Let’s get a few facts straight:

Fact: Knott’s Scary Farm’s Halloween Haunt began in 1973 revolving around entertainer, Sinister Seymour: The Master of Macabre, as host of the event. For those of you who have read the Bill Hollingshead interview on this website, you will recall that the Halloween event was created as an afterthought once Seymour had approached Knott’s Berry Farm about appearing at the park. In essence, the event was created around an entertainer.

Fact: Knott’s Berry Farm thrived for many long years in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s with an abundance of live entertainment, not only at the Halloween Haunt, but throughout the entire year, including movie actors, dancers, singers, etc.

Fact: Throughout the years, we know that Sinister Seymour, Wolfman Jack, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and even Weird Al Yankovic, Doctor Demento and Ed Alonzo have been billed as the main theatre shows at the Halloween Haunt.

The point being is we are making an attempt to create the understanding that both the Halloween Haunt and Knott’s Berry Farm were centerpieces not only for rides and attractions, but live entertainment as well. At one time, Knott’s Berry Farm was up there with Disneyland with regard to the entertainers performing at the park.

We will now make an attempt to establish why we feel that the Grudge 2 maze at Knott’s Scary Farm was not only the single greatest public relations move for the event in over 20 years, we will take it a step further…We will attempt to establish why we feel that the Grudge 2 maze may have been one of the single greatest tools for the haunted attraction industry since the creation of a haunted attraction itself.

Let’s start off why we feel this maze was huge for Knott’s:

We’ve heard it all: “Knott’s has sold out!” “Knott’s doesn’t need to depend on outside sources like a cruddy movie to make a maze!” Blah, blah, blah….We heard these comments not only when it was announced that the event would host a Grudge 2 maze, but we heard it back when Elvira hosted her “Nightmares”. The difference here is that the Grudge 2 hit.

If you think about it a second, the maze truly was a great idea.

One purpose of creating Ultimatehaunt.com seven years ago was because there was NOTHING out there online covering the event with any depth whatsoever! There can be claims otherwise, but plain and simple: There was nothing with any substance out there. The other purpose of creating Ultimatehaunt.com was because we wanted to share our passion of the event with anyone and everyone who was willing to listen. By doing this, we began to hear from fans all over the world, but obviously, the bulk of the fans are in Southern California. Try as we might, we can’t spread the word of the Halloween Haunt the way….uhm….someone like Conan O’Brian can do…..or E! Entertainment can do.

With the Grudge 2 Maze being held at Knott’s Scary Farm and even further, the movie premiere…..the name of the event was spread NATIONWIDE. Every single picture or film clip displaying the world premiere of the Grudge 2 has a tie-in with Knott’s Scary Farm. Little ol’ Knott’s Berry Farm in Southern California. Most people outside of the West Coast attribute Knott’s Berry Farm to Jams and Jellies….not a theme park, let alone the largest Halloween theme park in the world.

So, if you have Sarah Michelle Gellar going on Conan O’Brian talking about Knott’s Scary Farm, a heck of a lot of people that would probably have never heard of the event otherwise are going to listen in.

It was our take (with Ultimatehaunt.com) to help spread the word, right? Well, if Knott’s wants to start selling out more nights and run the event 31 nights in October, they are definitely on the right track. Talk about taking the event to a national and even international level? Again, this sure is a point in the right direction.

You may disagree and want Knott’s Scary Farm to stay where it’s at. However, we feel otherwise. It is our opinion that there is SO much potential in marketing this event, that it’s about time that Halloween Haunt is being brought to the forefront.

How will the Grudge 2 maze impact the entire haunted attraction industry? Mark our words, friends: What do you wanna bet that a dozen (if not more) haunted houses across America have movie-hosted mazes within the next 5 years? Some may be independent films, but nonetheless, it’s our opinion that the tie-in will still be there.

But wait! You say Universal Studios has been doing this for years? Well….if memory serves correctly, the movies were not tied into movie premieres (example: House of 1000 Corpses, Buffy, etc.). Secondly, Universal had that “untouchable” feel regarding the movies because they themselves are studios. Knott’s has made a jump to test the waters and it worked. It’s our opinion that many others will now follow.

Another point is the ties between horror movie fans and haunted attraction fans. We have found (through the promotions of Season of Screams at various haunted attraction and horror conventions) that horror movie fans are not very interested in haunted attractions. We always found that bizarre. Isn’t a maze pretty much as close as you can get to being in a horror movie? Either way, the Grudge 2 maze is a fantastic tool to tie the horror movie genre fans to the haunted attractions.

If you disagree, fine. We just needed to put all of this out there to explain why we felt the Grudge 2 maze was the best move for the event since…well….probably hiring Elvira way back when.

Anyway…..onto the maze:

You voted for it and by gosh, you got it. By a complete obliteration and total landslide, the Grudge 2 is your vote for the 2006 Halloween Haunt maze of the year.

What was it that you liked so much? Let’s read a few comments from what you wrote:

“Now I wasn’t really expecting too much and was worried that it was a lot of hype...

Oh wow, it kicked ass! The talent in here was perfect and on the ball every time we went through. We had the joy of going 4 times in total between Thurs and Fri. Now it does help if you have seen the movie(s) but my daughter hasn’t and she still enjoyed it on Fri. The girls that got me were the ones that crawled on the floor and the one with the hair in the top corner that draped across your neck. Also whoever that was who did the throaty noise in my ear, kudos to you. Got me shaking. And the girl that sat in the corner and didn’t move was perfect to give Jack the creeps. Good job!

(On a side note in the Grudge maze, there was a couple behind us and the boyfriend was freaking out. The whole time he was saying things like,” What the f*** was that, whoa check that s*** out, Oh my God, what is that?” We could tell he was really scared and trying to cover it up, but it didn’t last. When we approached the exit, he said to his girl, “F*** this, I’m outta here! Let’s go!” He busted out past us, dragging his poor girl down the way.)”

“Well here it is, the first sponsored maze in Haunt history. Before Haunt started most people were thinking it could either be brilliant, or it could be a complete overhyped disaster. Thankfully for both the movie and Haunt, it was brilliant.

From that first room once you get inside the house with the animatronic coming down the stairs you get a sense that this maze had a lot more cash put into it than anything else ever has at Haunt. And while all the animatronics in the world might be groovy, they aren't going to get the scares--the talent is, if they step up and work for it.

And hot damn do the grudge girls work for it. From the beginning to the end the girls are crawling, contorting, screeching and staring out at you from underneath their long black hair. And they're creepy as all get out! I've read from other reviews how some people felt the talent was repetative, and yes they were, but that was the whole point. To make it seem as though the grudge girl was following you throughout the entire maze, stalking you.

Overall, i think that is the word that best describes this maze: creepy. And it was a VERY welcome addition to Haunt amid the horrorhumour mazes, something I'd like to see a lot more of in Haunt's future. And if this is any indication of what can be brought to Haunt with sponsership, then I say bring it on. The advertisments weren't intrusive and the quality of the maze was amazing.”

“OH MY GOD... I don't know what to say, except, I'M SO SCARED OF THAT MAZE, I'M AFRAID TO GO BACK IN!!!
I guess that means you guys did a good Job, kudos!!! and don't kill me.... *cowers*

Props: Well, I haven't seen the movie, so I don't know how they did in comparasion with the movie, but just as far as the maze, they looked pretty real, except the feet hanging from the closet... those looked REALLY fake... The eyes were pretty creepy though...

Talents: Very Nice... kept up the feeling and one of you even had a "grudge" on me the 1st time I went in. You guys (or gals) on the stilts at the end of the maze, you are so freakin' scary!!! Great job to everyone!

Best Talent: I was too scared to even think about that! Although there was one guy that had a weird looking mask on that said to me "She's Coming"... and that freaked me out sooooo much!!! GOOD JOB TO ALL OF YOU!! and Cowgirl, keep up the creepy!”

“I agree that this maze is scary. The props and the details are well done, they're perfect, I love them.”

“When i first got into the grudge 2 maze i was like ok this isnt going to be to bad then the first grudge girl freaked me out she was crawling all wierd and me and my friend were screaming bloody murder she like chased us for like 5 min. and then she stands up and start meowing and makin wierd nosies ahhhh it was scary!”

“Let me start by saying this set was freaking awsome very creepy, my little cousin didnt want to go in seeing how he has been freaking out for a week since he decided to browse through Doyouhaveagrudge.com for the last week, he couldnt sleep and hes been checking his mouth for hair lol so he wasnt to happy when he saw what the maze was but he ended up going in , i dont think he saw anything but he went in lol overall this maze was good”

“It’s an AWESOME looking maze and the animotronics were awesome for Haunt. I also liked that Knotts didn’t overdo the promotion of this film, IT WAS NOT THE GRUDGE HAUNT.”

“Oh. My. God. I am NOT a fan of the movie at all. And this was THE BEST HAUNT by far!!!! HOW did they find that many scarers who... I won't spoil it. I just won't. This haunt had THE best scenery and THE best scarers by far out of any. It was SO amazing - it had to have been funded by the people who did the movie. Just a giant wow. Except for the very first room, almost done as if they wanted you to get your hopes down a little before going AAAAAA! I will actually see the movie in theaters just because of this haunt. Sounds dumb, but anything that makes me remember this haunt is wonderful. :)”

"Holy... COW!!! This maze is so amazing it just took my breathe away... Literally. These girls know how to friggin scare and they are not shy to go after anyone. The Props were Jaw-Dropping and the sounds and noises made it that much scarier. I hope I can visit this maze one more time before Haunt ends. This has to be one of the most detailed and scariest maze I have ever been through. Great Job Grudgers.

*5 out of 5 Screams*”

There you have a few comments left by fans, just like yourself. Now, we know that not everyone feels this was an incredible maze. However, the promotion is something that simply cannot be denied in helping spread the word of the Halloween Haunt to a larger audience. Whether or not you saw the movie, liked the movie or hated it, the Grudge 2 was your vote for the 2006 Maze of the Year.

One final thought for each of you to think about: The Grudge 2, The Asylum and 13 Axe Murder Manor have been your favorites for the past four years. There is a continuing trend regarding the “good-gone-bad” themes for the mazes of the event. The “Big 3” mazes mentioned here rely on more of the ‘scare’ factor, which is what seems to work the best. Although we like comedy relief as much as the next person, this is Knott’s SCARY Farm afterall….perhaps we’ll see more of a focus on the dark and scary as opposed to the bright and funny.

Congratulations goes out to all those involved who helped make this maze a reality: From the techs, designer, P.R., Sony Pictures, blackouts and talent. We thought you truly stepped up to the plate to make this happen. Our hat is off to you.

We have a few pictures we would like to share with you in this tribute. Some of the pictures were provided by our friend "Haunt Princess" and we thank her very much for these killer pictures! We hope you enjoy our little tribute here. Please remember: No picture or video will ever be able to portray the power of this maze compared to walking through it in person.

Click on the link below to view our tribute to this incredible maze.