Dark Nights Behind the Haunt: The Descent
Exclusive Details About The Four New Haunted Houses at Hersheypark
Dark Nights is a frightfully immersive haunt experience that spreads its shadows over the Hersheypark landscape every evening during Hersheypark Halloween, with three scare zones and four spine-tingling haunted houses. Midways transform from enchanting to unnerving and once-familiar spaces mutate into chilling explorations of the unknown. The only thing more terrifying than the dark is what lurks within it.
Dark Nights at Hersheypark Halloween will run Sept. 17 through Oct. 30, 2022 from 6-11 p.m. on Saturdays (and Fridays starting Oct. 14) and 6-10 p.m. on Sundays.
Behind The Haunt
We’re excited to share our next house in the Behind The Haunt blog series, where we dive deeper into the four spine-tingling haunted houses - Haunted Coal Mine, The Descent, Twisted Darkness and Creature Chaos - as part of integrated thrill experiences guests can only find in Hersheypark. Each house is themed with its own unique story to frighten guests with every visit.
Up next in our Behind The Haunt series is The Descent.
Who prowls the dark underground tunnels beneath Hersheypark? Follow her into the depths of decay where the only way out is down…
The Descent haunted house occupies only half of the existing Hersheypark catering space in Midway America near Laff Trakk and Wild Mouse. Guests will enter the queue line through the former Merry Derry Dip Fun Slides location and approach the entrance at the south end of the catering tent.
Unique Tie to Hershey
After the first evening in Hersheypark, our consultants were all encouraged to explore Hershey and be inspired by the rich and deep legacy of Derry Township, Hersheypark, and of course Mr. Hershey himself. For the team at Epic Entertainment, their exploration took them to The Hershey Story Museum and specifically, the stories of Mr. Hershey’s attendance at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The legends and lore surrounding the exposition and the collection of artifacts that came to Hershey from the fair provided the dark, fictional framework for The Descent.
Behind The Clue
Did you know all of the Dark Nights clues were filmed on-site at Hersheypark? The third clue for Dark Nights showcases The Descent featuring the mysterious Keeper leading you into the underground tunnels (which authentically exist to connect many of the original buildings in downtown Hershey). The process of location scouting for this video is a testament to our retail team. One of the many tunnels that exist in Hersheypark connects the retail warehouse to the park’s central plant and created the perfect backdrop for the Keeper to explore.
The clue also included flashes to images and videos which hinted at the backstory and location of the house. The antique shop shelves allude to the location of the powerful artifact brought back to Hershey from the World’s Fair. The vintage TV sets in the same shop are running a loop of a wooden coaster, which is The Wildcat, a coaster whose shadows will fall on this house every night.
We end this clue again by alluding to the name of our haunted event with “Dark Nights are Coming.”
Transforming 6,000 square feet of open catering space into an immersive haunted attraction takes a lot of work. In our case, the teams began mobilizing in early February to begin pre-planning for the structural building components and refining the details of the scenic elements and special effects. In April, the scenic element designs were finalized in an undisclosed, off-site location with some very creative and inspirational partners.
On-site construction began in June with walls going vertical on July 6 and our first load of complete scenery arriving by the end of that month. The Descent house will also have an outdoor component to the walk-through and concrete in that area was recently poured so teams can get to work on this section of the house.
Here's a sneak peek:
Stay tuned for next week as we dive deeper into our second haunted house of the series, Haunted Coal Mine.
Dark Nights Know-Before-You-Go: Tickets
Guests must purchase a separate Dark Nights add-on ticket to experience unlimited access to all of the four haunted houses as many times as they dare during a single visit. Scare Zones are included with a general admission ticket to Hersheypark Halloween.
A general admission ticket to Hersheypark Halloween is required for entry throughout the fall season. Dark Nights haunted houses access is not included with a general Hersheypark admission ticket and must be purchased separately or as part of a bundle. Guests can get to the fear faster with Dark Nights Fast Track program, available to ensure unlimited access to the four new haunted houses on the date of visit.