Knott’s Scary Farm 50th offers terrifying surprises

(Courtesy Knott’s Scary Farm)

I jumped. My date screamed and clocked a ghoulish performer in the gut – sorry. And that is all you need to know about the upcoming, spine-tingling, blood-curdling behind-the-screams preview we attended for the 50th anniversary of Knott’s Scary Farm which opens this week.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

In a goosebump-inducing celebration of five decades of horror, Knott’s Scary Farm has unveiled a slew of heart-pounding attractions and nightmarish experiences for its 50th-anniversary event.

The event, known for being Southern California’s longest-running and most haunting Halloween theme park extravaganza, promises to deliver unforgettable thrills and scares from September 21 to October 31, spanning 29 horrifying nights.

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Announcement Show: A Scarrific Unveiling

The event’s grand reveal commenced with an announcement show hosted by the dynamic duo, Jeff Tucker and Leanna Vamp. Attendees eagerly anticipated the unveiling of new mazes, and they weren’t disappointed. “Cinema Slasher” and “The Chilling Chambers” were the headline acts, paying homage to the park’s dark history.

“The Chilling Chambers” introduces a bone-chilling character, “The Keeper,” guiding visitors through a maze that weaves together elements from previous Scary Farm classics.

The Keeper himself made a spooky appearance on stage, heightening the anticipation. Another addition, “Room 13,” takes inspiration from the popular scare zone, “Gore-ing 20s,” offering a glimpse into the origins of the Devil’s Elixir within a haunted hotel.

Scare Zones and Entertainment

Fans of the event will be thrilled to see the return of beloved scare zones like Ghost Town, Carnevil, and Forsaken Lake. Additionally, the medieval-themed horror area, “The Gauntlet,” is making a comeback, bringing nostalgia and chills.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there. Knott’s Scary Farm is introducing fresh entertainment experiences this year. “Music, Monsters, and Mayhem” promises a musical journey through the history of Scary Farm with original songs and mesmerizing sets.

“Dr. Cleaver Returns” offers a comical twist on magic shows, while the crowd’s favorite, “The Hanging Uncanceled,” is back after a four-year hiatus, this time at the Wagon Camp Theater for a seated, immersive experience.

Tantalizing Terrors for the Taste Buds

The event is not just about heart-stopping scares but also tantalizing treats. We had the opportunity to sample some of the eerie edibles that will be on offer during Scary Farm. “Blood Bags,” fruity alcoholic drinks with a kick, and “Spookghetti Pie,” a creepy take on spaghetti casserole, were among the highlights.

Slider versions of the “Gauntlet Garlic Overlord Burger” provided savory bites, while desserts like the “Bloody Mary Cake” and “Raspberry Beignets” satisfied sweet cravings. And for the adventurous eaters, gator sausage rolls and an ostrich hoagie made for intriguing choices.

Personally, we were a little underwhelmed by the offerings, but the food is on par with most amusement parks. There is a Johnny Rockets on site so we will be dining when we return.

Behind the Screams: A-mazed and Scared

For those curious about the intricate details of Scary Farm’s mazes, a special treat was in store. Attendees could venture through the “Origins” maze with the lights on, gaining insight into the maze’s construction and hidden effects. This behind-the-scream experience illuminated the dedication and craftsmanship that goes into creating each terrifying attraction.

What You Don’t See: Extra Spooky Surprises

Throughout the night, attendees were treated to a variety of extra offerings. A trivia contest at Fireman’s BBQ tested guests’ knowledge of Scary Farm lore. The Legacy Store was open, offering a chance to purchase upcoming items, including interactive lanterns that unlock effects in scare zones and mazes.

Scare actor characters, including the enigmatic “The Keeper,” were available for eerie photo opportunities. Ghost Town was transformed into a scare zone, complete with lurking scare actors. It was an action-packed night, offering a taste of what Scary Farm has in store.

The Hanging: A Thrilling Conclusion

The event’s climax saw everyone gathering at the Calico Stage, where the Sheriff vowed to capture the witch Sarah Marshall and have her hanged. What followed was a spellbinding performance that included fireworks and an appearance on the Calico Mine, concluding the night on a spectacular note.

Looking Forward to the 50th Scary Farm Year

With the 50th Scary Farm year on the horizon, excitement is building. The event runs from September 21 to October 31, featuring 10 terrifying mazes, five sinister scare zones, and four hair-raising shows. Fans can expect to encounter characters from Scary Farm’s history as they navigate the horrors. Tickets are already on sale, including Scary Farm passes, which are expected to sell out quickly.

Knott’s Scary Farm promises a thrilling and spine-chilling experience, with something for every horror enthusiast. With its rich history and dedication to delivering unparalleled scares, this event is sure to provide a memorable and terrifying celebration of its 50th anniversary.

For more information on Knott’s Scary Farm’s 50th-anniversary event, including ticket prices, park hours, and details on attractions, visit Join the conversation on social media using #ScaryFarm.

When you go, be prepared to jump and scream. Just try not to hit the ghouls. They’re performers doing their job a little too well.

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Colin Costello is the West Coast Editor of Reel 360. Contact him at or follow him on X at @colinthewriter1


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