It’s that time of year when we all start dreaming about nightmares! In recent years, the popularity of haunted attractions in Pennsylvania have exploded. No longer is Halloween about a quick trip to the pumpkin patch and escorting your kids around the neighborhood for Kit Kats and candy corn. Now a night out to the local escape room or haunted hayride is just as much a staple of the fall season. There are many haunted attractions in PA, but few tower above the competition like Kennywood’s Phantom Fright Nights. The reason critics consider Kennywood Fright Nights among the best haunted attractions in Pennsylvania is because of its variety. Unlike many other PA haunted attractions that consist of one or two activities and only an hour or two of scares, Phantom Fright Nights lets you enter a haunted amusement park for up to six hours of total terror. You can choose between 10 different areas converted into haunted attractions just for Phantom Fright Nights, or enjoy Kennywood’s signature roller coasters and thrill rides. Even among haunted amusement parks, Kennywood’s event stands out. It is regularly recognized by the voters of Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards as one of the best haunted amusement parks in the entire world, and was recognized as among the best in the nation by USA Today as well. Kennywood Fright Nights is definitely one of the best haunted attractions in PA, but you need to be prepared to visit – both to make sure you maximize your enjoyment during the special event, and don’t end up needing a change of clothes!
1. Extend your enjoyment with a Pre-Scare Dinner
One of the challenges of Fright Nights is that it is not a full-day event, so on busy nights it can be tough to do everything you want to. You can lengthen your visit to Phantom Fright Nights by purchasing tickets for the Pre Scare Dinner, which has to be the tastiest prelude to a haunted attraction in PA! You’ll get an all-you-can-eat buffet provided by the amazing team at Stratwood Catering, all while costumed scare-actors stalk around the pavilion you and your fellow “victims” are dining in. It’s an exclusive opportunity to mingle and take photos with the stars of one of the best haunted attractions in PA. Not only that, you get early access to watch Friday the 13th 4-D Experience before the rest of the guests arrive, and then position yourself to be the first in a haunted house when Phantom Fright Nights opens at 6 p.m.!
2. Hit the haunts first, rides later
Because the haunted attractions of Phantom Fright Nights are only open for about a dozen nights a year, they are much more popular with guests than the thrill rides. So make a beeline for some of the more popular haunts like Villa of the Vampire, Mortem Manor and BioFear before you hop on the Racer or Aero 360.
3. Better yet, bypass the lines entirely
If you’re up for spending a little extra money, you can purchase VIP & RIP (get it?!) Tours that allow you to bypass lines for rides, haunts or both! Kennywood Fright Nights can get quite crowded at times, so some nights this is the only way to make sure you make it through every part of the haunted amusement park.
4. Ride the Phantom’s Revenge once it’s completely dark out
No detailed how-to here. Phantom’s Revenge is one of the best roller coasters in the world, the ride Kennywood Phantom Fright Nights got its name from. And it is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING in the pitch-black darkness of Phantom Fright Nights. Depending which way the fog’s rolling, you may not even be able to see the rider in front of you! Talk about scary.
5. Go to Gory Park
In addition to seven haunted attractions, Phantom Fright Nights has three open-air scare zones where scare-actors roam freely, and you can too! The beautiful Lost Kennywood transforms into the chaotic Gory Park, where hooligans, giant rats and more terrors await. If you make it out, head over to Fear Fest, where a group of demented clowns will do their best to cheer you up.
6. Get hot in Hell’s Kitchen
While the world-famous Potato Patch is open for devouring delicious fries, you can also find special treats only available during Fright Nights at a few seasonal stands.
7. Come back again soon!
Not able to hit everything in one visit? Or just want to experience the rush of being in one of the world’s best haunted amusement parks again? Then purchase a pass that allows you repeat visits! The Phantom’s Fright Pass allows guests to visit as many times as they want during Phantom Fright Nights, as does the Premium Season Pass (which also includes Holiday Lights and Summer 2017 admission). Other Season Passes offer discounts for certain nights of Kennywood Phantom Fright Nights, which you can research here.
While visiting one of the best haunted attractions in PA can be scary for some, it’s undoubtedly fun for all. Phantom Fright Nights is open Fridays and Saturdays throughout October 2016, plus Sunday, October 30.