BLACK MARKET ESCAPE ROOMS, a new immersive-based attraction company, announces the opening of MURDER CO, a permanent escape experience aimed at turning the attraction industry on its head. Moonlighting from their day gigs, a handful of theme park professionals have thrown the proverbial gloves off by thrusting guests into an adventure far too severe for the family-friendly confines of an amusement park.

MURDER CO is more than simply solving puzzles, combinations or finding keys to break out of a locked room. The high-level adventure incorporates unique entertainment elements matched with intense scenes of harsh violence, pitfalls and physicality. Groups of up to eight members find themselves trapped in a gore and chaos-filled race for survival.

MURDER CO: A high-priced, high-society underground black market sports ring enabling voyeuristic individuals to privately witness a live murder take place. Beyond the scant rumors found on the Black Web, not much is known about the enigmatic company. It is only after guests sign-up that the specific details of the ominous Murder Co will be revealed. If you’re still brave enough to make the plunge after signing a waiver, dangerous mystery awaits.

The experience was created by theme park designer, Jon Cooke, who was looking to push the parameters set by the day-to-day requirements in his industry. In response to founding his new company, Black Market Escape Rooms, Cooke says, “I saw so much potential story and show elements in escape rooms. I wanted to do something more so we aimed to create this unforgettable encounter.”

Regarding Murder Co’s intensity is attraction co-writer and director Ted Dougherty, who confesses, “We had to go to some extremely dark places that definitely left a few emotional marks.” Although the attraction may not fall into the category of an “extreme haunt,” it does contain content best reserved for those not easily offended or disgusted.


Murder Co includes state-of-the-art special effects typically seen inside major theme park attractions. Some of the other professionals Cooke has recruited include artists, technicians and designers who have worked with the Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios, Cedar Fair and the National Football League. Companies on board and supplying a stockpile of surprises are Gantom Lighting and Controls, Immortal Masks and Ghost Ride Productions.

Expect serious thrills as Cooke is no stranger to terrifying people based on his innovative haunted attraction designs for Knott’s Scary Farm. When conceiving Murder Co, he admits, “It’s what I have always wanted to see and do in an immersive attraction.” A living nightmare is one step away for those bold enough to cross into MurderCo.

TICKETS FOR MURDER CO ARE NOW ON SALE FOR LIMITED DATES AND TIMES. For more information on Murder Co, including tickets, operating hours and directions, visit or join us at FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM @BlackMarketEscapeRooms

BLACK MARKET ESCAPE ROOMS was founded in 2017 and specializes in original alternatives to the standard escape room and haunted attraction format.



JON COOKE has designed, art directed and produced some of the most successful haunted attractions for the world famous Knott’s Scary Farm, including “Infected: Special Ops,” “Paranormal, Inc,” “Shadowlands” and “Dark Ride.” As vocalist for the deathcore metal band, Winds of Plague, Cooke has released numerous albums and toured extensively throughout the globe. Taking the two worlds of themed entertainment and live performance, Cooke has melded his experience into creating visionary ways to horrify the masses.

IMMORTAL MASKS was established in 2010 and owned by Andrew and Michelle Freeman and George Frangadakis. In addition to winning Season 12 of the Syfy reality television series, Face Off, Andrew has worked professionally as a Hollywood special effects artist. Between Andrew’s expertise and George’s experience as an effects supervisor, Immortal Masks is comprised of some of the best working artists in the film, theme park and haunted attraction industries.

TED DOUGHERTY is a writer, producer and director having worked with Universal Studios Hollywood Halloween Horror Nights, Knott’s Scary Farm, Cedar Fair and Hollow Studios, including directing and co- writing Fear VR, the first 4-D virtual reality horror experience at a major theme

GHOST RIDE PRODUCTIONS was founded by special effects artists experienced in Halloween maze effects. The company develops, manufactures and markets innovative specialty products for Halloween and haunted house events, including mechanical effects, special effects, specialty costumes and props.


GANTOM LIGHTING AND CONTROLS was founded in 2010 as a manufacturer of special-effects lighting equipment catering to the themed attraction industry. Gantom’s award-winning products have been installed in a wide range of venues around the world including theme parks, museums and haunted attractions.

Knott’s Scary Farm: What Lurks Within – Dress Rehearsals

Days before opening night of Knott’s Scary Farm, everyone has to be trained on the operations of the event, so everything runs smoothly and is wonderfully terrifying. There is a hustle and bustle of everyone from build, wardrobe, cast and crew to prepare for the opening of Scary Farm. The day we visited they were focusing on training monsters, black out and guest control for mazes. We saw this process for Paranormal Inc.,Voodoo, and Toothfairy. It will be the first time all of these teams work the maze with guests (guests meaning street monsters who are going through). It is wonderful to see the excitement on the faces of all the streets monsters from Fiesta De Los Muertos, The Hollows, Carnevil and Ghost Town. They are waiting in anticipation to have a good scare from their monster brothers and sisters. Also, since these monsters will always be in the streets, this gives them the opportunity to experience these mazes and to see what the design and build team created.


The First People you encounter at Scary Farm when you head towards your maze of choice is Guest Control, a team of people with white shirts and black ties. They guide you to ensure you get in line for your maze of choice for either Gen. Admission or Fright Lane. When you are in line, they keep line flow at a good pace and count groups for specific mazes that have pre-shows so it is not too many people with you but just enough to ensure a steady pace of line flow.


We interviewed Donald and Deanna, Guest Control from Toothfairy. They informed us what is gone over during dress rehearsals,

“I’m explaining to them what to do with Guest Control, informing them about the maze, controlling the guests, keeping the maze clean and safe.” -Donald

“Our main job for Guest Control pretty much is keeping everyone in order, how many people come in, and we have the clicker right here.”


Inside the maze looking after the monsters, ensuring their safety and guiding you when the maze becomes confusing or super dark are The Blackouts. Even though they maybe invisible at times, they are always there, lurking in the shadows. Before the monsters of streets head into Paranormal Inc. for a scare, Bonnie (the team leader for blackouts for Paranormal and it’s her very first year working Scary Farm), gathers her army of blackouts and goes over the safety and daily procedures. Also what to do when guests want out and everything to know about the maze. Also she gets them excited for another year of Scary Farm. During her meeting with the blackouts she states,

“Just know I am here for you guys, we are all a team: line control, talent, all of us. We got each other’s backs.”



With every department from Monsters lead by the Cast Lead, Guest Control and Black Outs working together creates a great system for the maze to be terrifying and safe. When we head in, some monsters are in their masks and costume and some are there without that but their characters show through movement, scare and facial expression. Everyone is energetic and on point, it is wonderful that they are given dress rehearsal to get in the groove of their characters and environment. You can see all the action of Paranormal Inc. and Voodoo in our video below.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our article and video. Thank you to the people of Guest Control and Black Outs for ensuring the best and safe experiences at Scary Farm. We here at the Knott’s Network are grateful for your dedication and for what you do. Thank You ❤ Scary Farm starts up again this Thursday, so be sure not to miss out. We will see you all soon… In The Fog.

Haunted Little Tokyo

Go Little Tokyo Presents the Inaugural
Haunted Little Tokyo
Spooktacular Nights in the Heart of LA
October 1 – 31, 2017



Go Little Tokyo proudly presents the inaugural Haunted Little Tokyo for “spook”-tacular events in the heart of LA on select nights October 1 – 31, 2017. Ghosts and Goblins of all ages are invited to experience Little Tokyo this October as the neighborhood transforms with pumpkin patches, ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, free Halloween movie screenings, Little Tokyo ‘haunted’ walking tours, themed drink specials, scrumptious food, and more culminating to the hair-raising fun block party and costume parade on Saturday, October 28.


Experience Little Tokyo like never-before as the heart of Downtown LA transforms for the month of October with spooky themed-activities and frightening fun. Pick your perfect pumpkin at the weekend pumpkin patches by Tanaka Farms at the Japanese Village Plaza and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Dress up your little monsters for ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, and FREE family-friendly movie screenings including Studio Ghibli’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “My Neighbor Totoro.” Learn of the legendary Little Tokyo ghost tales and the city’s history in the Little Tokyo haunted walking tours, or test your fears watching classic Japanese horror flicks including the 2002 supernatural film “Ju-on: The Grudge.” Dress your best on October 28 as the month-long celebration culminates to a Little Tokyo block party with a costume parade, bar crawl, live entertainment, special food and drink discounts, and more.

Select nights October 1 – 31, 2017
Block Party is on October 28, 2017
For a full calendar of events visit:


Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles


Free, depending on the activity. For more information please visit


Proudly presented in partnership by Little Tokyo Community Council, Go Little Tokyo, Anime for Humanity, Cafe Dulce, Wolf & Crane, East West Players, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, Kizuna, Little Tokyo Vibes, Monkey Pants, Seoul Sausage, Tanaka Farms, Japanese Village Plaza, Little Tokyo Business Association, The Koban, Baldoria, and Japangeles.

Spirit of the Witch_Wolf&Crane“Spirit of the Witch”, themed cocktail by Wolf & Crane


Go Little Tokyo is a community-led effort aimed at highlighting the unique cultural programs,

community events, and dining and shopping experiences found in Little Tokyo. As one of Los

Angeles’ most vibrant cultural hubs, there is an abundance of destinations and landmarks in

and around this historic walkable neighborhood, and Go Little Tokyo will help you uncover

them. Go Little Tokyo is a Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC) project developed and produced by Community Arts Resources (CARS) and made possible with support from Metro.

For more information, visit:

The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils the Spirit of CHEF

Embark on a Terrifying Journey through FEAST,

the Newest Maze Aboard the Queen Mary Venturing into Unrevealed Depths of the Ship

Are YOU Ready to be Served?

A new voracious resident spirit has risen from the depths of the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor, Southern California’s most authentically terrifying haunt, opening September 28. Chef and his long-forgotten legend have resurfaced and will be brought to life through FEAST, the new horrific maze onboard the ship venturing into previously unrevealed areas of the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor. Chef and his carnivorous kitchen staff have resumed their deadly duties, collecting new victims for Chef’s latest recipes. All who dare will swelter with fear as they crawl their way out of Chef’s scorching oven to reach their final destination…Are YOU ready to be served?

For the first time in Dark Harbor history, FEAST will be the 4th maze onboard the legendary vessel. FEAST tells the tale of Chef, a legendary spirit of the historic R.M.S. Queen Mary. As the tale goes, During WWII when the Queen Mary was in service as a troop transport ship, an enlisted military man serving in the ship’s kitchen quickly moved up the ranks to become a highly-decorated Chef.

Unbeknownst to the soldiers traveling aboard, Chef had a dark side. Quietly he would sedate soldiers in the middle of the night to prepare them as ingredients for his latest dishes. Eventually caught, the Chef was thrown into one of his own ovens and cooked alive.

Loyal to their leader Chef’s dutiful kitchen staff sacrificed their lives to become his evil henchmen, burning themselves in the same oven. The spirits of Chef and his evil crew went into hiding aboard the ship for many years. Now, these long-time stowaways have resurfaced to resume their deadly duties of collecting and preparing victims for Chef’s latest concoctions.

FEAST and Chef will make their horrific debut as Dark Harbor returns to the Queen Mary on September 28. Southern California’s most haunted Halloween event will welcome MORE monsters, MORE nights, and MORE mazes than ever before. Offering the most authentically frightening experience available, Dark Harbor tells the truly haunted, historic tales of the Queen Mary. The infamous spirits of Chef, Iron Master, Captain, Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry, Scary Mary, Voodoo Priestess, Ringmaster, plus hundreds of their bloodcurdling henchmen await to tempt your fate.

Live your nightmares aboard the Queen Mary with returning mazes Soulmate and B340. Mazes Circus, Intrepid, Deadrise, and Lullaby also return newly intensified, darker than imaginable, and evermore twisted. With 7 mazes and 13 bars, fire shows, aerialists, sliders, Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch’s Sinister Swings, monster DJs, Voodoo House Bar & Tasting Room, R.I.P. Lounge, and much more, Dark Harbor is a freakishly fun time.

The annual haunt opens its gates on September 28 and continues to scare those who dare on select nights through November 1. General admission ticket prices start at just $20 online, with Fast Fright, VIP Passes, Creepy Cabanas and lodging packages available. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit


Chilling Haunts, Exhibits and Attractions Promise to Thrill Fans at ScareLA 2017!

Delivering on its commitment to offer bigger and better scares, ScareLA, the first Halloween convention of its kind will count with a substantial array of curated and unique exhibits showcasing scary goods and services at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 5-6. Exhibits will include returning favorites Funeral Classics, Characters Unlimited, Reign of Terror, terrifying escape rooms, music and family-friendly activities and an all-new exhibit from Starburns Industries.

Monsters can look forward to:
Funeral classics will be displaying a Jack Pierce/James Whale Frankenstein Prop head at their booth.
Characters Unlimited will be featuring their specialized and affordable designs for life-sized talking characters.
Reign of Terror will have a frightening photo op for all attendees.
60out Escape Rooms, Cross Roads Escape Games, and PuzzleMazement will offer terrifying escape rooms that will test the cleverness and agility of all monsters!
The best in Halloween music, including LA Fear, Nox Arcana – William Piotrowski and The Rhythm Coffin-Monster Rock n’ Roll.
Family-friendly exhibitors including, Broken Oar Productions, featuring “Monster Elementary”, an all-ages comedy adventure graphic novel series created by Nicholas Doan and Caanan Grall.
With many more monstrous exhibits and attractions to raise the Halloween spirit!

For the first time ever at ScareLA, production company, Starburn Industries (“HarmonQuest”, “Great Minds with Dan Harmon”, “Community”) will feature a dedicated booth where they will create a thrilling exhibit that will incorporate the cutting-edge technology that has elevated them to industry leaders, including stop motion and 2G/CG animation.

Tickets for the convention are still available for purchase, but all monsters must act now before quantities die out!

For more information, visit


# # #
About ScareLA:
ScareLA is the world’s first summer Halloween convention. Situated in the entertainment capital of the world, the event celebrates the American scare season traditions and the diverse cultural heritage of the Greater Los Angeles region. Featuring hundreds of specialty vendors, education programming, world-class industry presentations, ScareLA draws thousands of professionals, fans and families from the U.S. and abroad to celebrate Halloween early every summer. ScareLA is one of the fastest growing independent fan conventions in the U.S. addressing a $10 billion Halloween industry worldwide.

Useful Links:
Official Hashtag: #ScareLA
ScareLA Website:
ScareLA’s Facebook Page:
ScareLA’s Twitter Account:
ScareLA’s Instagram Account:
ScareLA’s YouTube:

Celebrating Its 5th Year Anniversary, ScareLA Announces Halfoween Weekend!

An early Halloween treat has arrived! Our Halfoween Weekend sale gives all fans an opportunity to purchase tickets and receive 1/2 OFF General Admission and Fear Freak tickets (using the code HALFOSCARE) to the groundbreaking Halloween convention, this weekend only! As it has done every year, the convention has grown beyond expectations and will include even bigger scares at its new home, The Los Angeles Convention Center.

Since debuting in 2013, ScareLA has captivated audiences by kicking off Halloween early. The show’s unique premise is combining a favorite U.S. tradition, Halloween, with the peak season for fun and travel, the summer. Set in the entertainment capital of the world, the convention is a mecca for horror fans of all ages. Attracting a record 12,000 attendees in 2016, ScareLA has become one of the fastest-growing independent conventions in the U.S. to-date.

“2017 marks a milestone for ScareLA and our fifth year anniversary,” said Lora Ivanova, ScareLA Executive Producer and Founder. “To celebrate this occasion, we are brewing up an incredible mix of entertainment, and preparing for what is sure to be our biggest and best year yet. We are thrilled to welcome fans to our new home at the Los Angeles Convention Center, our city’s premier event venue. We believe our community deserves the very best and we are proud to take our place among the best shows in the country. ”

In 2016 more than 171 million Americans celebrated Halloween. Total spending in the U.S. reached a whopping $8.4 billion, an all-time high in the history of NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights. The survey found that 7 in 10 consumers hand out candy on Halloween, and nearly half decorate their home or dress in costume.

ScareLA’s 2017 theme, “Monsters Come Together,” celebrates diversity, unity and tolerance. Created to bring people together in a celebration of the scary and unusual, the convention aims to build and strengthen community ties across diverse groups, backgrounds and interests.


For more information, visit

About ScareLA:

ScareLA is the world’s first summer Halloween convention. Situated in the entertainment capital of the world, the event celebrates the American scare season traditions and the diverse cultural heritage of the Greater Los Angeles region. Featuring hundreds of specialty vendors, education programming, world-class industry presentations, ScareLA draws thousands of professionals, fans and families from the U.S. and abroad to celebrate Halloween early every summer. ScareLA is one of the fastest growing independent fan conventions in the U.S. addressing a $10 billion Halloween industry worldwide.

Useful Links:

Official Hashtag: #ScareLA

ScareLA Website:

ScareLA’s Facebook Page:

ScareLA’s Twitter Account:

ScareLA’s Instagram Account:

ScareLA’s YouTube:

Knott’s Scary Farm will feature standalone Skeleton Key Rooms that are separate experiences from the mazes!


On Sunday, July 31, the creative team of the 44th annual world-renowned event, Knott’s Scary Farm, hosted a special panel at the first annual weekend-long Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival in Long Beach, California. Over 1,000 passionate Scary Farm fans attended the panel where it was revealed that for the first time ever, Knott’s Scary Farm will feature standalone Skeleton Key Rooms that are separate experiences from the mazes when you purchase the Fright Lane with Skeleton Key. The four terrifying new Skeleton Key Rooms will each feature a unique story and theme delivering unparalleled scares, interactive secrets and other blood-curling surprises:

Visions: Guests must bravely investigate the Green Witch Museum in Ghost Town where it is not the building that is eerily haunted, but the mystic items enclosed within. Using a Phantom Finder augmented reality device guests will be able to identify and witness paranormal activity connected to artifacts from the Sarah Marshall Witch Trial.

ZOZO: People from all over the world claim to have been visited by the Ouija demon ZOZO after a spirit board session. Is the demonic entity known as ZOZO real or are spirit boards just a myth?

Slasher: Guests are invited to step into a blood filled 80s’ slasher horror film. The masked Angel Maker Killer is on the loose. Every lead has run cold and that’s when you step into the picture. Will you become his next victim?


Prey: Navigate a wicked hay maze packed with dead ends while equipped with only a faulty lantern as your guide. You are not alone. Mutant beasts are released to prey upon wandering visitors, the only way out is by facing your worst nightmares.
Fright Lane with Skeleton Key allows the holder priority access to all mazes plus ONE time access to the four exclusive standalone Skeleton Key Rooms. Separate theme park admission is required and not included.

Returning 2016
The team also revealed that last year’s groundbreaking Paranormal Inc. maze will return to Knott’s Scary Farm this year. Featuring high flying aerial stunts and scares, guests investigate a haunted hospital where the patients were tortured for decades by deranged doctors and nurses. Demonic spirits of the murdered victims have been detected throughout the mysterious halls, while evil medical staff prowl for new patients to torture.

Knott’s Scary Farm returns for 24 horrifying nights from September 22 – October 31 with a thousand monsters lurking in the fog. Whatever you’re imagining, it’s here…at Knott’s Scary Farm.

Check out our Highlight video from MidSummer Scream!