Six Flags Fright Fest (formerly Fright Nights) is a Halloween-oriented haunt event held annually at various Six Flags theme parks. It features haunted attractions, themed areas named Scare Zones, and live entertainment.
Six Flags created Fright Nights after testing different Halloween-based events throughout the 1970s to mid-1980s at some of its parks. In 1986, Six Flags AstroWorld, which was acquired by Six Flags in 1974, was the first Six Flags park to debut Fright Nights.
In 1988, Six Flags St. Louis was the second park to get the event, with Freddy Krueger as the host. For haunted attractions, the park got House of the Living Dead, a walk-through inside of the Time Tunnel building.
In 1999, Six Flags licensed and opened Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet haunted houses at some parks, featuring music from the album and using similar elements in each house. The next year it became just simply "Brutal Planet" and dropped the Alice Cooper theme. Since then, Six Flags has licensed other intellectual properties for mazes and scare zones, including the Saw films and DC Comics's Suicide Squad.
In 2018, Fright Fest returned to Frontier City and Darien Lake, two former Six Flags parks re-acquired by the company on May 22, 2018.
Six Flags parks are heavily decorated for Fright Fest, and mainly feature haunted attractions at an extra charge, as well as live entertainment and scare zones. Halloween-based shows are also performed, most notably "Love at First Fright" at Six Flags St Louis and Six Flags Great America, as well as opening ceremonies and closing finales such as "Freaks Unleashed" and "Final Freakout" at Six Flags St Louis which brings all the actors into the park for a first and last scare. The parks also feature themed "Scare Zones" in designated areas of the park where costumed actors are allowed to scare guests, though these parks also typically include areas where the actors are not allowed, thus allowing a "safe" area for families with small children or otherwise not wanting to be scared.
"Fright Fest" was previously also held at former Six Flags park Elitch Gardens. The park was sold to PARC Management in 2007, and PARC Management originally replaced Fright Fest with "Fall Family Fun Fest" after purchasing the park, adding family oriented areas such as hay mazes and pumpkin painting. The event was rebranded again as "FrightFest" from 2008 onward, avoiding the space between the words Fright and Fest as Fright Fest is a registered trademark of Six Flags. This continued in the years 2011-2014 when Herschend Family Entertainment managed the property. Elitch Gardens is currently managed by Premier Parks, LLC, and FrightFest remains.