Knott’s Scary Farm- A Southern California Halloween Tradition

My favorite amusement park is Knott’s Berry Farm in California, and one of October’s best things to do is spend an evening at their annual Knott’s Scary Farm. According to Knott’s, it all began in September of 1973. The park was getting rid of Gypsy Camp, and between the marketing and entertainment departments, they introduced a new concept–a Halloween-themed event for the evenings of October 26 to 28. Halloween Haunt was born. It is now known as Knott’s Scary Farm!

Knotts Scary Farm2
This notorious event returns for 24 horrifying nights September 24 – October 31 and features 11 mazes, 3 Scare Zones, 2 live action packed shows, and a thousand monsters lurking in the fog.

Knott's Scary FarmThey have some of best and scariest mazes ever. It’s hard to decide which is the scariest, but here it a list of some of the mazes this year: Black Magic, Dead of Winter, Forevermore, Fright Lane with Skeleton Key, My Bloody Clementine, Pinocchio Unstrung, Paranormal Inc., Specials Ops: Infected Patient Zero, The Gunslingers Grave: A Blood Moon Rises, Tooth Fairy, Trick or Treat, and Voodoo  – Order of the Serpent. Whichever  you choose, it will definitely get your heart pumping.

Ghost Town at Knott's Scary FarmThere are also three scare zones to help enhance the scary experience. They are Carnevil, Fiesta de Los Muertos, and Ghost Town Streets. The scariest and original zone is Ghost Town Streets where bands of half-human, half-animal monsters prowl the streets and startling Sliders lung from every fog filled corner of the land.

Elvira at Knott's Scary Farm


If you tire of the mazes, make sure to check out one of the two shows they have for your entertainment. The first show is the Elvira Asylum show. This show and the Mistress of Dark will transports guests to an asylum of music, dance and comedy. The second show is called The Hanging. Notorious for its special effects and high-flying stunts, this live stage show in Calico Square irreverently looks back at the year’s pop culture with some killer comedy. Check out this no-holds-barred assault on pop culture’s most infamous moments of the past year. A must see parody!

Hours of Knott’s Scary Farm 

Select Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays 7pm – 1am and

Select Fridays & Saturdays 7pm – 2am

Some fun facts:

  • Tickets were only $4 in advance and $4.75 the day of the event back in 1973
  • The very first monster-filled maze was named Monster Maze
  • The Calico Log Ride and Mine Ride were decorated with fake corpses and skeletons. Later, Mine Ride creator, Bud Hurlbut, put on a gorilla suit and really scared the guests!
  • Bill Hollingshead booked Seymour, a Southern California late-night horror movie host to stage a show in the John Wayne “Haunted” Theatre
  • In the late 70s and early 80s, some of the mazes used live rats and snakes
  • Monster auditions started in the late 70s
  • The 1980 maze “Trail of Terror” featured a real mummified corpse named Count Demonicus
  • Halloween Haunt was an instant hit and by the next year sold out nightly with over 22,000 guests each night
  • In addition to Seymour, Wolfman Jack, Weird Al Yankovic, the Crypt Keeper, and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark have hosted dance parties or elaborate musical reviews

Knott's Scary FarmKnott’s Scary Farm is one of these yearly events that Southern Californians look forward to every year. I have been a few times and have to say it is appropriately named, it is very scary.  The mazes are always scary, but I think the ghouls and monsters lurking in the fog are probably the scariest. If you have never been, this is definitely something you should plan to do sometime this month. Happy Scary Halloween.

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2 comments on “Knott’s Scary Farm- A Southern California Halloween Tradition
  1. Hi Deb. We had a lot of fun too. Missed it last year, but we did make it to the Berry Merry Christmas and that was a blast. Hope you can make it again soon. Have a great weekend. 🙂

  2. When we lived in Cali, this was a must every year!!! Have so many memories!!! Good Times!!

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