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Behind The Screams

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Sleep No More on ScareHouse podcast

Remember the ScareHouse podcast?  Starting in 2010 we produced nearly 150 episodes of an audio podcast taking fans behind the screams of ScareHouse, but also offering insights and conversations from the rapidly expanding industries of haunted attractions, immersive entertainment, and location-based attractions. (Plus more than a few episodes that were just about weird stuff that interested us.)

a man wearing a suit and tieWe thought it would be fun to start pulling some of our favorite and most popular episodes out of the archives,  starting with our conversations about the truly iconic immersive experience Sleep No More — which was and remains a significant influence on everything our team has produced over the last decade.

Sleep No More is now in its bittersweet final extension. If you’ve never experienced it, you’ve missed out on an evening of Shakespearean intrigue and masked mystery set against the backdrop of the McKittrick Hotel—a labyrinthine wonderland that transforms the Scottish Play into a living, breathing, interactive spectacle.

Since its debut in 2011, Sleep No More has been the toast of New York City, offering theatergoers a unique chance to become part of the narrative. Picture this: masked attendees roaming through dimly lit rooms and shadowy corridors, each corner revealing fragments of a reimagined *Macbeth* interwoven with Hitchcockian suspense. It’s part theater, part haunted house, and entirely unforgettable.

After nearly 13 years of spellbinding performances, the creators have decided it’s time to close the curtain. The decision isn’t due to a lack of enthusiasm—far from it. Night after night, the McKittrick Hotel has been buzzing with eager patrons, faces obscured by those iconic white masks, ready to delve into the next layer of the story. No, the decision to end *Sleep No More* stems from a desire to preserve its magic. Like all great art, there’s wisdom in knowing when to take a final bow.

a man and a woman taking a selfie in a dark roomIf you have even a spark of curiosity about immersive theater we recommend that yinz book with haste, for soon the McKittrick’s doors will close, and the enchantment will fade into theatrical lore:

For this episode of our ScareHouse podcast, recorded and produced in the summer of 2012, original ScareHouse sound design Glenn “Delirium Dog’ Ricci joined original cast member Careena Melia for a rare interview about her portrayal of Hecate and her nightly interactions with scores of masked and anonymous audience members. This episode also presents a roundtable of fellow Sleep No More experts for an extended conversation about this innovative and unforgettable production.

Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft and ruler of the three witches, makes quite an entrance in the original play. She confronts the witches, demanding to know why they’ve left her out of their meetings with Macbeth.

In Sleep No More, Hecate gets a glamorous makeover. Picture a 1930s bombshell in a floor-length red gown adorned with black feathers. She spends most of her time in Gallow Green on the fourth floor, exuding an air of mysterious allure.

With her familiar, the Speakeasy Bartender, by her side, Hecate invites guests into her sanctum to share her eerie tales. She’s the mastermind behind the scenes, pulling the strings and manipulating many of the bloody tragedies that unfold.

You can listen to the podcast here:

When *Sleep No More* burst onto the New York City theater scene in 2011, it revolutionized the world of immersive entertainment. This bold, boundary-pushing production didn’t just captivate audiences; it also inspired a new wave of immersive experiences across the country, including at Pittsburgh’s own ScareHouse.

ScareHouse, renowned for its spine-chilling haunted attractions, took a page from *Sleep No More* by incorporating more interactive and narrative-driven elements into its design. The essence of *Sleep No More*—where audience members become part of the story, exploring meticulously crafted environments—resonated deeply with the creative minds behind ScareHouse.

At ScareHouse, this influence is evident in the heightened attention to atmospheric detail, the seamless blending of storytelling with scares, and the encouragement of audience agency. Guests are not merely passive observers; they are active participants in the horror unfolding around them. This shift has led to more dynamic and engaging experiences, where every visit feels personal and uniquely terrifying.

The legacy of *Sleep No More* lives on in ScareHouse’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of traditional haunted attractions. By embracing immersive storytelling, ScareHouse has elevated the art of fear, offering an experience that is as thought-provoking as it is heart-stopping.