Eight essential spooky things to do in Pittsburgh


PHOTO COURTESY OF HAUNTED PITTSBURGH LLC

Pittsburgh Haunted Tours

If you want a history lesson in addition to your scares, a ghost tour with Haunted Pittsburgh is a can’t-miss activity. Starting at 7 p.m. most Friday and Saturday nights, Haunted Pittsburgh takes guests on a chilling ride around downtown. The outdoor tour begins at the City-County Building and includes stops at the old Allegheny County Jail and the site of the city’s longtime morgue. Along the walk, guides tell Steel City’s greatest ghost stories, all of which have been thoroughly researched by the Haunted Pittsburgh team. The stories come mostly from archival sources – ghost sightings were reported as news in 19th century newspapers – and tied to the city’s wider history, from the attempted assassination of Henry Clay Frick to a possible Jack the Ripper appearance in Pittsburgh. —SL

Facebook: “Haunted Pittsburgh LLC”


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Drive-In Super Monster-Rama

Part film festival, part horror convention, and part gathering of like-minded scare fans, the biannual Drive-In Super Monster-Rama event delivers an octet of big-screen thrills under the stars at Riverside Drive. -In to North Vandergrift. Each spring, the “April Ghouls” edition features cult classics from the 1980s; in September, the focus is on more retro picks, such as the technicolor terrors of England’s Hammer Studios or favorites from 1970s Italian fear masters. ‘at dawn ; die-hards can choose to camp between nights, with breakfast available at the snack bar. —SC

riversidedrivein.com; Facebook: “The Drive-In Super Monster-Rama Page”


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Family Halloween outings

For kids looking for a healthy dose of Halloween fun (without any nightmarish scares), there are plenty of regional options. The Pittsburgh Zoo hosts its annual “ZooBoo” event over two weekends in October – this year, 16-17 and 23-24. This family-oriented Halloween celebration, which is included in the price of admission to the zoo, will include tricks or treats through the zoo, themed crafts and games, a costume parade, magicians and a child-friendly haunted house. Meanwhile, Idlewild Park in Ligonier will host its “HALLOWBOO!” celebration, with tricks or treats in the forest of tales, two mazes and much more. In 2021, family events will take place on the weekends of September 25 through Halloween. The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s “Boo For You Too” event offers programming tailored to children with sensory needs. This day of Halloween fun will include themed crafts, face painting, live music and even a silent disco – a dance party where attendees listen to shared music through headphones. This year’s event is scheduled for October 29. —SL

pittsburghzoo.org; idlewild.com; pittsburghkids.org


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Hundred Acres Mansion

With a sprawling multi-themed haunted house, a dark labyrinth infested with clowns, a twisted party on Bourbon Street and a beer bar for pre- or post-scary refreshment, local favorite Hundred Acres Manor is ready to spook every season. of Halloween. As the area’s biggest haunted attraction, Hundred Acres Manor spans over a mile of land in the South Hills. Among the highlights of this season is a new attraction called “Folklore,” a journey through the forests of Appalachia featuring chilling encounters with massive yetis. The facility’s “audience favorite” ultraviolet light-soaked voodoo attraction will also return this year, in addition to a 20,000-square-foot maze. Kids and families will also be invited for three exclusive days to visit the daytime haunted house with the lights on, blood and gore replaced by actors in fun costumes. Hundred Acres Manor operates as a non-profit organization, with its proceeds supporting needy families in the Pittsburgh community. —SL

centacresmanor.com


October 21

PHANTOM FALL FEST IN KENNYWOOD

Ghost Fall Festival in Kennywood

Spooky amusement park is a trope for a reason: take out the sun and send the calliope into a minor key, and you can easily throw in a spooky pallor halfway through. Kennywood has known this for decades, hosting Phantom Fright Nights in the park each October; rides and games mingle with haunted attractions built into some of the park’s iconic landmarks. This year, the event is called Phantom Fall Fest and lasts all day. As the sun rises, a Family Fall Festival (with a few minor drop-ins) will provide families with the opportunity to make end-of-season Kennywood memories. After the sun goes down, things get spooky, with five haunted attractions, four spooky zones, seasonal beer and desserts and more. This year’s events will take place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October (although Fridays only include the evening portion of the event). —SC

kennywood.com


PHOTO: IMAGE TEN, INC.

weekend of the living dead

Those looking for undead origins should head to the Monroeville Mall – where George A. Romero’s classic “Dawn of the Dead” was filmed – to visit the Living Dead Museum, a bustling exhibit that traces the history of the movies that made Pittsburgh the “zombie”. capital of the world. While the museum is always worth a visit, it becomes a hub for horror lovers during the annual Undead Weekend, usually held in July. Cast members from Romero movies and other horror movie favorites pose for photos, spooky merchandise vendors sell unique merchandise, and signs take fans behind the scenes of their favorite films. Another edition of the Living Dead Fest, usually held in October, takes place in Evans City, near the “Night of the Living Dead” filming locations. —SC

livingdeadmuseum.com; thelivingdeadweekend.com


PHOTO BY BEN PRISBYLLA. COURTESY NET

ScareHouse

This house of horrors is not for the faint of heart. Pittsburgh’s own ScareHouse usually appears on lists of the country’s most terrifying haunted attractions, and for good reason. In 2020, they moved to a new location at The Galleria in Pittsburgh Mills, where they later offered a limited experience tailored to COVID-19 restrictions. This fall, ScareHouse hopes to come back strong, offering face-to-face scares on select dates from September 17 through November 6 (with advance ticket purchase recommended). “20 Years of Scares” is the theme for this season – a tribute to ScareHouse’s “greatest hits” creatures, often trying to mix moments of humor with the scares. You’ll meet many of their most feared and beloved characters, from their axe-wielding bunny to an exhausted birthday party clown named Creepo. —SL

scarehouse.com


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Steel City Con / Horror Realm Con

Looking to meet a favorite figure in cinematic horror? Keep an eye out for lineups for Steel City Con and Horror Realm Con, two regular conventions that often feature celebrity guests from iconic horror movies. The most recent edition of Steel City Con, held in August at the Monroeville Convention Center, featured artists like Robert “Freddy Krueger” Englund and James Jude Courtney, the current incarnation of Michael Myers. The next Horror Realm, slated for November 19-21 at Crowne Plaza Suites Pittsburgh South, is set to feature iconic “Friday the 13th” villain Kane Hodder, “Sleepaway Camp” star Felissa Rose and more. At both conventions, you’ll be able to build a collection of horror DVDs, t-shirts, action figures, and most other types of merchandise you can name. —SC

steelcitycon.com; Horrorrealmcon.com


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