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North Hills Monthly

Zombies, Pumpkins, Mazes and More Make for Fun Halloween

Sep 30, 2018 05:57PM ● By Clare Heekin Lynch

Photo courtesy of Zombies of the Corn

As Halloween approaches, fear-filled fun is gearing up around the Pittsburgh region. Haunted houses, hayrides, farms, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and escape rooms…the spooky season just wouldn’t be the same without these attractions! 

For Cranberry area business owner Debra Dion Krischke, fall means the return of the zombies and all things scary. “But not too scary–we stay away from the gore element and there’s no touching by our actors!” she exclaimed. 

Dion Krischke and her husband, Ryan, own Three Rivers Paintball and Zombies of the Corn, an annual event held every weekend in October. It is now in its sixth year. (

“This year, with our Fright Levels of All Ages theme, kids and adults will board our zombie-fighting vehicles to shoot the zombies, be scared witless in the Blackout Maze, hear storytellers by the bonfire, enjoy face painting, and indulge in lots of tasty treats on our 70-acre zombie compound,” Dion Krischke said. “We offer acres and acres of safe, fun and scary attractions. We love doing this for the surrounding communities who support us and, in turn, a percentage of the proceeds go to VOICe—a domestic violence agency in Butler.” 

For the past six years, the owners of Spring Valley Golf Club have taken pride in “scaring the hell out of ya!” during the crisp fall weekends leading up to Halloween. 

“Terrifying frights await you around every corner at Hell’s Hallow Haunt in Mercer,” said co-owner Barb Mills. “We have three levels of screams: a walk through the Frightening Field of Corn Maze, three floors of scares in the original 1872 Bloody Barn, and we recommend you hold on for your life on the Haunted Haywagon of Horror, which includes a walk through the woods. It’s scary fun!” (

Cheeseman Farm has a whole host of things going on for the holiday, including a family-friendly Pumpkin Festival, where kids can take a hayride to a pumpkin patch to pick their own fruit; play in a petting zoo, take horse rides, feed animals, jump on hay bales and more. New this year is Five Senses Down on the Farm, where kids can use smell, sight, touch, taste and hearing to explore the farm around them. A wealth of food will be available, including pizza from the farm’s wood-fired brick oven, funnel cakes, cider, apple butter and more.

“Our scary attraction is the Fright Farm, which is open Friday through Sunday, starting at dusk,” said Manager Jennifer Cheeseman. “People can pay $20 a ticket, or get a fast pass for $40 and skip the line.”

Groups are also welcome to call ahead to book a bonfire, which makes a great setting for college groups, or sign up to take a field trip through the farm on weekdays. More information is available at

Still feeling brave? Check out more Halloween attractions and enter at your own risk!

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. The historic building holds decades of secrets and haunted history. If you are brave enough to enter the basement, you will be tormented, challenged and scared out of your mind. 

Beacon Hotel, Renfrew, 

Open every weekend in October, enjoy a haunted corn maze and tractor ride to and from the haunted house, or sit by the bonfire enjoying a spooktacular treat!

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. 

Phantom Fright Nights, Kennywood Park,

As the leaves turn and the air gets chillier, darkness begins to fall over Kennywood Park. Guests over age 13 are welcomed to experience spine-tingling fun while touring 10 haunted houses and enjoying nerve-wracking roller coasters and devilishly delicious food. 

The Enigma Project, Hundred Acres Manor, Bethel Park, 

A real-life horror escape room game where you, and up to seven others, will race against the clock and escape from a locked room in 45 minutes or less. There are two terrifying escape rooms to choose from: Contagion (a zombie testing facility where you try to find the cure to save your friends before another zombie outbreak occurs) and The Alchemist, a Renaissance-era workshop that requires solving Old World Science mysteries to break free of the mad scientist.

Named “Pittsburgh’s Best Haunted House” and making the list as one of the best haunted houses in the world by The Travel Channel,, LA Times, USA Today and Yahoo News, Hundred Acres Manor features six mind-bending attractions that will leave you running in fear. You will come face-to-face with some of the most terrifying zombies, creatures, monsters and products of your worst nightmares.

Haunted Hills Estate, Uniontown, 

Two hours of unique, scary, and original haunted entertainment! Party with D. J. Boogeyman on Spooky Street, with roaming creatures and a concession stand full of treats and gruesome grub. HHE Scare Park has three interactive attractions that put you right in the dead center: J.H. Finkelstein Funeral Home, the Magic Chamber of Horrors, and the Moonlight Massacre Challenge Trail. 

Haunted Hillside, Mount Pleasant,

Want to feel like you're in a scary movie set in the countryside, where the scenes are real and the monsters just keep coming? The attraction starts and ends with a hayride, with a mile-long hike through the supernatural in between. Dress appropriately so you can run fast from the evils that lurk.