Dark Nights at Hersheypark 2023: New Haunted House, All-New Dining, and More!

Dark Nights at Hersheypark
Here is the Haunted Attraction Industry News for September, 19th.
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Theme Parks

Dark Nights at Hersheypark opened for its second season this past weekend. The event debuted a new haunted house (Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir), bringing the total to 5 haunted houses and 3 scare zones. For 2023, all Hersheypark Halloween tickets now include entry into the haunted houses. The event’s dining also saw a massive upgrade, offering 75 exclusive menu items, an RIP buffet dining experience, tasting cards, and Spirit’s Rooftop Bar. 

Dark Nights at Hersheypark’s new haunted house for 2023 is Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir, a much darker haunted house than the originals. The premise is that “Ethel Mortem, known as Auntie to the community, is a second-generation meat processor running the family business with the help of her sinister nieces and nephews. Trucks keep coming to feed the machine, but the bones tell a more sinister story. Farm-to-table has never been more gruesome when Auntie is planning the menu.”  Philip went on-site this weekend, and we have a full walkthrough video available here.

Our partners at Sharp Productions also have a full walkthrough of all 5 haunted houses at Dark Nights at Hersheypark available here.

On September 15th, Six Flags Magic Mountain’s Fright Fest (Valencia, CA) announced that due to unforeseen circumstances, the opening of The Conjuring haunted attraction will be delayed. At this time, an opening date has yet to be announced. The park stated that updates regarding the attraction opening will be posted to their social media channels and website. Saw X, another IP-based maze is slated to open in “Late September,” as per their website. Available mazes include Condemned: House PartyTruth or DareWilloughby’s ResurrectedVault 666 UnlockedSewer of Souls, and Aftermath 2: Chaos Rising. Fright Fest celebrates its 30th season with select nights through October 31st. Tickets are on sale now via their official website.

Haunt Associations

The Haunted Attraction Association announced their Top Haunts for 2023. To be designated, attractions must be recognized as a member of the HAA while also satisfying a list of 10 criteria related to the mission of the HAA – to protect customers, promote haunted attractions, and educate industry experts and employees. View this year’s 57 Top Haunts on the HAA’s official website

The Canadian Haunters Association announced its 2022 Home Haunters Awards. The Winners include Bart Busse (Best Static Prop), Genevieve Lafleur (Best Animated Prop), Ken Honigman & Lilija Lavoie (Best Set Design, Hall of Fame Winner – Best Canadian Walkthrough Haunt), Rob Brownridge (Hall of Fame Winner – Best Prop & Set Design), Alyssa Rose (Best Female Scare Actor), Cody Kayfish (Best Male Scare Actor, Best Canadian Walkthrough Haunt), Simon Rondeau (Hall of Fame Winner – Best Scareactor), Brad & Stacey Lyle (Best Rookie Home Haunt), Josh Hanesiak (Best Canadian Yard Haunt), Neil Sakaitis (Hall of Fame Winner – Best Canadian Yard Haunt), Sean Herman (Best International Haunt), and Darryl Plunkie (Spirit Award). Congratulations to all the winners!

U.S. Haunts & Events

The House of Horror Haunted Carnival (Miami, FL) will return for its 21st frightful installment September 28th – October 31st. The Master of the Carnival, Mr. Lockhart, has awakened his cursed spirits from the dead – dripping with blood, brimming with malice, and hungry to feast on terrorized souls – all. At the same time, Miami International Mall undergoes a haunting transformation into a cryptic labyrinth of inescapable dread. This year, four brand-new haunted attractions will terrorize guests: Mayhem MuseumHaunted HoliDAZETheater of Terror, and Scare X Studios. If you’re more of a thrill-seeker, the House of Horror midway is an absolute must-visit with over twenty exhilarating rides – including the Scarecoaster (a Halloween-themed rollercoaster) – as well as carnival games and a tempting variety of food and beverages. Tickets are on sale now ranging from $20 – $50. 

Back by popular demand, Kim’s Krypt (Spring Gove, PA) will offer their “Anything Goes Night” this Sunday, September 24th. Guests 18 and older can sign a waiver to participate – it may get bloody with a bit of seclusion, torture, darkness, and even some whipped cream! Kim’s Krypt is celebrating 30 Years of Fear select nights now through October 31st. Tickets are on sale now. Get a sneak peak of this year’s event in our Haunted Attraction Network walkthrough video

Calling all little ghouls and goblins! Boo at the Zoo is coming to Buffalo (Buffalo, NY) on October 21st & 28th. Celebrate the spooky season with this family-friendly event that features a Trick-or-Treat trail, Bubble Shows from WOW Party Buffalo, photo opportunities with your favorite characters, special visits from animal ambassadors, and more. Put on your best costume and get there early to show off to your animal friends during this after-hours event; animals are on exhibit until dusk. Tickets are on sale now starting at $15 for members, $18 for Non-Members, and $7 for Children Under 2-Years Old.

Chuck E. Cheese announced the return of their annual Halloween Boo-Tacular. October 2nd – 31st, they will celebrate the spooky season with free game play, daily dance parties, free candy giveaways, pumpkin-shaped pizzas, costume contests, slime desserts, and more. “Our fourth annual Chuck E. Cheese Halloween Boo-tacular is four weeks of Halloween entertainment,” said Sean Gleason, chief marketing officer of Chuck E. Cheese. “It’s another chance for your child to wear their costume and trick-or-treat in a safe place. We’ve got new games and fun food that will immerse you in the spooky fun of Halloween. When your family comes to Chuck E. Cheese Boo-tacular, the fun you have together playing games, watching the shows, and eating the spooky treats will make lifelong memories.”

Food & Beverages

Several flavors of Chobani Flip yogurt four-packs are available with AR-enabled Halloween packaging to celebrate the spookiest time of the year. The seasonal packaging features skeletons, witches, black cats and other spooky imagery. Shoppers can scan a QR code for a Trick or Treat experience. Win “treats” in the form of digital and real-world prizes – such as phone screensavers, coloring pages, button pins, keychains, stickers, hats, totes, and even a mini fridge while supplies last. Available flavors include: Almond Coco Loco, Peanut Butter Cup, S’more S’mores, Cookie Dough, Key Lime Crumble, Cookies & Cream, and Strawberry Cheesecake. These yogurts will be available at select grocery retailers through October 31st. 

NEW This Week for Hauntathon 2023


Upcoming Events: August - October 2023

October 13 – 14Son of Monsterpalooza (Burbank, California)
November 13 – 17IAAPA Expo (Orlando, Florida)
November 17 – 18Creep It Real OC Festive (Santa Ana, California)

Featured Videos

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Get off the couch and join us for two exclusive haunted attraction experiences. Mingle with the creators, explore with the lights on, and then get a VIP seat when the lights go out. These ultimate fan opportunities are available nowhere else and offer unparalleled access to these select haunted experiences.

October 7th: Blood & Bones: The Ultimate Fan Experience (San Francisco, CA) 
November 4th: Sir Henry’s Legacy: A 10-Year Retrospective (Plant City, FL)

Podcast Episodes You Might be Interested In

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