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    Knott’s Scary Farm announces spooky 50th anniversary preview on Aug. 24
    • July 30, 2023

    After waiting in long lines, thousands of horror and Halloween fans squeezed into the Grand Ballroom of the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday, July 29 at Midsummer Scream just to get a sneak peek at Knott’s Berry Farm’s 50th anniversary Knott’s Scary Farm event.

    Although the crowd had been told that there’d be no spoilers during the presentation, the team behind Knott’s beloved scare-a-thon made several big announcements. One of those included that there will be a special preview of the 50th anniversary event for diehard fans at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24. Tickets will be available starting at $20 on Monday, July 31 at

    The Buena Park theme park recently announced that Knott’s Scary Farm will take place on select evenings from Sept. 21-Oct. 31 and include 10 mazes, five scare zones and four live shows.

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    During a panel discussion, Ted Dougherty, Knott’s Scary Farm historian, author and producer and director for seasonal events, revealed Knott’s will be publishing an updated version of his book, “Knott’s Halloween Haunt: A Picture History,” this year. This version, which updates the one he wrote for the 40th anniversary, will explore technological advances over the past decade that have elevated the live attraction and haunt experience. He’ll be on-site throughout the event, signing books and doing meet and greets inside the new Legacy Haunt Store & Museum.

    That new space will be located just outside the front gates of Knott’s and will be open to the general public to explore during the day and closed to all but Scary Farm ticketholders only during the event evenings. There will be several throwback photo ops and exclusive anniversary merchandise, and much like inside the park, the set designers are going to go all out with the decor that will nod to previous mazes, scare zones and live shows.

    There will also be several interactive elements incorporated into the haunt experience this year. The theme park will be selling specialty lanterns that guests can carry throughout the park that will unlock certain creepy moments even within the mazes. They didn’t share too much more about the lanterns, other than guests will be provided with maps that show where the lanterns can be used and that they can expect to be able to see vintage event monsters with them and to beware of the swamp spiders.

    Karl Busche, Knott’s animated and outspoken product development manager, also shared some of the merchandise that will be available this year including 21 new shirt designs, several of which harken back to past popular mazes. He created 50 different seasonal pins that he’s expecting will sell out quickly, so “If you see that pin, you want that pin, you buy that pin,” he strongly suggests. He also helped create Scare Farm-opoly, a Monopoly-style game that is themed after the park’s spooky live shows and attractions.

    “Is Elvira on it? Damn straight she is,” he said as the crowd cheered.

    As far as shows, the panel spent time explaining the history of “The Hanging,” which was “retired” in 2019. However, Ken Parks, corporate director of creative development for Cedar Fair, teased that with everyone feeling so nostalgic with the 50th anniversary “who knows” if “The Hanging” could make a grand return.

    By the way, he said this with a wink and the crowd went insane.

    Though they didn’t dive too far into the 2023 mazes, it was revealed that there will be an attraction dedicated to the man who started it all at Knott’s Scary Farm: Sinister Seymour, a character created by TV host and horror enthusiast Larry Vincent. Seymour was the reason Knott’s launched its spooky event back in 1973, which was only a two-day affair and cost $4 to attend. Seymour is the inspiration for Knott’s latest Scary Farm character, The Keeper, who dons Seymour’s famous garb, but looks like he’s just risen from the dead.

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    ​ Orange County Register