Forevermore is perhaps one of the most beautifully detailed mazes you'll ever walk through. (Knott's)
Knott’s Scary Farm rings in the fall season by announcing its maze docket for this year’s Halloween event live, and Living Out Loud was there to get the scoop. At a special arena presentation, the creative directors of the theme park’s annual tradition shared with the public just what they have in mind to test your limits.
Kicking off the show was a special appearance by the Mistress of the Dark, Elvira, to celebrate that her show would return to the lineup of live entertainment. Well, dead-alive – as she performs with her brigade of the dead. “Elvira’s Big Top,” features her ghoulish charms, iconic humor and sassiness in all her singing-and-dancing glory.
As the fog continued to roll in, maze designers Timothy “Gus” Krueger, Brooke Walters, Daniel Miller and Lara Hanneman, along with the help of the emcee Jeff Tucker, announced to their legion of haunt fanatics just what lies in store.
Trick or Treat – A haunt classic, where you’re invited to more tricks than treats as the park’s resident monster tricksters show you the true meaning of Halloween.
Black Magic – One of last year’s most popular mazes, Houdini’s ghost is brought back in a seance and materializes demonic illusions as some of his most famous acts go horribly wrong. Forevermore – Walk through the gory crime scenes of a killer who has based his murders on the tales of Edgar Allan Poe in perhaps one of the most beautifully detailed mazes you’ll ever walk though. This one’s extra special for the horror-lit nerd crowd.
“Every time we bring back a maze, we think, ‘how can we improve this maze?’ We open up spaces that needed more room, and in doing that, it’s allowed us to create more of these serial killers murder scenes where you actually get to witness our Forevermore killer committing a murder, which I’m really excited about,” shares Design Supervisor Brooke Walters. “I’ve added some really crazy art pieces to the finale that kind of mirror back to ‘The Raven’ art piece (the girl strapped to the wings). I took that and brought it to the finale.”
When asked about what other Poe stories are incorporated into the maze, Walters replies: “I spent hours and hours combing through and picked what I felt were the most solid Edgar Allen Poe stories, not to say that next year we couldn’t [choose more]. One thing I like to do is give a maze two years and then, in the third year, give it to a different designer and see what they do. It’s amazing the changes they’ll make and how much of a fresh face it will put on a returning maze.”
The Gunslinger’s Grave – Follow in the footsteps of a gunslinger on the road of retribution. He’ll leave bodies and violence in his wake.
Dominion of the Damned – Wander in the lair of the immortal as they invite you to be a part of the feast … as well as their feast.
Pinocchio Unstrung – Looks like someone’s mad they didn’t get turned into a real boy and has decided to commit all sorts of horrifying acts.
The Tooth Fairy – Say “Ahh” as the tooth fairy drags you into a nightmare dentistry full of blood and pain.
Voodoo – Pick your own path in this winding maze that takes you through the mysterious swamps of New Orleans to uncover the supernatural rites and vengeance of Voodoo gods.
“It’s been a dream of mine for years. I’ve spent a lot of my life in Louisiana, and there’s just something so gritty, authentic and amazing about New Orleans. I always [wanted] to fill a maze full of water and build bridges over it – and we’ve done that,” gushes Walters. “I have a pool in this maze, we have low lying fog, we’re getting preserved trees. It’s amazing.”
Walters goes on to explain Voodoo’s storyline.
“People have been toying with voodoo and the voodoo spirits, and the gods are pissed off. So they’ve come down to reap their vengeance on humanity in New Orleans,” she says. “You have zombies rising from the dead, exorcisms, human sacrifices, people being turned into voodoo dolls or being buried alive, demons and we’re buying a special stilt just so I can have a reverse-joint goat demon.”
The creative team described all the new details in the returning but revamped experience, Trapped: Lock and Key, in which guests can sign their lives away and be put through some secret rooms with shocking tasks that will only stop being inflicted on you if you say the safe word: ‘boysenberry.’
As that presentation concluded the whole arena was quarantined by the military as they deemed the park “Infected” – a fun way to reveal the new interactive zombi- hunting event guests can sign up for at this year’s haunt. Squad leaders lead guests on missions with special laser guns to take out the zombies in an immersive Special Ops-esque activity.
With all new thrills and daring experiences, the mother of all L.A. haunts is bringing the scary back for another season of its signature Halloween offerings.
Knott’s Scary Farm runs Sept. 25-27, Oct. 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 22-26, 29-31 and Nov. 1. For tickets and more information, visit knotts.com/what-s-new/knott-s-scary-farm.