Boos!Letter: How Knott’s Scary Farm is celebrating its 50th anniversary

Happy Friday, Ghosties!

We’re now in full Halloween mode here in Southern California as Disneyland kicked off its Oogie Boogie Bash and Universal Studios Hollywood launched its 2023 Halloween Horror Nights season this week.

Though Knott’s Scary Farm in Buena Park doesn’t officially begin until Thursday, Sept. 21 (and run select evenings through Oct. 31) the theme park is going all in for its 50th anniversary celebration.

Theme Parks reporter Brady MacDonald has the scoop on all of the thrills and chills, but there are a few stand-out mazes and fun extras happening at Knott’s this season. The Chilling Chambers haunted house was designed to explore the greatest hits of Knott’s maze history and nods to six former mazes, including Ten Chilling Chambers — the first haunted maze specifically created for Knott’s in the 1970s.

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It also features a new original character, The Keeper, who was modeled after Sinister Seymour, the very first host of the Halloween event back in 1973, portrayed by actor Larry Vincent.  Read more about Chilling Chambers and Knott’s Scary Farm history here.

Knott’s also has a pretty cool interactive souvenir for Halloween fans this year in the form of the new Ghost Conductor’s Lanterns. These $40 lanterns interact with various elements within the mazes. Outside of the mazes, the lanterns will trigger special effects in scare zones and inside the 50th Anniversary Legacy Store and Museum. Brady has more on these limited edition lanterns, too.

As any good journalist should, Brady even taste tested the exclusive bites coming to Knott’s this year, which includes items like Pimple Popper Moon Pies and a Swamp Gator Sausage Sandwich. I’d be very afraid to share a ride with or be behind someone in a maze who has just wolfed down the hearty Spookghetti Pie or the Camel Stew. See why these items topped Brady’s list of best-of eats.

There’s also a pretty cool speakeasy located in one of the mazes at Knott’s, but we’ll save that story for next week.

Also coming next week: I just went to the opening of Halloween Horror Nights and caught up with Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum to talk about some extra fun activities coming to Universal Studios Hollywood this season, as well as the new “The Exorcist: Believer” movie and HHN attraction.

Don’t worry, I will not leave out the gory details.

Let’s look ahead at some other frightfully fun events.

 Meet the cast of “Hocus Pocus” 

Want to meet and take photos with Allison, Max and Mr. Binx? Creep It Real OC is hosting a special 30th anniversary celebration of “Hocus Pocus” with actors Vinessa Shaw (Allison Watts), Omri Katz (Max Dennison) and Jason Marsden (the voice of Mr. Binx the cat) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Due to the ongoing writers and actors strike, the stars won’t be mentioning the film, but will share Halloween stories, traditions and other fun treats during a panel dubbed “Black Flame Campfire Tales.”  There’s also a “Hocus Pocus” pop-up museum with costumes and props from the original 1993 movie on display, too. Reporter Richard Guzman has more on how to get tickets, see which vendors are attending and more about Creep It Real OC here.

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest in Southern California  

Raise a frosty mug and let the games begin because Oktoberfest is back! There are dozens of celebrations taking place throughout Southern California this year.

Though it officially kicks off on Sept. 16 in Munich, we like to start the party a bit early ’round these parts, so Oktoberfest at Big Bear Lake, one of the largest and longest festivals on our list, begins on Saturday, Sept. 9. Check out reporter Fielding Buck‘s massive list of Oktoberfest events here.

 Until next week, happy haunting!

Get previous editions of the Boos!Letter

Boos!Letter: Halloween Horror Nights and Oogie Boogie Bash launch next week

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