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Behind The Screams

What NOT to do in a haunted house

Before any group of visitors enters ScareHouse, they are told the rules. These include reminders such as keeping cell phones away and “touch no thing and no thing will touch you.”  Those actors portraying the zombies and demons still see, hear and experience some visitors who need even more reminders, however. When asked what ScareHouse…

“You Needed the Bleeper!”

Hilarious video as WTAE anchor Andrew Stockey & meteorologist Jeff Verszyla face their fears at ScareHouse … ScareHouse is open this weekend and all General Admission tickets are just $19.99. Thank you Pittsburgh!

Thanks Yinz Guys!

October is Almost Over! Don’t miss your chance to get scared this weekend…  

“Hey, I fix stuff!”

One thing to know about working at ScareHouse: If you volunteer to take on a bigger job, they will take you up on it! That’s something Mark Hawley, who’s become a bit of a Mr. Tech Fixit, recently learned. “I don’t think I have an official title,” says Hawley. “Last year I was an actor,…

Even More Easter Eggs

When terrorized inside the Demon Hour room filled with dolls, watch out for a sound from overhead. How sure can you be that one hasn’t started talking? Sound designer Bengt Alexsander said he included a sample from the band Le Tigre’s song “Decepticon,” that sounds like it originally came from a children’s book. “It’s this…

A ScareHouse Builder’s Work is Never Done

Mike Richter found his calling as a carpenter because of the haunted house industry—even if he says he was scared of haunted houses growing up. “About nine years ago, my buddy got me to audition for a haunted house up in Erie,” says Richter, “and I just kinda fell in love with it. Then I…

ScareHouse Easter Eggs

After narrowly missing an alien spaceship’s crash-landing, unsuspecting survivors look up above a crashed car, avoiding zombies lurching toward them, to see: A billboard for cheese?  At ScareHouse, details like what objects go inside a fridge, on a table or become part of a billboard all start with being a part of the overall set…

The Woman Behind THIS Scary Woman

If you’ve been through the haunt this season, or seen any of the promotional materials for ScareHouse, you may have come across this woman with rotten teeth and a bandage over her eyes. She stems from the imagination of another (less scary!) woman—ScareHouse Backstage Assistant Melary Stanko. “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved…

Pittsburgh’s Pinball Wizard

There’s a new attraction this year at ScareHouse, and it’s something you can experience without ever entering the haunt: Play a couple of rounds of pinball and other classic arcade games before or after your ScareHouse experience, courtesy of PGH Pinball. “If you enter the mall from the movie theater, ScareHouse is to the right,”…

The Scare Coach

This season, ScareHouse added a new position to the team: Scare Coach. But what exactly does a Scare Coach do? Let’s ask the Scare Coach herself, Allie Sims. “My job is primarily managing actors a.k.a. herding cats,” says Sims with a laugh. “Managing actors and helping them get everything they need and need to know,…

Jill of All Trades

Like many ScareHouse employees, Amanda Barnoski is a bit of a Jill of All Trades. “The first year I worked here, I was acting,” says Amanda, “but now I mostly do makeup.” When Barnoski joined ScareHouse in 2017, the Cleveland native brought with her years of experience from other haunts. “I’ve been in the haunt…

A Night in Scream School

As his employees chant “Cheese, cheese, cheese!” in unison, ScareHouse founder Scott Simmons says, “I may have accidentally created a cult.” No, it’s not part of a new lactose intolerant haunt—it’s ScareHouse Employee Orientation! Before every ScareHouse season, the employees gather at Pittsburgh Mills to go over the rules for the new year—and of course…

When is ScareHouse Basement Coming Back?

The short answer is that we don’t have any specific dates yet but we’re committed to bringing The Basement back as soon as we can. We won’t be offering it this fall during the haunt season at The ScareHouse in Pittsburgh Mills. However if all goes as planned, you won’t need to wait until October…

The Light Guys For The Job

The father-and-son team of Bert and Adam Zelten go by many titles at ScareHouse: “Lighting/tech,” “saviors,” and most notably “the guys from Wisconsin” who make the long drive to “vacation” in Pittsburgh every summer (even though they’re really helping get ScareHouse off the ground for the season).   “All the people at ScareHouse make the scenes…

“ScareHouse Changed My Life”

Auditions and interviews for ScareHouse 2022 are coming up this weekend! (Click here for details).  Have you ever wondered what it’s like to scare strangers every night? Or why so many of our staff keep coming back year after year? We asked a few veterans from the ScareHouse cast and crew to tell us in…

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…

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…