Welcome to The Pulse, your lifeline for media and pop culture. Now, normally we’ll be doing top 10 lists here on The Pulse, but as it is the season of screams and this being the inaugural edition of The Pulse we’re going to be doing something a bit special to celebrate. Instead of the usual top 10, I will be ranking every single Halloween Haunt maze that I have personally experienced over the last 16 years. From 2002 all the way to 2018, that is over 60 mazes I’ll be counting down over the next few weeks. Now I can’t promise the most vivid of descriptions or critiques for every single maze as many of them I haven’t thought of or experienced in well over a decade, nor is this meant to be a comprehensive list of every single maze from that time period (as there were a small handful of houses I was either unable to go through or choose not to go through, generally due to lack of interest or time). Before we get to that though, I think it’s important that I go a bit into my history with Knott’s Scary Farm and just how much it means to me.
So 2019 marks the 17th consecutive year that I will have attended Knott’s Berry Farm’s annual Halloween Haunt. That means I have been attending the event at least once a year every single year since I was 12. It is the one thing I look forward to more than any other holiday, event, convention, anything. It is a tradition that I hold near and dear to my heart. My dad, prior to his moving out of state back in 2010, had attended every single Halloween Haunt save for the first back in 1973. He took me to my very first Haunt back in 2002 and we went together every single year for the following 7 seasons, sometimes alone and sometimes with my friends. He taught me all the tricks of the trade, how to plan out a route, prioritizing mazes and Haunt attractions over the stuff that’s there year round. We were smart and we were efficient, it was rare that there was a maze we missed. It even got to the point that people we had met during the event, usually waiting for rope drop after hitting the pre-Haunt Boo-fet (another must!), would tag along with us for the night in order to be able to hit everything as well. I kept the tradition going long after he left, passing my knowledge along to my own circle of friends and making a tradition of it for ourselves. As you can imagine, Knott’s Scary Farm has had a lot of mazes over the course of its long and storied history, and while I haven’t been able to go through every single one since its inception, I have gone through the vast majority of them over the last almost two decades.
This was not an easy list to compile. Certain mazes I knew 100% where they would fall on my rankings without even a second thought. Others I actually had to stop and really think back on them, weigh their highs and lows against the rest of the mazes on the list and find the spot that felt just right for them. I would also like to note that I will be attending this year’s event late in October and the new mazes for 2019 are not going to be included as a part of this. Those will instead be given full reviews in their own separate article.
Until then, see you in the fog…