By: Kayla Caldwell
Goths and horror fans arrived in droves to kick off the spooky season at KNOTT'S SCARY FARM. You could feel the energy as the crowd, clad in black and orange, made their way to the section of the park open for early entrance.
We started our journey into the fog with Paranormal Inc., because it’s a personal favorite, but also because 2021 is its final year. As usual, it is fun, spooky chaos. Paranormal Inc. is very on theme, and always visually thrilling. I will miss this maze.
Next, we hit Dark Entities, which has never been a favorite of mine. I don’t generally like aliens but I must admit Dark Entities managed to make me jump quite a few times.
The Depths was as cool as ever. Boy, do I love that technique of using lighting effects so it seems like you’re walking through water. Scareactors creep and crawl around, making for heart-pounding scares. The creepy mermaids are always fun, and the Kraken is always exciting to see. This is a solid KNOTT’S SCARY FARM classic.
Wax Works is as visually stunning as I remembered. It’s like getting to walk through 2005 film House of Wax. This one usually brings some great set pieces and good scares.
After our first three mazes, we took a food break, hanging out in the festive, Boo-Get area, and catching a lively “Doce de la Noche” performance. We also got to check out the creatures of The Forsaken Lake and The Hollow scare zones. The costumes are elaborate, and the scareactors are fantastic! Great scareactors and costumes are an expertise of Knott’s Scary Farm.
Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos is always a favorite. You really feel like you’re walking through a broken-down dark ride. That makes it nostalgic - and the bigger rooms are also filled with so many great characters. It’s like a quick walk through backstage at the circus!
Pumpkin Eater is one of my favorite mazes, because it feels like walking into a storybook gone wrong. It’s so whimsical and spooky. I know some people are growing weary of it, but for me it holds up.
Next, a couple of us jumped onto the Timber Mountain Log Ride: Halloween Hootenanny to see the Halloween decor. It’s cute, and fun to see the spooky additions, but not enough of a difference is visible to justify waiting in a long line for it.
The Gore-ing ‘20s scare zone was really well-executed and fun. The costuming was gory and beautiful, and there was even a game you could play that required you to talk to the mob boss scareactor to acquire a password. Then you had to give it to a doorman. Sadly, we did not succeed in finding the right password.
Ghost Town Streets is a classic, and you could hear screams anytime you walked by. You never know what will come out of the fog. This wonderful scare zone takes you to Origins: The Curse of Calico. This is another great maze with witches, ghost towns, and a demon baby. It wasn’t necessarily my favorite maze this year, but it is one of the good ones.
We didn’t get a chance to watch Puppet Up! Uncensored this year, but we did pre-pandemic, and it was hilarious. I saw a smidgen of the Wicked Drums , and that seemed really festive and fun.
Sadly, we somehow missed the new maze, Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind. I don’t remember seeing signs for it, so I would recommend using the map on the website to figure out where everything is. On a later visit, CK contributor Brendan Graham said it was one of his favorites. “Amazing set pieces that were detailed, with some puppets that felt larger-than-life. The visual effects were stunning, even if the scares were easy to see ahead of time,” he said.
Overall, KNOTT’S SCARY FARM remains one of the quality haunts in socal. The makeup and costumes never fail to impress, and the scareactors clearly love what they do. If you’re limited on time and/or funds, KNOTT’S SCARY FARM is a worthwhile one to visit.