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Horror fans flock to the first night of Halloween Haunt at Knott's Scary Farm

Horror fans flock to the first night of Halloween Haunt at Knott's Scary Farm

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As the sun sets over Buena Park, CA., Knott's Berry Farm - America's 1st theme park - undergoes an unusual transformation on select nights in September and October.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

First a weird fog fills the streets of Ghost Town ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Then out of that mist comes all manner of monster ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Each of them determined to frighten the bejesus out of anyone who was brave enough and/or foolhardy enough to buy a ticket to the 39th annual Halloween Haunt at Knott's Scary Farm.


Copyright 2011 Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. All rights reserved

JimHillMedia was lucky enough to score an invite to the opening night of this year's Haunt. And as Noe Valladolid (JHM's photographer) stood among the ghouls in Ghost Town, getting some shots just before rope drop at 7 p.m. ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... he couldn't decide who was scarier: All of the elaborately made-up & costumed monsters who were lurking in the fog ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... or the hundreds of die-hard Halloween Haunt fans who had turned out for opening night. Each of them determined to be among the first to sample the thirteen mazes & rethemed rides that Knott's scare-masters have put together for this year's Scary Farm.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

And once 7 p.m. arrived, that rope got dropped. And then people quickly headed off in all directions. Some raced through Calico Scare so that they could then experience one of Halloween Haunt's newest attractions, "Invasion Beneath." Which takes this theme park's classic Calico Mine Train Ride and then turns it into a terrifying attack from below.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

While still other zoomed to the very back of Knott's Scary Farm so that they could revisit one of Halloween Haunt's more popular mazes of the past, "Uncle Bobo's Big Top of the Bizarre in 3D."


Photo by Noe Valladolid

But for pop culture fans, the real reason that they attend Knott's Scary Farm annually is to see which celebrities and/or public figures are going to get skewered at this year's Hanging.

I mean, where else are you going to see an elaborate parody of "Under the Sea" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid" which features lyrics like "Who lives in a body bag under the sea? SpongeBob Bin Laden."


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Speaking of Disney and mermaids ... One of the annual highlights of the Hanging is waiting to see how Knott's Scary Farm's writers make fun of the Mouse. And this year ... Well, in one bit, they managed to mention both "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" as well as DCA's newest dark ride.

First Capt. Jack Swallows (i.e. Knott's Scary Farm's version of Captain Jack Sparrow) enters and says "Oh, crap. I'm in the wrong theme park." Then Calico Scare's Lawman asks Jack what he's doing at Halloween Haunt. Swallow says that "I'm here for the fish lady." Which is the cue for Knott's equivalent of Ariel the Little Mermaid to then come rolling out onstage.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Swallows then says "I need her to cry into my goblet. " The Sheriff asks "And how do you plan on doing that?" And Jack replies "I'm going to show her the last Pirate movie, savvy?" Ariel then chimes in "Are you taking me to the Fountain of Youth?" Swallows reply is: "No, my dear. I'm taking you back to the Mermaid ride at Disney California Adventure. Your break's over." The Little Mermaid then asks "Are we going on stranger tides?" And Jack concludes by saying "No, my dear. We're going down the 5 to the Katella off-ramp."

Mind you, if you're not a big fan of scares and/or Disney jokes, there's always the food. And if you opt to take advantage of the Halloween Haunt's Pre-Scare Dinner Special, you can enjoy a pretty amazing spread at Knott's V.I.P. Boo-fet dinner.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

As you might expect for a place that is famous for its boysenberry pie, the Halloween-themed desserts  that are featured at Knott's V.I.P. Boo-fet are absolutely incredible. These include white chocolate skeletons resting in milk chocolate coffins ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... miniature edible Frankenstein's monster heads that are filled with mint-flavored white chocolate mousse ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... and white chocolate skulks with boysenberry brains.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Of course, if you don't like sinister sweets ... Well, you could always grab a few Snoopy-themed cupcakes.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

More to the point, if you needed a bit of a break from all of the frights to be found at this year's Halloween Haunt, you could always go check out Knott's Berry Farm's newest ride, WindSeeker ...


Photo by Noe Valladolid

... which takes 64 Guests at a time 300 feet in the air. And then - as it spins around - WindSeeker gives theme park visitors a commanding view of Buena Park and much of Orange County.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

Where - if you look closely - you can then spy the very unDisney-like version of the Headless Horseman that haunts Sleepy Hollow Mountain.


Photo by Noe Valladolid

The 39th annual Halloween Haunt at Knott's Scary Farm continues Sept. 29th  - Oct. 2nd , 5th - 9th, 12th -16th, 19th -23rd and October 26th - 31st. For further information on hours, ticket prices and/or help with booking an advance reservation of the V.I.P. Boo-fet, please visit the official Halloween Haunt website.

Special thanks to Noe Valladolid for providing most of the images that were used to illustrate today's article.

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