Halloween Junkie - Knotts Scary Farm

Knott’s Scary Farm

A seasonal Halloween event held at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, known as Knott’s Scary Farm or Knott’s Halloween Haunt. A variety of wandering creatures, terrible mazes, and’scare zones’ convert the theme park into “160 acres of horror” during this event. At the time of its establishment in 2010, it was said to be the world’s first, largest, and longest-running Halloween event to take place at a theme park.

Halloween Junkie - Knotts Scary Farm


The annual six-week-long event, which began as a three-night extravaganza on October 26-28, 1973, will be celebrating its 49th anniversary this year. It has grown to be the most attended event at any theme park.

A meeting of the park’s operations committee was held in September 1973, and the notion was proposed to the group by George Condos and Martha Boyd from the marketing department, as well as Bill Hollingshead and Gary Salisbury from the entertainment office. During the construction and operation of the Mine Ride, Log Ride, and other rides (as a concessionaire), Bud Hurlbut determined that static props were insufficient and donned a gorilla suit to scare passengers as they rode the Mine Ride. The Halloween Haunt was an immediate success, and by the following year, the event was selling out every night.

Knott’s Berry Farm was originally designed to look like the ghost town of Calico, California, which was abandoned as a result of the California gold rush. The theme park already had a distinct Ghost Town part, and this area would later become the designed area for the inaugural Halloween Haunt, which would eventually extend to encompass the entire park.

Halloween Junkie - Knotts Scary Farm

As the 1980s progressed, the theme park’s popularity grew, and celebrities from popular culture were brought on board to represent the attraction. “Weird Al” Yankovic, an actor and parody artist, joined the cast in 1981, while Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson joined the cast the following year. Until 2001, Elvira was a notable character in a number of Halloween Haunted House events. In accordance with postings on her Myspace page, Cassandra was released from her contract by the park’s new owners, who desired a more family-friendly atmosphere.

The decade of the 1990s will bring a new approach to Halloween. Knott’s changed its focus from explicit horror to dark comedy, and many aspects of the theme park were given a humorous makeover. Keeping the right combination of terror and levity has been critical to the success of Knott’s Halloween Haunt for over a decade now.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Knott’s Scary Farm announced on August 4th, 2020 that the 48th Scary Farm season would be cancelled and deferred to 2021. The closure of theme parks in California began in March at the request of California Governor Gavin Newsom and resulted in the cancellation of the 48th Scary Farm season. At the time of the announcement, the theme park was not open to the public.

Halloween Junkie - Knotts Scary Farm

Park Transformation

Despite the fact that Knott’s Berry Farm is a year-round theme park, the entire area is transformed into a Halloween-themed attraction. Attractions such as rides and other attractions are transformed into ghastly themes. In the park’s horrific scare zones, seasonal workers are dressed as a variety of monsters and walk the 160-acre (0.65 km2) property, which is shrouded in haze created by gigantic fog machines.

There are some characters who have gained a specific attraction, for example Sarah Rebecca Anne “The Green Witch Of Calico” Morgan-Marshall, who is regarded as the legendary, iconic, and infamous villianess herself. When Haunt premiered in 1973, Diana Kelly-Kirchen was cast as the first Green Witch, who went by the name of Spooky Sarah. She was the first Green Witch to appear on the show. Charlene Parker took over Diana’s role as the Haunt after Diana departed the show in 1982. The Green Witch was then replaced as the face of Scary Farm in 2021 by The Conductor, who became the new face of the attraction.

The contentious “Hanging” live act, which is a mainstay of the Haunt, parodies celebrities and public figures through a series of staged hangings, is a staple of the Haunt. Since the first Halloween Haunt in 1979, the Hanging has been an annual event.

Halloween Junkie - Knotts Scary Farm

As of 2019, there are nine mazes, four fright zones, four experiences, and four live events in the park.

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