[None Spoiler Post! Just my experience and opinions]
This year, my sister, our friend, and myself decided to go to the Scarehouse in Pittsburgh, PA. I have heard a lot of hype about it, and our friend said that he has gone in the past and enjoyed it. It is claimed to be one of the best in the nation. I figured that I would check it out to see if this place could actually scare me. I am not the type to get scared, and to make it even harder, I’ve worked in haunts myself for a while, so I know the basic tricks. Knowing I don’t get scared, I took this as a great opportunity to really enjoy my surroundings and be observant. I figured that they would go beyond the standard, and scare me just once. This is about my experience:
I thoroughly enjoyed walking through and appreciating all of the details and hard work put into the house, including the characters and their costumes/makeup. It was nicely done! I never get scared, and was hoping this would be the one place to do it, but unfortunately was unsuccessful. (*The actors need to scare more than the first person. Not a single person attempted to do so) Nonetheless, it was entertaining and a great experience. Most of the actors displayed great energy & Miss Holly and the bunny were terrific at entertaining the lines, as well! Big thumbs up on that.
I was a little disappointed in the standard BOO around the corner (only to first person) and silently following the last person. I know that works amazingly well on some people, but it does get old and is too common. For this having a lot of hype, I was expecting all of the actors to go all out, and not just creep behind me, not even attempting to be sneaky and perhaps bang on a wall or something in surprise. Because the actors only scared the very first person to walk by, us in the back knew what was to come, approached the actors, and they were stumped. It was as if they had “done their job” and just stared at the rest of us walking by. This is definitely something in which I thought they’d be more creative and past amateur with. I must also add that we were one of the first few groups to enter. I understand it may take a while to really get into it for the night, but it is not as if I went through late at night as they were tired and burnt out.
It’s understandable that space is limited, but the feel of the house, especially the zombies would be more intense if it were more than the standard single person scaring every so often. It would be unique to have a small zombie herd perhaps behind a fence for example, clawing their way to those passing by. The overall energy could be brought up, because individually, actor to actor, it was good. Basically, I feel as if something could be done to make it feel as if we are really a part of the different settings; that of course is the challenge of all haunts.
When I went, the Delerium had the most energy because of the setting, but there wasn’t enough interaction, but as if they were just on display for entertainment. Entertainment is great, because any type of attraction, even haunted are there to entertain above all else. Into the next room, I don’t even recall seeing a single zombie in the following section, or at least more than one. I guess they scared the first person and went back into hiding? I’m not sure, because the entire haunt seemed to be lacking in man power, but of course, people call off and yadida, excuses excuses, I know how that goes.
I do not want it to seem like there are more negatives than positives, that is not the case. Many of the actors were phenomenal and they too get a thumbs up. The set-up was great, and a gold star to the lady handing out our glasses! I kindly asked her to stop the group behind us because they must have been running through the haunt, and I didn’t want them on our heels the whole time, ruining our experience. (Pfft, kids!) She did as requested, and I greatly appreciated it. Thank you! I will even mention the staff not working within the haunt. Everyone was kind and smiling, instead of disgruntled and annoyed to be there. That to me, is of up most importance, and is overlooked all too many times. I also love the fact that they had a nice range of nights being open. Working weekends in haunts myself, it makes it impossible to experience them. I also applaud the ability to purchase the tickets online, and getting a separate line to wait in. The entire set up with R.I.P tickets, prepurchased, and those waiting to buy, was well planned. Going back to Miss Holly, (He wins best actor in my book) though I do not have a Twitter, I thought it was awesome that “she” sent out live tweets throughout the night, as well as someone broadcasting throughout the night, too!
Something else that I thought of that would be different, and scary. They should maybe have it set up where at the end, you must enter the last portion by yourself, and you will all see each other again at the exit. I’m talking a few, long, heart-pounding seconds, not for a long time. That way, it would guarantee to have you as a target to be scared, and to really exit the house scared, and in a unique way, different from other haunts. I don’t know, I just wish someone would have at least gone to me and said, OOGABOOGA! Anything? Sorry I wasn’t first in line. Insert sad face here, please.
All in all, I say it was great, worth while to check out, and the line isn’t terrible as long as you buy tickets in advance and get there early. (That goes for parking too. That’s rough) As for the price, well, it was too steep for my liking. Roughly, what, ten-fifteen minutes for around twenty bucks? ehhh. I personally don’t feel it was all that it was hyped up to be strictly based on the actors as a whole. The place its self was well worth seeing while appreciating every minute of labor put into it for many months. I would be more than happy to go there again next year to give it another chance to scare me (goodluck) and impress me once again with the details inside.
Scarehouse–Great job! I hereby give you the challenge to scare me, and would be absolutely thrilled if you did so.