Monongahela's Scaremare not your usual haunted house
The hulking, long-vacant Great Depression-era bank along Monongahela's Main Street is home this month to tour guides portraying gangsters who will escort “Scaremare” visitors through mazes, tunnels and more.
“Scaremare this year is a play on the Great Depression stock market crash in 1929,” said Mark Witt, executive director of Teen Quest, which hosts the event. “Scaremare is not a haunted house. It's a building depicting the reality of death and confusion. It's different. It's more of a storyline, even though we have scary scenes.”
The “horrifying experience” held weekends during October is filled with people portraying despair, Witt said.
The event has been held at locations across the Pittsburgh area, most recently at Teen Quest's ranch in Somerset.
Because of this year's bank setting debut, the event plays on a stock market crash theme and that patrons are visiting to withdraw their money.
Scaremare also makes mention of the seven deadly sins and features Satan's voice, Witt said.
Teen Quest is hosting Scaremare along with Monongahela-based Slagle Roofing, which owns the bank building.
Mark Slagle, who owns Slagle Roofing, bought the Monongahela City Trust Co. building in 2011.
The building hasn't been used for 20 to 30 years and hasn't operated as a bank since the Great Depression.
“It's perfect for what we're doing,” said Benjamin Fisher, sales and marketing coordinator at Slagle Roofing.
Slagle Roofing donated the space, materials and time to transform the vacant building into Scaremare.
Dozens of volunteers, many from local churches, are lending a hand to serve as actors, guides, security, box office attendants and make-up artists. The city's fire department and police department are also helping with the event.
Scaremare takes about a half-hour to experience.
The event is marketed to all ages. An adult must attend with children younger than 13.
Fisher hopes people will visit the attraction not only because it's “something different” but also because it's for a good cause.
Proceeds from the event will benefit international mission projects and Teen Quest, a youth organization that works with hundreds of churches across the East Coast and hosts camps for teenagers.
“It's a new attraction, and it's at a building that hasn't been open for a very long time. (There's) a lot of intrigue to going through the building,” Fisher said. “Obviously it's Halloween time, people are always looking for something else to do.”
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.