Hersheypark’s Halloween haunt event, Dark Nights, will return for a second year this fall.
The event is coming back bigger for 2023, offering “lights out” rides on several of Hersheypark’s biggest coasters, a new scare zone, and a new haunted house, dubbed Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir.
“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,” Hersheypark said of the new house’s backstory in its press release. “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.”
All four houses from last year’s debut event will be back in 2023. Last year’s scare zones, Midway of Misery and Darkstone Hollow, will be joined by the nuclear apocalypse-themed Fallout Zone.
For anyone wanting a different feel on the park’s coasters, for the final hour of operation each night, the lights will be turned out on rides including the new Wildcat’s Revenge, Candymonium, Comet, and Lightning Racer. The indoor Laff Trkk will be “lights-out all day long” during Halloween season, according to Hersheypark.
Also new for 2023 is the split between the adult-oriented Dark Nights and the family-friendly Hersheypark Halloween. The latter includes its own set of offerings, including a trick-or-treat trail and a nighttime flashlight tour in the adjacent ZooAmerica called “Creatures of the Night.”
Both weekend events begin Sept. 15 and run through Oct. 29. On those dates, Dark Nights festivities will start at 6 p.m., and admission to the haunted houses will not require a separate ticket, as was the case in 2022. Event tickets will start at $50 and admission is included with Hersheypark season passes.