Knott's first Halloween Haunt, 1973

Today's images come from the Knott's Berry Farm Collection at the Orange County Archives, and show the first Knott's Halloween Haunt, in 1973. Note that the event ran for only three nights -- not an entire month, like today. Also note, in the photo below, the much shorter lines at the entrance gate.
Today, the Haunt is a juggernaut and brings in much of the theme park's profits for the year. The majority of Knott's backstage warehouse space is filled with Haunt props and equipment, and a surprisingly large portion of the year is spent preparing for this lucrative event.
In the photo above, two of Knott's roving "monsters" take a break backstage. That's the least menacing Frankenstein's Monster I've ever seen. The Haunt has gotten a lot scarier over the years.
When the first Haunt was held, the new Gypsy Camp section of Knott's had just opened. It was a flop and didn't last long, but they made good use of it during the Halloween festivities. The photo below shows what appears to be a costume contest on a big outdoor stage in Gypsy Camp.
In the photo below, Haunt host Sinister Seymour (of local late-night TV fame) poses for a photo with participants in a Seymour look-alike contest. The group is standing in front of the newly opened John Wayne Theatre in Gypsy Camp.

In case I don't get the chance to blog again this weekend,... Have a happy, spooky, kooky Halloween!