another new element to this maze will be a Skeleton Key room.
So no more Delerium, No Mirror Mirror, no more Uncle Willie’s Slaughterhouse, and no more Endgames (yay).
The bad news: Due to its complex and expensive recent refurbishment, the Timber Mountain Log Ride will not be haunted again this year.
The Good news: Despite having enjoyed a breathtaking renovation, the Calico Mine Ride will be lightly themed . . . but without live monsters in the ride, and will return as the wonderfully spooky The Witch’s Keep.
The Witch’s Keep
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! With newly enhanced show scenes, lighting, and special effects, this not-too-scary mine train adventure is perfect Halloween fun.
We won’t get into the debate of whether or not they should theme the log ride. There is no debate. They should! Both the Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride were the two DO NOT MISS attractions at haunt back in the day. These were the ones that people used to shudder at while waiting in line.
Management is rightfully concerned about going into these newly refurbished crown jewels of the park to spook them up for Halloween. These are multi-million dollar investments. you have to treat them with care.
But the question is; Why can’t they do something like Witch’s Keep for the Log Ride? In fact, Why can’t they hire Garner Holt Productions to design and install a yearly overlay for each attraction ala Haunted Mansion Holiday? It’s worth a try, no?
Of course we are all really anxious to hear about the new stuff that was coming.
Voodoo (new for 2014):
Trudge cautiously through the cursed swamps of the Deep South, where creatures search the murky bogs for their next bloody sacrifice and demons curse the innocent with Voodoo hexes. This maze, however, offers guests a choice. They get to choose their path from a number of foreboding passageways. Going against the grain, Walters explains, “We took everything we thought about mazes and voodoo and threw it out the window. This is a gritty, nasty experience through the swamps. When you go in there, it’s not these tiny plywood hallways. We created big open spaces. You’re going to be crossing bridges and choosing your path.”
The Tooth Fairy (new for 2014):
Daniel Miller brings another innocent children’s story and twists it to terrifying effect in this brand new maze.
The joy of hiding a lost tooth under the pillow becomes a nightmare of pain and blood in this new maze that will leave teeth chattering. This twisted tooth fairy steals more than just baby teeth as he drags his victims out their bedroom window and into a world of deranged dentistry. Unbelievable special effects include a blackout room through which guests must feel their way out, a disorienting x-ray strobe light room, and a final encounter with the massive tooth fairy, himself. Say aahhh.
Daniel Miller has an impressive track record for maze design. His mazes cross a mental barrier and invade your psyche. Delirium was the nightmarish landscape of a mind gone mad. Asylum was another assault on the mind as the insane were in control. We asked Miller why he often visited childhood fears and stories, the monster under the bed in Delirium, Pinocchio Unstrung, and now the Tooth Fairy. “There is something fundamental about those fears we have during childhood.” Miller explains, “It’s something primal, something everyone can relate to and be afraid of.”
Trapped: Lock and Key (new for 2014):
This year Trapped returns with more rooms, more intricate puzzles and a shocking finale more extreme than any experience ever presented at Knott’s Scary Farm. Gus Krueger and co- maze designer Jeff Tucker have rolled up their sleeves and created an experience that you will, “Beg to be over, but never want it to end”. Krueger continued, “I want you to hate me for what I put you through in that maze.”
You become part of the terror and are forced to face your darkest fears, confront your inner terrors and descend into the madness of a maze with no way out. Trapped is not for the squeamish as the challenges are darker and more terrifying than any that have come before. (Additional fee and reservation required.)
Scare Zones have been slightly reduced this year. The infected have taken over Camp Snoopy so there is no more Necropolis. We are left with the original Ghost Town, which is the original scare zone, and a new high-energy dance party scare zone and those horrid clowns of CarnEVIL in the boardwalk.
Ghost Town Streets
Ghost Town Streets is the original and still most terrifying scare zone that started it all. Bands of half-human, half-animal monsters prowl the streets and inhabit the fog, and beware the notoriously startling sliders, who lunge from in every fog-filled corner of the land. Just beyond the streets of Ghost Town lies the mysterious outcropping known as Gypsy Camp, where fortune tellers prognosticate future terrors,
and ravenous werewolves howl in the light of the moon.
Fiesta De Los Muertos
Fiesta De Los Muertos fuses dance music, colorful costumes, and larger than life stilt walkers in a dance party scare zone with even more characters than last year. It’s the ultimate late night celebration of Dia de los Muertos.
Around the corner from Fiesta Village is the Boardwalk, where each night of Knott’s Scary Farm, clowns crave your undying attention in the CarnEVIL scare zone. This zone will be rave-like this year, which should add a high energy fun new vibe.
The passageway by Ghostrider, which leads to the back stage mazes will once again be the Gypsy Camp. Lots of clever costumed characters roam this alley. If you escape, you’ll be rewarded with even more fun in the mazes beyond the usual realm of the park.
New Haunted Experience
As the presentation was winding down, alarms went off and troopers dropped from the rafters to announce a brand new experience.
Special Ops: Infected
Hunt Zombies in an All-Out War. This ambitious new attraction is the first of its kind in North America and will challenge guests to exterminate the infestation of zombies who threaten mankind’s existence. Armed with specially designed laser guns, brave groups of Knott’s Scary Farm guests will embark on missions, led by their Squad Leader – a loud mouthed, take-no-prisoners commander charged with turning guests into soldiers. Groups must work together to fend off zombies and complete various missions before time runs out. If zombies drag their bodies too close, the un-infected’s guns temporarily deactivate, compromising the safety of the entire team. Soldiers with the deadliest aim will be celebrated with a tally of the number of zombies killed on a display board for other survivors to see each night in base camp.
Special Ops: Infected seamlessly integrates interactive gaming technology with an immersive mountainous landscape, delivering a breakthrough interactive haunted experience that is as terrifying as it is challenging. Missions will take guests through a variety of wilderness terrains, including the unpredictable barrel bridges across the rushing river, through the dark caverns, and through mysterious backwoods. Six acres of the beloved theme park is now home to mutinous, scream-inducing zombies, and the time has come for a harrowing Special Ops survival mission.
Fans of the popular Haunted Hollywood Sports haunt in Bellflower, California may cry foul at the idea that a shooting maze is anything new. However, what Knott’s is bringing to the table appears to be a mix of the shoot ’em up kill houses and the task driven story lines like those found in John Braverman’s Delusion and the Blumhouse Productions. This could actually be something brilliant and certainly something that has never been attempted by Knott’s before. It is AWESOME to see them trying to stretch the boundaries and we wish them well.
Join us, if you dare, in the fog-shrouded streets of Ghost Town for the 8th annual MiceChat Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt 2014. Leave the real world behind and enter a dream-land of spooky fun with fellow MiceChat readers.
There are two ticket types:
MiceChat Knott’s Haunt event ticket (Basic) – $119.99*
- Admission into Knott’s Scary Farm
- Backstage tour of a new maze before the event
- All you can eat Private Pre-scare Boofet dinner
- Special insider presentation during dinner.
- Early entry into Haunt
- Front of the line access to all mazes (excluding the up-charge Trapped maze)
- Skeleton Key access to select mazes
- Priority Seating for Elvira Ring-Mistress of the Park
MiceChat Knott’s Haunt event ticket with TRAPPED VIP Maze – $129.99*
- All of the above PLUS ADMISSION INTO TRAPPED: The New Experiment – special upcharge maze (Purchasing this ticket will gain you admission into the Trapped maze with the MiceChat group. By purchasing this ticket you will be randomly assigned a return time during event check-in at the beginning of the night. If you miss the reservation time you will forfeit your ticket.)
* Plus tax and PayPal processing fees
That’s right. You could buy your own ticket and wander around, aimlessly from line to line, starving to death from hunger, without a single person to hang out with. OR, you could pay one simple price and get an entire night of food, entertainment, friends, frights, and fun and exclusive insider opportunities!
Other Tickets offered for Knott’s Scary Farm
THE KNOTT’S SCARY FARM PASS
This is the very best news ever. New for 2014, Knott’s debuts the Knott’s Scary Farm Pass, offering unlimited visits to all 24 event nights. Only a limited number of passes are now on-sale to current 2014 Knott’s Berry Farm Season Passholders for $65 (plus applicable taxes and fees) exclusively online at knotts.com. On August 18, Knott’s Scary Farm Passes will be available for the general public to purchase online for $75 (plus applicable taxes and fees, while supplies last).
Single Night Tickets
Single night tickets are $39 – $49 depending on the event night when purchased online (plus applicable taxes and fees). Tickets purchased at least 24 hours in advance at the theme park ticket booths are $49 for all nights, and day-of-event tickets purchased at the ticket booths are $65.
Fright Lane with Skeleton Key offers unlimited priority access to nine mazes and haunted attractions all night long. The Skeleton Key, which is included with all Fright Lane passes, “unlocks” a secret extra room inside of five mazes. Guests also receive a commemorative lanyard and collectible keychain. Fright Lane with Skeleton Key passes start at $65.00. (Separate theme park admission required, and not included)
Combo Tickets, offering admission and Fright Lane with Skeleton Key are an especially great value, starting at $99 (plus applicable taxes and fees) – a savings of up to $31 off the ticket booth price.
Fast Lane offers unlimited front-of the line access to many of Knott’s world-class coasters for as little as $35.00 (when four or more are purchased). Fast Lane passes are valid during regular Knott’s Berry Farm operation and for Knott’s Scary Farm operation on the date of intended use. (Separate theme park admission required, and not included)
Hotel Packages are available at the Knott’s Hotel for Scary Farm fans who wish to turn a night of thrills into a full-service weekend getaway. All packages are based on double occupancy and are subject to availability. Call the Knott’s Hotel at (714) 995-1111 or (866) 752-2444 for reservations; reference the package names below:
- Bare Bones Packages ($159+) include a one night stay and two tickets to Knott’s Scary Farm
- Haunted Dreams Packages ($260+) include a one night stay, two Scary Farm tickets, “pre-scare” buffet dinner at the hotel, two t-shirts, and a souvenir key card
- Gruesome Package ($460+) includes everything in the Haunted Dreams package plus Fright Lane with Skeleton Key
Boo-fet dinner offers seatings at Chicken Dinner Restaurant and Spurs Chophouse and invites guests to feed the beast before Knott’s Scary Farm opens each night. Meals include a collectible 2014 souvenir cup, which includes unlimited complimentary refills on the event night and $0.99 refills for the rest of the 2014 season. After dinner, enjoy early entry into Knott’s Scary Farm a few minutes before it opens to other mortals. Boo-fet dinner is $25.99 +tax when purchased online and $31.99 +tax when purchased at the door. (Separate theme park admission required, and not included)
Knott’s Scary Farm parking is $20 per vehicle and can be purchased online (plus applicable taxes and fees) or at the parking booth upon arrival.
And there you have it. We can’t wait for Haunt to begin! Will you be joining us for the MiceChat Haunt Meet? What are your thoughts about the new mazes?