Tag Archives: Jon Cooke

Jon Cooke Steps Down from Knott’s Berry Farm, Launching Brand-New Horror Attraction

The interwebs are buzzing, and the word is quickly spreading like wildfire through Southern California’s haunt community. After 13 years at Knott’s Berry Farm, Jon Cooke has stepped down from his daily position there as a designer, and has been working quietly on a brand-new horror experience in a nondescript industrial building in Upland, California, which will open its doors to the curious public in the weeks ahead.

Recently, we paid a visit to Jon’s new venture and stepped into his world – a highly-immersive escape experience/haunted attraction he’s named MurderCo: An R-Rated Horror Experience. MurderCo is an ambitious haunt-escape room hybrid that is going to thrill the hell out of SoCal fans looking for the next big deal.

Before we look ahead at what Jon Cooke is about to unleash on the Southland, it’s important to acknowledge his departure from Knott’s, and what it means to events such as Scary Farm; it’s the elephant in the room that everyone is buzzing about, so we would be remiss not to discuss that a bit. The good news is, it’s not a bleak as some are assuming.

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Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 – A Spectacle 45 Years in the Making

The screams and thrills of Halloween may have faded into the fog, but the memories of Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 linger here, as we continue to reflect on the amazing experiences we had this past season. Our videos from Haunt 2017 have been up on our YouTube channel for weeks – but we definitely have photos and thoughts to share, as fellow fans.

I’ll start by saying what everyone already knows and what we’ve been saying since September – Knott’s Scary Farm 2017 was absolutely stunning on all fronts. This “review” is going to be a love letter to the Haunt and the folks behind it, past and present.

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Knott’s Scary Farm Reveals All Programming for 2016 During Season Passholder Event

This past week, Knott’s Berry Farm hosted a special event for its Season Passholders, lifting the veil and shedding light on every aspect of Scary Farm 2016 that fans can look forward to experiencing very soon!

Hosted by the always-exuberant Jeff Tucker, the Knott’s Scary Farm event was pure spectacle from beginning to end, starting with the massive Charles M. Schulz Theatre filling with fog before monsters of all shapes and sizes crept into the audience, snarling and lunging at excited guests and members of the media. A soundtrack of Scary Farm music from years and mazes past played loudly as some 2,000 fans – some who had waited more than 10 hours to be first in line – spilled into the theatre. Once everyone was in, lightning flashed, thunder boomed, and the show began.

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Sneak Preview of Paranormal, Inc. at Knott’s Scary Farm 2015

Paranormal Inc. Knott's Scary FarmThis week, Theme Park Adventure had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek walking tour of one of Knott’s Scary Farm’s most highly-anticipated new mazes this year, Paranormal, Inc.

Paranormal, Inc. is one of those mazes that somehow rises above the rest when it comes to fan hype; it’s never usually something that is planned from the very beginning – it just kind of jives with what people are excited about and through word of mouth (and a little bit of marketing magic), becomes the sight unseen fan favorite before Scary Farm even begins. We’ve seen this in the past, most recently with last year’s Voodoo attraction in 2014. There’s no really solid reason as to why this happens – it just is one of those things that we’ve seen time and again play out at Knott’s, as well as other major theme park haunts.

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REVIEW: Knott’s Scary Farm New Mazes 2014

Knott's Scary Farm 2014Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt is the granddaddy of all theme park Halloween events. All theme park haunts and many industry firsts – such as the technique of “sliding” – can trace their roots to the age-old streets of Ghost Town in Buena Park, California. It is with great anticipation that fans wait for opening night each year, and as the fog billows and the wind begins to howl in the eaves of the Calico roofs, the excitement is almost palpable!

Due to the size and scope of Knott’s Scary Farm, the matrix of shows and attractions constantly evolves, with many mazes staying put for anywhere from two to five seasons. Each Halloween Haunt brings brand-new experiences as well, which fans get really excited about in the months leading up to the event. In fact, it’s become so popular for Knott’s to announce the new mazes each year, that they host a large-scale fan preview at the park itself to unveil all of the Haunt offerings during summer; it draws hundreds of the Scary Farm’s biggest fans, as well as a ton of media.

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