I went to Knott's Scary Farm last night with one of my friends, and it was quite an interesting experience. I'm a big fan of Halloween, and I make the pilgrimage to Knott's at least once a year to meander through their mazes, fake fog, minimum-wage monsters, and mildly thrilling rides.

It's generally a lot of fun, and the mazes are always the main attraction; you can ride Supreme Scream and Ghostrider any day of the year, but Malice in Wunderland, Carnival of Carnivorous Clows, and the rest, are only available for one precious month. Malice has always been my favorite, but this year it felt repetitive and lackluster, and I have to award top honors to Carnival and this season's new entry: The Asylum. Vampires are pretty cool, and surprisingly, Lore of the Vampire was one of the best mazes this year; in the past it's been pretty lame, but they spruced it up quite a bit. I've always wanted to like it, but it never really came together before. Vampire was also one of the most heavily-staffed mazes, and there were only a few rooms that felt empty and unmanned.

Most of the scares and thrills consist of guys in masks jumping out at you or swinging down at you from the ceiling, and after a few hours it started getting a bit stale this year. The park wasn't crowded, but it felt like it wasn't fully-staffed either. For example, the highlights of Blood Bayou (often one of the best mazes) have traditionally been the guy who slides out from under a bed to grab your legs, and the chainsaw maniac near the end that chases screaming girls into corners and makes them cry. But this year, neither position was filled, and when we came out of the maze I saw the chainsaw guy just standing around on one of the pathways talking to his buddies. I imagine it's pretty hard to keep tabs on the cast members, with all that's going on, but I thought it was pretty lame.

If you go, I highly recommend the caramel apples (only $3), and the giant pixie stix (only $0.50!). It's critically important to maintain an epileptic blood-sugar level if you expect to hit every maze in just a few hours. Speaking of epilepsy, what's with that stupid magnetic flashing-light jewelry they're selling at amusement parks these days? The slogan on the booths says "Draw more attention!", but the people who clip the plastic jewels to their lips, ears, foreheads, eye-brows, clothes, nipples, &c. don't really look like they need more attention. They look like they need me to sock them in the face.

Good times, good times.



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