Do you see it? The fog is beginning to collect in the corners of Ghost Town as Knott’s Berry Farm prepares for their annual Halloween celebration. Knott’s Scary Farm kicks off Thursday, September 19. There will be a host of new, frighteningly delicious gastronomical delights for guests to explore. That’s not to mention the myriad of monsters skulking in the shadows waiting to pounce. Then, of course, there are two brand new mazes to discover; Waxworks from prolific goremeister Daniel Miller, and Origins from Haunt legend Jon Cooke.
HorrorBuzz was invited to the farm to get a preview of haunt. We had no idea what was in store for us, but with an offer like that, we could not refuse.
We were escorted to Spurs Restaurant for a preview of the food that would greet guests during Haunt. While there was a full display of epicurean delights that will be available Thursday, we had the chance to sample two specialty pizzas, Bat Wings, and the classic Knott’s Chicken.
We first tried the pizzas, The Slaughterhouse, a painfully delicious meat-lover’s pizza with sausage, ham, pepperoni, jalepeños and a Sriracha Ranch sauce. For spice lovers, this is heaven. (we had to slices). Next was the Infected Pizza; a veggie pizza with mushrooms, olives, and garlic with a pesto sauce. The winner for us was the Slaughterhouse pizza. On display was the Devil Dog, the Brain Burger, and mac and cheese bites with the sriracha dipping sauce. As for the desserts we sampled the candy corn tropical parait, and the pumpkin spice boba and well, both are worthwhile.
After stuffing our faces we were treated to a tour of the costume and make up departments. With 4 scare zones and 9 original mazes, there are plenty of actors to prepare. Categorized by maze and scarezone, we were able to take a close look at the costumes for every section of the park. Then we got a look at the makeup department. Each actor in the park requires a maximum of 40 minutes for each night of the run. Think about that the next time you are strolling through Infected, shooting at a helpless zombie.
We were also treated to a walkthrough of the Jon Cooke Maze, The Depths. A seaside town comes to grips with the disappearance of several coastal miners. At low tide we are sent in to find out where they have gone. What we discover is something far more terrifying than any missing persons report.
This year there is a new pre show element. up to 30 guests are herded into a freight elevator to be lowered to… THE DEPTHS. In a bit of imaginative Knott’s magic our elevator takes us deep down into the coastal, subterranean caverns. Then the adventure begins.
The elevator illusion was demonstrated for us and we were then escorted through the maze with theatrical lights and effects on, though there was no talent in place.
Oh, we were also treated to a walkthrough of the new Daniel Miller maze, WAXWORKS. In a dilapidated wax museum, an “artist” collects victims and creates “masterpieces” for his museum. We were not allowed to take video or pictures inside the maze, save for a very particular show scene at the end. We can’t show you, what we saw, but we CAN describe it.
Yes, this is Daniel Miller all the way. We entered a foyer with a ticket booth that is dilapidated and burned. Sharp-eyed guests will spot references to Pinocchio Unstrung in this area. We move on to the typical wax museum tableau starting with a hall of presidents. Next on to a house of horrors and the typical monster scenes and plenty of nasty surprises.
We wandered through the goopy, candlelit scenes and were led to the finale moment. Here we pass through the smelting room where victims are dipped into wax and molded into fiendish creations of art. It was also here that we were allowed to take pictures, no video.
What I can say is that Daniel Miller has lived up to his reputation. This is artistry gone horribly wrong with a revolting mix of paraffin and flesh. Limbs, heads, and torsos, punctuated with candle and joined with sloppy dollops of wax. Again, we saw the maze with show and lighting effects on, but without talent. Despite that, the maze had more than enough to provoke yelps and screams from we poor saps that had to report on it. For the record, we loved it and could not get enough.
So there you go. A preview of the food, the costumes and makeup and one of the new mazes thrown in for added measure. Knott’s again has the ingredients for another phenomenal haunt season. The original theme park haunt started in 1973, Knott’s Scary Farm continues to set the standard for theme park Halloween entertainment.
We will bring you a full review of Knott’s Scary Farm shortly after opening on Thursday, September 19th. You can purchase tickets for opening night here.
See you in the fog.