CALIFORNIA FOCUS / EVENT RECAP: Knott's Scary Farm 2014
There are 3 new haunted mazes added this year to Knott's Scary Farm with the introduction of an interactive zombie-killing experience that arms visitors with simulated military assault weapons experience. September 25 is when the 42nd annual Knotts Scary Farm starts. There are 10 mazes, 4 scare zones and 2 shows featured this year with of course the famous Elvira Mistress of the dark that is returning as the perennial face for Knotts Scary Farm event.
Knott's has made a made the effort to focus more on attention on richly detailed mazes with fully envisioned back stories while shying away from paint-on-plywood mazes with rubber-masked monsters since 2010.
Last year Knotts Scary Farms The Skeleton Key rooms was introduced and will return for Haunt 2014. All new pre-maze scenes will offer intimate explanations of the backstories in five mazes for visitors who opt to pay extra for the Fright Lane front-of-line upgrade.
“The Hanging” and the campy song and dance of “Elvira’s Big Top" returning for 2014 with the haunt that has severely pared back its show offerings as well with only the perennial pop culture evisceration.
The new Voodoo maze for 2014 travels into the swampy backwoods of a Louisiana bayou brimming with witch doctors and zombies. After being “buried alive” in the Skeleton Key room scene, visitors will be forced choose between multiple paths that will make each journey through the maze different.
The Tooth Fairy
This mash-up of two rites of passage pairs the agony of a trip to the dentist’s office with the somewhat creepy notion of a legendary creature that sneaks into children’s bedrooms in the middle of the night.The maze’s twisted backstory establishes that any child awake after bedtime becomes the unwilling minion of the evil tooth fairy.
Trapped: Lock & Key
They completely revamped reservation-only maze sold out every night last year and significantly raised the bar for quality at Knott's. This year's version of Trapped promises a whole new set of doorless rooms you will have to puzzle your way out of.
Last years’ experience began outside the Black Magic maze with a spectacular digital paint job on the facade that intermittently built brick by brick, caught on fire and flowed with blood. Black Magic offered the best Skeleton Key room of 2013 with a handful of visitors sitting around a séance table as the spirit of Harry Houdini was summoned.
The storytelling possibilities seem endless for this maze based on a modern-day serial killer who re-creates murders from the blood-soaked and terror-filled tales of Edgar Allan Poe.
The Gunslinger's Grave
This Wild West-themed maze offered a well-conceived backstory and impressive sets in 2013, but the gunslinger's tale of revenge ultimately didn't translate to many scares -- probably because the cowboys were after somebody else other than me.
Trick or Treat
Hopefully Knott's comes up with a more compelling backstory for this beautiful haunted house maze.
Theoretically owned by Haunt's iconic Green Witch, the 2013 Trick or Treat House was filled with a bunch of random tricksters aimlessly milling around. This could be such an amazing annual workhouse maze for Knott's.
In this twisted take on the classic tale, the puppet who longs to become a boy embarks on a wild killing spree after the Blue Fairy denies him his final wish. The aging maze has held up well through the years with an army of revenge-minded marionettes delivering energetic in-your-face scares amid well-dressed sets.
Dominion of the Damned
Over the last few years, Knott's has tried to resurrect this classic Halloween Haunt vampire maze from the late 1990s with limited success. Following an extensive rehab of the ride, this year Knott’s will essentially be able to flip a switch that will change the mine ride from daytime operation to Haunt mode, complete with spooky lighting, audio and special effects.