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... and then go behind-the-screams at Knott's Scary Farm

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... and then go behind-the-screams at Knott's Scary Farm

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So how early do the folks at Knott’s Berry Farm start getting ready for Halloween Haunt?

Knotts Scary Farm halloween celebration
Photo by Angela Ragno

Well, if you take into consideration all of the costumes & sets that are kept in storage behind-the-scenes at this Buena Park theme park …

Knotts SCary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

… not to mention all of the months of design & construction that actually go into the creation of each mazes at the Haunt … Halloween is pretty much a year-round thing at Knott’s Berry Farm these days.

Back on September 8th, I was lucky enough to get a walk-thru of the then-still-under-construction “Terror of London.” Which is a pretty radical redo of the Haunt’s popular old “13 Axe Murder Manor” maze.

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

As you can see, though construction was pretty much complete at this point, Brooke Walters and her design team hadn’t quite finished propping “Terror of London” yet. So there were bodies piled up everywhere …

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

… while Brooke futzed with the finishing touches. Deciding what lamps would be placed where, etc.

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

I have to admit that I got quite an education that afternoon. At least when it came to the proper way of staging & then running a maze at Halloween Haunt. The tricks of the trade. The various things that you do to distract Guests, like placing performers on different levels of your maze. So people never quite know where their next scare is coming from.

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

Or – better yet – how you hang something down from the ceiling (like chains or shredded pieces of cloth) in an area that you want your Guests to pass through. Having to push these objects out of the way distracts & unnerves many folks. Which makes it that much easier for a Scare Force member (That’s what Knott’s Berry Farm calls the 1000 or so performers that the theme park hires each year to properly staff Halloween Haunt. Its Scare Force) to suddenly step out of the shadows and scare the living [email protected] out of a Guest.

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

Speaking of shredded cloth … That’s what draped all over this room from “Lockdown: The Asylum.” Not the warden’s intestines. But – rather – tightly wound pieces of cloth that have been dyed red that only look like they’re someone’s intestines.

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

And speaking of “Lockdown: The Asylum” … Some Haunt fans may remember the earlier incarnation of this maze, back when “Lockdown” was just called “The Asylum.” That’s half the fun of Halloween Haunt. Discovering the increasingly clever way that the Knott’s Scary Farm design team has recycled set pieces & props from earlier versions of the Haunt.

Take – for example – that animatronic figure who used to sit in the electric chair which was kept behind a chain link fence in the park’s Ghost Town section. You know, the one that used to flail, scream & smoke as he went through a simulated electrocution every few minutes during Haunt.

After years of disturbing Guests who’d try & get a bite to eat at those picnic tables that were located right next to this animatronic’s chain link cage, the Knott’s Scary Farm design team found a far better location for this simulated electrocution. Which was in the finale sequence for “Lockdown: The Asylum.”

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

But do you want to know what the most entertaining part about wandering around backstage at Knott’s Berry Farm was? It was the juxtaposition of props from Knott’s Scary Farm being temporarily placed right next to holiday decorations that will be used for this theme park’s next big seasonal event, Knott’s Merry Farm. So you actually had Santa’s sleigh sitting next to this pile of plastic people who’d allegedly recently been slain. (Sleigh. Slain. Get it?)

Knotts Scary Farm
Photo by Angela Ragno

Anyway ... If you’d like to get in on the gruesome fun that you can only find at Knott’s Scary Farm, Halloween Haunt will be presented tonight through October 11th, October 14th – 18th, October 21st – 25th & October 28th – 31st. For further information on hours of operation & ticket prices, please click on this link.

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