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

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. 

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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!

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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.

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Watch ScareHouse on YouTube.

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