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North Hills Monthly

Halloween Happenings – Prepare to be Scared!

Sep 01, 2017 08:28AM ● By Clare Heekin Lynch
Every fall, the Pittsburgh region becomes frighteningly fun with scary haunted houses, creepy mazes, and goblins and ghosts lurking around every corner. 

For Cranberry area business owner, Debra Dion Krischke, fall means the return of the zombies and all things scary. She and her husband, Ryan, own Three Rivers Paintball and Zombies of the Corn, an annual event celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.

“At our Zombie Compound, visitors get scared by live zombies and lots of ‘gotchas’ around every corner!” she said. “But in keeping with our family values, we are family fun, and you can choose from many different elements and levels.”

“It’s scary, but not too scary,” she added. “We stay away from the gore element—that’s just a little too much for me—and there’s no touching by our actors.”   

Zombies of the Corn is not just another haunted hayride or corn maze. There are ghost stories by the campfire, an outdoor movie theater showing PG-rated Halloween features, a Zombie Shoot (where you get to fight off zombies with paintball guns and they can’t shoot back) and their newest feature—Z Maze, a blackout maze with no way out.

“We offer acres and acres of safe, fun and scary attractions,” said Dion Krischke. “We love doing this for the surrounding communities who support us.” A percentage of the event’s proceeds go to VOICe, a local domestic violence agency in Butler. 

Zombies of the Corn begins the last weekend of September, and takes place all weekends in October. To learn more, check out

Not scared yet? If you dare, check out these Halloween attractions for lots of fun and terrifying thrills: 

Not for the Faint of Heart
Haunted Hill View Manor, New Castle,
Beginning in 1926, the Lawrence County Home for the Aged housed the county’s mentally ill, severely destitute, and elderly residents that didn’t have any known family. Over the years, it changed hands and ownership, until it closed in 2004 due to financial constraints. Tours, which include a brief history mixed with tales of paranormal experiences of current and past tour guides, are given by reservation only. 

ScareHouse, Etna,
ScareHouse has been ranked as one of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions by Travel Channel and has been featured on many national media outlets. Located in an historic and haunted building, it is not recommended to those under age 13. If you are brave enough to enter the basement, an immersive theatrical experience for those over age 18, you will be tormented, challenged and scared out of your mind. Behind the scenes tours are also available. Save money by purchasing tickets online.

Haunted Pittsburgh Ghost Tours, Downtown,
Capture Pittsburgh’s historic nightmares and share all things that go bump in the night! From Station Square, the tour travels up to Mt. Washington on the iconic–and purportedly haunted–Monongahela Incline. Then, you’ll explore one of the city’s most haunted neighborhoods as storytellers reveal the chilling tales of Pittsburgh’s spectacularly ghastly past. 

Cheeseman Fright Farm, Portersville,
More than 100 actors take part in this hair-raising event, which includes a haunted hayride, corn maze and numerous walk-through attractions. A daytime Pumpkin Festival provides a less scary alternative for kids and includes hayrides to a pumpkin patch and a petting zoo.

Hundred Acres Manor, Bethel Park,
Ranked as one of the top haunted attractions in the world, Hundred Acres Manor spans one mile and offers six attractions, including the ‘torture tank’ and ‘vodou,’ filled with terrifying zombies, creatures and monsters sure to become your worst nightmare. 

Haunted Hills Hayride and the Valley of Darkness 
Haunted Walking Trail, North Versailles,
Get twice as scared while visiting Haunted Hills’ two distinct attractions: a chilling hayride and a frightening walking trail. In addition to those eerie adventures, anyone can get into the Halloween spirit with live entertainment, bonfires and concessions. 

Frightening Family-Friendly Fun
Gateway Clipper Cruise,
Enjoy Pittsburgh’s three rivers aboard themed boats. The Halloween Fun Cruise offers a kids’ costume party with characters, prizes and other tricks and treats! 

Phantom Fright Nights, Kennywood Park,
As the leaves turn and the days shorten, darkness begins to fall over Kennywood. Ghouls over 13 can enjoy spine-tingling fun while touring 10 haunted houses and riding nerve-wracking roller coasters. There's devilishly delicious food, too!

ZooBoo, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium,
There’s nothing to fear as you wander through the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium collecting sweet treats along the Zoo Trail while checking out the animal exhibits. 

Owl-o-Ween, Pittsburgh National Aviary,
Whooo’s ready for Owl-o-Ween at the Aviary’s annual harvest festival? Wear your costume and come prepared for candy, crafts and more. Enjoy close encounters and perfect photo opportunities with raptors, owls and other creatures of the night.  

Halloween Happenings, Phipps Conservatory,
Phipps’ spook-tacular gardens are the perfect places to celebrate Halloween! Ghosts and goblins of all ages can come to the conservatory in costume for a day of festive activities, free with regular admission. Ghoulish guests are invited to sink their teeth into healthy and delicious snacks, delight at wickedly carved pumpkins and pot their very own creepy plants. There will be kid-friendly entertainment and a face painter throughout the event. Plus, in a wicked addition, a witches’ brew display will come to life featuring snakes, newts and toads. October 27, 4-8 p.m.

The Nightmare Tour in Zelienople and Harmony,
Do you dare visit the darker corners of Zelienople and Harmony? Both cities are rich in their history and culture, but like many picture-postcard towns, if you scratch the surface, the seedy underbelly can be exposed. Take a 45-minute bus tour through darkened cemeteries and narrow roadways, while listening to supernatural accounts of local hauntings. 

The Living Dead Weekend, EDCO Park, Evans City,
It’s back…they won’t stay dead! Celebrate the city where movie history was made. This weekend-long event includes a movie location tour, celebrity guests, pet walk and costume contest, Ghouls for the Pool, costume party and more. Oct. 20-22.