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Behind The Screams Of ScareHouse

haunted house

Hey Haunt Daddy

James “JJ” Byers laughs when asked what it means to be ScareHouse’s “Haunt Daddy.” “My official title as far as I’m aware is assistant show manager.” The “Haunt Daddy” moniker came about based on behind-the-scenes lingo ScareHouse uses to refer to liaisons between the actors and the management, those who address quick fixes like a…

“I stuck around. It’s hard to leave!”

To be the CSA Manager at ScareHouse means to be the “Customer Service Associate Manager.” But for Ann Kelly, it may as well stand for “Committed ScareHouse Associate Manager,” as she has been with the company for 13 years.  “I had friends that worked here as we were all in college and they said, ‘Come…

“Creepo actually loves children. That’s why he kills them.”

Tom Smith has been playing ScareHouse’s Creepo the Clown character for so long that he gets recognized even when he’s not in Pittsburgh.  “My wife and I were vacationing in New York state, and I happened to have a ScareHouse shirt on, and one of the guys came over and said, ‘Do you work at…

“I fell in love. I knew. I’m at home!”

For ScareHouse store manager Ashley Vattimo, her experience with the haunt is a love story.  “I decided to go on an interview back in 2016, a leap of faith, and it was just right,” says Vattimo. “It was immediate. I fell in love. I knew. I’m at home. Hire me!”  Vattimo was drawn to the…

A Visit from Hollywood Legends

ScareHouse attractions have hosted all kinds of famous faces over the last 20 years: Martin Lawrence, Elijah Wood, Kristin Stewart, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and even the Impractical Jokers… but as die-hard horror nerds, the most mind-blowing visit will always be the night that writer/directors Guillermo Del Toro (Shape of Water, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy) and Michael…

Costume manager Krista Ivan

“There really is a lot of work and detail that go into them. Going through the haunt, it’s dark, but it’s there, I promise you.” Costume manager Krista Ivan would know, since she’s been working for ScareHouse since 2018. The University of Pittsburgh graduate was searching for jobs in costume design, her concentration in school,…

Manager of Stuff and Things!

“I do things!” Melissa Sapienza says with a laugh.  In 2016, she started her ScareHouse career as an actor before becoming a show manager in 2017. “And then for 2019, they asked me to be a part of the core management team and also gave me the task of operating Bold Escape Rooms which then…

A Pale Night in Pittsburgh

“Tech guy” Kip Polley laughs when asked what his official title is at ScareHouse. “That’s funny. I don’t officially work at ScareHouse. I actually live in St. Louis. I don’t know what you’d call me.” Talk about the ultimate mystery from the man behind the Stalked By A Killer escape room.  Polley, who owns the…

The projects get weirder and weirder.

Graphic designer Steve Benton got his start with ScareHouse when he and co-founder Scott Simmons worked together in the Creative Services department at WPXI-TV. “Scott and I always had a good working relationship. When he started to move into the professional haunted house realm he started sending me a lot of print stuff to work…

“I Trust Nothing”

Believe it or not, Makeup Manager and Scenic Artist Mollie Himes is a complete scaredy cat when it comes to haunted houses. “I trust nothing,” says Himes with a laugh. “I cannot walk through ScareHouse without a person in front of me and a person behind me. I need the person in front of me…