Not Knott’s

Sophie Piller

Have you already attended Knott’s Scary Farm or Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Night? While both of these events are certainly frightening the first couple of occasions, they become less exciting with each visit.
You may long for that initial rush of adrenaline and sheer thrill you experienced at your first horror night; however, the possibility of finding a new Halloween event seems slim and you begin to fall back into your dull routine.
In search of that long lost thrill, I have embarked on an adventure into the unknown, bringing along only the finest of company, thrill-seeking and scary movie addict: Stephanie Mckay. Together we decided on Griffith Park’s Haunted Hayride, with its reputation for frightening attractions unlike any other event.
And thus, there we were, standing in the ticket line, already being bombarded by this Chewbacca-looking monster, with the undeniable eerie film music playing loudly at the entrance. As we entered through the gates, we passed the “Grub Shack,” an inviting food truck offering quick eats from fried macaroni balls to mini doughnuts. Naturally, Stephanie and I made a quick stop to taste the doughnuts from the food truck only for the purpose of this review of course, finding that not only the venue was impressive, but the food as well.
As we explored the grounds more, we discovered mazes, a psychic reading and a small theatre, all clad with skulls and spears. After scoping the area, we decided on finally conquering the one attraction we had been anticipating, the hayride.
We followed a path to the hayride, and once we arrived, we were directed into a large fenced cage with about 15 other people. An enthusiastic clown shouted the hayride rules and then proceeded to lead us to a hay-covered platform attached to a tractor.
We were instructed to sit down and once everyone was aboard we commenced our journey through the dark, tree-laden paths of Griffith Park. Characters dressed in frightening costumes and masks jumped out and chased the mobile.
We stopped several times to watch a creepy performance that included detailed costumes, frantic music and an elaborate setup. I found that the overall hayride was less scary than I had anticipated; however, the performances were well executed and captivating.
The scenery and the performances provided for a creepy ambience, rather than the bloody and gruesome environment at Knott’s or Universal Studios. After the hayride we visited the Trick or Treat Maze, in which there was an array of doors, some with a horrifying monster behind, eagerly waiting to pounce.
In search of something a bit more thrilling, we asked an employee for their guidance and were immediately directed to the Dark Maze.
After a short wait, we entered inside the building, and attempted to follow the maze, without falling victim to the dead ends and dark corridors, while using the little light provided from the flashing strobes to maneuver. Behind each corner, a zombie or clown awaited their next victim, bearing a weapon and a terrifying grin. The Dark Maze was by far the most frightening attraction at the event, and I wouldn’t recommend it to those with a faint heart; however, if you’re in search of a good scare, I highly suggest visiting this maze.
Britt Maxwell, a PVHS junior, had a similar experience, saying, “I enjoyed the hayride because the performances were really entertaining, but I definitely got the most scared during the mazes.”
Overall, the Haunted Hayride bore no resemblance to the typical amusement park horror nights; instead of the usual excess of blood and carnage, the Haunted Hayride favored a more creative approach, allowing guests to enter a seemingly supernatural world through the use of creative set designs and the incorporation of detailed costumes. If you are in search for something truly thrilling and unique, I encourage you to pay a visit to the Hayride this October. Most importantly, have a happy Halloween this year Seakings!