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Gone, But Not ForgottenÖ

Haunted Shack | Mott's Miniatuares | Transfiguration of Christ | Church of Reflections

The Haunted Shack

During the early part of the century, a strange roadside phenomena occurred. Places where the geomagnetic forces appeared to be mis-aligned... places where gravity and light were distorted. People promoted the gimmick as a tourist attraction where round objects and streams run uphill, folks walked on walls, brooms stand on end.
Such sites were:
  • The Mystery Shack at Calico Ghost Town, Yermo, CA
  • The Mystery Spot, Santa Cruz, CA
  • The Oregon Vortex House of Mystery Gold Hill, OR
  • Confusion Hill Gravity House, Percy, CA
  • Cosmos of the Black Hills, Rapid City, SD
  • The Teton Mystery, Jackson, WY
  • Confusion Hill, Ligonier, PA
  • The Wonder Spot, Lake Delton, WI
  • Mystery Spot, St. Ignace, MI
  • Mystery Hill, Irish Hills, MI & Marblehead, OH
  • Mysterious Tuttle House, North Woodstock, NH
  • Mystery Hill, Blowing Rock, NC
  • Mystery Shack, NC
  • Spook Hill, Lake Wales, FL
  • Casa Magnetica, Arlington, TX
  • Magnetic Mine Shack, Brainerd, MN
  • Mystery Shack, Maggie Valley, NC

    Knott's Berry Farm had a haunted shack that was moved directly from the ghost town of Calico, CA. Fortunately for Walter Knott and his family business, he moved it to another, equally powerful geomagnetic anomaly!!! The house of strange phenomena was opened in June of 1954. Daily tours revealed the gravity defying mysteries as told by Slanty Sam in "The Legend of the Haunted Shack."

    Your wisecracking guide walked you through a mysterious shack where water ran uphill, chairs balanced precariously on walls, and bad jokes abound. For a sample of the humor you were subjected to, a barrel in the waiting area warned you of its dangerous "Baby Rattlers." It was filled with very small rattles. News of the planned replacement of Knott's Haunted Shack hit the public in early 2000. Due to the attraction's age, operational cost, declining attendance and lack of ADA (Americans With Disabilities) requirements, Knott's decided to remove the attraction to allow room for a new roller coaster. This news was met by great sadness from both enthusiasts and normal, everyday patrons. The Shack was a staple of Knott's Berry Farm, and a reminder of the slower and more unique attractions which used to dominate the Farm.

    The Haunted Shack's last patrons went through in September 2000, right before it was transformed into Dead Man's Wharf for Halloween Haunt. As soon as Haunt closed for the season, the Shack closed forever. As soon as the final Haunt props were removed, the destruction began.

    Mott's Miniatures

    Another beloved exhibit no longer at Knott's Berry Farm is Mott's Miniatures. This collection of over 150 miniature scenes, houses and other Lilliputian displays was begun in 1911 by Allegra Mott who started collecting Cracker Jack prizes. Among other things, It showcased the development of the American home and the history of American Merchandising from barter to the Super Market. It was a staple exhibit at Knott's from 1958 to 1992.

    Transfiguration of Christ

    The Little Adobe Chapel by the Lake housed Knott's second oldest remaining amusement, the "Transfiguration of Christ." It captured the family values and atmosphere that the Knott family wanted to spread. The chapel was designed by artist Paul von Klieben in 1940. It was artist Klieben who first suggested to Walter Knott to build the Ghost Town and encouraged him to purchase the 1868 Gold Trails Hotel in Prescott, Arizona. This attraction included a short audio story and musical interlude concluding with automatic doors opening to reveal a glowing image of Jesus. It was demolished in 2003.

    Church of Reflections

    The historic 1876 Church of Reflections and Dr. Walker cabin (originally from the Ozarks) were also demolished during 2003. The historic 1876 Church of Reflections was once saved from demolition by Walter Knott in 1955. It was originally the First Baptist Church of Downey but a declining congregation closed the church and it was moved to the Knott's property next to "Reflection Lake." It was the only known active church within an operating theme park. The existing plan is to move it, however it destroys the historic fabric of the structure by using a pre-fabricated building and merely sticking the old steeple and windows back on and reusing the original pews.
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