There is no shortage of options to turn to during this season for scares, but Knotts Scary Farm has built a loyal fanbase and reputation that continues to draw in the crowds. “Knotts has not fallen off. Knotts is consistent,” said visitor Doug Tenney from Riverside.
This horrifying Halloween event has been the leader in which almost every other theme park has followed since 1973.
Knott’s Scary Farm returns to scaring after taking a seasonal hiatus since COVID-19. Under new guidelines, they are back to bring the fear and fright everyone missed.
Kimberly Bokeen, a Los Angeles local, said that when it came to expectations of how the theme park would handle COVID guidelines, “They kept it the same as before…the monsters get super close…but I wanted that! With the regulations, I thought they would remove all that but no.”
Unless fully vaccinated, guests are required to wear masks when indoors.
Staples like the green witch of Calico featured in Origins: The Curse of Calico maze reappears for all visitors to enjoy. Calico is a nod to the Californian ghost town Knotts was modeled after.
They aren’t just resting on their fan favorites, though. 2021 saw the opening of a new maze—Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind.
In this twisted carnival sideshow, visitors enter the darkest realms of their imagination as a hypnotist guides guests throughout the maze.
This new maze doesn’t disappoint. With solid characters, an eerie plotline, and stunning visuals, it earns its place with the rest of the other seven mazes. One note is that Mesmer does seem a bit shorter compared to the other mazes.
To reach the new maze, visitors must cross through CarnEVIL. One of five scare zones; located at the boardwalk. CarnEvil lends no escape from the macabre at Knott’s Scary Farm. Rain or shine they’re there to terrorize.
There are a few places to adjust throughout the park; Calico Park, Fiesta Village, and Charleston Circle are transitional points from one scare zone to the next. However, they aren’t entirely free of the menacing monsters as at least two characters are shuffling through the area.
Calico Park offers the Carnaval Du Grotesque, a backyard picnic mixed with a ghoulish group playing the creepiest hits. Three different bands are scheduled to perform on various nights throughout the event’s run.
From Calico Park, visitors have the choice to venture into the Gore-ing ’20s, where the Prohibition-era scare zone will leave you with decades of fear. Stop into the Puppet Up! Uncensored improv comedy show or check out Into The Fog: A Scary Farm Tribute Art Show.
Slip into the Ghost Town Streets, where notorious scare actors on sliders and a thick blanket of fog await your arrival. Do you dare to enter?
Shows like Conjurers—Magic and Mirth at the Birdcage Theatre and Invitation to Terror lurk close by and start nightly at 8 p.m. Just beyond those are four mazes: Dark Entities, Paranormal Inc., The Depths and Wax Works, which surround the famous Ghost Rider rollercoaster.
All unique and terrifying in their own respect, The Depths gives more attention to detail that immerses visitors right into haunted sea caves where vicious creatures seek their next victims. Will you make it out?
“The Depths is my favorite because of the lasers, the fog, and the way they make it look like an actual water,” said Los Angeles local Joseph Bokeen. It’s definitely not one to miss out on for the night.
Across the way near Camp Snoopy are the last scare zones- Forsaken Lake and The Hollow. Wicked drums percussion ritual can be enjoyed at Camp Snoopy Theatre near Pumpkin Eater, a reoccurring maze since 2017.
Doce de la Noce’s performance awakens the Fiesta Village stage. Also, food like Mesmer’s Bacon Cheese Fries can be purchased by nearby food stalls close to Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos maze and Timber Mountain Log Ride: Haunted Hootenanny.
Other foods and beverages like Ghoulie Ghoulash Mac and Cheese with a Murderous Midnight Funnel Cake for dessert are exclusively available throughout the park till Oct. 31.
Tickets to Knott’s Scary Farm start at $53 compared to the starting price of $84 for Universal HHN, both depending on the day. “We go to Universal HHN, we’ve been to Coffin Creek, Queen Mary, Fright Fest, 17th door, we’ve been to every single haunt within 100 miles and we always come back to Knotts,” said reoccurring visitor Tenney.
It’s the best value of any of the major Southern Californian theme parks. Just under a seven-mile drive from Fullerton College, Knott’s is a great local option. With October quickly coming to an end, students and locals should take advantage of the proximity and festivities of this seasonal event.
Edit: This article was updated to correct a misspelled attribution.