Where to scare up thrills, chills around Pittsburgh this Halloween season
The spooky season is upon us, and just about every entertainment venue in the area is offering some sort of Halloween event — from the scary haunted houses, walks and hayrides, to the more benign, family fare like Idlewild's Hallowboo. It's up to you to pick your poison ...
Go for big scares
If you take a walk in these woods, be on the lookout.
Because, at any moment, a scary someone may jump out from the trees or bushes.
So stay on guard because the Shadows Haunted Attraction in Tarentum (next to the Tour-Ed Mine & Museum) is a haunted trail designed to make guests scream — or sometimes laugh — for a memorable Halloween experience.
This is the sixth year for the attraction, which is different from others because it's all outside, says Chuck Lynn of Tarentum, who started this with Darrell Davis of Murrysville, known for creating the Haunted Mine.
“It's a big walk in the woods and it's starting to get pretty popular year after year,” says Lynn, who with Davis continually add new twists to keep it fresh.
The Shadows Haunted Attraction will be open through the last weekend in October. Guests walk about a quarter of a mile on the 13 acres, which are owned by the Alle-Kiski Valley Historical Society.
“It seems a lot longer than a quarter mile,” says Lynn. “It is scary, but it's not blood and guts. It's more about jumping out and startling you. Haunted houses are more about you walking through and looking at things.
The Shadows Haunted Attraction is located at 748 Bull Creek Road, Tarentum. Hours are 7-10 p.m. Thursdays, 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets are $10. Details: 724-681-2494 or theshadowshaunted.com
Hobgoblin Hikes from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 21 at Northmoreland Park and 7-9 p.m. Oct. 28 at Mammoth Park are recommended for ages 8 and over. Visitors can expect to be led through mazes and cemeteries on the half-mile hike, and past more than 100 ghouls, goblins and monsters. Free. 724-830-3950
21+ Mad Science, 6-10 p.m. Oct. 13, Carnegie Science Center. Explore science's dark side with the help of ScareHouse. Jordan Patton, finalist on Syfy's “Face Off” and veteran ScareHouse artist, will offer a live lifecasting demonstration of turning ordinary people into nightmarish ScareHouse characters. Other ScareHouse staffers will discuss the origins of superstitious beliefs and bring new characters to life with Creepy Comedy Improv shows. $17, $12 in advance. CarnegieScienceCenter.org
After Dark: Year of the Monster, 6-10 p.m. Oct. 21 and 27, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Oakland. These 21+ events offer spooky cocktails, dancing, monstrous hands-on activities and adult trick-or-treating. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. $20, $15 in advance. carnegiemnh.org
Campfire Ghost Stories, Allegheny County Parks. Rangers will be telling stories around a fire starting at 7 p.m. over the next three weekends — Oct. 14 at Deer Lakes Park, Oct. 15 at White Oak, Oct. 21 at Harrison Hills, Oct. 22 at Hartwood Acres and Oct. 28 at Boyce Park. Free. county.allegheny.pa.us/special-events/campfire-ghost-stories.aspx
“Silence of the Lambs” cage set up where it was filmed at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, 6-8 p.m. Oct. 27, Oakland. $10. facebook.com/events/129514464363870
“Mortal Remains” screening, 8 p.m. Oct. 13, Oaks Theater, Oakmont. A shockumentary about the Vietnam-era filmmaker Karl Atticus.
Prospect Cemetery Ghost tour, 6 p.m. Oct. 12, Tarentum. $10. 724-612-0076
“An Evening with the Ghosts of Pittsburgh,”
7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Oaks Theater. Tour guide from Haunted Pittsburgh will take the audience on a goose bump-inducing, whirlwind virtual ghost tour through Western Pennsylvania's most terrifying locations.
Honoring the king of zombies
George Romero, who created the first modern zombie movie — “Night of the Living Dead” — died earlier this year. So this Halloween there a few tributes to him in the Pittsburgh area, where he made several of his films.
“A Celebration of George Romero,” Oct. 13-19, Row House Cinema, Lawrenceville. Six of Romero's films will be screened multiple times during the week. The theater also will show “Night of the Living Dead” with subtitles on Oct. 29 for the hearing impaired. rowhousecinema.com/tickets/george-romero
Living Dead Weekend, Oct. 20-22, Evans City. The site where most of “Night of the Living Dead” was shot hosts an event every October. This year will include a tribute to Romero at 10 a.m. Oct. 22 at the Evans City Cemetery Chapel and the Pittsburgh-area premiere of the 4K restoration of “Night of the Living Dead” at 10:45 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill.
Owl-o-Ween, 1-4 p.m. Oct. 21, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College. Kids can wear costumes for trick-or-treating on the trails, participate in activities in the barn, and see a spooky but kid-friendly show from Witch Hazel. Recommended for up to age 12. $15. Registration is required at wpnr.org
“Halloween Hauntings” Storytelling Tours, 6-9 p.m. Oct. 21, 28 and 29 at the Compass Inn Museum, Laughlintown. Hear about the inn and some of the ghost stories associated with it. $8, $7 for seniors, $5 for ages 5-12. westmorelandheritage.org
Carnegie Science Center's Halloween Bash sleepover, beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 20. Learn about blood, identify ghoulishly gross mystery objects and experiment with fog-filled “Boo” bubbles. $39. 412-237-1637 or carnegiesciencecenter.org
Sharpsmeade, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 21. Wizards and witches are invited to park their brooms at Kennedy Park in Sharpsburg for a day of spellbinding community entertainment. The field along North Canal Street will transform into the magical village of Sharpsmeade, inspired by J.K. Rowling's “Harry Potter” series. Sharpsmeade will feature live music, a petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, crafts and a pumpkin patch. Mask-free costumes are encouraged.
Hallowboo, noon-6 p.m. Oct. 14-15, 21-22 and 28-29 at Idlewild Park, near Ligonier. This year's trick-or-treat trail through Story Book Forest will offer treats sponsored by Hershey's, Reese's, Twizzlers, Kit Kat and Snyder of Berlin. Children are welcome to wear costumes, but they are not required. There will be live entertainment, and several rides will be open. $29.99, $19.99 for 60 and older.
Haunted Guyasuta, 3-9 p.m. Oct. 21 with haunted trail, zip line, climbing wall, pumpkin patch. 412-782-2669 or campguyasuta.org
ZooBoo, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 21-22, 28-29, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Highland Park. Enter not-so-scary haunt spots, create creepy crafts, race through the children's hay maze and show off your costume in the parade and costume contest. $16, $15 for seniors, $14 for ages 2-13. pittsburghzoo.org
There are plenty of other haunted spots to choose from:
Cheeseman Fright Farm: Oct. 13-15, 20-22, 27-29. Dusk-10 p.m. Cheeseman Farm, 147 Kennedy Road, Portersville. 724-368-3233
Ghosts & Goblins: Oct. 13-14, 20-21, 27-28. 6-9:30 p.m. (last tour at 9:30) Tours of new haunted caves, terror-filled woods trail and hayrides. Lincoln Caverns, 7703 William Penn Highway (U.S. Route 22), Huntingdon. 814-643-0268 or lincolncaverns.com
Hundred Acres Manor: Through Oct. 31. 7-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, 7-11:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Six haunted attractions. 100 Hundred Acres Drive, Bethel Park. hundredacresmanor.com
Lonesome Farms Valley of Terror: Oct. 13-15, 20-22, 27-29. Non-haunted events for age 12 and younger, haunted hayride, corn-maze trail and “Slotter” farm house and barn. Cash-only admission. Westmoreland Fairgrounds, Fairgrounds Road, Mt. Pleasant Township. lonesomevalleyfarms.com
Phantom Fright Nights at Kennywood Park: Oct. 14-15, 21-22, 27-29. 6 p.m. to midnights Fridays and Saturdays and 6-11 p.m. Sundays. 4800 Kennywood Boulevard, West Mifflin. kennywood.com
ScareHouse in Etna: Oct. 12-15, 19-22, 6-29, Nov. 3-4. Starting at 7 p.m. 100-year-old house with three haunted segments and The Basement. 118 Locust St., Etna. Free shuttle from the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium runs continuously from 6:30 p.m. till 30 minutes after the haunt closes each night ScareHouse is open. scarehouse.com
West Deer Nightmare: Through Oct. 29. 7-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 7-10 p.m. Sundays. Haunted house of deceased serial killer. Bairdford Park, 453 Bairdford Road, West Deer. 412-298-2892 or westdeernightmare.com