BUENA PARK, Calif. — Like a school of sharks, costumed scare actors lurked in thick fog in Knott's Berry Farm, waiting for unsuspecting passersby.

The monsters found their victim, one of many this night.

What You Need To Know

  • Knott's Berry Farm kicked off its annual Halloween transformation into Knott's Scary Farm last week

  • The Halloween-themed event will run on select nights through Halloween night, Oct. 31 

  • This year, Knott's unveiled a new maze, scare zone and several new shows

  • Knott's Berry Farm was closed most of last year due to the coronavirus pandemic

Amanda Greer and Jennifer Oller shrieked, laughed and held each other close while walking through a thick white fog underneath the Silver Bullet rollercoaster.

This area is one of several scare zones when Knott's Berry Farm annually transforms at night to Knott's Scary Farm.

After closing last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Knott's Scary Farm is back, scaring up visitors with their array of scare zones, mazes and shows. The Buena Park-theme park kicked off Knott's Scary Farm last Thursday and will offer it on select nights through Halloween night, Oct. 31.

"I love coming here," said Greer, a 39-year-old who drove with her friend from Yucca Valley. "We come here every year besides COVID last year. It was a bummer that it was closed, but we're going to go all out."

This year, Knott's Scary Farm has introduced a new maze, scare zone and four new shows, along with several returning favorites.

One of the new mazes is Mesmer: Sideshow of the Mind. The circus-themed maze digs into the mind of a deranged hypnotist, where visitors will encounter a dark, chilling soundtrack and plenty of circus freaks to keep their heads on a swivel as they come at them from different angles.

Other horror mazes include the Depths, where visitors explore an underground cave with a smoke and green laser scene that makes it look like they are walking through a waist-high swamp

This is also the last year to catch a fan-favorite horror maze, Paranormal Inc. An ode to paranormal investigations shows, visitors go inside a haunted hospital where they encounter the ghosts of deranged doctors, nurses and murdered patients.

Near the Western entrance in front of the Walter Knott Theater are scare actors dressed in 1920s gear. The Gore-ing 20s is Knott's Scary Farm's newest scare zone. The male scare actors are dressed in Al Capone-style striped suits, and women are dressed in gold dresses.

The original scare zone, Ghost Town, continues to live up to its name, with plenty of scare actors hiding in the fog and the shadows of the Western-style buildings before jumping at and scaring unsuspecting victims.

And Knott's Scary Farm is not all scares.

There are plenty of dark and humorous shows throughout the night.

The Jim Henson Company's Puppet Up! Uncensored gets top billing at the Walter Knott Theater.

A cast of puppeteers takes a suggestion from the crowd before acting it out with puppets in improv comedy sketches. The show is for mature audiences.

Visitors to the Bird Cage Theatre can watch illusionists at the Conjurers show.

Having walked out of the Depths, friends Lilly Oakes, Katie Mulligan and Abby Schiaba were arm and arm recounting their scare experiences inside the horror maze.

"They do such a great job scaring you," said Oakes from Orange County.

Mulligan said she's glad that Knott's Scary Farm is back.

"I love the scares," said Mulligan from Brea. "This is the place to go."

Even in a time of a pandemic, the young women were glad they were out.

"Everything has been so scary for the past two years that this seems pretty fitting," said Oakes. "It's like everything has been suspenseful, and when you finally get that jump scare, it felt good."