The ScareHouse Podcast: One of America’s Best Haunted Houses
ScareHouse is one of America's Best Haunted Houses! Join us for fun and informative conversations with our designers, cast, and crew - as well as extended interviews with other haunters, Pittsburgh icons, Ghost Hunters, and alternative artists and performers. ScareHouse, in Pittsburgh PA, is one of America's Scariest Halloween Haunted House Attractions (Travel Channel) - featured on Good Morning America, USA TODAY, Huffington Post, CBS news, Buzzfeed, Forbes, Geek & Sundry, and many other national media outlets. Tickets, dates, and more information about Pittsburgh's Ultimate Haunted House available from http://www.scarehouse.com

Summary:

Creative Director Scott Simmons catches up with Todd McDevitt and Jon Engel from New Dimensions Comics at Rock Bottom to chat about the comic book industry, pushing your ventures, and 3 Rivers Comicon.

 

Highlights:

  • Scott asks Jon and Todd when and how they first got into comic books
  • Jon talks about how Magic the Gathering was the gateway to comic book collecting and his current job
  • Todd has been collecting comic books for 31 years and has over two million comic books
  • Jon and Todd discuss how the comic book industry has changed
  • Movies have changed comic books and comic books have changed movies
  • Comic books offer comic book movie lovers background stories and spinoffs
  • Comic book movies don’t always follow the comic books and comic book stores can help bridge the gap
  • Want to get (back) into comic books? Each New Dimension Comics location has a recommended reading rack to help you get started
  • Difficulty of picking what to carry in the stores
  • Late 1950s horror comic books were regulated by the government
  • As content creators age, their industries are becoming adult
  • Todd talks about being an entrepreneur and trying to see how far he can push each venture
  • Info about 3 Rivers Comicon: Special guests, tons of artists and vendors, gaming, and comic book authentication
  • Supporting the comic book community and looking at their stores as clubhouses that are judgement free zones
  • What is an alpha nerd

 

3 Rivers Comicon, the convention that is putting the Comic Book back into Comicon, is May 20th-21st at Century III Mall. All ages are welcome. With 100+ creators and vendors, 3 Rivers Comicon offers tons of fun for all the nerds in the Burgh.


For more information and purchase tickets visit http://3riverscomicon.com

Check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/3riverscomicon/

Are you a comic book fan? Check out one of New Dimension Comics six locations!

For more info visit http://ndcomics.com

 

Please subscribe to our podcast and leave feedback. We appreciate it!

 

Follow the ScareHouse podcast hosts: Scott Simmons (@ScareHouseScott) and Katie “Dudders” (@kdudders)

 

Visit us www.ScareHouse.com

Watch us Youtube.com/TheScareHouse

Like us https://www.facebook.com/ScareHouse

Follow us https://twitter.com/ScareHousePGH

Direct download: 5.15.17_3_Rivers_Comicon.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:20am EDT

The award winning Atrocity Exhibition’s ninth performance will take you to hell. Katie “Dudders” caught up with Macabre Noir, Aaron Doctor Morose, and Lori Howsare “The Mad Muse” at Atrocity’s command center, aka Macabre’s living room. They talk about the creative process, theater theory, and Atrocity Exhibition IX: Inferno.

Highlights:

  • Lori credits her theater education and experience for her ability to be such a successful stage manager
  • Macabre and Aaron Doctor Morose discuss how the Atrocity Exhibition grew and matured with each new member that joined the family
  • Through increased expectations from the audience and crew, the performance gets bigger and better every year
  • Using technology to keep yourself on track
  • Why “no pants and fire everywhere” would be an excellent tagline for Atrocity
  • The creative process and how it’s enjoyable torture as opposed to pointy stick torture
  • Lori discusses turning people back onto literature with her Literary Brothel, where you leave reality, enter a sacred space, and hear good stories
  • Realizing that your own true story is a good story
  • How theater helps promote empathy
  • What is weird to you is someone else’s normal
  • Lori explains how Atrocity is an example of theatre of cruelty, an academic theory of theatre. Cruelty is not violence; it is the ability to use visions that you’re not usually subjected to reach into the repressed, dark area of the human mind. It is an assault on the senses that heightens your emotions.
  • Wearing your weird on the outside
  • How Atrocity Exhibition creates a space for everyone
  • 35 minute mark begins the conversation about Atrocity Exhibition IX: Inferno
  • The importance of putting together artists that genuinely love their craft and trust each other to make something exciting
  • Shout out to Zeke’s Coffee for creating the Atrocious Paradiso brew and providing coffee and snacks for the Atrocity Exhibition crew
  • They appreciate everyone that donates to the Kickstarter. It helps the show grow every year

Please subscribe to our podcast and leave feedback. We appreciate it!

Follow the ScareHouse podcast hosts: Scott Simmons (@ScareHouseScott) and Katie “Dudders” (@kdudders)

Visit us www.ScareHouse.com

Watch us Youtube.com/TheScareHouse

Like us https://www.facebook.com/ScareHouse

Follow us https://twitter.com/ScareHousePGH

Direct download: 5.7.17_Atrocity_Podcast.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT

Scott Simmons and Katie “Dudders” hang out on a loading dock in Pittsburgh’s Strip District with Rob Johnston to talk about social media and the importance of being genuine with your audience.

 

Highlights:

  • Rob, former ScareHouse Podcast host, reminisces about his favorite ScareHouse Podcast episodes
  • Discussing the rise and fall of Vine
  • Why Vine was such a great fit for Rob’s creative vision and how enjoyed the challenge
  • Using old school techniques and humor to engage with today’s audience
  • Rob’s one Vine that went horribly wrong
  • Having to let things go in order to grow
  • Rob talks about his most elaborate Vines and the clean up involved
  • The importance of using customer data and analyzing engagement in haunt building and social media content creation
  • Being relatable to your audience
  • Rob talks about his coffee dumping Vine that turned into a gif sensation
  • Trying to protect the content you’ve created in a social media world
  • Why the top 20 content creators of Vine were responsible for its downfall
  • What’s next for social media platforms
  • ScareHouse and Rob’s big payoffs for taking a chance and changing to anticipate where their audiences are going
  • Scott discusses The Simpsons and how they “got it” all those years ago
  • The importance of being honest and genuine with your audience

For more information about Rob Johnston

https://twitter.com/RobOnTheRun

https://www.instagram.com/robontherun

https://www.facebook.com/robbietwotone

 

Please subscribe to our podcast and leave feedback. We appreciate it!

Follow the ScareHouse podcast hosts: Scott Simmons (@ScareHouseScott) and Katie “Dudders” (@kdudders)

Visit us www.ScareHouse.com

Watch us Youtube.com/TheScareHouse

Like us https://www.facebook.com/ScareHouse

Follow us https://twitter.com/ScareHousePGH

 

Direct download: 4.28.17_Rob_Johnston.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 8:12am EDT

Katie “Dudders” sits down with Pittsburgh Burlesque performers and members of the ScareHouse family, Boom Boom Bridgette, Moon, and Thea Biss. The ladies discuss Pittsburgh’s current burlesque scene, what attracted them to performing, and how burlesque is all about loving yourself and your body.

Highlights:

  • A discussion about the various styles of burlesque
  • Creating a stage name
  • Why it’s dangerous to kick off your shoes during a performance
  • Moon tells us about the time she drop kicked a Serta sheep into the audience
  • Burlesque is for every body
  • How people are like cheesecake and why you should try more than one piece
  • Using what makes you different and unique to make you a better performer
  • Importance of seeking out supportive people. If you haven’t found them yet, keep looking. They’re out there.

Boom Boom Bridgette is the seasoned veteran who has been performing since 2011. She is also a producer, Founder of Pin Up Perfection Productions, and owner of Boom Boom Bang Photography. She was the Master of Tassels 2014 and 2016 and International Master of Tassels first runner up 2016.

Find her online:

https://www.facebook.com/boomboombridgette2/

https://www.facebook.com/boomboombangphotography/

Moon’s love of the raver scene inspired her to develop her hula-hooping skills. She is also a dancer, contortionist, and fire eater. She was crowned 2016 Pittsburgh Pride Femme Fatale.

Find her online:

https://www.facebook.com/moonperformingarts

http://www.rawartists.org/moonperformingarts

https://www.instagram.com/moonstonesprite/

Thea Biss, the kitten of the group, is incredibly upbeat, an eager learner, and avid burlesque researcher. Her background is in acting and spoken word poetry. Supportive women such as Bridgette inspired her to take the stage.

Find her online:

https://www.facebook.com/misstheabiss

For more information about Boom Boom Bridgette, Moon, and Thea Biss’ upcoming shows visit:

May 5 - Revenge of the 5th - Glitter Box Theater

May 19 - Newbies and Bewbies - Hambones

May 26 - 2017 Cupcake Pageant - Hambones

 

Please subscribe to our podcast and leave feedback. We appreciate it!

Follow the ScareHouse podcast hosts: Scott Simmons (@ScareHouseScott) and Katie “Dudders” (@kdudders)

Visit us www.ScareHouse.com

Watch us Youtube.com/TheScareHouse

Like us https://www.facebook.com/ScareHouse

Follow us https://twitter.com/ScareHousePGH

Direct download: 4.20.17_Burlesque_Podcast.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 6:03pm EDT

Scott Simmons and Katie "Dudders" sat down with Tami Dixon, Jeffrey Carpenter, and Rod Schwartz from Bricolage Production Company. Bricolage works to remove the fourth wall to differentiate themselves from traditional theater productions and become closer to their audience. 

Tami and Jeffrey discuss their theater experience and the birth of Bricolage in Pittsburgh. When they first started, Bricolage worked hard to build the trust with their core audience. One of their first super fans, Rod Schwartz, became hooked on immersive theater and the individualized experience that it gave each member of the audience. Soon after, Tami and Jeffrey welcomed Rod onto the Bricolage board.

The group discusses why audiences are afraid of the unknown in theater and movies.

Rod met Scott at Bricolage production, OjO: The Next Generation of Travel, and then experienced the ScareHouse. Rod felt a similar individualized experience when he left the ScareHouse. Later, Rod found escape rooms as another way to connect with his son. He had the idea to combine the powers of Bricolage and ScareHouse to create Enter the Imaginarium

What makes Enter the Imaginarium different, is their focus on making the experience truly immersive by transporting the audience the minute they walk in the door and the overarching story that connects the tracks. They discuss the importance of collaboration and learning from others. 

Bricolage's newest immersive theater production, IE: The Ascendants, opens April 21st and runs till May 14th. Their IE series is intimate, sensory driven, "bite-sized" immersive theater experiences. Tickets are available here.

Subscribe today for new episodes of our ScareHouse podcast. Help us reach new listeners when you leave positive reviews and feedback on iTunes. THANK YOU for your support!

Like ScareHouse on Facebook.

Follow ScareHouse on Twitter.

Watch ScareHouse on YouTube.

Direct download: 4.11.17_Bricolage_ETI.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 8:16am EDT

Factory of Terror is one of largest indoor haunted houses in the WORLD. Scott and Dudders sit down with owner John Eslich to talk about what it takes to become a Guiness World Record winner, helping customers get their scare on in the offseason, how running a haunted house is a yearround business, and the importance of continuing your haunt education. 

John recently took over the Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory in Akron and is working to honor the decades old haunted house's history and legacy. John is also the president of the Haunted Attractions Association (HAA). The HAA is the official association of the haunted attraction industry whose mission is to promote their worldwide network of haunted attractions and to protect our customers through education and networking of our members. Their event, Transworld, offers classes, networking, and one of the largest show floors for haunters March 23rd-26th.

Factory of Terror is open this St. Patrick's Day. Tickets are available here.

Available on iTunesGoogle Play MusicStitcherSpreaker, and PlayerFM.

Please subscribe and leave feedback. Thank you for your support!

Direct download: 3.9.17_FOT_Podcast.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 8:38am EDT

Congratulations to our new Operations Manager Nino Balistrieri! We're going to go back to December 2015 for Nino's first starring role in a podcast when he was our Tech Manager. Nino and Pnuematics Assistant/Actor Maryane Kimbler are the masterminds that bring Hollywood quality effects to life each and every night of our season. From turning Michael Dougherty's Halloween classic Trick r Treat into an immersive pop-up-book, to bringing Krampus and his minions to life, Nino and Maryann reveal the secrets to terrorizing haunt fans with state-of-the-art technology.

ScareHouse, in Pittsburgh PA, is one of America's Scariest Halloween Haunted House Attractions (Travel Channel) - featured on Good Morning America, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Nightline, CBS news, Buzzfeed, Geek & Sundry, and many other national media outlets.

Subscribe today for new episodes of our ScareHouse podcast. Help us reach new listeners when you leave positive reviews and feedback on iTunes. THANK YOU for your support!

Like ScareHouse on Facebook.
Follow ScareHouse on Twitter.
Watch ScareHouse on YouTube.

Direct download: 2.22.17_Throwback_to_Nino_and_Maryane.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

This season's Valentine's Day event in The Basement took customers down the rabbit hole to a twisted version of Alice in Wonderland. Creative Director Scott Simmons, Katie "Dudders", Costume Manager & Designer Madison, and Design Manager Nicole walk through the creative process, planning, preparation, and actual event. The team discusses the influences, their amazing acting team, and last minute decisions that made the event so successful. 

Before customers entered The Basement, they were able to experience the amazing improvisational skills of Ayne Terceira. After our new "Alices" exited The Basement, they entered the Arcana Lounge of The Summoning for treats served by a sassy bartender and other interactive characters. They also had a chance to have their cards read by Madaum Boum. 

Direct download: 2.15.17_VDay_Basement_Recap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:13pm EDT

Michael Sorg is known as the "Podfather" and has been podcasting in Pittsburgh for over 10 years. He began with a Juggalo podcast and now hosts weekly shows discussing pro-wrestling, technology, and awesome things happening in and around Pittsburgh. We discuss creating your own space online, niche entertainment, why you should be looking forward to what's next, and the importance of the hustle.

Check out Michael Sorg at Sorgatron Media and Sidekick Media Services.

Direct download: 2.8.17_Sorg_Podcast.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 12:40pm EDT

ScareHouse veteran actress, Christine Mancini, got her first lesson on sarcasm from a nun and her acting chops from studio wrestling. She has a unique voice and large presence that ScareHouse and Basement customers remember long after they leave. Creative Director Scott Simmons, Katie "Dudders", and Mancini talk about horror, studio wrestling, and acting in The Basement.

Available on iTunesGoogle Play MusicStitcherSpreaker, and PlayerFM.

Direct download: 2.1.17_Mancini_Basement.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EDT

Froggy's Fog provides fog, haze, snow, bubbles, and even smells for haunted houses across the country (and probably the world). The company started in the roller skating industry then expanded to haunts, mega-churches, emergency and military personnel trainings, and even airshows. During last year's Midwest Haunters Convention, Creative Director Scott Simmons and Director of Sales and Marketing Katie "Dudders" sat down with Chris Markgraf, one of the founders of Froggy's Fog. 

Froggy's Fog started in a Chris' family owned fun center. One day, Chris turned on their new fog machine and suffered an asthma attack. Chris worked with his father, a biochemist and Adam Pogue, a university student studying business, to develop a fog Chris could comfortably breathe.

Chris, Scott, and Dudders discuss marketing and Seth Godin's book Purple Cow. When Chris and Adam created Froggy's Fog, they instinctively utilized some of the same best practices from Godin's book. 

Chris explains how Leonard Pickel, HauntCon, and fellow friendly haunters introduced his company to the haunt industry. Today, Froggy's Fog operates a full manufacturing plant on 10.5 acres south of Nashville, Tennessee. They service a variety of clients, from nightclubs to the Blue Angels, and safety is always a top priority.  

Froggy's Fog has expanded into the world of smells. While flying on Southwest, Chris read an article about how our sense of smell is the oldest memory our brains can recall. Before we developed our eyesight, we recognize the good and bad around us by smell. In a haunt, a customer may not remember what they saw, but they will remember what they smelled. 

Chris and Scott discuss the importance of being dynamic and creating balance in a haunt. Also, giving customers down time to let their guard down. The podcast concludes with the weirdest smell they've ever had to create and the importance of buying safe fragrances. 

Available on iTunesGoogle Play MusicStitcherSpreaker, and PlayerFM.

Please subscribe and leave feedback. Thank you for your support!

Like ScareHouse on Facebook.

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Direct download: 1.25.17_Chris_Froggys_Fog_Midwest_2016.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:58pm EDT

Director of Sales and Marketing Katie "Dudders" and Design Manager Nicole Conniff traveled to Gettysburg, PA for Strange Escapes in December. While they were there, they had a chance to chat with Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews, the currators of Planet Weird's Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult at the Lincoln Diner. (Warning: Podcast contains diner noises. You can almost smell the deliciousness.)

Greg and Dana discuss how their collection started by accident and their path to becoming professional weirdos.  They also explain how they adopted John Tenney and their plans for his future. 

When they receive a new object they attempt to form a relationship with it. They describe an object they must return because it made it very clear it did not want to stay with them. 

Their museum has two very popular items, Idol of Nightmares and the Dark Mirror. The Idol of Nightmares, also referred to as Billy Idol, is very sassy and fond of rum and tobacco. The Dark Mirror elicites a range of responses from those brave enough to gaze into it. 

Greg discusses the importance of setting intentions before you investigate. Your intentions will have an impact on your experiences with the paranormal.

Greg and Dana have (what some may call) an usual theory about Bigfoot. They believe it is a ghost or ghost-like being. They discuss how the evidence they and other researchers have collected support this theory.

Greg and Dana explain how it's easy to be self-conscious about what you're doing when you're doing something weird. Instead of dismissing what other people are doing as "weirder", we should be working together to see the connections and learn from each other. The lesson you should take away from this podcast is that it's important to diversify your weird. Everyone is weird and the world should be weirder. 

Available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, Spreaker, and PlayerFM.

Please subscribe and leave feedback. Thank you for your support!

Like ScareHouse on Facebook.

Follow ScareHouse on Twitter.

Watch ScareHouse on YouTube.

Direct download: 1.17.17_Greg_and_Dana_Weird_Planet.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 1:25am EDT

Our Director of Operations, Crystal, is leaving us for sunny California (and who can blame her right now.) She sat down with Creative Director Scott Simmons and Director of Sales and Marketing Katie "Dudders" to reflect on her last 9 years with ScareHouse, the 2016 season, and why we call her our "Dream Killer".

ScareHouse has been around since 1999 and really blew up in 2007 when they moved to Etna. Crystal joined the team in 2008 so she has seen the haunt grow into the major production it is today. Crystal began her career as an actor before becoming the Haunt Manager of Rampage, House Manager, and finally Director of Operations. She actually wasn't very happy with her first acting role at ScareHouse, but fell in love with scaring people. She started out part-time working multiple jobs then was lucky enough to turn working at a haunted house into her day job.

Scott explains that many of ScareHouse's original sets and props were from a bowling alley that thought they could easily make money if they opened a haunted house. The first sets were built around those scenes. Screamatorium and Hall of Nightmares were more of vibe and not a story. This eventually grew into the current format of three haunts: the first one is old school and suspenseful, the second is experimental, and the third is action packed.

Crystal explains that the advice she gives her actors is from her own experience. She also lists her haunted house pet peeves.

Scott and Crystal dive into the former Rampage haunt. The team utilized props they already had to create a steam-punk, cyber-goth haunt. This was ScareHouse's first high concept, theme park level haunt. The indepth storyline and characters were not having the expected effect on their customers so they had to make changes after the first weekend. 

Scott, Crystal, and Dudders discuss the haunt builders workout. Crystal talks about the only celebrity guest that made her jump and the importance of her fannypack.

The team is constantly looking for ways to optimize their processes. They discuss the importance of outside influences and experiences. So much goes into building a successful haunted house beyond just putting together something scary including budgeting and multiyear planning. 

They discuss how important it is to work into your role. Crystal and Dudders use their job experiences beyond working in a haunted attraction to help them in the industry. Ask yourself what you bring to the table. 

What word best describes the 2016 season? We're going to steal Crystal's word, "rollercoaster". 

Scott, Crystal, and Dudders discuss what it takes to work on the team including the right balance of snark and respect. It is also important to always have a "dream killer". The person that has the data to explain why something will or will not work. 

And of course the podcast ends with Hamilton references. 

We'll miss you so much, Crystal!

The ScareHouse podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and Spreaker ScareHouse, in Pittsburgh PA, is one of America's Scariest Halloween Haunted House Attractions (Travel Channel) - featured on Good Morning America, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Nightline, CBS news, Buzzfeed, Geek & Sundry, and many other national media outlets. Subscribe today for new episodes of our ScareHouse podcast. Help us reach new listeners when you leave positive reviews and feedback on iTunes. THANK YOU for your support!

Like ScareHouse on Facebook.

Follow ScareHouse on Twitter.

Watch ScareHouse on YouTube.

Direct download: 1.10.17_Crystal_Goodbye_Correct.mp3
Category:Podcast -- posted at: 10:40am EDT