ShareThis Page

Personality test: Scott Simmons

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:02 p.m.
Scott Simmons pauses for a photo at the Scare House in Etna Wednesday, October 3, 2012. 
(Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)
Scott Simmons pauses for a photo at the Scare House in Etna Wednesday, October 3, 2012. (Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review)

Scott Simmons is living his childhood dreams. He's creative director of ScareHouse in Etna, which the Travel Channel called “one of America's scariest Halloween attractions.” The Pittsburgh native is co-owner with his wife, Barb, and his dad, Wayne. They employ a crew and cast of 150 people for the shows, which are presented on select days through Nov. 3. The haunted attraction's website,, warns that they may be too intense for children under 13 and that children under 7 will not be admitted.

Simmons, 42, follows his own path when it comes to food, too, whether or not it arouses horror for dieticians. He is a “huge movie nerd” and thought of becoming a movie director while in high school and college. He satisfies that aspiration with ScareHouse videos he posts on YouTube.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life and why:

Nathan Fillion. He's not afraid to reveal his nerdy passions, shares an obvious and infectious enthusiasm for everything he's doing, and isn't afraid to get more than a little goofy at times.

Childhood hero and why:

Jim Henson. As a kid I just admired his ability to present such a variety of wild characters, as an adult I admire his ability to (do it all) without a hint of cynicism or negativity.

Pick one:

A. Go-Gos

B. Goo-Goo Dolls

C. Lady Gaga

D. Yo Gabba Gabba

C. Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-roma-ma! Ga-ga-ooh-la-la! You have no idea how much I love the Gaga.

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

My Viewmaster reels, including some rare images from “The Haunted Mansion” and other Disney theme park rides

The superpower I wish I had in real life and why:

I wish that I only needed about 15 minutes of sleep a day, so I could catch up on my Netflix list.

I can't live without my: iPod, cell phone, DVR or laptop?

Definitely, the iPod

My favorite reality show:

“Face Off” on Syfy (a reality series about special effects artists.)

App I wish I could invent:

The ability to randomly project life-size and life-like video footage of a clown wielding a chainsaw onto any flat surface

Favorite brunch food:

Chicken and waffles. It will change your life.

Favorite guilty pleasure:

I love bad '80s movies. There's such a lack of irony, and yet totally insane judgment calls, made by the producers of stuff like “Xanadu.”

Best mistake I've ever made:

I was offered a job in marketing that would have meant much more money, instead I chose to spend my days working in the dark with homicidal clowns and killer bunny rabbits.

Something I would do over if I could and why:

Ironically, for someone who scares people for a living, I think I used to spend too much time living my life in fear ... afraid of what others would think about me, afraid of taking big risks, and afraid to really take a stand on certain issues.

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

Comment: I don't hate sports, but I'm much more passionate about “Star Wars” than sports, sorry.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

I love all of the options at Market Square.

Top thing on my “Bucket List” to do before I'm gone:

I really hope that I get the chance to meet Joss Whedon.

In five years, I'd like to:

Still be doing everything I'm doing now

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh is:

I love that our town is filled with people who are so real, so genuine, and so enthusiastic.

Star I'd like to dance with on “Dancing with the Stars”:

Actually, I'm more of a “So You Think You Can Dance” fan.

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

Joss Whedon, Patton Oswalt, and Tom Hanks

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

I've started adding a “runny egg” to Primanti Brothers' Pastrami & Cheese.

Celebrity crush:

I think my wife is a celebrity, and I know she's still my No. 1 crush.

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

The owner of a haunted house. Kids and their wacky ideas, right?

I'm deathly afraid of:

Accounting and paperwork.

If I was auditioning for “American Idol,” my song would be:

Something by Meatloaf. “I Would Do Anything For Love,” most likely.

The first band I saw in concert (when and where):

Kiss with my dad at Civic Arena when I was in third grade, complete with painted faces, fire, and blood

The best concert I've ever seen:

Prince, a live band, and they just completely own the stage and their audience for hours

TV marathon I could watch all day and why:

There are only 14 episodes of “Firefly,” which means I can, and will, watch the entire series in one sitting.

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

Noah's Ark at Kennywood. Built in 1935, and I believe it's the last ride of its kind still operating in North America.

Saturday mornings, you'll find me:

Sprawled on the couch with a cat on my lap, tortilla chips in a bowl, and cheesy horror movies on my TV

The worst advice I ever received:

“Social media is a waste of time.”

In high school, I was:

Pretty much the same guy I am now ... just with a little more hair

The movie that always makes me cry:

During the first few minutes of “Up” there must have been some dust in the room, because my eyes were definitely watery.

My most treasured fashion accessory is:

A comfortable hoodie will always make me happy

What you'll always find in my glove compartment:

Thumb drives

My most embarrassing junk food:

Peanut butter on fried chicken. Don't laugh until you try it.

If I wasn't a haunted house creator, I'd be:

That's too scary to even think about. I'm very lucky, because I get to do what I love for a living.

The last book I read:

“Shock Value” by Jason Zinman examines the impact of the new wave of horror that revolutionized our expectations for scary movies in the '70s.

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

Aliotos, in Etna, has a jalapeno popper pizza that is fan flippin' tastic.

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

I find it completely impossible to change the channel when “Roadhouse” is on.

My favorite website:

My most memorable fashion mistake:

My height happened very quickly, and my pants often couldn't keep up with me.

If I could live my life as someone else, it would be:

Neil Patrick Harris. Respect The NPH.

My first job:

I worked at a mall toy store during the Christmas holidays.

My favorite cable channel:


The song that always gets me out on the dance floor and why:

I'm really not kidding when I speak of my love for Gaga. “Bad Romance” is my jam.

Life would be better without:

Ugly comments on YouTube videos

People would be surprised to know that I:

Do not look like Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie. Honestly, I'm just a suburbanite dork.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.