Kennywood once again presents Phantom Fright Nights, a PG-13 recommended celebration of all things Halloween and scary.
For safe passage, we joined with Marie Ruby to show off her creation. She is the creative force behind the entire Phantom Fright Nights event. She wasted no time establishing with the monster who was in charge.
Our in depth look was in Mortem's Manor, the most popular haunted attraction nearly every year. Totally designed in house, it is wonderfully spooky and beautiful maze.
Look at those wonderful candlesticks. They were handmade by one of the makeup artists. It's good they are bolted down, because they are one of the best accent decorations we have seen this year.
This chandelier shows the detail that Kennywood produces in their attractions. There are 30 live actors in Mortem's Manor and thy make extensive use of "scare bays" to startle guest with a bang and their sudden appearance.
Sitting on the throne in the Manor, he has a special surprise for guest who interupt him. Don't say we didn't warn you.
The actors costumes and make-up are second to none, and they really enjoy their work.
In case you didn't already know, Kennywood Park is a National Landmark by itself and has some separate rides inside that are also National Landmarks.
This is the actual theming for Gory Park. It was amusing to see park employees resisting the urge to pick up the trash as they walked by, you could watch them pause and head towards a piece on the ground, and then shake their heads and walk on by.
Two actors who were residing in Gory Park. They spent more time posing for pictures with guests than they did scaring anybody. They was a line waiting for them everytime we passed by.
Even the signage is replaced for the season. The only "non-scare" zones in the entire park are located by the restrooms. Many guests hung out there for a while to gather more courage to once again venture forth into the fog.
A prime example of the wonderful lighting used throughout Phantom Fright Nights to transform the entire park.
The Haunted Ark was decked out with lots of UV sensitive pictures and the traditional scenes were covered over. A scattering of pirate fossils distracted guests while live pirates seemingly appeared from nowhere, eliciting screams from unwary guests. Watch out for the air cannon, and no I wasn't drunk, it's hard to walk on the rolling deck.
Some more of the general park theming. Fog, lights, and monsters everywhere. It was the best overall atmosphere we experienced the entire Halloween season. Well done Kennywood!
Where else but in Death Valley Ghost Town can you find a fossilized horse and rider?
The fog drifts through the carousel, itself one of the National Landmarks of Kennywood Park.
Villa of the Vampire seemed to have the best actors the night we attended. The corridor of skeletons, complete with live actors mixed in was frightful, and the dining table scene was, well, just wrong. Too many live actors in there for flash photography, if you dare to visit, you'll understand.
Actors are everywhere throughout Kennywood. You never know who is around the next turn in the path but if you dare to keep moving forward you are bound to find out.
Some of the statues in the Kennyville Cemetery are actually live actors. They have many places to hide amongst the plentiful tombstones and extensively themed mausoleums. The greeter has wonderful make-up and performed a extensive pre-show that incorporated all the required safety regulations.
Do you see the actors in this picture between the tombstones? We didn't either until he/she moved, and if Carol wasn't wearing her camera on the strap, she could have dropped it. Instead of just shining it into your eyes, the lighting is used to create shadows for the actors to hide in, a very effective technique.
This is your first and last view of Phantom Fright Nights at Kennywood. A touch of the macabre in front of the classic entrance, a sobering reminder of dark things to come. A big thank you to Jeff and Marie, along with what seemed like hundreds of actors who helped bring you this report. As you can see, we saved the best for last this year, but you still have one more weekend to enjoy it for yourself if you live close enough to Pittsburgh.