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ScareHouse haunt experience in Pittsburgh celebrates ’20 Years of Fears’

by Susan and Simon Veness

ScareHouse, Pittsburgh’s ultimate haunted house, celebrates 20 years of sinister sights this Halloween season, bringing back the most evil array of demons and mutants ever to inhabit your nightmares.

ScareHouse haunted house characters

Voted one of the scariest haunted house attractions in the United States and lauded by Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro as “Fantastic! I could live here!,” ScareHouse has been thrilling fans of the genre for 20 years. As it opens its doors starting Sept. 17, with few of 2020’s pandemic-induced restrictions, the “premier purveyors of panic” will once again scare the living daylights out of its visitors.

Back in 1999, the first unfortunate souls to enter the house of horror screamed their way into Halloween history, launching two decades of terror and making ScareHouse a legend in its home state of Pennsylvania. While the most hideous characters from years past will return, the attraction will open in a new location, inside the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum, just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.

Creative Director Scott Simmons says, “This year, Halloween is back, and so is ScareHouse — bigger, scarier, and more fun than ever — in a location that is going to allow us to raise the bar higher than ever and create a truly wild time for visitors. For the last year and a half, people have been bottling up a lot of fear and anxiety, and we’re going to give them a chance to get it all out — and then some.”

Some COVID-19 restrictions will remain in place for the safety of guests, but that won’t diminish this year’s full-on fright-fest, says Simmons. “For all intents and purposes, this is our 20th season, and we want to celebrate in grand style, pulling out all the stops to keep our guests screaming with delight and trembling with terror.”

What fresh new frights does 2021’s house promise? Fans from past years will feel the fear when two decades worth of dreadful denizens return, including the original version of Bunny, the ghastly 6-foot rabbit with a hatchet; Creepo, the nightmare-inducing clown; and the unhinged raver, Delirium, whose next maniacal move is anyone’s guess.

“For longtime visitors, we’ve assembled the best — and most frightening — of 20 years of ScareHouse while creating shocks and jolts they’ve never experienced before,” Simmons insists. “And for those who are hearty and daring enough to visit us for the first time, there will be enough here to fuel their fear well into next year.”

The attraction’s counterpart, The Basement, will not open in 2021, even for those with the fortitude to endure its highly tactile, overbearing (and R-rated) intimacy. Instead, the dark recesses of this extreme experience are expected to return in 2022.

Advance online reservations are required for entry into ScareHouse, with openings on Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 17 – Oct. 1, and then Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Nov. 6. Tickets are $22.95 per person, with a special “RIP Ticket” for no-reservation front-of-the-line access starting at $39.95.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ScareHouse.com.

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