Frightful Scares and Fall Scenery

There are no shortage of local haunted houses and fall festivals to experience this fall around Pittsburgh.


photo by Andrew McLaughlin

During Phantom Fall Fest at Kennywood, the entire park is transformed by a blanket of fog.

McKenna Flannagan, Staff Writer

Sitting on the couch on a cold October weekend night as a teenager can be a very confusing time. You are not quite old enough to go out on the town with college friends and not young enough to go trick or treating without scaring children. So what exactly can NASH students do during this spooky season?

If you are prepared to scream, then Kennywood’s Phantom Fall Fest is the place to be. Phantom Fall Fest takes place every weekend in October, and tickets are only 40 dollars if you buy them online. Maybe skip out on Friday night football, and enjoy the thrilling rides we all know and love with a ghoulish twist from 6pm-11pm.  Of course, plunging into a ravine on the Thunderbolt or Phantom’s Revenge is a completely different experience in the pitch-black darkness. Or if you are seeking a longer adventure, enjoy the whole day from 12-11pm on Saturday or 12-10pm on Sunday. Some of the scream-provoking attractions include Ark in the Dark, Villa of the Vampire, Voodoo Bayou, and much more! 

Cheeseman Fright Farm is a combination of a haunted hayride and an adventure through a cornfield. You never know what is lurking in the dark, making it a must for the Halloween season. This adventure is open every weekend in October starting at the launch of darkness until 10pm. At 25 dollars per person, the cost is very budget-friendly. With over 100 actors and 650 acres of remote farmland, you are sure to get a good scare! 

Set right in the Pittsburgh Mills Mall, Scarehouse is back and better than ever. With tickets starting at only 20 dollars it is a must-see attraction for NASH students. Their slogan is “Pittsburgh’s Ultimate Haunted House” and they are sure to deliver every time. The 30-minute walk-through thriller is sure to knock your socks off, but don’t worry–the actors are not allowed to touch you. This haunted house is not for the weak of heart; even the Travel Channel called Scarehouse “One of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions.”

For those who loathe being scared and have always wanted to seek revenge on the spooky season, now is your time at Zombies of the Corn. A hay ride takes you through a field where zombies rush toward you, leaving one option, of course: to shoot them with a paintball gun.  This is priced at  35-60 dollars depending on the time slot chosen, though that is certainly worth it to finally claim vengeance on the haunts of Halloween. 

Maybe you are looking for a family-oriented Halloween outing. It is a good thing we live near two of the best Pumpkin Patches around, Shenot Farms and Soergel Orchards

Shenot is open 7 days a week, and hayrides to the pumpkin patch cost 5 dollars, running from 10am-5pm. When driving past this little farm, you know it is a hit because you will always find a packed parking lot with many families gathering. Of course, there are also food trucks on the weekends too! 

Soergel Orchards hosts an amazing fall festival that is fun for everyone. With live entertainment and apple cider, it is sure to be a good time. For the full month of October, this festival is very much alive from 10am-5pm every weekend. On Friday nights, you can even take hay rides to the pumpkin patch from 5pm-7pm. If pumpkins aren’t really your thing, you can also pick some delicious apples fresh off the trees. 

Maybe you don’t want to be home but also don’t want to deal with the hustle and bustle of festivals. Luckily, there are some great Halloween films in theaters now. The movies Halloween Ends and Smile can be streamed at our local movie theater, Cinemark North Hills. Put some comfy clothes on and go enjoy a good movie with delicious popcorn in hand. 

For those who are feeling lazy from the school week and are ready to leave their costumes at home, grabbing some Pillsbury seasonal cookies and watching a haunting movie is always a relaxing option. Disney Plus makes it even easier to enjoy the haunting holiday season. There is a feature where Halloween episodes from numerous Disney TV shows are compiled–many of which spark memories of Disney Channel’s “Monstober,” which ended in 2019.

NASH seniors, don’t forget to participate in the costume contest on Monday October 31st. A teacher-run secret judging panel will be judging the best costume, and the best costume wins a free ticket to the Senior Banquet! 

Have a wonderful and spine-chilling Halloween season!