Off to Mardi Gras we went, to walk the halls and swamps of returning maze “Voodoo Order of the Serpent.” I believe this is the best maze Knott’s has to offer, due to its production values, set design, and scare-filled choke points.
You really believe you’re walking a voodoo swamp straight out of Wes Craven’s Serpent and the Rainbow, complete with great fog effects, scary Cajuns, and haunted cemeteries. I would put this maze up there with Universal’s best mazes; it really is that good.
VIP key-holders are treated to a ceremony with a voodoo priest, who tasks you with conjuring a snake demon and doing his bidding. The scare actor we had was great, really sold his role, and seemed to be having a good time.
We decided to check returning maze “Trick or Treat” for a third time — no relation to the amazing horror anthology of a similar name, unfortunately. This one was Mrs. Moan4stsllone’s favorites due to its awesome witches, scattered all over the maze. As we walked through this haunted house occupied by devilish spell-casters, we were treated to a haunted library, devious pumpkins, and levitating dinner guests who’ve definitely seen better days.
There’s even a throwback to Psycho’s famous shower scene, for all you horror nerds out there (myself included, of course).
In life, you can’t always stay on top, and that has never been truer than in the case of returning maze “Gunslinger’s Grave: A Blood Moon rises.” Last year’s featured a VIP attraction with LCD monitors as windows, projecting an onslaught of angry steers hell-bent on entering the log cabin you were currently occupying. For some reason that was scrapped, and in its place, you simply walk through the once-deadly cabin. The wife and I just stood there, waiting for the scene to start, until we were nicely told to keep the line moving.
This maze itself was the same as last year’s, just updated with werewolves. The choke points were too visible, negating a lot of the jump scares. Full disclosure: our disappointment with the lack of a VIP segment tainted our enjoyment a bit.
As a huge Harry Houdini fan, I was excited to see “Black Magic” make its return. Sadly, like with the previously mentioned Blood Moon, the VIP section, a real-life seance, was scrapped. But this maze, featuring a walk through a twisted magic shop and a semi-biographical take on the master magician’s life, was still great.
It featured suspended scare actors, killer white rabbits, a failed attempt at the water chamber trick, and a magic show from Houdini himself!
Any Edgar Allan Poe fans out there? You’re in luck, because one of my favorite mazes returned again this year, featuring noticeable design upgrades and way more scares than in previous years. “Forevermore” is a modern take on the works of Poe (minus John Cusack, thank god), taking you through a serial killer’s chilling hideout, complete with ravens, beating hearts, and dead cats strung up from trees.
As the maze closes, you get to walk the halls of the Red Clock nightclub and pass an unfortunate victim of “the pendulum.” This maze has great scare actors and a haunting score featuring the ravings of Poe himself.
A VIP scene was added this year, featuring an Assassin’s Creed-worthy actor trying to bring back his deceased love. You’re forced to stand by while he removes the heart of some random victim and asks you to hold the newly removed organ while he preps his love for surgery. The scare actor sold his part well: this was one of the better reasons to pay for the VIP skeleton key.
The final scares await on the next page!