If you love Halloween, Scott Simmons has the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift for you.
The 10,000-square-foot facility features three immersive experiences.
In the Stalked by a Killer escape room, up to eight thrill seekers at a time have one hour to solve a series of puzzles before the murderer’s lair fills with poisonous gas. Although there are no actors on the set, jump scares, eerie lighting, sound effects and PG-13-rated gore abound.
The other escape scenario, data/bass, is set in a Pittsburgh nightclub that suddenly shuts down. Teams of up to eight must figure out if it’s due to man, machine or something in between. There are no monsters at this party, so people who aren’t into horror have nothing to fear except failure.
Bold Escape Rooms are recommended for people 12 and older. Guests under the age of 16 require adult supervision. The destination will operate year-round Wednesdays through Sundays. Private groups can book the escape rooms for parties and corporate team-building exercises.
“An escape room is one of the few activities out there that you can do with a large group of people of different ages and backgrounds,” Simmons says. “Kids and adults and grandparents can play the same game at the same time. That’s rare.”
The third escape room, The Basement, is for guests 18 and older who must sign a waiver. It features a series of intense, R-rated scenes that are more hardcore than your average haunted house.
During the 35 minutes of terror, individuals or pairs of brave souls will encounter high-voltage effects, low lighting, tight spaces, strong scents, profanity, moments of complete darkness, water and high-intensity scares.
A ScareHouse staple since 2013, The Basement will run Fridays and Saturdays throughout February, or longer if there’s a demand for it.
Simmons and his crew have been working on the Strip District attractions since June 2019, when they vacated their longtime ScareHouse headquarters in Etna. A new ScareHouse will make its debut at an undisclosed location this fall.
The Penn Avenue site was supposed to open in September as The Scream District, but permitting issues held it up.
Simmons, who’s been in the fright business for more than 20 years, was afraid his dream might never come to fruition. Now he’s excited to share the interactive experience with Pittsburgh.
There’s room for growth in the Strip District building. People can expect more escape rooms, creepy walk-throughs and other surprises in the future.