Knott’s Scary Farm worth my time, money for all the spooks it offers

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Image used with permission from Knott's Berry Farm

Knott’s Scary Farm displays daunting Halloween decor annually on Sept. 16 – Oct. 31 from 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Alex Lee

I never found amusement parks to be all that amusing. 

The long lines of people, roller coaster rides and the expensive tickets kept me from visiting any theme parks for nearly six years.

But after a year of restricted social activities since the pandemic, my interest in amusement parks piqued upon seeing my friends’ countless Instagram pictures. Despite previously hating roller coasters, I was now intrigued by the annual Halloween special event: Knott’s Scary Farm.

For the first time ever, I hesitantly purchased the $53 admission tickets on Oct. 17 from the official Knott’s Berry Farm website and gathered a group of four friends willing to take on the adventure together.

 Later that night, I started my journey full of expectations but nonetheless nervous and scared.

Soon after my arrival, I was astonished by the amount of maskless visitors waiting in line since masks were recommended — although not required for vaccinated individuals. Knott’s Scary Farm administration highly suggests vaccination, but unvaccinated individuals enter the park with the exception that they will be masked at all times.

Entering after a 40-minute wait, the sun had already set, and the night air was chilly, which unexpectedly created the perfect spooky Halloween atmosphere to complement my Knott’s Scary Farm experience.

My friends and I, filled with fear and excitement, started our adventure with the “Pumpkin Eater” maze, a haunted trail designed to scare visitors. The maze exceeded my expectations with its creatively decorated features, such as the classic scary jack-o’-lanterns and realistic corpses.

In spite of my fear of jump-scares and creepy costumes, the first maze surprisingly frightened me just the right amount for me to eagerly drag my friends to the next ride.

After an hour-long wait for a 5-minute ride, we agreed upon attempting the “The Depths” maze, another haunted house with a mysterious missing person theme. My earlier experience with “Pumpkin Eater” may have raised the standards too high because this maze seemed to be lacking in intricate costumes for the miners, which detracted the spooky element of it.

Perhaps the workers became tired as we progressed further into the night; the actors ready to scare us appeared worn out when I went into my third maze: “Paranormal Inc.”

After struggling through the twisted pathways, we decided to end our night by experiencing the scary zones, where plenty of “monsters” dressed in frightening costumes and lurking in the shadows ready to jumpscare us. 

One scare zone includes the “CarnEvil,” which I found impressive with clown-dressed workers strolling through the thick fog with fake chainsaws and clown horns waiting to give us a burst of adrenaline.

My friends and I ended up leaving at 11 p.m. — three hours before closing time so we missed many of the other events such as “Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind” and “Dark Ride: Castle of Chaos.”

But I believe that the long lines, which had me waiting hours on end, prevented me from getting the full experience of Knott’s Scary Farm.

For those who plan to check out this traditional haunt, I recommend buying tickets as soon as possible because once Halloween approaches, no one will stand a chance against those lines.