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Get The Ink Out: Spooky, scary times

October 22, 2010
  • Creatures from your nightmares await you at Knott's Scary Farm this year.
Creatures from your nightmares await you at Knott's… (Courtesy Knott's…)

Ask anyone, "What's your favorite holiday?" and I bet you'll get divided answers: 50% for Halloween, 50% for Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa.

Who cites Easter as their favorite? Arbor Day? Valentine's Day? Pfffft. It's about being scary or being nice.

I fit squarely into the Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa group, which is why I should never have agreed to go to Knott's Scary Farm. I hate being startled. I hate being scared. I do not like adrenaline. Sure, I'm boring, but I'm OK with that.

If you do like being so frightened you can't sleep, by all means spend an evening in Carnevil, the area between Ed Alonzo's "Psycho Circus of Magic and Mayhem" or near Uncle Bobo's Bigtop of the Bizzarre. Even though I had my security blanket in the form of our freelance columnist Candice Baker, I whimpered every time we had to cross the area near Johnny Rockets. We, thankfully, did not subject ourselves to either of the clown events.

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Moving along, we found much more enjoyment in the Terror of London maze. If you like all things British, this little reconstruction of London during Jack the Ripper's heyday will be a blast. But fair warning: The displays are almost as gruesome as the real cases.

That brings up an excellent point. While I would not take small children to Halloween Haunt, I enthusiastically endorse teens taking their parents. Yes, teens, you will enjoy watching Mom and Dad lose their cool when a specter in a duster pops out from behind a shed. Just watch out for the farting fairy clown, although I found him hilarious.

For pretty costumes, head over to the Necropolis where you'll encounter ghoulish lords and ladies and a few gentlemen who looked like Dr. Frankenstein's steam punk experiments. This is also home to my favorite maze, Labyrinth. It was just scary enough to startle me, but not so bad that I'd cower under my down comforter later hoping the monsters wouldn't get me.

Clowns are the stuff of some nightmares, but walking through corn fields is worse. That's what you'll encounter in the Cornstalkers maze. When Candice and I balked at being first through the field after wending our way through a 1950s-esque farm house, replete with chicken coops in the backyard, the first young couple behind us seemed hesitant, but took the plunge. The young man of the second couple we let pass us, balked with a few choice words. Good thing he had his girlfriend's hand to hold.

Tickets for Halloween Haunt, which is separate from normal Knott's admission, are $33 to $56. You have until Sunday and from Oct. 27 to 31 to get your fill of fright in 13 mazes and seven shows. For more information, visit http://www.knotts.com.

Web Editor JAMIE ROWE can be reached at (714) 966-4634 or jamie.rowe@latimes.com. Squee has been working on his spooky cat impersonation. If only Mommy would let him dye his hair black to be authentic.

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