It’s almost Halloween. That means it’s time for pumpkins, scary movies, costumes, and candy galore. Also, all kinds of Halloween fun and attractions, right here in Pittsburgh! If you can manage to sneak away from your work and responsibilities for an hour or two, consider checking out one of these really cool places to really get in the Halloween spirit.
ScareHouse is known across the country and has appeared in several news outlets. The building where it’s located has an interesting history spanning just over one hundred years, though it wasn’t always used for a haunted house. It was formerly home to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and later to a special subset of that group featuring World War II veterans and very strict membership rules. Now, it’s a renowned haunted house featuring three haunts: Pittsburgh Zombies Reanimated, Infernal Darkness, and circus-themed Nocturnia 3-D. There’s also something called The Basement, an “R-rated” attraction said to feature “high voltage effects, very low lighting, tight spaces, strong scents, profanity, moments of complete darkness, water, violent scenarios, and high impact scares.” Further investigation into the FAQ section reveals that they’ve set up a safeword, so take that as you will.
Times: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings in October
Hundred Acres Manor
Hundred Acres Manor is another haunted house that’s well-known throughout the Pittsburgh area and nationally ranked as one of the best. It has six themes: Dead Lift, where you ride an incredibly old elevator to reach the terrors; The Host, with a dangerous plague; Curse, a new one this year featuring a cabin in the woods; Vodou, a Louisiana-themed haunt expanded for 2018; Hallow’s Eve, featuring all the Halloween classics; and Breach 2.0, another re-done one where scientific specimens have broken out and taken over. Beyond these, the Manor also has two escape rooms, wagon rides, and a buried alive attraction that is exactly what it sounds like: they put you in a coffin and simulate burying you alive. So if you’ve ever had a desire to be shut in a small box and put underground, this is the attraction for you.
Times: Every evening October 17th through November 3rd
ZooBoo: Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
If you don’t necessarily want to be terrified this Halloween, consider going to ZooBoo. Yes, it’s technically geared toward children, but it specifically says no one is too old to see the animals. In addition to the normal attractions of the zoo and aquarium, there’s trick-or-treating, haunt spots (kid-friendly, so they won’t be too scary), costume parades and contests, Halloween treats for the animals, and a dance party. In the aquarium, you can also watch divers carve pumpkins UNDERWATER. How crazy is that?
Times: 10am – 3pm October 20, 21, 27, 28
Kennywood Phantom Fright Nights
Kennywood’s Phantom Fright Nights combine Halloween horror and amusement parks. Normal rides are open along with a lot of special, more frightening experiences, if death-defying drops and roller coaster loops aren’t scary enough. Haunts include Mortem Manor (Kennywood’s original haunted attraction), BioFear, Voodoo Bayou (creepiness with a boat ride), Haunted Ark, Dark Shadows (in complete darkness, and funnily enough located in Kiddieland), Kennyville Cemetery, Fear Fest (clowns), Gory Park (zombies), Death Valley (ghosts), and Villa of the Vampire (vampires). There’s even a 4-D screening of Friday the Thirteenth if seeing horror in only three dimensions isn’t intimidating enough for you.
Times: Fridays and Saturdays 6 pm – midnight for September 28 through October 27, Sundays 6pm – 11pm October 7 and 28
Castle Blood is a haunted house with a twist: while walking through the horrors, guests play an interactive game on their tour. It’s been described as “playing Clue in the Addams Family house,” which sounds pretty cool. Though its location has moved a lot over the years, the interactive adventures of Castle Blood have been enjoyed for over twenty years. Plus, it’s now run in a hundred-year-old funeral home, the perfect place for a haunted house.
Times: October Fridays and Saturdays 7-11 pm, October Sundays 7-9 pm
Stever Haunted House
Technically this is in Pittsburgh, so I say it counts, even though it’s only for CMU students. Stever will be having a collection of themed activities and frights this Halloween. The first floor will have games, a mad scientist station, and a thriller movie while the basement will be transformed into a slaughterhouse and a mental asylum. The best part, of course, is that it’s right on campus, so you don’t have to go far to have some Halloween fun.
Times: 8-11 pm October 31
Have a fun Halloween!