There’s a new entrant in the ever-expanding field of theme park Halloween haunts: Dark Nights at Hersheypark.
The park described the new-for-2022 event as a “frightfully immersive haunt experience” and its “largest investment to date for a seasonal event” in a press release. Dark Nights will run on weekend nights alongside the family-friendly Hersheypark Halloween, and featuring four haunted houses and three scare zones.
Here are the four houses and how the Hersheypark press release described them:
- Haunted Coal Mine: “For too long, unsettling cries of miners lost in these coal shafts have tormented the living. Take a daring trek through the abandoned mine, which suddenly becomes an explosive encounter.”
- The Descent: “Who prowls the dark underground tunnels beneath Hersheypark? Follow her into the depths of decay where the only way out is down.”
- Creature Chaos: “Join Professor Darkstone as he pits you against Pennsylvania’s most fearful and deadly creatures. Don’t worry, they’re in their cages…for now.”
- Twisted Darkness: “Dare to have your tarot read by our twisted fortune teller and be forced into a never-ending carnival of nightmares. Was it real or was it all in your mind?”
The three scare zones will be called Darkstone’s Hollow (tying into the same character from the Creature Chaos house), Valley of Fear, and Midway of Misery. The park says younger guests will be able to bypass the scarezone areas after 6 p.m. Attractions will be also open, including the coasters Candymonium, Laff Trakk, Lightning Racer, Comet, and Jolly Rancher Remix.
While the scare zones are included with general admission to Hersheypark Halloween, the four haunted houses are not, and will require a separate ticket starting at $25 for the general public and $20 for season passholders.
Dark Nights and Hersheypark Halloween will be held from Sept. 17 through Oct. 30 on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as three Fridays on Oct. 14, 21, and 28. Hours will vary by day and can be found on the Hersheypark website.
Dark Nights’ debut follows a 2021 Halloween season that saw two SeaWorld parks in Orlando and San Diego hold similar, adult-oriented Halloween events for the first time. The experiment proved successful, with SeaWorld reporting “record revenue” from its Halloween season and bringing back both events for this fall.