Dark Nights Behind The Haunt: Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir
Exclusive Details About the ALL-NEW Haunted House at Hersheypark in 2023
Join us at Hersheypark this fall as we kick off our second annual Dark Nights immersive haunt experience starting Sept. 15. Before we know it, darkness will be sweeping over the 121-acre Hersheypark Amusement Park with new, blood-curdling frights lurking about and waiting to scare guests like never before.
Hersheypark Halloween and Dark Nights will run for seven weekends from Sept. 15 through Oct. 29, 2023, with more hours than ever before. Hersheypark Halloween hours are from 5-10 p.m. on Fridays, 12-10 p.m. on Saturdays and 12-9 p.m. on Sundays. Dark Nights hours are from 6-11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 6-10 p.m. on Sundays. See full calendar here.
Haunt enthusiasts and Halloween lovers are in for a real treat, as Dark Nights admission is now included with a Hersheypark Halloween ticket, which means access to five haunted houses, three spine-chilling Scare Zones, thrilling coasters with dark rides and Halloween entertainment - all for the price of one ticket. Guests can use their Hersheypark admission ticket to stay all day and night with fun and frights around every corner.
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Behind The Haunt
We are excited to continue our Behind The Haunt blog series this year as we introduce our brand new haunted house for 2023 - Auntie Mortem's Abattoir. This addition brings the total number of haunted houses to five as part of integrated thrill experiences guests can only find at Hersheypark during the 2023 Halloween season.
Haunted House Overview
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.
Haunted House Location
The Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir Haunted House is located in the Midway America region of Hersheypark where The Whip attraction was previously located, next to Music Express and Laff Trakk. Guests will find the queue line for Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir next to Lightning Racer where the Tiny Tracks attraction was temporarily removed for the season.
Unique Tie to Hersheypark and Central Pennsylvania
The Auntie Mortem's Abattoir concept was conceived in early November 2022 as the team ended the season already thinking of how to add another haunted house for the following year. The source of inspiration for the new house came directly from a location in the heart of Hershey, Pa. Milton Hershey commissioned the Hershey Lumber Company to build the original Hershey Abattoir in 1936. Hershey Estates owned and operated the Hershey Abattoir in downtown Hershey from 1936 - 1980, during which time they processed and sold a variety of meat products including the popular Hersheypark Franks. Sales and operations continued in the Abattoir building for decades and in 1976, Hershey Estates changed the name of the building to Hershey Meats. Hershey Meats moved out of the original Abattoir building in 1980. Our team used this piece of history as inspiration to create the Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir house while adding a more sinister tie.
Behind The Clue
Similar to 2022, all of the Dark Nights clues were filmed on-site at Hersheypark and in Hershey, Pa. The teaser for the Auntie Mortem’s Abattoir house was filmed in the bottom level of the Hershey Press Building to represent a gruesome meat processor building.
Haunted House Construction Updates
Construction of the house and props has been underway since early 2023, following the temporary removal of a ride in Midway America to transform the space. The first props for the house were purchased in February at the Transworld show in St. Louis and some authentic taxidermy was purchased in southern California. Our team has been hard at work transforming the location into this all-new and terrifying house.
Dark Nights Know-Before-You-Go: Tickets
All 2023 Hersheypark Halloween tickets and Hersheypark Season Passes include access to Dark Nights this year. Guests do not need to purchase separate add-on tickets to experience the haunted elements inside the Park. Scare Zones are also included with a general admission ticket.
Guests interested in getting to the fear faster can purchase Dark Nights Fast Track for quicker access to the five new haunted houses on the date of your visit.
Plan your trip now to visit starting Sept. 15!