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Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt 2009
Oct. 17th

Ah, Halloween, the holiday that was once but a single night of spooky revelry and is now a weeks-long celebration of the macabre. As it should be, brothers and sisters. There are few ways better to get into the spirit, as it were, than a trip to your local theme park for some after-dark adrenaline. And after last year's exhilarating KSF Haunt, my first trip since I was a tweener, I was primed for another go-round this season.

The overall verdict? Um, pretty good. But not the wall-to-wall fear-fest I remember. Now, there are a few reasons for this, and the most important is that most of the mazes are returners from '08, or pretty similar in nature to what they've replaced - the "shock of the new" wasn't there. Second, and this is almost as important, many of the mazes were understaffed. Some rooms that were clearly set up to accommodate a ghoul or two were empty; more than once, our group passed two "ushers" before encountering another monster. (Bored "norms" with flashlights kinda kill the mood.) Then there was this "scare scene" that was so unbearably lame, it really put a bad taste in my mouth. Last, this is essentially live interactive theater, and some nights, the performers are on fire, others, not as much. I think the night we attended was just an off night. That's the way it goes.

But if you haven't been to the Farm for one of these Rocktober blow-outs, I would still recommend it highly, with a few caveats. Onward:

Signature Haunt Hearse, baby.

Me and my pal Dariush arrived right on time, just as the sun was setting, ready to hit every maze, and to see this year's version of "The Hanging," the signture Haunt show. I'm not usually big on live theme park entertainment, but we couldn't miss it this year because we know one of the performers. Bonus.

With the sun down and night upon us, we ventured into Ghost Town and that little boy inside me got all stupid with delight.

Bring on the scares, yo!

Dense fog, lots of creeps everywhere, sliders going nuts, yeah, Bobby likey!

Hey, baby...

This lovely lady posed for the shot, then came right at me, hissing like a snake. Like a few dates I've been on. *Rimshot*

The farting monkey - he's a gas!

Who doesn't love the Farting Monkey?! And here he is, nailing an unsuspecting guest. Pwned!

The Zombie Cowboy and his bony steed gives me a happy. Ghostrider, baby.

Last year's Doll Factory maze was a favorite, so I insisted we hit that first.

Hotty ghosts!

I dig the whole goth-toy theme and was looking forward to both scares and alluring sweeties, which we got... but not in as high doses as I'd expected. Again, I knew what was coming, so that dulled the thrill a bit. But, again, seemed to be a few less sweeties this year. Hmmm.

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© Robert Coker
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