Choose Your Own Adventure: Ghost Town Alive At Knott’s Berry Farm


My Ghost Town Alive Adventure

Good morning.  My name is David.  David Mayfield.  I have been trying to support my family from behind the scenes for a long time.  But I saw all the trouble they were getting into in the town of Calico and I resolved that I was going to help out the Mayfields with whatever I could to help them get the town back from those mean and cruel townspeople who had conspired to keep the Mayfields from owning property that was rightfully theirs.  Sure we did the occasional bank robbery and horse thievin’ but who didn’t?  It was the Old West after all.

But my dad convinced me that I should stay home and not get into trouble like those West Coast Mayfields.  This kept me in my little town for a few years.  Biding my time until my dad could no longer stand in my way from getting to Calico.  But one event changed all that.  The death of Mud Mayfield, under suspicious circumstances at the hand of the Sheriff, left me no choice but to come to Calico and figure out what was going on and help my cousins defend themselves against a town that was out to get them.

David Mayfield Comes To Town

Upon my first arrival at the town, I  decided that I needed to get a close look at all the goings on in the town of Calico.  So I stopped the first paper boy I could find and started doing my research.  Did Mud Mayfield only slip off the train?  Or did the Sheriff give him a helping hand, the kind that helps him right off the edge of the train and into a deep chasm below?  I needed to investigate further.

Getting My Disguise

But first I needed a proper disguise.  So I went to the town barber to find out what he could do with my lack of facial hair.  Thankfully he had a wall of mustaches to choose from.  I thought the handlebar one would suit me quite well.  Give me a non-threatening bystander kind of look I was thinking.  What?  You mean all villains wear handlebar mustaches???  Hmmmm….

So convinced that my handlebar mustache was not enough to throw off suspicion, I made sure that the barber gave me a little soul patch as well.  I knew that would make up for any villian look that I might have come up with.  Now it was off to make my first contact with my other Mayfield bretheren.  I just hope they can recognize me through the diguise.

Meeting Up With My Family

Unfortunately for Ike Mayfield, the black bandana I wore around my neck was not enough to convince him that I was a Mayfield.  I tried to take out my pistol and prove it to him that I was part of the gang.  But instead of believing me he held up his hands like I was going to rob him.  And then he gave me a gold piece and said that it was all the money that he had.  I tried to convince him again that I was a Mayfield but there was just no answering him.

Mayfield Persecution

And you know what that silly Ike did next?  That’s right.  He went and got the town Sheriff to arrest me for robbing him at gunpoint.  And I couldn’t convince the Sheriff otherwise.  Actually, now that I think about it, my plan was coming together perfectly.  I needed to size the Sheriff up to see if he was the guilty party in the death of Mud Mayfield (may he rest in peace.). So I took the little opportunity behind bars to figure out what to do next.  Thankfully the Sheriff could be convinced that it was all just a misunderstanding between Ike and me.  And to be honest, there was not much love lost between the Sheriff and Ike.  So they let me out of prison.  And I was given one gold piece for dealing with a delicate package of Dynamite that was sent his way.

Let Out For Good Behavior, And Community Service

Unfortunately that did not get me out of the community service that he ordered me to undergo.  So here I was in the town of Calico on a Sunday afternoon having to go back to . . . school.  *Shudders*  I didn’t take to no schoolin’ when I was a boy.  And I didn’t see why I should take to it now that I was a man.  So they weren’t going to make me learn nothin’ while I was there.  They couldn’t make me.

Is That You Ox Mayfield?

I was in such a crotchety mood when I turned around at the schoolhouse and low and behold another of the Mayfield Gang sat right beside me.  I was wondering what he had done to have to be in school house.  But after a while I got the feeling that he was just crushing on the teacher.  In fact I had to whistle at him three times before he would turn to look at me.  I was beginning to wonder whether or not I had found the Mayfield Gang or the Mayfield Vaudeville troupe.

My Kingdom For A Horse

But after much persuasion, I did finally get my black clad bretheren to tell me the location of where they were keeping Tiny Mayfield.  I knew he was going to be the key to this whole mystery of Mud Mayfield and his inauspicious death.  I arranged to meet him later.  But first I needed to get a horse.  So I went to the stables to see if I could purchase a horse.  I did find a couple of good looking horses and a donkey.  But the donkey was not for sale as he belonged to some miner panning for gold in the hills outside Calico.  One of the horses belonged to Ox Mayfield.  So that was out of the question.  Finally, I got to the last horse and inquired but the horse bit me!!  I don’t know.  Maybe it was a love bite.  What do you think?

Blending In

I next reckoned that I needed to further my disguise within the community and so I ventured to find out what it took to be a citizen of Calico.  After talking to the Deputy Mayor, and the Deputy to the Deputy Mayor, they informed me that all I had to do was take the town oath.  So I raised my right hand and solemnly swore to do some silliness or other and to yell Yee haw!  I wasn’t sure about the silliness, but I thought the yee haw was enough to fool them.  The only bad part was that I think I forgot to put an alias when I signed my name on the town registry.

Interviewing The Dancing Girls

From there, I proceeded to the saloon to get some more information about the incoming train.  I was going to talk to the main actors of the play, but I knew they were all just liars and crooks so I decided talking to the Dancing Girls was my best bet.  I think their names were Sophia and Donna.  Or was it Jade and Pearl?  Or Lilly and Crabtree?  Well, whatever . . . I interviewed them.  I inspected their stories and measured it up to what I had already heard about Mud.  One swore that Mud couldn’t have fallen from the train without being pushed.  But the other believed that there was no way the Sheriff would push him and he had been drinking a lot the morning of his demise.  That Mud!  He sure could knock them back!  Nah.. the Sheriff pushed him.  I was now convinced this was so.

Waylayed By A Wedding

So I made my way back into town to confront the Sheriff for his evil deeds and pushing Mud off a train but I got waylayed by a wedding that was going on.  The town banker, a thievin’, lyin’ scum of the earth, if there ever was one, was getting himself hitched.  And who was he getting hitched to but this vision of lovliness you see here.  Some jerks have all of the luck.  I thought about staying to catch the flowers thrown by the little lady.  But I had more things than marriage and a family on my mind.  So I made my way back into the heart of town.

In Laws And Outlaws

And I went straight to the Sheriff’s Office to confront him and maybe end up in a shootout at the O.K. Corral.  Wait.  I think I am getting my stories mixed up here.  That’s right.  I went right in to confront him when all I found was his deputy playing pokers with the likes of Black Bart and Little Jim like you see here.  They was taking the deputy for all he was worth.  And that was fine by me.  But sooner or later the Deputy asked me if I wanted to play a hand and before long I fell right in to playing.  And then I was hooked.

A Wanted Man

Unfortunately it didn’t take the Deputy very long to figure out who I was.  He had sussed from the Deputy Mayor that some as yet unidentified Mayfield by the name of David Mayfield (that’s me), had infiltrated the town and had become a citizen.  But if he was like any of those other Mayfields he must have been up to no good.  Or did I mean that I was up to know good.  I think I am getting myself confused here!  OK!  I know where I am now in the story.

The Deputy after a round of pass the trash and a bit of the old bottle got me to admit that my name was David and I was in town to find out some pieces of secret information.  And then after a few more drinks I think I spilled the beans about being a Mayfield and I was here to get the Sheriff and all for the crime of killing my kin.  This lead to the Deputy putting out a wanted poster for me that was put up throughout the town of Calico.  I don’t think he got my nose right.  What do you think?

Is He Still On Our Side

So I high tailed it out of there and ran smack dab into the Sheriff talking to my kith and kin.  What was I to do? Should I shoot it out with him there?  Was my kin going to give my secret away?  Did he let on that I also had secret plans to steal from the Bank and run off with the banker’s wife?  I don’t know.  But I knew I needed to get as far away from here as possible.  And then I remembered.  I was supposed to free Tiny!  Darn!!

Here I Come To Save The Day – Why Did You Ruin It Tiny?

So I ran and ran as fast as I could to catch up with the train.  I was most out of breath when I made it on board. I had heard that Tiny was being transported back to the town of Calico for a trial.  A trial for what I thought?  All he wanted was the families deed to the town that the citizens of Calico has stolen from them.  How could he be convicted of stealing what was already his?  This made my mind turn over and I couldn’t keep a straight thought in my head.  I was sittin’ and ponderin’ when all of a sudden in a booming voice I heard a cry.

“Why it’s David!  Is that you?  David Mayfield?  I remember when you was tinier than I was.  I remember your momma changin’ your diapers.  What in the world are you doing here?  And how did your pappy ever agree to let you go?”

Caught And Under Arrest – Now What’s The Charge?

I tried to shush Tiny as quickly as possible and hid behind the passengers I was seated next to.  And I thought I had gotten away with it all for a moment.  But as you see, this man with the gun meant business.  And I was a gonner.  There was just going to be no way out of it.  I was under arrest for .  . . for . . . for?  What was I under arrest for?  I can’t remember.  All I know is I got escorted off the train with an armed escort.

And then the Sheriff who had sussed that I was up to no good all along decided to put me in the slammer right next to my cousin Tiny.  Can’t you see the family resemblence?  It’s the beety eyes I tell ya.  There is just something shifty about them.  I mean innocent because we Mayfields never do nothin’ wrong.  Or is it that we never do nothin’ right?  I always get confused with my double negatives that way.

Either way we sat and sat in our jail cells side by side. They were contented to let us rot in their I thought.  I mean a whole fifteen minutes for threatening to kill the Sheriff, rob the bank and run off with the bankers wife should only be punished by a maximum of 2 minutes behind bars right?  Am I right?  Do I get an Amen?  No wait . . . what I meant was that I was in prison for a whole fifteen minutes for attempting to get justice for Mud’s death, take back from the bank what they illegally stole, and free the bankers wife of a horrible marriage to a man who would cut anyone’s throat rather than look at him.  What was wrong with these people for persecuting us Mayfields for doing the right thing?  I tell ya!

Everything Ends With A Hoedown – Go Figure?

I guess I couldn’t be too unhappy though.  They did let us out for good behavior.  I mean, they let us out because there was a hoedown in town and there was no better dancer than David Mayfield out to do that Mayfrield Shuffle.  I was hot to trot and makin my way with the ladies when all of a sudden it was 6:00 and the town vanished.  And David Mayfield vanished from the face of the earth.

It’s Ghost Town Alive

Knott’s Berry Farm has brought back Ghost Town Alive for another year to the shores of sunny Southern California.  And life here will never be the same.  As I have discussed before, the great thing is that it is an interactive show being told right before your very eyes.  And you get to be a part of it.  What I did here was just one of the many different adventures to be had in the Town of Calico, with some embellishments to protect the innocent.  Or some minor prevaracations as you might call them.  But seriously, every day you can have a different adventure, and this was just one of the many out there to be had.

The Many Adventures include but are not limited to the following:

  • The Fire Brigade
  • Helping pan for gold
  • The Pony Express
  • Delivering Packages
  • Becoming a member of the press and doing interviews
  • Pony Express Horse Races
  • Poker and other card tournaments
  • Posses
  • Shooting Competitions
  • Science Experiments
  • etc. etc. etc.

I really could go on almost forever with this list and still not tell you all of the amazing things that you could do there at Knott’s Berry Farm Ghost Town Alive.  It is an interactive experience that is above and beyond your wildest imagination.  And the greatest thing in the world is, you all get to be a part of it.  It truly is like a live action choose your own adventure all within the Ghost Town at Knott’s Berry Farm.  I know that some people have worried about the loss of the old time magic that was here at Knott’s. But with this they have brought it back with a vengeance.  It’s here at Knott’s from now until September 4th.  Don’t miss it or you will miss out on a one of a kind experience.  Think Westworld but for kids, or the kid at heart.


  • I was invited to be a part of media day for the Ghost Town Alive experience by O’Day & Associates, Inc. Communications & Concepts and as such I was provided free tickets to the park and food for this review.  I am greatful for the opportunity of working with the people at Knott’s Berry Farm to promote this wonderful attraction.  Despite being compensated, all the views expressed here are completely my own.  And as you can see, it is my own experience I show here.  The greatest thing is that yours will be a completely different experience.

Continue The Conversation –

I know that I have already been to this park and have reviewed it already.  But when I was invited to come back and participate in this day I just couldn’t pass up the chance.  In all honesty, I already have an annual pass to Knott’s Berry Farm and a food pass, so aside from great seats to the Snoopy Macigal Extravaganza Show (which I will definitely be reviewing in the near future), there was nothing they were providing here that I didn’t already have access to on my own.  And as I love the park, you can understand why I would jump at the chance to review it again.  And what’s great is that my daughter loves it too.  This means the world to me as a parent.

So how many of you have been to Ghost Town Alive before, or something similar to you where history jumps off the page?  And which of the things at Knott’s Ghost Town Alive would you be most interested in experiencing?  Is there anything I have not added here that you know would make a perfect addition to all of the festivities?  I would love to hear from you about all of this. And don’t forget to share this with others.

If you loved this review, feel free to take a look at some of my other reviews of Knott’s events and locations that are worth your visit.  And definitely follow me here at the Guide.  All email subscribers will receive access to the Dad Rules.  These are ten rules that every dad should follow, and every mom should know about.  As always, thank you for stopping by.

Until Next Time, Yee Haw! And Calico will be the Mayfield’s yet.  I swear to you.

David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life

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