Farming for Scares

Knott's Berry Farm: Knott's Halloween Haunt is back after a dissapointing 2004 year. Jason Lester files a trip report for 2005's Haunt.

From Jason Lester
Posted October 25, 2005 at 2:20 PM
Well, I went on the 23rd (a Sunday) to Knott's Halloween Haunt 2005, and what can I say? It was just plain awesome. Last year's event left me wanting more, maybe it was the crowds, maybe I just wasn't into it as much, but nevertheless, I was greatly let down. This year though, Knott's gets back into the swing of the things with a tremendous collection of mazes, shows, and scare zones. Without further ado I'll get into the report.


Red Moon Massacre - Red Moon had me howling this year. Another impressive turn for their underated attraction with great scenery and some enthusiastic monsters. I got one scare in Red Moon, from a monster inside the 2nd show building. 7/10

Hatchet High - A bit dissapointing actually. Maybe it was too early in the night, as there were many dead stretches. Great soundtrack, some good laughs, but overall, HH didn't add up to a whole. 5/10

Feary Tales in 3D - Feary Tales is beautiful and the effects are only enhanced in 3D. The sets are top-notch, the scareactors are prefectly costumed, and the soundtrack is the best at 2005's Haunt. 9/10

The Asylum - A very interesting set up this year. You exit Feary Tales straight into The Asylum, which means the pace is prefect. There's no long stretches of walking to throw you off. You leave one twisted environment right into another. Asylum is excellent this year, with much better lighting then last year's. Got a good scare in hear near the strobes at the end. 8/10

Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns From Outer Space in 3D - Say that three times fast. Scary Farm's maze with the longest title is pretty entertaining this year, with some dead stretches though. The theme is thrown off by the strange spaceship ending. 7/10

Lore of the Vampire - Wow, this maze rocks. Near perfect, with only a few dead stretches, Lore is genius. Haunt has always had a Vampire maze and Lore may just be it's best. Don't kill me Dominion fans, but Lore really is one hell of a maze. More atmospheric then scary, don't expect to have your socks scared off. Just allow yourself to be transported to a time and place when vampires rules, and allow the music of the night to seduce you. 9/10

Red Beard's Revenge - I liked Red Beard's in it's debut year, but it's hit a bit of a sophmore slump. There was a noticable lack of scareactors, and the ones that were in there didn't do much. Again, the rocking floor is a nice, if subtle, effect and the blackouts really did a nice job in here. They were helpful but didn't intrude on the experience with annoying flashlights. Set design is top-notch. 6/10

Terror Vision in 3D - Like Red Beard's the monsters weren't too enthusiactic. The tongue-in-cheek humour is pretty amusing, and I had one good scare courtesy of Greg Brady in the Fraidy Bunch. 6/10

13 Axe Murder Manor - I'm not even sure what to say. Manor is phenomenal, surely the best maze at Haunt this year by far. It may be one of the best in the history of Haunt. The sets, scareactors, score, everything is incredible and it all comes together for one hell of an experience. If you can only see one maze at Haunt this year, make it Manor. 10/10


Ghost Town - The classic zone is back and better then ever. Tons of fog, monsters, and scares make GTS a must see at Haunt. 10/10

CarnEvil - What the hell is this? In previous year's CarnEvil has been okay, but nothing special. This year it takes a complete nosedive. I didn't see one monster in all of CarnEvil and the lights were turned up brighter then bright. If it weren't for the Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns, CarnEvil shouldn't even be at Haunt. 2/10

Silver Bullet Mining Town - Yay for chainsaws and outhouses! Wait a second, outhouses? Yes, outhouses. It may not make much sense, but it's cool and semi-scary. 5/10

The Gauntlet - The Gauntlet was, as always, a great zone, rivaling Ghost Town. Some pretty cool stuff happens in The Gauntlet. Make sure to pay your respects to The Queen. 9/10

Dark Realm at the Gauntlet - Ummm... I don't even know what Dark Realm is supposed to be. Some kind of trail behind The Gauntlet with a few walls and about three monsters. I'll give it brownie points for scaring me twice and for The Impaler. 4/10


The Happiest Hanging on Earth - The Hanging, I'm happy to report, it better then last year. My only complaint is that it's about five minutes too long and the victim of the noose is a tad bit precitable. However, I laughed hard a few times. 7/10

Hack's Side Splitting Improv - A can't miss. I don't think I ever stopped laughing the whole show. It's absolutely hilarious and the timing of the three performers is impeccable. 10/10

So that's my Haunt 2005 trip report, told as it is. I'm sorry if you don't agree with me, those are my opinions and I'm not changing them. Haunt was pretty cool this year and there were no flop shows or houses. Scare zones I can't say the same for, but the classics came through in the end. I didn't have time for Cavern of Lost Souls, Curse of the Spider, Temple of Sacrifice, or the other shows, but I enjoyed what I saw and look forward to next year. Now begins the 12 month wait until next Haunt. Until then, Scary Farm has closed its gates. Or it will on October 31st at least.

Here's everything above broken down into list form.

MAZES (from best to worst, or the equivalent of worst in a great year for mazes)

1. 13 Axe Murder Manor
2. Lore of the Vampire
3. Feary Tales in 3D
4. The Asylum
5. Red Moon Massacre
6. Carnival of Carnivorous Clowns...
7. Terror Vision in 3D
8. Red Beard's Revenge
9. Hatchet High


1. Ghost Town Streets
2. The Gauntlet
3. Silver Bullet Mining Town
4. The Dark Realm...
5. CarnEvil


1. Hack's Side Splitting Improv
2. The Happiest Hanging on Earth

Well that's that. Thanks for reading my 2005 Haunt trip report.

From Jason Lester
Posted October 25, 2005 at 6:41 PM
Does anyone else who visited Haunt have any ideas or opinions?

From Eric Anderson
Posted October 28, 2005 at 10:33 AM
Never...EVER go on a Friday or Saturday evening. Stick to weekdays if possible. Knotts is infamous for overselling this event. Standard ticket prices hover around $43 (but discounts can be had). If you enjoy standing around in 2 hour lines, getting in maybe 3 atractions, enjoy watching drunken males try to get aggressive when monsters scare them, have NO personal space whatsoever because you can't step without bumping into anyone, and like being rudely treated by employees who obviously don't want to be there THIS event is geared to your tastes.

I'm not knocking the content (which is superb). The presentation is horribly flawed and just a waste of time without drinking a considerable amount of tequilla first.

From Greg S
Posted November 1, 2005 at 12:56 PM
I am a little sad we were unable to go on 13 Axe Murder Masacre, because instead we did HH, and were dissapointed. But I LOVED the Vampire one. It blew me away. By far the best one.

Also, the Log Ride was very scary.

By far, best Knott's Scary Farm ever. Did all the mazes except 13AMM :(

From Jason Lester
Posted November 1, 2005 at 5:19 PM
Well, if you thought that this was the best Haunt ever without 13AMM, then if you had done 13AMM Haunt 2005 would've blown your mind.

And Lore does rock, yes.

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