Super Spooky Round-Up: A guide to haunted attractions

Courtesy of Jen Winters. The actress, walking up and down the entrance of the Scarehouse, showed her sharp teeth to match her skeleton makeup.

Molly Chapman | staff writer

Oct. 28, 2021

As Spooky Season reaches its peak, haunted attractions are one of the biggest placeholders in people’s minds. Over the past week, I’ve attended four of the area’s haunted houses to tell you which ones are totally worth it, and which ones you should switch out for a horror movie. 

The first attraction I went to was the Haunted Hills Hayride in North Versailles (about 45 minutes from campus), which was a field trip offered by Duquesne. My ticket, which cost $5, included the hayride, a haunted walk through the woods and a bonfire with the students that came to the event. 

For the scare factor, I’d give the hayride a four out of 10. It was a lot of fun, but it was more funny than it was scary. The walk through the “Valley of Darkness,” was a little more frightening, filled with flashing lights and contraptions you walk through that seem to get smaller and smaller. 

In addition, I would warn anyone that wants to visit these attractions that there are strobe lights. If you are prone to migraines or suffer from epilepsy, you probably won’t be a fan of this experience. 

Tickets for the hayride and walk cost $20 on Fridays and Saturdays and $18 on Thursday and Sundays. 

My second attraction of the week was the Scarehouse at the Galleria Mall at Pittsburgh Mills, which is about 30 minutes away from campus. I had to order  tickets in advance, and although there were limited tickets for specific time slots, the line for 8 p.m. was extremely long when arriving for the 8:30 p.m. tickets. They do offer “R.I.P” tickets, so the group upgraded, skipped the line and were on our merry way into the haunted house. 

Out of all of the attractions I have ever been to, this one was my favorite. It was all inside, so you don’t have to worry about the cold weather. There are some classics, like mazes of mirrors, but it contains the most gruesome imagery I’ve ever seen in a haunted house, such as mannequins hanging from the ceiling and with stakes through their stomachs. 

The Scarehouse was the perfect mix between funny and frightening with a hint of disorientation, and I’d rate it a very confident 10/10. 

Tickets for the Scarehouse are available online and cost $20.95 per person, while the R.I.P tickets cost $39.95. 

My last night of haunted-house-hopping took place at the Tour-Ed Mine and Museum in Tarentum, roughly 20 minutes from Duquesne’s campus, where two attractions were located. The first one was the haunted mine. 

The line was very long for this one, so if you want to check it out, make sure you get there early. We arrived in the line at 8 p.m. and didn’t enter the mine until just after 10:30 p.m. The first part of the attraction was a haunted house, where they split your group up and send you off. 

We all met up again at a mine cart, where they gave us hard hats, put us into the cars and rolled us into the mine. They sent each group into the haunted part of the mine, where we had to navigate our way back up to the surface. 

Since I am extremely claustrophobic, being underground in an actual coal mine wasn’t exactly a lifelong dream I’ve had. But, as I felt the air getting colder and the rooms began opening up, I began to enjoy the experience more.

The best part of the haunted mine was the actors and actresses. There were so many times when I looked around and thought something was a mannequin and screamed when they got up and started following us. It made the experience even more frightening because at one point I figured out I couldn’t trust my eyes to tell me if something was going to jump out or not. 

While my group loved it, I recommend not trying this if you hate small, underground spaces because it might take out a lot of the enjoyment like it did for me.

Tickets for the mine cost $20 per person (and they take cash and card), but the food vendor near the line only takes cash, so if you want to get some hot chocolate for your wait, you should probably bring a dollar or two in cash.

Finally, on the same premises was The Shadows, a walk through the woods with a bunch of people jumping out at you. Tickets were $15 per person, and the walk took about 20 minutes. 

This line was very short, and there was a fire to keep you warm while you were waiting. 

On the walk, there were witches, chainsaws and blaring horns, and it was overall just your classic haunted attraction. 

One of my favorite moments on this walk was when we couldn’t open the door to one of the buildings, and someone from inside shouted “It’s a push door!”

When we walked into the shack, the actor jumped out and yelled at us to get out of his house, and our group all shouted back at him “you told us how to get in!”

The common theme of the actors and actresses for this part was that they were really funny while being terrifying, so I spent an equal amount of time laughing and screaming. 

If you like haunted attractions, I would say you will likely enjoy yourself at any of these places. They’re no Headless Horsemen, but they do the job of getting you in the mood for Halloween.