It's that time of year again! I go to Knott's Halloween Haunt every year and it gets better and better. I always get the front of the line Fright Pass for the mazes because waiting hours in line isn't on my agenda for the night. This year was better than ever, but had some flaws.
Note: The videos are not mine, but the work of ThemeParkHD on Youtube who takes the highest quality videos of theme park attractions.
* The Tooth Fairy
This maze has been there for at least 3 years and it's always amazing. It starts with floss hanging from the ceiling that brushes across your face. The high pitched whine of dental drills sings through the air throughout the maze. Right after the inky black Cthulhu doorway is a pitch dark room. Subtle things like this are what strike fear in my heart. You have no idea if anyone else is in the room and I feel unease in the pit of my stomach. The set is incredibly detailed with blood spattered missing posters, children's toys, mutilated children, filthy medical equipment, and piles of teeth and coins. The room with the giant mouths is quite effective and the ending scare is awesome. This maze has a defined tone and atmosphere that I love. This is my favorite maze at Knott's and I hope it stays for many more years.
* Special Ops Infected
In previous years, this maze was only available as an extra purchase. This year, it was opened up to anyone at the park and I'm glad it was. It's like laser tag with zombies. You're given a gun with unlimited ammo and instructed to shoot the zombies and destroy the cause of the infection that has gotten into the water. This maze features zombies, which I love, and lets you fight back against the monsters of the maze. In every other one, you passively walk through mazes and let the monsters come at you. In this one, you can kill them and save people. The maze is well constructed and the zombie makeup is fine. I enjoyed the military leaders hyping us up and giving us instructions periodically through the maze. The room with the zombies reaching through the walls made me scream the first time. I also liked the room with the dance music as a fun little interlude. I'm apparently a horrible aim because I got 3 or less kills each time. I still had fun and I hope this stays next year as well.
* Paranormal Inc.
This is another maze from last year. It's the grandest maze they have in scope and probably the longest as well. A paranormal team wants to have spirits appear, but they end up opening a gate of hell instead. It has two sides that merge after a few minutes that go through the insane asylum with its gruesome history of abusive, murderous nurses. Then you descend into hell with demons taunting you and giant monsters coming at you. The blue and gray theme with glowing lights is unexpected and eerie as opposed the typical red and fiery one. It doesn't look great in the video because it's day time, but the room where there's a bright red light in a dark room is really effective. You can't see anything but red and you blindly walk toward it hoping you're going the right way. The giant creatures look amazing and the last scare is epic. I love turning around and seeing other people's reactions to it.
* Red Barn
This is a brand new maze this year that has a Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe. Hillbillies kill people and put them on the menu with an added dose of religious zealotry. The tableaus are horrific with people being butchered in creative ways. I was impressed with much of the set pieces and the creepy atmosphere. The bodies tied on crosses, the alter near the end, and the prayer on the wall give an added took it beyond Texas Chainsaw. The only parts that were kind of cheesy were the man-eating animals with the red eyes. Not sure why eating people causes them to become zombies or demonic.
* Trick or Treat
This maze has been here every year I've gone and it always give a classic Halloween vibe. It has deranged trick or treaters, sinister witches, monsters under the bed, and lots of jack o'lanterns. I always go through this one first because it sets the tone of the Halloween season for me. I love the wall with the Halloween masks lit up as well as the dinner scene with the jack o-lanterns. Both give an eerie atmosphere. The end was underwhelming this year and I wish there was a story with the witches.
More to come!