Amid the hustle, bustle, and mountainous cocktails o’ shrimp, team Nightmarish Conjurings got quite geared up for this year’s Knott’s Scary Farm. Creatives behind some of the best fright-filled attractions in Southern California are promising more screams and surprising twists on old favorites. As we count down the days until Scary Farm’s opening, it seems only right to offer a ranked list of our most anticipated mazes for this haunt season.
1. Dark Ride
The promo videos and concept designs for Dark Ride, an all-new maze extending from the CarnEvil scare zone, already have us trembling in our fashionable footwear. Carnies, clowns, and sideshow freaks are harbored within the carcass of a boardwalk-style dark ride. If you are daring enough to brave the blood-streaked grease paint faces of your nightmares, you will be rewarded with all sorts of bumps and frights. Very little was given away to the audience about specific moments within the maze and we would not want it any other way. With the upcoming release of the IT reboot, this haunt season, more than any other, seems geared toward all things carnivalesque. May this coulrophobia-twisting flood of themed stuff never end.
2. Pumpkin Eater
As another brand new maze, Pumpkin Eater will be offering up tastes of colonial themed horror. With a 7-foot-tall creature looming around each corner, it seems unlikely there will be hot cider or fresh doughnuts in this pumpkin patch. There will also be a cave of crawling insects nestled somewhere deep within this attraction. We cannot help but itch with curiosity about how this effect will be achieved visually, let alone tactiley. Pumpkin Eater’s beautiful sets and narrative impulses seems great for fans of all things Lovecraftian, Hawthornian, and Salem Witch Trial…ian?
3. Trick or Treat: Lights Out
As a tried and true favorite, the minds behind Trick or Treat hinted the maze will be far more psychologically unsettling this year. Each participant will be given a flashlight in order to find his or her way through the maze. Sure, being able to control what we are able to see within a Halloween maze is a unique feature and offers a personalized touch for each experience. The Knott’s Scary Farm team, however, will only continue to rattle our expectations because they can control the flashlights from a distance. That means, yes, you will be able to see hidden nuggets in Trick or Treat, but no one can guarantee your flashlight will be working the whole time.
4. The Tooth Fairy
Anything within the realm of dental horror always has us muttering a firm “nope,” but The Tooth Fairy maze will be packed with so many fun frights it will be hard not to give it a go. With a blackout room requiring participants to feel their way out and an all-new finale, it will be great to see what has us covering our mouths in fear (or, in this case, protection). Of course, a word to those sensitive to lighting effects: this attraction will also now feature an x-ray strobe room for maximum disorientation.
Who can resist a solid, albeit somewhat culturally questionable. Voodoo haunt? We certainly can’t! The biggest surprise about this iteration of Voodoo has more to do with movement through the maze than any alterations made to its story design or physical appearance. Participants will be traveling through the maze backward and, even though it is still unclear what “backward” exactly means, we will be among the first in line to find out…
Also coming back this year is The Red Barn, Paranormal Inc, Shadow Lands, and Special Ops: Infected. If you haven’t already made the investment, be sure to pick up your 2017 Knott’s Scary Farm passes and Fright & Fast Lane tickets so you can scream your lungs raw every night in October. So! What are you most excited to see at this year’s Scary Farm?