ScareHouse Strip District location will not open in time for Halloween amid ‘unforeseen issues’ |

ScareHouse Strip District location will not open in time for Halloween amid ‘unforeseen issues’

Natasha Lindstrom
Courtesy of ScareHouse
A character planned for ScareHouse’s Scream District.
Courtesy of ScareHouse
A character planned for “The Basement” at ScareHouse’s Scream District.

The only people ScareHouse managed to frighten this Halloween season are the haunted-house hopefuls worried about whether they’re getting their money back.

ScareHouse will not be opening “The Scream District” attractions it’s been building in Pittsburgh’s Strip District since June in time for Halloween this year, officials confirmed Monday night — just 10 days shy of the Oct. 31 holiday.

Everyone who purchased a ticket in advance will be contacted individually and receive a full refund, Scott Simmons, ScareHouse’s creative director, said in a statement.

“This has been a painful decision,” Simmons said. “We can’t begin to thank you for patience during these frustrating weeks of delays and cancellations.”

Simmons attributed the failure to open to “unforeseen issues.” He did not provide specifics.

“Despite the rapid response and support of city officials, contractors and so many others, we have discovered additional issues that we are unable to rectify in time to open before Halloween,” Simmons said.

One delay crept up after another

ScareHouse — known for over-the-top effects and in-your-face chills that have garnered national attention — has confronted a series of obstacles since vacating the company’s longtime headquarters in Etna last June. ScareHouse spent 12 Halloweens inside a 104-year-old building that formerly was a bank and Elks lodge.

In August, the company announced plans to relocate into a 10,000-square-foot space on Penn Avenue that was supposed to offer two distinct scare experiences in 2019: “The Basement” experience and “Stalked by a Killer” escape room.

“Both attractions are complete and are incredible,” Simmons said Monday, “but unforeseen issues will keep building renovation going through November.”

The Scream District initially was slated to open Sept. 27, running Thursdays through Sundays.

More obstacles crept up, and the opening was delayed twice more — first until Oct. 10 and again until last Friday.

At first, organizers blamed city permitting delays for the holdup, then cited bathroom inspection issues. City officials said that they granted the required permit on Oct. 4.

The company still hopes to open The Basement and Stalked by a Killer escape room later this year “because Halloween is never really over,” Simmons said.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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