Get ready Pittsburgh. The legendary haunted attraction ScareHouse, named one of the scariest haunted houses in the United States, will open its doors of doom for its 20th spine-tingling year on Saturday, Sept. 18.
The first visitors to ScareHouse screamed their way through its horrifying haunts and sinister sights and sounds in 1999 – but it’s this year that the attraction is commemorating 20 Years of Fears as a result of a scaled-down, pandemic-influenced version last season.
Tickets to ScareHouse are available beginning at www.ScareHouse.com. ScareHouse will be open Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 1; and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 6. General admission tickets – which require advance online reservations – begin at $22.95, with a special “RIP Ticket” that offers no-reservation front-of-line access available beginning at $39.95.
“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,” says ScareHouse creative director Scott Simmons. ScareHouse is located inside the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills in Tarentum, a 20-minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh. “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.”
ScareHouse has become a local legend in Pittsburgh – and has also attracted national attention as a can’t-miss Halloween event. ABC News called ScareHouse “the scariest haunted house in America”; Boing Boing deemed it “extremely scary”; and Buzzfeed insisted, “You should experience it before you die.” Oscar®-winning director Guillermo del Toro said, simply, “Fantastic! I could live here!”
Although ScareHouse opened with reduced capacity last year, the pandemic imposed unprecedented restrictions on the experience, which was carefully designed to meet COVID safety measures. Many of those measures will still be in place to ensure guest protection this year, but on the whole ScareHouse will be able to return in its full, frightening glory, Simmons promises.
“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,” Simmons says. To mark the anniversary occasion, many of the most dreadful denizens of ScareHouse who guests remember from two decades’ worth of visits will return, including the original version of Bunny, the less-than-adorable, memorably menacing six-foot-tall rabbit with a hatchet; Creepo the clown, whose violent visage trolls the nightmares of everyone he meets; and Delirium, the neon-colored, unhinged, unpredictable raver who is more demented than she may first seem.
“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,” promises Simmons. “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.”
In the meantime, ScareHouse’s ultra-intimate counterpart The Basement remains bolted shut in 2021, strictly off-limits to even the most courageous visitor. Something shocking is happening inside – and Simmons says he expects the doors to The Basement to open again next year.
Norm(an) Gidney is a nearly lifelong horror fan. Beginning his love for the scare at the age of 5 by watching John Carpenter's Halloween, he set out on a quest to share his passion for all things spooky with the rest of the world.