Leading special effects lighting company, Gantom Lighting & Controls, added new interactivity to the Knott’s Scary Farm experience this Halloween, thanks to its programmable Torch Technology.

Visitors to the park’s Trick-or-Treat: Lights Out maze were given what appeared to be a faulty flashlight and sent into the dark, haunted home of the Green Witch.

What they didn’t know was that the flashlight was powered by Torch Technology making it programmable and controlled by IR (infrared). Because each flashlight could receive and transmit IR, the guest experience in the maze changed depending on where they pointed the beam of light.

Guests become a character in the attraction

“It puts the guests into a spot where they’re a character in the attraction,” explained Jon Cooke, Entertainment Designer at Knott’s.

“We’re just seeing the beginning of being able to use technology to create these larger, immersive environments,” added Vice President of Entertainment, Ken Parks. “We’ll be leaning into technology but not losing what made us famous, which is a simple, tactical scare.”

Knott’s Scary Farm’s Trick or Treat maze debuted in 2012. The combination of a top-tier maze, total darkness and the trick flashlight provided a fang-tastic combination. Guests experienced a creepy mix of fear, anxiety, shock, horror, and a growing sense of urgency to find their way out.

Philip Hernandez, Director of Marketing at Gantom Lighting & Controls, described the project as a dream come true:

“Contributing to an experience like this is something I’ve dreamt about since I was running my home haunt in high school. At Gantom, our passion is creating compact technology for creative professionals to use in magical experiences.”

According to Quan Gan, Gantom founder and President, the torch’s potential isn’t limited to horror settings:

“We happened to make the flashlight form factor because it was the best fit, thematically, for a haunted house setting,” he said.

“What you see at Knott’s is only one iteration of that, one manifestation of a guest walking through a scene and being able to trigger effects. We can incorporate it into virtually anything.”