Kennywood celebrates 10th anniversary with new haunt for Fright Nights

Imagine walking down a dark and dismal hallway, not knowing where the next turn will be, hearing distance voices and screams while running from a frightening shadowy figure.

For some, it’s an experience they crave this time of year, and Kennywood amusement park, located in West Mifflin, Pa., is all too happy to provide them such an experience during its annual Phantom Fright Nights, celebrating its “10th year of fear.”

Phantom Fright Nights take place Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 30 – Oct. 29 from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m., and Robert Morris University’s Office of Student Life is offering discounted tickets on a first come first serve basis.

“The tickets are $20 as opposed to the Kennywood gate price of $26.99 and are good for any operating day during the event,” explained Nancy Thomas, coordinator of Student Life.

Year after year, Phantom Fright Nights has proven to be a popular event for high school and college students on the weekends.

Countless work goes into preparing the park for such an event, especially the creation of a new haunt this year titled “Biofear.”

For now, “Captain Skully’s Curse in 3-D” will bow out gracefully after years of screams from ghoulish swashbucklers and make room for this new haunt that revolves around a human genetic testing lab.

“We wanted to get away from a 3-D maze and add something new and exciting for our 10th anniversary,” said Kennywood’s Director of Operations Marie Ruby. “’Biofear’ is a disease control center that had an outbreak, and now, the workers that did not die are slowly becoming mutants.  The mutants are now terrifying the facility.”

An outside company called Terror Syndicate produced about 80 percent of the new maze, with the Kennywood staff completing the rest.

Since the park is very busy on the weekends and lines can be extremely long, Kennywood also offers an “R.I.P Haunt Tour” that is your private pass to skip the line at four mazes of your choice. These passes can be purchased for $15 as soon as you enter the park, but are limited and sell out quickly.

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