hear the name "Knott's Berry Farm" it's not something you
immediately associate with horror. When I was first told about it,
I assumed it was some farm where you pick berries while skipping around
with glee or you stomp on grapes so that you can make wine that smells
like your sweaty feet. Neither of those things are of much interest to me,
but what is of interest to me is anything related to Halloween. The name
Knott's Berry Farm is deceiving because, if all farms really looked like
this place, they probably wouldn't be going the way of the Dodo these
days. It's a large amusement park in Buena Park, California which gets completely
transformed for the Halloween season each year. It's such a big
transformation that they even change the name of their park to Knott's
Scary Farm for the event... just so you know they mean
recently given full access to go check out all of the big, horrific Halloween walk-through
mazes and attractions that they had to offer and take photos of it all. Is it worth checking out?
You bet your ass it is, but I'll let all of my photos help convince you a
little bit more.
the big "Haunt" sign out front, you wouldn't know that the inside of the
park has been completely Halloweenified. Though perhaps even scarier was
their security sign informing us that they will be inspecting all bags
including FANNYPACKS. You know a person is hardcore if they store a
weapon in a FANNYPACK. Hell, that sounds like a comic book in the
making... The Fannypack Crusaders!
entering Ghost Town we immediately realized that they had quite an
impressive supply of fake cobwebs at their disposal. Interesting though,
they don't use the typical fake cobwebs you can buy in stores or even the
artificial cobweb spray. They use their own thicker fabric for the
cobwebs. It kind of looks like the torn sails you'd see on a ghost ship
rather than something that came from a spider's ass. Still, with all the
nice lighting 'n everything, it produced a nice effect and they were
easily able to cover entire buildings with the stuff.
animatronic guy would freak out in the electric chair, twitching and
smoking until he was dead. Well "dead" meaning he didn't move for 30-45
seconds while the smoke from his charred body faded away. I'm not sure
about the unhappy zombie bride lady, but I'd venture to guess that was her
husband in the electric chair.
were two of the many masked marauders who hid in the dark and would
jump out at people, often making them scream at pitches that would make
your average canine wince. Notice the
metal on the hands of the guy on the right? This was actually for
something really cool that I had never seen before at other horror-themed
parks. From out of the darkness, some of their actors would slide across
the ground on protective knee pads and they'd drag their hands on the
grounds to make sparks. It was pretty awesome looking and I imagine that,
aside from the hell it puts your knees through, it's a fun job.
something to keep in mind; most of these monsters 'n ghouls you see in my
photos look much more evil and scarier in person since. My camera flash
reveals all, but when you're walking through the park it's very dark and
only some scattered, dimly lit areas will give you a glimpse of what just
came screeching up behind you in an attempt to make you scream like an
glance, I was excited by the Budweiser Ghost Zone sign because I
was sure they would have all sorts of spooky names for their snacks 'n
drinks. No such luck. Ok, well Chili Cheese Fries from a theme park (or
anywhere) can be fairly frightening, but still, they could've easily named
stuff better. Haunted Hot Dogs, Nefarious Nachos of the
Netherworld... come on people, it's not that hard.
bakery, however, did not disappoint with the Halloween treats...
As you can
see, they had a nice selection of festive cupcakes including ones with
Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, a witch, a bat, and a skull. As tasty as
those all looked, something else caught my attention:
to the mangled ghostly napkins and giant honey buns, was a big Snoopy head
cookie. Being a big fan of the vanilla/chocolate marble cookies I used to
get back East all the time, this one appeared to be right up my alley. It
was indeed tasty as hell, but there was such a high icing-to-cookie ratio
that I couldn't even finish it. And somewhere in the night, Snoopy's
chocolate ear is out there stalking some poor, unsuspecting Knott's Scary
Oh and if
you're wondering why they were selling a Snoopy head cookie in there;
Knott's actually has a big "Camp Snoopy" section at their park for
all the children, but even that area is turned into an evil-infested dead
zone come Halloween time. So yeah kids... where is your god now?
On the left
you see another animatronic creature - a skeleton chained up between two
trees that was shaking back 'n forth enough that you'd think it was trying
to pull the trees down. Try an axe, buddy. There's also the bloody
labcoat-wearin' skeleton-faced lady. She was just there to point us in the
right direction, nothing more. Hey, that's better than other parks I've
been to where half of the employees aren't in any kind of costume come
coffin that had somebody inside it who clearly wasn't quite ready to be
put six feet under yet. Also; somebody who lost their head and found it
Here we have
Fairy Tales... er... pardon me... Feary Tales. This was the first
of many walk-through mazes we checked out and it had more black-light
reactive decorations than any other attraction at the park. The spinning
tunnel at the beginning was throwing all of us off balance, especially me
while I tried my best to photograph it without falling on my completely
the guardian fairy (feary) at the end of that spinning tunnel. Her
decorations actually showed up without the use of the flash so you get to
see the difference between how she looked in the dark and how she looked
in a regular flash photo. Feary?
As we made
our way deeper into the Fearyland, things became less cutesy and more
weird and horror-themed. They still had plenty of people hiding in the
darkness with various noisemakers, and other random character who would
just walk by you and say nothing; but they also had stuff like pots of
gold that had severed heads in them.
also stuff like the mutant zombie Alice in Wonderland girl or the fanged
Frog King. The frog was behind a plate of glass and I'm guessing he was
supposed to do something, but he just sat there with a fly on his tongue.
I guess a feary fairy stole his batteries.
frogs, some of the goblins used squeaky-toy frogs when they walked by you.
In a place that was supposed to be filled with horrors, it was always an
amusing moment whenever we heard the doofy sound of a squeaky-toy going
I can't be
sure, but it looks as though the Feary Tales maze is trying to warn
humanity about a future swine uprising in which they will cook and eat us
instead. BEWARE THE PIGS OF MARCH! (and October)
One of my
favorite things in this particular maze was the animatronic cow. Now only
was it thrashing about and holding a severed head. Not only were its horns
and face splattered with blood. But this thing had one of the best voices
a cow could possibly ask for. Take a listen to this sound clip of it
begging us to milk it because it was all bloated with milllllllk! Oh yeah,
there was also some psychotic Humpty Dumpty egg or something along those
lines. It wasn't doing anything, and I wasn't about to waste the whole
night there waiting for something to happen.