In honor of their 40th Halloween Haunt, Knott's Berry Farm has opened a special Haunt Museum. The museum is located in Ghost Town in a building that was originally the City of Downey's very first post office. Since being moved to Knott's in 1952, it has contained many different stores including the Bonnet Shop, but it was also the original location of the "Mrs. Murphy's Boarding House" peek-in.
The dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the museum was held today. The "ribbon" was actually a chain and can be seen here stretched across the front steps. (Note the address on the building is 1973, the year of the very first Halloween Haunt.)
Here's a close up.
Jeff Shadic, the head of Park Decor is seen here cutting the ribbon. Standing next to him is Jeff Tucker, the Entertainment Director at Knott's. Standing on either side of them are Haunt Designers, Daniel Miller, Brooke Walters (left side of porch), Todd Faux, and Lara Hanneman (out of the photo on far right.)
First to enter the museum were original Haunt designers, Gary Salisbury, Jim Mayfield and John Waite.
The museum contains props and costumes used in past Haunts.....
.....including Elvira's dress and couch from her stage shows at the Good Time/Ghoul Time Theater.
This ghost was recently discovered hidden away in the Calico Log Ride. John Waite posed for a moment next to his original creation.
The ghost was one of many that were used in earlier Halloween Haunts. This photo shows them hanging in the Calico Mine Ride in the 1970's.
Here's a photo of John Waite "making finishing touches" to the Calico Mine Ride in 1977.
Along the wall of the museum are timelines showing how the Halloween Haunts evolved over the years. The timelines begin with the very first Haunt in 1973.....
....and go all the way up to 2011.
Here's a photo of Wolfman Jack posing in Boot Hill in 1975, the year that he replaced the Haunt's original host, Seymour.
Also on display, is the prosthetic nose worn by the Haunt's original witch in 1973 and 1974.
This is a doll that was used in the Doll Factory maze in 2007.
Here's the concept art for a banshee that would scare guests riding the Calico Mine Ride in 1994.
More props and concept art......
.....as well as tickets and press materials from past Haunts.
This display case contains a Crypt Keeper mask used in 2000 for "The Hanging" show, as well as a miniature Crypt Keeper puppet.
There is also brand new artwork on display including this concept for a 2012 Haunt facade.....
.....and this marionette from the upcoming 2012 Haunt maze, "Pinocchio Unstrung."
Haunt fans can also purchase merchandise in the museum.
This commemorative set of reproduced Haunt tickets is limited to an edition of forty, and will be available in the museum beginning September 12th.
I hope everyone enjoyed this visit to Knott's Halloween Haunt museum. The next time you are at Knott's, be sure to stop by and take a look. It is a wonderful and welcome addition to the Farm!
Dramatic Disneyland, May 1958
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