Scarehouse: Basement is a semi-extreme attraction in Pittsburgh, PA affiliated with Scarehouse, Pittsburgh’s premier haunt.
118 Locust Street, Etna, PA 15223
- Enter alone or in pairs
- Must be 18 years old for this “R-rated experience”
- Moderate physicality, sexual content, strong scents
- Emphasis on story and theme
- Safe word provided
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Underneath the tamer thrills of the regular Scarehouse lies the Basement. This semi-extreme experience operates twice a year: for haunt season in September/October and also in February for a one-night-only Valentine’s Day special.
Each show is united by some of the best-developed themes and strongest narratives in the haunt industry. The 2016 run challenged guests to interact with an array of clowns, all manically readying themselves for their friend Happy’s birthday party; suffice it to say that Happy, much talked about but not glimpsed until the end of the experience, was not happy with the preparations. A previous year featured a trip through an insane asylum where the inmates resembled characters from Alice in Wonderland. Don’t cross the Queen of Hearts.
Guests can expect to be slapped, caressed, hooded, and pushed around, though the Basement does not inflict high levels of pain or stress. A safe word, “bunny,” offers a lifeline to overwhelmed visitors. There is considerable opportunity to speak with characters during the experience, which bolsters a feeling of participation in the narrative.
The main, non-extreme Scarehouse attraction produces one lengthy walkthrough haunt each fall. Guests proceed through three distinct areas, and Scarehouse changes one area each year. For 2018 the themes are Infernal (demons and cursed objects), Nocturnia 3-D (a surreal clown world), and Pittsburgh Zombies Return (self-explanatory).
The Scarehouse team also produces one of the longest-running haunt podcasts, in which they interview creators, discuss haunt design, and examine trends in extreme haunts.
HAUNTING ARTICLES ON SCAREHOUSE: BASEMENT
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